The December 15 Post War and Contemporary Art auction at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
is a focused sale that has noted highlights across painting and sculpture. The sculpture session will feature two stellar examples of Alexander Calder¹s table-top sculptures spanning the artist's career and exemplifying his variety in approach. Abstract Expressionism demands attention during the painting session, in addition to other mediums and genres.
Calder's Toadstool with Feather, 1948, is a delicate object that exudes a sophisticated whimsy harking back to the artist's toy making days. The work makes up for what it lacks in scale with adroit form and function. Arguably a personal favorite of the sculptor, Toadstool remained in the artist¹s own collection until it was acquired by MOMA's Art Lending Service shortly before Calder¹s passing in 1976. It has a presale estimate of $300,000 500,000.
Untitled, 1970, is a late career Calder stabile, demonstrating balance and movement. The gloss red contrasting the matte white, along with the static tension of straight and curved lines, gives the sculpture a unique presence. It has a presale estimate of $200,000 400,000.
Highlighting the Post War and Contemporary Art paintings session is Michael Goldberg's House of Madame Z, 1957. This expansive canvas from the artist¹s house series is rich in texture and aggressive handwork. This seminal work is from an important crossroads of art history and demonstrates both a loose objectiveness as well as Pop Art's influence on the painter¹s action painting. It carries a presale estimate of $150,000 250,000.
Another high point with Abstract Expressionist association is William Baziotes' watercolor Mirror Image, 1945 ($10,000 - 15,000). Exhibited at MOMA in 1947, this work embraces psychological and allegorical themes that are rooted in surrealism and move towards mid-century New York School Abstraction.
A mixed media mindscape by Chilean painter Roberto Matta, About Red, 1945 ($15,000 - 25,000), is also of note. Executed while living in the United States, this scroll like drawing portrays the inner workings of the human psyche in a world torn apart by the second Great War.
Additional highlights include a pair of drawings from Saul Steinberg. The politically charged social commentary of General A, 1969 ($10,000 - 15,000), and the surreal satire of the New Yorker cartoonesque Monday Morning, 1975 ($10,000 - 15,000). Both show the artist¹s range and subversive wit.
Rounding out the sale are three early, remembered landscapes from influential outsider artist Joseph Yoakum: Mt C.S. Valentin in Central So Chile, 1963 ($8,000 - 12,000), Mt La Reu in Laredu Mtn Range near town of Montifacon France, 1965 ($8,000 - 12,000), and Continental Divide near Great Falls Montana, 1966 ($8,000 - 12,000), drawn from the memories of the artist¹s circus railroad and ship stowaway travels.
The Post War and Contemporary Art sale will be followed by an evening sale of Fine Prints on December 15. Works by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Joan Miro, Damien Hirst, Tom Wesselmann, Jim Dine and Andy Warhol will be available. One leading lot is Pablo Picasso's Portrait de Jacqueline de face I, 1961, with a presale estimate of $50,000 70,000.