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Modern & Contemporary Art Auction in Philadelphia achieves nearly $2 million at Freeman's
An important linoleum cut print by Picasso titled "TETE DE FEMME (PORTRAIT STYLISE DE JACQUELINE)", lot 6 (illustrated below), estimate $60,000-100,000, which surpassed its low estimate bringing $74,500.
PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Elegant lines, bold colors, artistic luminaries: all are qualities attributed to the top lots from Saturday's sale of Modern & Contemporary Art at Freeman's. Marked by the presence of modern masters Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso as well as prominent minimalists such as Brice Marden and Donald Judd, the sale garnered international interest, with participation from 16 countries and new clients comprising more than 10% of auction registration. Ultimately the sale achieved over $1.97 million (123% by value, 90% by lot) and was well-attended, with highly active in-room, telephone, and internet bidding.

Artists from the first half of the 20th century were well represented and Calder was the leading light. "We achieved robust prices throughout our sale and are thrilled that the top two results were both by Alexander Calder, an artist of international import but with Philadelphia roots," shared head of Modern & Contemporary Art, Anne Henry. Top lot "THE RED BULL" (illustrated above), a painted sheet metal sculpture standing just shy of 40 inches tall and estimated to bring $250,000-400,000, flourished amidst a bidding war, finally selling to a private collector on the phone for $530,500. Lot 102, Calder's "VOIE LACTEE" (estimate $40,000-60,000) was the second highest-selling lot in the sale, soaring past its presale estimate of $40,000-60,000 to achieve $104,500. Lot 101, "LOOPS ON ORANGE" (estimate $20,000-30,000), another colorful gouache and the final Calder, achieved $36,250.

Elsewhere in the sale, collectors also chased after works from the estate of the late New York fashion stylist Janet Brown. Leading this group, which predominantly consisted of elegant and modern prints and drawings, was lot 32, an outstanding suite of Brice Marden prints titled "SUZHOU I-V" (illustrated above), estimate $60,000-80,000, that sold for an impressive $98,500, topping Sotheby's record for this suite set in 2010. Other captivating and successful lots from Brown's collection included lot 31, a rare woodcut in Cadmium red oil paint by Donald Judd (estimate $20,000-30,000), that fetched $43,750 and lot 26, a beautiful drawing by Balthus titled "NU DEBOUT" (estimate $15,000-20,000), which sold for $20,000.

Modern works by leading artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Miro, and Dali saw strong bidding, including an important linoleum cut print by Picasso titled "TETE DE FEMME (PORTRAIT STYLISE DE JACQUELINE)", lot 6 (illustrated below), estimate $60,000-100,000, which surpassed its low estimate bringing $74,500.

Pop artists like Andy Warhol and Red Grooms were also well sought after. A special single-owner section of 19 works by Red Grooms was 100% sold, with a third of the lots selling above estimate. No fewer than a dozen bidders vied for lot 115, the iconic "LIZ" [Taylor] print by Andy Warhol (illustrated below) which ultimately sold for $41,600, quadrupling its presale estimate of $8,000-12,000.

Other highlights of the sale included lot 40, "NEGRO SCENE" (estimate $40,000-60,000), an oil painting by French artist Jules Pascin which brought $59,375 and three diverse works by American artists: Bo Bartlett's picturesque oil painting, "MOLLY SWEENEY," lot 169 ($30,000-40,000), which fetched $37,500; Harry Bertoia's sinewy steel structure, "UNTITLED (WILLOW)," lot 106 (estimate $30,000-50,000), and Warren Rohrer's abstract oil on canvas "TWO ELEMENTS," lot 160 (estimate $20,000-30,000), both of which sold for $35,000.

Top lot descriptions and prices:

Lot 103, ALEXANDER CALDER, (AMERICAN 1898-1976), "THE RED BULL"
Estimate $250,000-400,000
Sold for $530,500
Buyer: Private Collector, New York

Lot 102, ALEXANDER CALDER, (AMERICAN 1898-1976), "VOIE LACTEE"
Estimate $40,000-60,000
Sold for $104,500
Buyer: Private Collector, New York

Lot 32, BRICE MARDEN, (AMERICAN B. 1938), "SUZHOU I-IV" THE COMPLETE SET OF FOUR PRINTS
Estimate $60,000-80,000
Sold for $98,500
Buyer: Private Collector, New York

Lot 6, PABLO PICASSO, (SPANISH 1881-1973), "TETE DE FEMME (PORTRAIT STYLISE DE JACQUELINE)"
Estimate $60,000-100,000
Sold for $74,500
Buyer: Trade, European

Lot 40, JULES PASCIN, (FRENCH 1885-1930), "NEGRO SCENE"
Estimate $40,000-60,000
Sold for $59,375
Buyer: Private Collector, Pennsylvania

Lot 31, DONALD JUDD, (AMERICAN 1928-1994), "UNTITLED"
Estimate $20,000-30,000
Sold for $43,750
Buyer: Private Collector, New York

Lot 115, ANDY WARHOL, (AMERICAN 1928-1987), "LIZ"
Estimate $8,000-12,000
Sold for $41,600
Buyer: Unspecified, European

Lot 169, BO BARTLETT, (AMERICAN B. 1955), "MOLLY SWEENEY"
Estimate $30,000-40,000
Sold for $37,500
Buyer: Trade, Domestic

Lot 101, ALEXANDER CALDER, (AMERICAN 1898-1976), "LOOPS ON ORANGE"
Estimate $20,000-30,000
Sold for $36,250
Buyer: Trade, Domestic

Lot 106, HARRY BERTOIA, (AMERICAN 1915-1978), UNTITLED (WILLOW)
Estimate $30,000-50,000
Sold for $35,000
Buyer: Private Collector, Pennsylvania



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