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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Sotheby’s to Auction Part III of The Collection of Allan Stone

Sotheby’s New York has announced it will auction The Collection of Allan Stone Volume III, on 23 September 2011.

The sale of property from the renowned New York dealer follows two exceptionally successful auctions in May 2011. Just as in those sales, this offering is made up of outstanding examples by the key artists represented and collected by Mr. Stone; highlights include works by Willem de Kooning, John Chamberlain, Franz Kline, Joseph Cornell and, perhaps most importantly, Wayne Thiebaud.

Trained as a lawyer, but passionate about art, Mr. Stone opened his own gallery in 1960. He joined the ranks of influential New York dealers such as Leo Castelli and Sidney Janis, while blazing his own path with a unique selection of artists. Stone’s most significant partnership was with Wayne Thiebaud. In 1961, he launched the California painter’s career with his first show in New York and their bi-coastal friendship lasted for over four decades until Stone’s death in 2006. The works by Thiebaud to be offered in Volume III reflect the historic span of their relationship, offering works from the 1960s to the 1990s with examples from some of his most popular bodies of work – food paintings, street scenes, figurative work and landscapes.

Wayne Thiebaud
Cherries#1 from 1981 is a beautiful example of Thiebaud’s iconic food still lifes (est. $500/700,000). The brushstrokes create shadows and highlights giving the work a theatrical quality, whilst the stark white background draws the viewer’s attention to the bowl of fruit which bursts with reds, yellow, greens and blues.

Thiebaud’s Standing Man is a strikingly minimal composition that candidly positions a man in front of the viewer to honestly depict the model (est. $1.2/1.4 million). The work was painted in 1964 and demonstrates the artist’s early commitment to formal investigation of the figure. Standing Man has been included in a number of Thiebaud exhibitions since its debut at the Allan Stone Gallery in 1966.

Other Thiebaud highlights include abstract works such as Hillside Streets from 1993 (est. $500/700,000) and Tie Tray from 1969 which has been widely exhibited including in the landmark Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 2000/01 (est. $800,000/1.2 million).

Abstract Expressionism
Mr. Stone was drawn to Abstract Expressionism and developed close relationships with Willem de Kooning, John Chamberlain and Alfred Leslie, among others. In the May sales, collectors demonstrated their abundant respect for the quality of Mr. Stone’s eye by keenly competing for works by these artists, including Nutcracker, 1958 which sold for $4,786,500, the auction record for Chamberlain’s work. The Chamlerlain works in this sale are led by Hudson from 1960 which demonstrates the shift from monochromatic iron sculptures to the colorful abstract works made with derelict automobile parts (est. $600/800,000). Also by Chamberlain is Cord, an earlier work that coaxes various steel forms into the industrial land of swoops and folds (est. $200/300,000).

Woman as Landscape is a highlight of the Willem de Kooning works in the sale (est. $800,000/1.2 million). In the painting from 1965/6 the woman is depicted more softly than in the earlier woman paintings which were so central to de Kooning’s initial success. It is typical of the period when the artist was living in East Hampton with the nude figure depicted in milky pink and surrounded by bold strokes of bright vivacious colors.

Stone had a close personal relationship with the enigmatic and elusive Joseph Cornell and the sale features three works by the artist including Soap Bubble Set (Eclipsing Binary, Algol with Magnitude Changes), an example of his boxed assemblages (est. $150/200,000).

Image: Willem De Kooning, Woman as Landscape, 1965-1966. Est. $800,000/1.2 million. Photo: Sotheby’s.

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