Image rights: Image provided by the Phillips Collection
Acquired by 1926
About Alfred H. Maurer
Alfred H. Maurer was one of the critical painters of fin-de-siècle America, achieving fame through a Fauvist aesthetic of expressive brushwork and bold colors. After discarding his celebrated portraits and genre paintings, he turned towards Fauvist landscapes, still lifes, and portraits of nondescript figures. Painting primarily with saturated color instead of line or form, he was able to bring out a distinctive psychological intensity through rippling, sweeping gestures. In his later years he pioneered American cubism, working in an increasingly expressive and abstract style. Two Heads (ca. 1925-28), one of his “Two Sister” paintings, is one of Maurer’s most famous and recognizable works. Painted from live sitters, the work’s cubistic, stylized heads reflected the period’s fascination with African masks also apparent in the works of Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani.