Richard F. Kollorsz (1900-1983)
Watercolor on paper, 19 1/2 x 24 3/4 inches. Signed and dated lower right: "R. Kollorsz/34"
Enduring America: Selections from the Collection of Art and Peggy Hittner, Northern Arizona University Art Museum, April 7 - May 29, 2015.
Enduring America (catalogue).
Biographical material posted at askart.com.
Papillon Gallery, West Hollywood, CA (by 1995); John Moran Auctioneers, July 1, 1997, lot 120B; Gil Aguirre, San Dimas, CA (by 1999); acquired from the foregoing, April 24, 1999.
Label of Papillon Gallery (dated 1995) pasted to protective cardboard backing on reverse. Framed in 1 ¾ inch antique silver frame with 2 ½ inch silver-toned mat.
The son and brother of painters, Richard Franz Kollorsz was born near Breslau, Germany in 1900. He began his art studies at the Academy of Art in Breslau after which (following World War I) he spent seven years at the Kunstakademie in Dresden. After traveling on a scholarship to Rome, he returned to Dresden to study under the highly influential Otto Dix (1891-1969), a master of the German "New Realism" movement. In 1929, Kollorsz immigrated to Southern California where he developed a close association with Hollywood director Josef Von Sternberg, who directed the classic films of Marlene Dietrich and in whose highly regarded art collection Kollorsz was heavily represented. Eventually, Kollorsz took charge of set designs for Von Sternberg’s American productions.
Although he worked with the celebrated Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros on a Los Angeles mural project in 1932, Kollorsz was an intensely private individual who exhibited rarely* and generally avoided contact with the local art community. As a consequence, and despite his considerable talent, Kollorsz and his work are little known today.
Crossroads was probably executed in Los Angeles, possibly in the neighborhood known as Mount Washington. The subject matter and technique relate closely to works in the same medium by Regionalist painters of the so-called “California Style” including Paul Sample, Millard Sheets, Phil Paradise and Barse Miller, all of whom were active in that state during the same period.
* Kollorsz did receive national recognition when a photograph of Four of a Kind, his lively depiction of four boys playing cards, was reproduced in The Art Digest (June 1, 1935) after garnering second prize at the 16th annual Painters and Sculptors exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Art. He also exhibited at such venues as the Art Institute of Chicago and The Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
Previously in the Collection:
Richard F. Kollorsz, Grand Central Market, 1947. Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches. Signed lower right: "R. KOLLORSZ/ 1947". Present location unknown.