I’m always happy to be able to run across a previously unknown (to me!) Gregor Duncan illustration. In this case it’s a nice early program cover illustration, for a collegiate football game between Stanford and Santa Clara.
One thing you’ll notice right away is the date: September 29, 1934. And the piece seems to fit that period of Duncan’s work. But then you notice his signature and date of 1932 and you realize that the drawing is one that he already had, unless Stanford used the same image a number of times. Regardless of when the piece was drawn and published, it’s a lovely and dynamic example of figure drawing. Duncan was masterful when capturing gesture in his drawings, and this is a great example of that skill. The heavy contour lines convey a great deal of movement through their speed and line weight, and the tones, which help add mass to the figure, appear as if they’ve just been thrown off in the easiest way possible. When Duncan was on, he made things look effortless. He was clearly on when doing this drawing.