Heritage Auctions gathers important works by Marina Abramovic, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Motherwell and more

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Heritage Auctions gathers important works by Marina Abramovic, Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Motherwell and more
Marina Abramovic (b. 1946), The Chamber of Stillness, 2013. Multimedia sensory deprivation experience comprising wooden bed, lavender pillow, crystal quartz stone (selected by the artist in Brazil), lab coat, eye cover, headphones, and framed instructions, 65-1/2 x 84 x 42 inches. Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000.

DALLAS, TX.- Heritage Auctions’ May 19 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature® Auction is masterfully curated with iconic names from the Postmodern and Contemporary Art movements.

One of the top highlights in the auction is Marina Abramovic’s The Chamber of Stillness (estimate: $100,000-150,000), which was created later in the artist’s career, when she experimented with bringing together previous phases and combined her 40 years of performance art. This reflection of time later became known as the “Abramovic Method.”

In The Chamber of Stillness, Abramovic allows the viewer to become the artist by participating in the sensory-deprived performance piece. The work incorporates quartz, which is known for its powers of protection and purification, to help the viewer meditate and achieve enlightenment.

“Marina Abramovic has pioneered performance art and has created some of the form’s most important work. Her exhibition at MoMa in 2010 set the record for attendance with 850,000 attendees over three months,” says Taylor Curry, Heritage Auctions’ Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, New York. “This work is a natural extension of her practice and captures the essences of performance art exploring our physical and mental boundaries.”

Wayne Thiebaud’s oil on canvas Meat Counter (estimate: $100,000-150,000) is a welcomed diversion from the artist’s more well-known subject matter consisting of cakes and other delectables. However, Thiebaud’s iconic style is still highly recognizable in the everyday scene. The painting shows a woman placing an order at the counter, backlit by the blue hues coming through the window. Thiebaud masterfully incorporates the blue throughout the counter, drawing the viewer’s gaze across the composition.

The owner of the painting inherited it from her father, who taught Thiebaud’s wife at Sacramento City College. Thiebaud’s wife, Betty, gifted the painting as a token of gratitude to her beloved professor.

Created during his final artistic phase, Richard Diebenkorn’s Untitled (estimate: $100,000-150,000) is symbolic of the artist’s late style and composition. Part of Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park” series, named for the artist’s residence at the time, Untitled features a heavy geometric composition that interacts with the medium to create a distinctly unique work. The graphite lines are straight and diagonal but reveal the artist’s process in the erasures that melt into the overall composition.

Also among the event’s highlights is Abstract Expressionist artist Robert Motherwell’s In Orange with Black (Moderne Enfin) (estimate: $100,000-150,000). The work is a prime example of the movement toward creating artwork that separated itself from more “traditional” painting but included itself in the same canon.

The auction also includes works by a pair of important female artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement: Helen Frankenthaler’s Helen Frankenthaler (Collector's Edition), 1973 and Elaine de Kooning’s Basketball #11, 1981, each of which carries a preauction estimate of $10,000-15,000.

The auction is rounded out by other Modern and Contemporary Art luminaries, including Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Larry Rivers, Theodoros Stamos, Tom Wesselmann, Blue Dog by George Rodrigue and Shepard Fairey’s iconic HOPE (Barack Obama), 2008.

“We are incredibly excited to offer this selection of fresh-to-the-market Modern, Postwar and Contemporary Art this season,” Curry says. “The sale features work by today’s most sought-after artists and covers the most important themes in Contemporary Art.”

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