Exceptional European & American Fine Art Including Important Russian Works
December 2nd-3rd, 2008
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Lot 559
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Lot: 559
GEORGE BENJAMIN LUKS (American 1867-1933) The Tenth Round Oil on canvas Signed lower right and dated 1902. 27 inches x 21 inches Estimate $25,000-$35,000
Estimate: $25,000.00 - $35,000.00




Born in Williamsport, Pa., in 1866, Luks, and according to Judith Hansen O'Toole, toured as a youngster with his brother William in a minstrel act called Buzzey and Anstock before studying at the Pennsylvania Academy and the Kunstacademie in Dusseldorf where he came to admire the works of Frans Hals. Luks was a member of the Ash-Can School painters. Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism and abstraction held little interest for him. While an illustrator for the Philadelphia Press he met John Sloan, William Glackens and Everett Shinn and together they would meet at the studio of Robert Henri. The group became known as the Philadelphia Five, although they all individually migrated to New York where Luks continued working as an illustrator. An engaged story-teller, Luks manufactured many details of his own life to make himself more colorful. Most ingrained in his biography are his stories as Chicago Whitey, a middleweight boxing champion-a subject echoed in the offered lot. Luks self created mythology perhaps masks an insecurity that reveals itself in the diversity of styles he sometimes employed as a painter. A heavy drinker, Luks had health problems and spent time in a sanitarium. After a barroom brawl, he was found dead in the doorway of a speakeasy in 1933.

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