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Bidders Drawn to Unique Works by Contemporary Artists at Swann Galleries' Auction of American and Contemporary Art

NEW YORK, NY.- Bidders were drawn to an assortment of drawings and other unique works at Swann Galleries’ November 18 auction of American Art & Contemporary Art. The sale’s top lot was a Sketchbook with 52 drawings in pencil, ball-point pen and ink and crayon by Joan Mitchell, circa 1954-55, which brought $144,000*. The book had been inscribed and dedicated, on the occasion of Mitchell’s 29th birthday, by fellow artists Paul Brach, Mike Goldberg and Miriam Schapiro.

Other unique highlights offered in the Contemporary Art section were Jim Dine’s Visiting with Charcoal I, charcoal on paper, 1980, one of the artist’s signature depictions of a bathrobe, this one nearly five feet tall, $24,000; Karel Appel’s Deux Oiseaux, gouache and crayon on paper, 1958, $22,800; and Paul Jenkins’s Phenomena Sufi Veil, watercolor on paper, 1982, $13,200.

Featured contemporary prints included Keith Haring’s Pop Shop III, set of 4 color screenprints on paper, 1989, which sold for a record price of $19,200; as well as the Josef Albers portfolio Homage to the Square, Soft Edge—Hard Edge, with 10 color screenprints, 1965, $14,400; two Willem de Kooning lithographs, Woman with Corset and Long Hair, 1970, and Minnie Mouse, 1971, $9,600 each; David Hockney’s The Artist and Model, etching, 1974, $14,400; and Chuck Close’s Self Portrait, color lithograph and screenprint, 2007, $13,200.

There were also several screenprints by Andy Warhol, such as Jacqueline Kennedy II, printed in black and metallic purple on paper, 1966, $15,600; Electric Chair, 1971, $11,400; and Paramount, the recognizable movie studio logo, on board, 1985, $19,200.

Notable drawings from the American Art section of the sale were Winslow Homer’s Spring: The Shepherdess of Houghton Farm, pen and ink on paper, 1906, $20,400; Marsden Hartley’s Mountain Landscape, crayon on tracing paper, 1933, $10,200; Hans Hofmann’s Untitled, color crayons and black ink on paper, 1943, $11,400; and Andrew Wyeth’s Study of Hands, pencil on paper mounted on card stock, 1955, $22,800.

American paintings and watercolors included Hayley Lever’s River Exe, Exmouth, oil on canvas, 1903, $12,000; David Brega’s Pears’ Soap, oil on wood panel, $10,800; Jack Levine’s Judy, oil on canvas mounted on wood, 1954, $9,600; and Dong Kingman’s The Coliseum, New York, watercolor on board, 1956, $9,600.

*All prices include buyer’s premium.

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