A Perfect Pair, Al Buell

A Perfect Pair

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Artist: Al Buell
Art Height: 21.0" (53.34 cm)
Art Width: 16.5" (41.91 cm)
Frame Height: 34.0" (86.36 cm)
Frame Width: 28.0" (71.12 cm)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Features: Framed
Year: 1940s

This is a rare surviving commissioned calendar art pin-up painting by Al Buell titled on verso A Perfect Pair. From a series of paintings Buell did for Brown & Bigelow as The Playmate Series. This was for the month of October and dates to the late 1940s. Buell worked with Gil Elvgren in the Sundblom studios in Chicago and his accounts included Coca-Cola. His oils are among the best in the genre, they capture the pretty girl next door (albeit generally under-dressed) and have a wholesomeness rare for the pin-up.

Often his pin-ups have solid black backgrounds, a la Walt Otto; in other cases, he creates full settings, particularly in the pseudonymous paintings (signed "Al Leslie") he did when moonlighting from Brown & Bigelow at lesser companies. In these paintings Buell strayed into the area of embarrassed coy cuties, often accompanied by cute puppies who inadvertently caused skirts to be raised.

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