Rupert Davidson Turnbull
Canadian-American 1899 - 1950
Oil on canvas board
30.5 cm x 40.5 cm (12" x 16")
The reverse inscribed «The work of Rupert Davidson Turnbull» - Painted in 1948 - after the war»
Rupert Davidson Turnbull was born in New Jersey from a Canadian family; at one point his father moved back to New Brunswick, Canada where David attended schools at Rothesay, Kingston (Ontario) and Montreal (Quebec).
He moved to the United State where he worked from 1922-1929 by day and studied art by night at the Art Students League in New York.
1929, he moved to Paris and studied at the Académie Scandinave and the Académie Lhote; he wrote a manual of painting technique called Egg Tempera Painting with Vaclav Vytlacil.
«From 1935-38, he taught at Copper Union (Manhattan). It appears that he moved around quite a bit and taught courses on painting at various schools, including some at the California College of Arts and Crafts (1940-42) in Oakland. He also served on the American Abstract Artists executive committee in the early 1940s and exhibited with the group until 1942»: Benita Turnbull, Turnbull’s grandniece.
Two of his works are at the Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington D.C.
«R. D. Turnbull, one of Canada’s earliest abstractionists, who made a significant contribution to the development of Abstract Expressionism in North America, but is virtually unknown in the annals of Canadian art history.» Off The Grid: Abstract Painting in New Brunswick, The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Exhibition June 26 - September 14, 2014.
Most of his work is unsigned.