Har­mo­niz­ing Sales Af­ter a likely record-set­ting Rock­e­feller sale, Christie’s will present a com­ple­men­tary auc­tion of im­por­tant Amer­i­can art­works

Af­ter a likely record-set­ting Rock­e­feller sale, Christie’s will present a com­ple­men­tary auc­tion of im­por­tant Amer­i­can art­works

American Fine Art Magazine - - Auctions -

Be­gin­ning May 7, an un­prece­dented col­lec­tion of art­work from the David and Peggy Rock­e­feller Col­lec­tion will be sold by Christie’s in Newyork City.

The sales, spread across sev­eral live and online auc­tions over sev­eral days, will likely be record-break­ing block­busters, and the art world is wait­ing pa­tiently with su­perla­tives at the ready.

So how does Christie’s fol­low up that sale? With a com­ple­men­tary Amer­i­can art sale less than two weeks later.“we are de­lighted to of­fer these works just two weeks af­ter the Rock­e­feller sale. It will cre­ate a mo­ment for Amer­i­can art,” says Paige Kesten­man, as­so­ciate spe­cial­ist in the Amer­i­can art de­part­ment at Christie’s. “A cen­tral fo­cus of the Rock­e­feller Col­lec­tion is Amer­i­can art­work, so we an­tic­i­pate that in­ter­est will carry over for our Amer­i­can art sale.”

The May 22 auc­tion, which will fea­ture around 85 works—as well as

120 lots in an online por­tion that be­gins on May 15—will of­fer ma­jor works in a va­ri­ety of cat­e­gories, though a num­ber of high­lights come from two ar­eas,amer­i­can il­lus­tra­tion and Amer­i­can Im­pres­sion­ism.

In the il­lus­tra­tion cat­e­gory, the sale will fea­ture two pieces by Nor­man Rock­well: Pi­ano Tuner (est. $3/5 mil­lion), which orig­i­nally ran on the cover of the Jan­uary 11, 1947, cover of The Satur­day

Evening Post, and Ten­der Years: Mow­ing the Lawn (est. $600/800,000), which was orig­i­nally one of four im­ages that ap­peared in a 1957 Brown & Bigelow cal­en­dar. “For Pi­ano Tuner, this is a great ex­am­ple of Rock­well’s Satur­day Evening Post cov­ers. It em­bod­ies Rock­well’s unique abil­ity to cap­ture a whole story in just one im­age. From the boy cu­ri­ously look­ing at the man tun­ing the pi­ano to all the de­tails in the fore­ground, in­clud­ing the lean­ing um­brella and the tool­kit.the young boy de­picted in the paint­ing, his fam­ily orig­i­nally owned the work—it was given to his fa­ther,” Kesten­man says, adding that the piece shares some char­ac­ter­is­tics with What Makes ittick? (The­watch­maker), a Rock­well that sold at Christie’s in Novem­ber 2017 for $7.2 mil­lion.“for Ten­der Years, this one was part of a four­part se­ries for Brown & Bigelow—this piece rep­re­sents summer. It’s a hu­mor­ous im­age, which was a theme that can be seen in many of his works.”

Im­pres­sion­ist works in­clude Childe Has­sam’s 1892 oil on panel Con­ver­sa­tion on the Av­enue (est. $1.5/2.5 mil­lion), a Newyork scene painted af­ter his time in Paris, and Fred­er­ick Carl Frieseke’s 1913 garden scene The Lat­tice Gate

(est. $500/700,000), which fea­tures his quin­tes­sen­tial dap­pled brush­work.

“The Has­sam fea­tures these three women decked out in the lat­est fashion of the time.you can see the artist de­vel­op­ing his brush­work—there is a sense of en­ergy in the ex­pres­sive brush­strokes,” says Kesten­man.“for the Frieseke, you re­ally feel how bril­liantly he could cap­ture light, from the dark cor­ner of the paint­ing to the brighter fo­liage on the right and the way the an­gled door lets you in.”

An­other no­table lot is Mil­ton Avery’s 1954 oil on can­vas Red Nude, es­ti­mated at $1 mil­lion to $1.5 mil­lion, which fea­tures an ab­stracted fig­ure ar­ranged in a dra­matic pose.“you can see Avery sim­pli­fy­ing the ex­pres­sion of the hu­man form in a fo­cused man­ner that is re­ally look­ing forward to the color field move­ment to come,” the Christie’s spe­cial­ist says.“the fig­ure is at once very anony­mous, but there’s also a real per­son­al­ity em­bed­ded in her com­po­si­tion.the sense of color is ex­tra­or­di­nary, and you can cer­tainly see why Avery was called the Amer­i­can Matisse.”

Cherry Blos­som Snow by Charles Burch­field will also be avail­able with es­ti­mates set at $1 mil­lion to $1.5 mil­lion.the work was first started in 1917, but then ad­di­tional pieces of pa­per were added and it was even­tu­ally com­pleted in 1945.The am­bi­tious paint­ing was sup­posed to be a se­ries, but Burch­field would aban­don the se­ries be­fore it was com­pleted.

Also avail­able will be John

Singer Sar­gent’s Madam Helleu (est. $300/500,000) that comes from the Oklahoma home of oil ty­coon Frank Phillips, and Race Horse (est. $300/500,000) by Grant Wood, whose works rarely come to auc­tion. A prom­i­nent Western work in the May 22 sale is Thomas Mo­ran’s Grand Cañon af­ter a Storm, es­ti­mated be­tween $800,000 and $1.2 mil­lion. The land­scape painter had been cap­ti­vated by the canyon since his first visit to the Ari­zona Ter­ri­tory in 1873.“One of the most fas­ci­nat­ing as­pects of the canyon for Mo­ran was its ever-chang­ing ap­pear­ance due to the ef­fects of weather and light. In Grand Cañon af­ter a Storm, we can see Mo­ran de­light­ing in the mists and clouds as they con­ceal and mys­tify some as­pects of the land­scape and high­light oth­ers.” Other Western works are The Proud Peo­ple (est. $300/500,000) by Ger­ard Cur­tis De­lano, Break­ing the Log Jam (est. $600/800,000) by N.c.wyeth, and sev­eral works by Os­car E. Bern­ing­haus, in­clud­ing Cow­boy Mess Camp (est. $70/80,000) and Old Faith­ful, Yel­low­stone (est. $30/$50,000).

The online por­tion of the Amer­i­can art sale, which runs from May 15 to

22, will fea­ture works by Wolf Kahn, Dale Ni­chols,thomas Eakins,willard Leroy Met­calf, Soren Emil Carlsen and many oth­ers.

Mil­ton Avery (1885-1965), Red Nude, 1954. Oil on can­vas, 48 x 29¾ in., signed and dated lower left: ‘Mil­ton Avery 1954’. Es­ti­mate: $1/1.5 mil­lion

Nor­man Rock­well (1894-1978), Ten­der Years: Mow­ing the Lawn, 1957. Oil on can­vas, 18 x 18 in., signed lower right: ‘Nor­man/rock­well’. Es­ti­mate: $600/800,000 Im­ages cour­tesy Christie’s Im­ages Lim­ited 2018.

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