LAMBERTVILLE, NJ.- Rago/Wright
presents Post War & Contemporary Art on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023. This tightly curated auction is a premier event of the spring auction season, featuring an exemplary selection of paintings, drawings, photography, and sculpture from some of the most sought-after artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. This event will be immediately followed by Artists' Books & Ephemera from an Important Private Collection, offered in conjunction.
Highlights include a kinetic sculpture by Alexander Calder, a Fernando Botero bronze, a ceramic collaboration by Joan Miró and Josep Llorens Artigas, paintings from Gertrude Abercrombie, Etel Adnan, and Bernard Buffet, an electronic Jenny Holzer installation, textile works from Olga de Amaral, and photography and sculpture by David Wojnarowicz.
Calder's Yellow Beastie (est. $300,000 500,000) made in 1966, is a charming example of what Marcel Duchamp referred to as "standing mobiles." Rigorously composed but still playful in nature, this work displays the lasting influence of both Piet Mondrian and Joan Miró on Calder's artistic trajectory, in which he revolutionized kinetic sculpture by transforming the simplest of materials into enchanting celestial forms.
Two paintings by Gertrude Abercrombie, Dizzy Gillespie (est. $100,000150,000) and Still Life and Owl ($50,00070,000), are representative of Abercrombie's recurrent moonscape motif and each bring unique compositional elements to bear on our understanding of the artist's interests. Both paintings were originally purchased from the artist in 1950 by Victor Lands, a collector of Abercrombie about whom relatively little is known. Dizzy Gillespie offers a tribute to the famed musician, a dear friend of Abercrombie's who officiated her wedding in 1948. Describing Still Life and Owl in her accompanying essay, Dr. Susan Weininger writes, "[this work] is a charming, jewel-like addition to Abercrombies known oeuvre, replete with her usual wit and mystery rendered with exquisite care."
Arising from the friendship of Josep Llorens Artigas and Joan Miró, Antiplat avec cruche brisée (est. $100,000150,000) was created after the artists reunited towards the end of World War II. The two artists began their collaboration in Artigass small studio, remotely located outside of Barcelona, creating fantastical ceramic forms that Miró termed "terres de grand feu (firestones)". While Miró would produce the designs, Artigas would utilize a slow-firing technique in wood-burning kilns that was once favored by the ancient Greeks. Their works were first presented in a joint exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York in 1956 and they continued to produce ceramic works, each one bearing the signature of both men, until the 1970s. Their years together were some of the most productive and successful of both mens careers and were a showcase of ingenuity and imagination.
Other notable selections include the bronze Ballerina (est. $200,000300,000) of Fernando Botero, two floral still lifes from Bernard Buffet, Les Tulipes and Les Anémones (both est. $70,00090,0000), David Wojnarowicz's Untitled (USA) (est. $80,000100,000), and Jenny Holzer's LED sign Selection from Under a Rock (est. $30,00050,000). Post War & Contemporary Art will be immediately followed by Artists' Books & Ephemera from an Important Private Collection beginning at 1 pm eastern.