I bought this oil on canvas in the mid-1980's at a Birmingham gallery.
It is the largest piece in the house, roughly 64" x 44', by French-born artist J.J. Gaudel
It must have been a period he was going through as an artist (and I was going through as a collector!), because I also own a second piece (right), unsigned but clearly his, from the same time I lived in Birmingham.
Those two pieces are too large for the available room in our Montgomery, Alabama home gallery (left), so they are installed on the wall along the adjacent stairwell leading upstairs.
(BTW: The "columns" in the center of the gallery are actually remnants of a set for the old "For The Record" Alabama Public TV show I hosted. They are painted cardboard, and perhaps were originally used for storing fabric of some kind. They were being discarded and I saved them. I have to warn people not to lean on them as they are as lightweight as you can imagine, and will easily fall over.)
UPDATE: J.J. responded to my email to him, describing how the two works of his came about:
It is really nice to see these early pieces again after some 45 years, and to know they have a loving home. They are indeed some of my very first painting, the Mechanical Staircase being actually THE very first. Strangely enough, it was painted in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, circa 1977.I was educated as a mechanical engineer and had no formal art education when I came to Birmingham in 1973, so my first foray into painting was very “mechanical”, both in appearance and in technique: stylized semi-realistic images, geometric forms, flat colors, hard taped edges. That is all I could do at the time! Then, I bought a box of pastels, then a box of watercolors, and finally oils around 1981.The other piece, the Elevators in the Hilton on Peachtree in Atlanta was exhibited at the G.B.A.A. around 1978 and was awarded best of show by Richard Howard, then director of the Birmingham Museum of Art. Right next to it was hanging a fabulous small drawing by a very young Arthur Price that blew me away and in my opinion should really have been the winner…These two pieces were shown after that with several more in the same style at the long defunct Bob Moody Gallery in Five Points.