Bloomsbury Post War Art Auction

. March 2, 2009

Bloomsbury Auctions presents its first New York sale of Post War Art on Wednesday, March 4th at 2pm. This sale will feature a highly select group of works by post-war cutting-edge masters and include 83 lots of drawings, paintings, prints and multiples from the post World War II period. Of exceptional note is the rare Lichtenstein colored-pencil drawing.

roy-lichtenstein.jpgRoy Lichtenstein’s “Study for Cosmology” 1979 ($500,000-$750,000) is executed with colored pencils on tracing paper. It is signed and dated in pencil and countersigned, titled and dated on the frame back. Turning his focus to the Surrealist period during the late 1970s, Lichtenstein continued to borrow the motifs and concepts from the masters of the Twentieth Century, placing these ideas within the framework of his own distinct style, among the Ben-day dots and bold linear lines. One of his most revered works from this period is “Cosmology” painted in 1978. The composition in “Cosmology” is directly taken from Pablo Picasso’s “The Studio” (1927-1928), which depicts two figures flanking a window into which he has introduced surrealism in the form of a juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated objects and themes. The other main surrealist influence in this work being from Joan Miró, from whom Lichtenstein imitated his famous eyes for the two figures in profile. The work offered here is one of three known preparatory drawings finished in colored pencils for “Cosmology”; at 18 7/8 x 23 3/4 inches, its size lies between the other two known drawings. From what is known of Lichtenstein’s process, it can be inferred that this drawing was the intermediate stage of Lichtenstein’s composition of “Cosmology”. The artist’s changing of ideas in both composition and color are evident in the faint contours seen intermittently on the paper upon close inspection of the drawing. Areas that received particular attention were the still life arranged on the folding chair and the sunburst on the left, which were redrawn perhaps to create balance and harmony with the rest of the composition.

Also highlighting the sale is an Andy Warhol collage of die-cut gold card and ink on paper “The Angel’s Orchestra” (22 ½ x 28 ½ inches) with the rubber stamps of the Warhol Foundation ($30,000- $40,000.) Another highlight is an Alex Katz, oil on board “Lysa- Study for Black Dress” (16 x 12 inches) 1927 ($20,000-$30,000) and Donald Sultan’s- “Black Eggs and Lemons” (48 ½ x 59 ½ inches) charcoal on paper ($8,000-$12,000) and “Three Peaches and Two Lemons” (12½ x 13½ x 1½ inches) oil, plaster and tar over wood, ($12,000-$18,000).

Other artists included in the sale are: Richard Diebenkorn, Salvador Dalí, Jean Dubuffet, Larry Rivers, Louise Nevelson and Alexander Calder. Artist Jennifer Bartlett’s “Series III Set 3” contains mixed media on metal, diptych 1972, both panels titled verso with accompanying hand written instructions from the artist. Each panel 11 ¾ inches/ 11 ¾ inches ($12,000-$18,000.)

Bloomsbury’s first ever Post WWII sale also includes 14 works of contemporary Chinese art. All are strong, well priced prints by Zeng Fanzhi, Wang Guangyi, Zhang Xiagang and Feng Lijuand Liu Ye. Lot 83 which closes the sale is a group of 10 lithographs and silkscreens printed in color, 2006. Each print is signed and dated in pencil, all in very good, fresh condition ($20,000-$30,000.)

Post War Art Exhibition Hours:

Friday, 27 February, By Appointment

Saturday, 28 February, 10am to 5pm

Monday, 2 March, 10am to 7pm

Tuesday, 3 March, 10am to 5pm

Wednesday, 4 March, 10am to noon

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