Swann Galleries Announces Auction of American Art & Contemporary Art on November 17

. November 7, 2011 . 0 Comments

Swann Galleries’ November 17 auction of American Art & Contemporary Art offers outstanding unique works and prints by choice American artists and those working in the late 20th century.

The Contemporary Art portion of the auction features some highly desirable prints by Andy Warhol, including his 1967 color screenprint of Marilyn Monroe, his earliest print of the blonde icon, who is depicted in shades of gray and black (estimate: $100,000 to $150,000).

Also by Warhol are Flowers, offset color lithograph, 1964 ($10,000 to $15,000); New England Clam Chowder, color screenprint, 1969 ($10,000 to $15,000); Cow, color screenprint in purple and black on wallpaper, 1976 ($12,000 to $18,000); and Untitled (Sex Parts), unique screenprint in black on green cloth cut from a man’s work shirt, circa 1980—the proceeds from this lot will benefit the non-profit Lifelong AIDS Alliance ($15,000 to $20,000).

Other pop art highlights are Roy Lichtenstein’s Moonscape, color screenprint on blue Rowlux, 1965 ($10,000 to $15,000), and Brushstroke, offset color lithograph, 1965 ($12,000 to $18,000); Jasper Johns’s Cicada, color lithograph on Arches 88 paper, 1981 ($20,000 to $30,000); Keith Haring’s Art Attack on AIDS, unique screenprint in black with hand coloring in yellow gouache, 1988 ($15,000 to $20,000); and Tom Wesselmann’s Monica Sitting with Mondrian, color screenprint, 1989 ($12,000 to $18,000).

There is a selection of fine color lithographs by Alexander Calder as well as a 1971 gouache, At Last a Yellow Saucer, which reflects much of the playfulness and color of his well-known mobiles ($20,000 to $30,000).

Other unique works of note include an oil on board painting by Wayne Thiebaud, from early in his career—before he began depicting sweets—called Blighted Area ($30,000 to $50,000); Red Grooms’s Artist on the Beach, color pastels on paper, 1970 ($30,000 to $50,000); a set of four color pencil drawings by Robert Mangold, Arc Studies: 4 Drawings, 1974 ($20,000 to $30,000); and David Hockney’s For Riggs and John, watercolor and gouache on the back of a double-page fold from a Hockney catalogue, 1988 ($15,000 to $20,000).


Josef Albers, I-S g, color screenprint, 1971 (estimate: $1,500 to $2,500).

Desirable portfolios are Josef Albers’s Homage to the Square, with 10 color screenprints, 1962 ($12,000 to $18,000); Sol Lewitt’s Composite Series, set of five screenprints, 1970, and Stars, set of eight color aquatints, 1993 ($10,000 to $15,000 each); and Robert Indiana’s Decade, with 10 color screenprints, 1971 ($18,000 to $22,000).

The American Art section of the sale features two paintings by Robert Gawthmey, who is best known for his unromanticized depictions of African-American life in the rural South, from the estate of noted black business leader J. Bruce Llewellyn. Prologue II, a 1962 oil on canvas, depicts churchgoers and farmers; Southern Farmer, oil on canvas, 1966, in which the subject’s face is mostly obscured, may be a nod to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man ($60,000 to $90,000 and $40,000 to $60,00 respectively).

There are three other Gwathmey works in the sale, two watercolors with pen and ink, Picking Cotton and Picking Cotton II ($4,000 to $6,000 each); and a pencil drawing, Tin of Lard, which has the same subject as the Southern Farmer painting ($1,000 to $1,500).

Other paintings of note are Carl Brandien’s View of Toledo, oil on canvas, 1931 ($4,000 to $6,000); Robert Bliss, Provincetown Beach, oil on board, 1962 ($3,000 to $5,00); David Burliuk’s Still Life with Roses, Daffodils and Iris, oil on canvas ($20,000 to $30,000); and several landscapes by Hayley Lever.

Rounding out the American art are Elie Nadelman’s Mother and Child, pen and ink, circa 1905 ($5,000 to $8,000); Blanche Lazzell’s Mosquito Wharf, gouache on card, 1934 ($8,000 to $12,000); William Zorach’s The Family, bronze sculpture, 1957 ($10,000 to $15,000); Francisco Zuñiga’s Descansado, watercolor and chalk, 1968 ($5,000 to $8,000); and one of Ludwig Bemelmans’s illustrations of the beloved children’s book protagonist Madeline, gouache and watercolor, 1939 ($8,000 to $12,000).

The morning session of the auction, American Art, will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 17. The afternoon session of Contemporary Art follows, after a lunch break, at 1:30 p.m.

The works will be on public exhibition Saturday, November 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday, November 14 through Wednesday, November 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Category: Fine Art

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