Works by Ed Clark, John Craxton, Gertrude Abercrombie drive Hindman to new house record for a fine art auction
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Works by Ed Clark, John Craxton, Gertrude Abercrombie drive Hindman to new house record for a fine art auction
John Craxton, Still Life with Three Sailors, 1982-1987. Price Realized: $400,000.

CHICAGO, IL.- Works by Ed Clark, John Craxton and Gertrude Abercrombie led Hindman Auctions’ May 11th Post War & Contemporary Art auction to a $4,491,375 million total, a house record for a Fine Art sale and more than doubling its presale estimate.

“We knew the top lots by current market darlings would have strong interest, but it was beyond refreshing to see the prime examples at every price point receiving enthusiastic engagement and aggressive participation,” shared Zack Wirsum, Hindman’s Director and Senior Specialist for Post War & Contemporary Art. “In addition to hitting a major milestone with the sale achieving the highest result for a fine art sale in the history of the company, it was also great to see people raising paddles live in the auction room again, which contributed to the vibrance of the day.”

Ed Clark Creation Achieves Second Highest Price Ever for the Artist

Ed Clark’s 2006 acrylic on canvas Creation (lot 65) sold for $740,000 against a presale estimate of $150,000-250,000, the second highest price ever achieved for the artist. The seminal late career work saw competitive phone and online bidding that propelled this exceptional painting to an almost record price. Clark’s work has seen intense market interest over the past few years, which led to the work being the most highly watched lot leading into the auction. A majestic and colorful abstract, Creation is an active visual statement of Clark’s transformative painterly vision and his lifelong commitment to literally pushing the language of mark making into new territory. Clark’s deep understanding of color, physicality of paint movement, expression of perceived light and raw creative innovation collide in this powerful work, and bidders clearly recognized the magnitude of this explosive master work.

John Craxton’s Still Life with Three Sailors

John Craxton’s esoteric and marvelous Cretan taverna scene Still Life with Three Sailors (lot 18) saw heated international bidding, resulting in the work skyrocketing past its presale estimate of $150,000- $250,000 to achieve $400,000, ultimately selling to an overseas bidder. This painting is considered by many to be among Craxton’s more significant works, including the artist himself who declared it one of his best in correspondence with the owner. 2022 being the centennial of Craxton’s birth with a yearlong exhibition celebration the artist underway in Athens also contributed to the success of this contemporary reimagining of a Byzantine Icon’s Holy Trinity as idle sailors at leisure.

Gertrude Abercrombie Works

Four works by Chicago’s Queen of the Bohemians, Gertrude Abercrombie also soared past their estimates, with the group selling for a collective $925,000. Hindman has demonstrated significant strength in offering works by this hometown heroine, and this result for the quartet continued the momentum following the firm’s record-setting sale of the artist’s 1964 work The Dinosaur for $387,500 in February.

Emerging as the top lot of the group was Abercrombie’s Toddy, Possim and Christine (lot 118), an oil on masonite from 1954, selling for $337,500 against a presale estimate of $50,000 - $70,000. Abercrombie is known for creating surreal biographical dream world in her works with repeating talismans including cats, shells, doors, owls, eggs, trees and eerie figures. Stylized portraits of cats owned by Abercrombie compose this quirky vignette, their individual personalities represented by clouds floating over each feline, a dark storm cloud above sourpuss Christine. The smallest of the Abercrombie offerings Untitled (For Dizzy Gillespie) (lot 119) sold for $150,000 against an estimate of $7,000-9,000. A wonderfully miniature work measuring 1 3/4 x 2 inches that was originally gifted to jazz icon and friend Dizzy Gillespie, this sale price reflects among the highest amounts achieved per square inch for a painting. Hindman is looking forward to continuing this market dominance in September, and please stay tuned for an exciting Gertrude Abercrombie announcement soon.

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