As an integral part of the New York arts community, Lever was cognizant and receptive to the modernist art movements sweeping the country, from Post-Impressionism to Cubism. Arguably, shades of both can be seen in Still Life: Turnip and Carrots. The flattened perspective of the plated vegetables and table on which they precariously sit recalls the still lifes of Paul Cezanne, whose work Lever would have seen in Europe and in galleries closer to home.
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Additionally, the receding green planes and purposely vacant background brings to mind the arrangements of Lever’s colleague Charles Demuth, with whom he exhibited during the 1920s at venues in New York and Chicago, and at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Created around 1923, Still Life: Turnip and Carrots demonstrates Lever’s openness to experimenting with different concepts, as well as his remarkable talent for the watercolor medium, and was likely shown at an exhibition of his work held at the Delaware Art Museum in 1978.
Collection, Fairfield, Maine
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 34424, August 2005
To private collection, Andover, Massachusetts, October 2009 to present
(verso of watercolor board, from which paper was removed) Turnip + Carrots
Previous Vose Galleries label, inventory no. 34424
1). (possibly) Hayley Lever (1876-1958): Works in Various Media, Delaware Art Museum, June 23 – August 13, 1978, no. 54 Still Life: Turnips and Carrots