NEW YORK, NY.-
artnet Auctions presents the American Art Sale, a selection of important 19th and 20th century artworks, comprised of over 60 paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures by American artists, such as Edward Hopper (1882-1967), John Marin (1870-1953), Elie Nadelman (1885-1946), Morris Graves (1910-2001), Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Ben Shahn (1898-1969), Edward Willis Redfield (1869-1965), and Grant Wood (1891-1942).
Featured in the sale is Dark Table by Virginia-born Social Realist painter and printmaker, Robert Gwathmey. Gwathmey is known for his empathetic and emotional portrayal of the working class and oppressed in the American south. His immediately-recognizable palate-use of flat geometric forms and bold coloration-can be attributed to the artist's early years spent in the Virginia countryside, of which he said: "I was raised in Tidewater, Virginia, there where the land is flat and the roads are wide. That's where I had all of my good times. And there you see everything in silhouette." While in high school, Gwathmey worked with a florist during several summers. Learning to arrange flowers while in his teens may help to explain his later brilliance as a painter of floral still lifes, images which he referred to as "vegetation." Gwathmey was also greatly influenced by Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), another painter known for his depictions of modern life, and took special interest and inspiration in Degas' still lifes. Dark Table illustrates Gwathmey's distinct geometric style and is an excellent example of the type of still life work he is known for having completed at the height of his powers. The painting was completed the same year that Gwathmey was elected to the National Academy of Design.
The American Art Sale also features Crossing the Bar (c.1920), a painting by New Hope Colony co-founder, Impressionist painter Edward Willard Redfield. Greatly influenced by the tradition of Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926) and Camille Pissarro (French, 1831-1903), Redfield was an American plein air master, opting to paint outdoors and directly from nature, rather than in a studio. Crossing the Bar depicts Manana Island, Maine, across from Monhegan Island. The freshness of the locale translates in image and tone, and the work is a superb example of American Impressionism, estimated from US$80,000 to US$100,000.
Also included in the sale is a superior offering of nine early figurative drawings (c.1900-1920) by Edward Hopper, displaying the artist's gift for capturing expressive light and shadow on a small scale. Ranging in estimate from US$12,000 to US$20,000, these beautifully-rendered ink drawings are a glimpse into the future trajectory of this great American artist.
The American Art Sale is currently live for bidding on artnet Auctions until January 24, 2012.
Visit the sale on artnet Auctions: www.artnet.com/auctions/modern-american-art-sale