16/12/2020 Impressionist, Modern & Post War Art
LONDON : The Impressionist, Modern, Post War & Contemporary Art auction that took place on Wednesday 9 December marked the final sale of the year at Roseberys. The auction that began at 1pm, to also cater to its growing American audience had incredible results dispersed throughout the afternoon to evening sale, with highlights coming from a wide-range of artists from around the globe.
Tess O’Brien comments ‘December’s Impressionist, Modern, Post War and Contemporary Art auction yielded impressive results despite the upheaval of the pandemic. We are delighted to have made a record price for Brian Calvin’s ‘Thing II’ the day after the sale of its sister painting, ‘Thing I’ at the Phillips auction house. This illustrates the wider success of the American artwork in December’s auction, with a number of pieces by American artists making high prices. Indeed, this reflects the strong international interest in the sale, with over 90% of the sale being purchased by overseas buyers. A large number of sales were made to telephone bidders, demonstrating the ease with which buyers from across the world were able to participate in this auction. We are very much looking forward to repeating this success with our next sale in June.’
Leading the sale was work by American artist Brian Calvin, titled Thing (II), created using acrylic on canvas in 2007. Estimated to make £15,000 - £20,000, the acrylic on canvas made £25,000, which is a record for the artist. The artwork garnered interest from all around the world on the day of the auction, including phone bidders from US, Italy and France. Since the 1990s, Brian Calvin has developed a body of highly stylised large, colourful, flattened paintings, rendering his figures in light-soaked portraits that retain a lifelike quality. He is well known for his paintings which depict youthful figures, based on the people he observes in his home state of California, such as the work sold at Roseberys.
Both works by American abstract expressionist painter Paul Jenkins sold well, making a combined figure of £26,875. The highlight of the two being an oil on canvas with impressive provenance titled Cape of Good Hope, which made £20,625. Created in 1958 this painting is a typical example of Jenkins’s style, achieved through his eschewing of the paintbrush, which left the paint to seep, pool and drip across the canvas. The other work by Jenkins within the sale, also an oil on canvas titled Eye of the Doie, Paris, created a year later in 1959, sold for £6,250.
The work by René Roche, French 1932-1992- Signes dans l’Espace, 1982; oil on canvas, sold with a record figure for the artist, making £8,125, over £5,000 its top estimated price. This piece is a classic artwork by the French post-war artist Rene Roche, displaying the influence of artists such as Piet Mondrian and Kasimir Malevich, primarily in his adoption of geometric abstraction.
Two determined bidders competed for lot 33, a watercolour and pastel on paper by German multimedia artist Janaina Tschäpe, with the final bidder paying £15,000, three times its top estimated price. This artwork has a particular interest in exploring the connection between art and the environment through the representation of forms drawn from shapes found in the natural world, portraying an abstract assemblage of plant and aquatic life, with all the fluidity and disorder which imbue the natural world.
Estimated to make £3,000 - £5,000, lot 13 an oil on canvas by French painter and printmaker André Minaux realised a price of £6,000. He is known for depicting scenes drawn from contemporary life using stylised, abstract figuration, and it is for such interior domestic scenes that he has been classified as a Social Realist. This still life sold at Roseberys is therefore typical of the artist’s output, with its bright colours and geometric patterns creating a sense of abstraction and flatness.
Lot 39, by American artist, geographer, and author Trevor Paglen, 1974 titled Chemical and Biological Weapons Proving Ground (2006) Dugway, UT / Distance ~ 42 miles/ 10:51 A.M had lots of overseas attention on the auction day, finally selling for £5,250. Created in 2008 the chromogenic print, edition three of five, was purchased from the Siegel Gallery, San Francisco by the former owner. The San Fransisco MOMA has a version of this photograph in their collection. It is a prime example of the American artists style, whose work tackles mass surveillance and data collection. The artist has recently found more recognition in the UK, due to his work titled ‘Apple’ to ‘Anomaly’ being on view in The Curve gallery space at the Barbican ending in February 2020.
Lots 137-140, which were all artworks from the Leonard and Roxanne Rosoman Estate estate by Ukrainian artist Vassyl Khemeluk, 1903 – 1986, sold very well. Four phone bidders competed against each other for each lot, with all four artworks making a collective sum of £8,500. Vassyl Khmeluk was a Ukrainian artist who lived and worked in Paris in the twentieth century. All the artworks sold within this auction are typical of the artist’s expressionist style, with his representations of landscapes, portraits and still lifes cementing Khmeluk firmly in context of the Parisian school. Khmeluk was closely associated with contemporaries and friends such as Alexis Gritchenko and Vasyl Krychevsky, with whom he was a member of the Paris Group of Ukrainian Artists.
Lot 2 a pencil and oil on canvas by Russian artist Leon Gaspard, 1882-1964, titled Village church in early spring made £10,000. This artwork is a classic piece by the Russian artist Leon Gaspard, demonstrating the artist’s interest in depicting the dress and customs of traditional rural Russian communities. Like many of his works, this piece uses bright colours to create a sense of the vitality and innocence of its subjects, against the extremes of their environment. His work combines influences from various artistic movements, with echoes of Impressionism, and from the countries he visited on his extensive travels.
Completing the highlights on offer within the Impressionist, Modern, Post War & Contemporary Art auction at Roseberys is work by American artist Julie Heffernan. The two lots on offer at Roseberys collectively made £10,250. The highlight out of the two works on offer was lot 32, an oil on canvas, Study for Self-Portrait in Need of Perpetual Help, completed in 2008, which made £6,000.
The next Impressionist, Modern, Post War & Contemporary Art auction will take place on Wednesday 23 June
Please contact Head of Sale Tess O'Brien for further information : firstname.lastname@example.org
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