White Silence (1941) is a recently discovered and seminal work from Kay Sage's exceedingly limited lifetime oeuvre. The work is one of her first important Surrealist works created in America. It is also one of only two Kay Sage paintings the artist is known to have created in 1941.
The discovery of this work allows, according to the Kay Sage Catalogue Raisonné project, a correction in the artist's body of work. In the 2011 book "Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy" plate #38 was ascribed the title White Silence due to it being the only known work the artist created in 1941. The inscription verso of this work in the artist's hand (shown in infrared photograph) has allowed a correction in that citation, and places this work as the White Silence which was exhibited in 1941.
Signed lower left "Kay Sage '41
Inscribed verso in the artist's hand with title, date, signature & address as follows: "White Silence" / "1941" / "Kay Sage" / "30 West 11 N.Y.C."
Note: 30 West 11th Street in New York is the address of the apartment Kay Sage rented upon her return to American in November 1939.
Ex-collection of Annie Johnson, Brooklyn, NY, thereafter by descent.
This work is included in the Kay Sage Catalogue Raisonné (2018) by Stephen Robeson Miller and Mark Kellman, Citation #P.1941.1 / SRM 47. Illustrated p.135 in color.
Tone Price Gallery, Los Angeles, Kay Sage Paintings, February 3–29, 1941, no. 8
San Francisco Museum of Art, Kay Sage, March 2–April 6, 1941
Tone Price Gallery, Los Angeles, Kay Sage Paintings, February 3–29, 1941, no. 8.
Kay Sage Catalogue Raisonné (2018) by Stephen Robeson Miller and Mark Kellman, Citation #P.1941.1 / SRM 47. Illustrated p.135 in color.
White Silence survives in excellent condition. The canvas and stretcher are original and were untouched prior to recent conservation treatment to relax the canvas, inpaint the small areas of losses due to scratches, gently clean the paint surface, and varnish the work. The work was documented before and after, and the artist's pencil inscriptions verso were photographed with an infrared camera in order to be more easily seen.