PAT DE GROOT (1930-2018) Cormorants, Portfolio of 4 Prints, 31/100, 1991, Silkscreens

  • Notes: SLR
  • Dimensions: 18 x 12" image, 19 x 38" sheets
  • Artist Name: Pat de Groot
  • Literature: Born in St John's Wood, London, Pat was a wartime refugee to the US. In 1940 she and her younger brother, Peter, were sent to New York by their American mother, Evie (nee Straus Weil), who had separated from their English father, Ernald Richardson, an army officer. Evie's grandfather, Isidor Straus, had owned Macy's; he and his wife, Ida, were the elderly couple who refused to leave the sinking Titanic. Evie would remarry, secondly in 1947 to George Backer, publisher of the New York Post. As a society interior decorator, Evie became design muse to Truman Capote, and styled his black and white ball, at the party of the century. After leaving the University of Pennsylvania with an English degree, Pat was in Paris by 1954, working for the Paris Review. She would cycle round to pick up manuscripts from Samuel Beckett. On a visit to Dublin, Brendan Behan hit on her. Pat was incredibly beautiful: gamine, vital, with intense brown eyes. Defying her mother, she married the abstract expressionist painter Nanno de Groot. In 1963 Pat and Nanno built their unconventional house on the beach in Provincetown, designed by her. "It rose from the mud," she told me. That Christmas, only weeks after they moved in, Nanno died of lung cancer. In the mid-1960s Pat worked as a designer for the New York publishers Farrar, Straus & Giroux, creating vivid abstract book covers. The Provincetown parties she threw in the 60s and 70s were the stuff of legend; at one, all the guests were arrested in a drugs raid. You might find anyone in her house: Nina Simone sipping tea; Elvin Jones, John Coltrane's drummer and Pat's long-term lover playing congas. By the 80s Pat had begun to work as a fine artist, painting seagulls and drawing cormorants, before finding the visual language to address the sea itself almost by painting it as nothing at all. The apparent blankness emphasized her reserved emotions; the life she had lived. In 2000, she was acclaimed by the New York Times as part Zen, part American transcendentalist, part modernist formalist. Her deceptively simple works have the quality of icons. Pat became the presiding genius of my book Rising Tide Falling Star (2017). (bio by Philip Hoare)
  • Medium: Silkscreens
  • Circa: 1991
  • Condition: Fair condition, extensive foxing, please consider photos an accurate description of condition

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by Bakker Auctions
October 23, 2021 1:00 PM EDT
Provincetown, MA, US

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