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Edgar Corbridge (1901 – 1988)

Untitled (Industrial Street), c. 1940s, watercolor on paper mounted on illustration board, estate stamp verso (signed by Peter Corbridge, the artist’s son); 14 x 21 inches; unframed


Edgar Corbridge was a Massachusetts-based precisionist painter who mainly worked in watercolor. In 1916, three years after immigrating from England, Corbridge completed a course of study in sign painting at the Fall River, Massachusetts Technical High School and obtained an apprenticeship with the Armour Sign Shop. Throughout his career, Corbridge was mainly self-taught as a fine artist. In 1918, Corbridge received his first recognition as an artist for his entry in a Fall River Women’s Club poster competition. During much of his professional life, Corbridge worked as a self-employed window trimmer and operator of the Corbridge Display Service, supplemented by income from the occasional sale of his paintings. Corbridge gleaned the subjects for his works in and around his home in Fall River, Massachusetts, as well as Provincetown. In the 1940s, Corbridge began to exhibit frequently, including at the annual exhibitions at the Jordan Marsh Company in Boston (where he also served as a judge), the Newport Art Association, the Providence Art Club, The Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Corcoran Gallery, the Portland (Maine) Society of Artists, the Springfield (Massachusetts) Artist League, as well as a number of other institutions. Critics recognized Corbridge for his “extraordinary tonal quality” as well as “clarified, designed reality, which reduces the confusion of nature to fundamental form.” These attributes caused critics, dealers, and collectors to put Corbridge in the precisionist canon, though his works often have a hint of Magic Realism as well. The present work, Untitled (Industrial Street) is a prime example of Corbridge's watercolors, with its meticulous drafting, careful editing and mysterious, depopulated composition which owes a debt to de Chirico. As the 1950s progressed, Corbridge exhibited less, although he participated in the Provincetown Art Association shows consistently through the 50s. Corbridge is listed in Who Was Who in American Art as well as other standard references.


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