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Christie's to hold live auction of American art
Daniel Garber (1880-1958), June. Estimate: $250,000-350,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

NEW YORK, NY.- On October 28, Christie’s will present its live auction of American Art, which will include highlights across the genres of the category, from Modernist works by Milton Avery and Charles Demuth to nineteenth-century paintings by Albert Bierstadt and James Buttersworth. Among the auction highlights is a strong selection of American Impressionism by artists including Edmund Tarbell and Guy Rose, as well as 20th Century Realism by Andrew Wyeth and sculptures by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Elie Nadelman. The sale offering complements the landmark collection of Western American art in The Legend of the West: Iconic Works from the T. Boone Pickens Collection, which will also be sold at Christie’s on October 28 at noon, prior to the American Art sale at 2pm.

A preview exhibition will be held at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries, and will be open by appointment only from October 24-28.

Leading the auction is Andrew Wyeth’s Crescent, 1987 ($600,00-800,000). A vision of Christmas tradition within Wyeth’s everyday life in Pennsylvania, Crescent is imbedded with symbols of both hope and passing, light and darkness, palpable materiality and uncanny ambiguity. As a result, like all of Wyeth’s best works, the image transcends specifics of time and place to create a lingering impression of stillness and mystery.

The strong selection of American Impressionism is highlighted by Edmund Tarbell's My Wife Emeline in a Garden which superbly demonstrates his extraordinary Impressionist palette and is a testament to Tarbell’s renown as leader of the Boston School of painters (estimate: $500,000-700,000). Guy Rose’s In the High Canadian Rockies (Sublimity) captures the ethereal beauty of the rugged and dramatic Rocky Mountain landscape in Rose’s unique American Impressionist style (estimate: $400,000-600,000). Another fine example of Impressionism is Daniel Garber’s June, an especially rare and unique work by the artist which is one of only a handful of the artist's known paintings to depict figures within his tapestry-like Pennsylvania landscapes (estimate: $250,000-350,000).

A highlight of the 19th Century works is Albert Bierstadt’s Seal Rock, Farallon Islands, 1872 ($400,000-600,000), which captures in stunning detail the marvelous light and awe-inspiring power of nature, depicting the misty air, rocky shore and captivating fauna characteristic of the San Francisco coastline. These qualities make Albert Bierstadt’s depictions of Seal Rock among his most celebrated West Coast subjects. A modernist highlight of the sale is Charles Demuth’s Houses, a refined example of the artist’s mastery of watercolor with a vivacious composition exploring color, form, light and texture. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller purchased Houses in 1930 as part of her notable collection of Demuth watercolors and the work is being sold from the collection of her descendants Abby and George O'Neill.

Sculpture featured in sale includes Elie Nadelman’s Tango (estimate: $250,000-350,000), Augustus Saint-Gaudens The Puritan (Samuel Chapin) (estimate: $200,000-300,000) and Frederic Remington’s The Mountain Man (estimate: $150,000-250,000).

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