This is an oil on masonite by Maurice Robert Dey (1900-1982). It is a brightly colored and aggressively painted depiction of deer in a forest. The deer and the forest are fanciful abstract interpretations and resemble the work of Marsden Hartley with whom Dey was a contemporary. The painting is signed in the lower right. Provenance is the estate of the artist after his death in Cornwall, New York. It is framed in a grey-white painted frame that has a broad cove with carving at the upper edge and along the lip.
Maurice Dey was born in Switzerland. He came to the United States and studied with Harry Wickey. He was a member of the Hudson Highlands Art Association. He exhibited widely: the Hudson Highlands Art Association, 1935-1939; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1936-1937; the Federal Art Gallery, 1938-1939; Williams College, 1940; the National Academy of Design, 1941-1942; the Syracuse Museum of Fine Art, 1941; the American Artists Group; the Woodstock Art Association; etc. He worked on a major WPA project during the late 1930's. His work was in the permanent collection of the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery (Rochester, New York), and U. S. Post Offices in Albany and Cornwall, New York. Dey began his career as a representational artist who worked in watercolor and prints as well as oil. He moved into abstraction by the 1930's and was well known for his dramatic and fanciful portrayals of wild animal, particularly deer.
Measurements are: painting, 23 inches x 19 inches; frame, outer dimensions, 28 1/2 inches x 24 1/2 inches.
Condition: painting is excellent; frame has minor flaws and possible paint touch up.
This is an entertaining painting that also is very skilled work by a known American abstract painter.