Christie’s Amer­i­can Art Sale

Christie’s Amer­i­can art sale in­cludes Western works from the es­tate of Eu­gene V. Thaw.

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

New York, NY

Christie’s will of­fer Western works in a mix of genre and medi­ums at its Amer­i­can art sale on Tues­day, Novem­ber 20. Works by Ge­or­gia O’ke­effe and Charles M. Rus­sell come from the es­tate of prom­i­nent art dealer and his­to­rian Eu­gene V. Thaw. In Rus­sell’s bronze Weapons of the Weak, which holds an es­ti­mate of $40,000 to $60,000, a por­cu­pine skit­ters by a mother bear and her cub. “It’s a charm­ing lit­tle bronze, char­ac­ter­is­tic of Rus­sell’s wit” says Christie’s vice pres­i­dent, spe­cial­ist, of Amer­i­can art Tylee Abbott. He also notes that the cast is par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing be­cause it was most likely cast dur­ing the artist’s life­time, whereas a fair num­ber of Rus­sell bronzes were cast af­ter his death.

The O’ke­effe, Black Door with Snow (est. $1/1.5 mil­lion), sits in con­trast to the Rus­sell, rep­re­sent­ing the mod­ernist end of the Western art spec­trum. It comes from a series of im­ages of her pa­tio door in Abiquiu, New Mex­ico, and at 36 by 30 inches, it is one of the larger can­vases in that series. “O’ke­effe would fa­mously come to a sub­ject and ex­plore it over and over again,” Abbott says.

The snow mo­tif makes this view unique, with the flakes adding in a new di­men­sion, break­ing up what is oth­er­wise a very ab­stract scene. Abbott adds, “The piece is very af­ford­able for the O’ke­effe market. She’s fi­nally be­ing rec­og­nized and con­tex­tu­al­ized within Amer­i­can art his­tory, and she’s cer­tainly one of the most im­por­tant fe­male artists in the his­tory of our coun­try. For such a large can­vas, this is a very rea­son­able es­ti­mate.”

An­other New Mex­ico-in­spired piece with a mod­ernist bent is Mars­den Hart­ley’s Land­scape with Sin­gle Cloud (est. $500/700,000). The paint­ing comes from the artist’s New Mex­ico Rec­ol­lec­tions series, com­pleted while he spent time in Ber­lin. With such a great dis­tance be­tween the artist and his sub­ject, the paint­ing is sparse, re­fined down to the essence of the South­west

Abbott says, “I think these three works speak to Christie’s and the Amer­i­can team’s com­mit­ment to of­fer­ing top qual­ity Western ex­am­ples that are fresh to the market, and I think they are a good rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the en­tire auc­tion.”

Charles M. Rus­sell (18641926), Weapons of the Weak, mod­eled 1921, cast ca. 1922-28, bronze with brown patina, 5¾” Es­ti­mate: $40/60,000

Mars­den Hart­ley (1877-1943), Land­scape with Sin­gle Cloud, 1923, oil on can­vas, 28 ½ x 41” Es­ti­mate: $500/700,000

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