Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mixed Reactions: Constantin Alajálov, New Yorker Cover Art

Constantin Alajálov's New Yorker cover for the week of March 21, 1936 is surely a bit of an oddity. The piano recital, on the surface, is unlike any we have seen. The performer is bent over the piano with great intensity and concentration, and seemingly has been for some time in this all-Bach program. The audience is divided into three camps. The majority have already left even as the performance continues, an almost impossibly rude outcome. Yet a small core of loyalists has migrated right up to the stage, almost equally unbelievable given the formality of the setting. Their facial expressions differ, but they seem to be either giving the performance their rapt attention or they are entirely lost in the music. A third contingent of audience members are on their way out, yet they linger, focussed not on the exits as we might expect but on the concert even though it has gone on for too long. What a wonderful piece this is! What a metaphor for our differing responses to the fine arts!

The original artwork is available from Grapefruit Moon Gallery for $8,500. The price is fairly steep, but this is really a one-of-a-kind piece.


Constantin Alajálov, Original cover art,
The New Yorker, March 21, 1936


http://grapefruitmoongallery.com/13722


Constantin AlajálovThe New Yorker, March 21, 1936




Constantin Alajálov, Detail of original cover art,
The New Yorker, March 21, 1936


Constantin Alajálov, Detail of original cover art,
The New Yorker, March 21, 1936




Constantin Alajálov's signature


Constantin Alajálov, Framed original cover art,
The New Yorker, March 21, 1936


Constantin Alajálov, Detail of framed original cover art,
The New Yorker, March 21, 1936
[End of Grapefruit Moon Gallery Listing]

Constantin Alajálov, The New Yorker, March 21, 1936


Glenn Gould:  Bach's Goldberg Variations
1981 Studio Video

April 19, 2014 Update:  This illustration was sold by Kodner Galleries of Dania Beach, Florida on December 5, 2012 for $1,600. Even with the costs of shipping and reframing, the price has more than quadrupled.
Constantin Alajálov, Original cover art,
The New Yorker, March 21, 1936

Constantin Alajálov, Framed original cover art,
The New Yorker, March 21, 1936

Constantin Alajálov's signature

Constantin Alajálov, Detail of original cover art,
The New Yorker, March 21, 1936


 
http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/constantin-alajalov,-american-1900-1987-pencil-231-c-4708611cce


Note:  See this blog's other posts about Constantin Alajálov here.

Further examples of original New Yorker cover art may be seen here.

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