Nauman, Diebenkorn, Ruscha, Frankenthaler and Ramos top Dallas Modern & Contemporary Art Auction

. May 31, 2010

Bruce Nauman’s masterful charcoal, pencil, pastel and watercolor Human Nature, 1983, is expected to bring $250,000+ as the centerpiece of Heritage Auction Galleries’ June 9 Signature 74; Impressionist, Modern & Contemporary Art Auction at its Dallas Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum Street.

“This sublime piece comes to auction from the Collection of a Fortune 500 Company,” said Frank Hettig, Director of Modern & Contemporary Art at Heritage. “It’s a wonderful combination of several of the elements that make Nauman such an important voice in contemporary art, especially the aspect of word play and the interaction of color, shadow and light.”

Also from the Collection of a Fortune 500 Company comes another of the auction’s principal highlights, Richard Diebenkorn’s 1986 etching with aquatint and drypoint printed in colors, Green, regarded as one of the artist’s finest etchings “embodying all of the skills and knowledge of graphics he had been accumulating for more than 20 years.” It is estimated at $200,000+.

The same Fortune 500 Collection is also providing collectors watching the auction with a chance to acquire more work from some of the biggest names of the last 50 years, including Helen Frankenthaler’s Quattrocento, 1984, acrylic on canvas (estimated at $150,000+) and Edward Ruscha’s Golden Words, 1985, pigment and acrylic on paper, estimated at $70,000+.

“The selections from this important collection are just one reason for collectors to be excited about this auction,” said Hettig. “We’ve worked very hard to put together this grouping of excellent material and we believe it shows in the diverse offerings from a splendid array of internationally known artists.”

The Estate of Charles Martignette, the most important collection of illustration art ever offered, contained many surprises when its full depth was finally revealed. One of the most important of these surprises was Mel Ramos’s Pop Art masterpiece Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, 1963, a transcending ode to the great pulp illustration of the mid-20th century. This piece, which carries a $120,000+ estimate, is certain to be one of the most watched pieces in the entire auction.

The Property of Dorothy & Sidney Factor, complemented by pieces from the collection of their son, Max Factor III, has been sold to benefit various charities in auctions throughout this spring, and this event features several more important examples from this philanthropic family. From the collection of Dorothy & Sidney Factor comes Edouard-Léon Cortés’ Porte St. Martin, circa 1935, oil on canvas (estimate: $20,000+), while the intriguing sculpture Accumulation Colombienne, 1979-1980, by French-American sculptor Arman, comes to this auction from Max Factor III’s collection. It is expected to bring $20,000+.

Some of the most captivating paintings in the auction come from a special section of the sale devoted exclusively to Contemporary Chinese and Cuban art, led by China’s Wu Mingzhong, with his vibrant, electrically kinetic oil River and Ocean, Be Careful!, 2003, estimated at $20,000+, and Cuba’s Roberto Fabelo, with his haunted and deeply contemplative oil painting Memorias, 2007, also estimated at $20,000+.

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

Vilmos Aba-Novák, Flood, Tempera on panel: Estimate: $40,000 – $60,000.

Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1967, gouache on paper: Estiamte: $30,000-$50,000.

Jean Dufy, Marine, circa 1946-1950, oil on canvas: Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000.

Richard Joseph Anuszkiewicz, Visible State, 1966, liquitex on board: Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000.

Daniel Spoerri, Untitled, 1984, mixed media assemblage: Estimate: $15,000 – $20,000.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

Category: Fine Art

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