Past Auction

World Auction Records Set For Jimmy Ernst and Natvar Bhavsar at Doyle New York's November 13, 2012 Auction of Modern & Contemporary Art

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 11am EST |
New York
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Strong Prices for Works by Maqbool Fida Husain, Wojcieck Fangor, Henry Moore and Others

  • Strong Prices for Works by Maqbool Fida Husain, Wojcieck Fangor, Henry Moore and Others
  • Consignments Are Currently Being Accepted for the May 2013 Sale of Modern & Contemporary Art
  • We Invite You to Contact Us for a Complimentary Auction Evaluation of Your Paintings and Sculpture

Doyle New York’s November 13, 2012 auction of Modern and Contemporary Art auction presented a wide range of paintings and sculpture by some of the 20th and 21st centuries' most prominent artists. Works by American, European, Latin American and Asian artists encompassed artistic movements from Cubism and Expressionism through the present day.

A world auction record was achieved for the American artist Jimmy Ernst (1920-1984) when a 1964 abstract estimated at $20,000-30,000 fetched a startling $98,500. The son of Max Ernst, Jimmy Ernst did not always want to be an artist. It was not until he found himself living in New York working for the Museum of Modern Art, and later as Peggy Guggenheim’s personal assistant, did he choose to explore his talent. Influenced by Surrealism, as were his American counterparts, Jimmy Ernst developed an expressive style in line with the Abstract Expressionist movement, as seen in two works in the sale. One of the original Irascible Eighteen, Ernst holds an important place in art history as a player in one of the most pivotal periods in Modern art.

The sale set another world auction record for the Indian/American artist Natvar Bhavsar (b. 1934) when a large abstract from 2000 titled Sundervana sold for a record $53,125 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000. The works of Natvar Bhavsar are completely at home with the American abstract painters he followed, such as Robert Motherwell and Barnett Newman.  But they also carry in them elements of ancient Indian tradition, namely that of sandpainting. Bhavsar utilizes a unique method of applying raw pigment to canvas saturated with a clear binding agent. In repeating this method, the artist builds up layers of saturated color. Sundervana is a magnificent example of Natvar Bhavsar’s work.

The top lot of the sale was an untitled work from 1958 by the Indian artist Maqbool Fida Husain (1915-2001). One of the most recognized of any of the modern Indian painters, Maqbool Fida Husain has been dubbed the “Picasso of India.”  As a member of the Progressive Artists’ Group, Husain challenged the status quo of the 1940s and developed works more in-line with the European avant-garde. The untitled painting in the sale was a modest work at 36 x 30 inches and depicted a male sitar player. Competitive bidding sent the price well over its estimate of $70,000-90,000 to achieve $110,500.

Strong prices were achieved for two works by Polish-born artist Wojcieck Fangor (b. 1922). Fangor studied at Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts before moving to America where he developed his abstract, Op-Art style. The two lots offered were wonderful examples of Fangor’s mature style of painting. M49 from 1964 sold for $98,500, far surpassing its estimate of $40,000-60,000; and M70 from 1969 achieved $62,500, doubling its estimate $25,000-35,000.

All pricesinclude the Buyer's Premium.

Next Modern & Contemporary Art Auction: May 8, 2013

Doyle New York's next auction of Modern & Contemporary Art is scheduled for May 8, 2013. Consignments are currently being accepted. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection. For information, please call Harold Porcher at 212-427-4141, ext. 249, or email

Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Matthew Boland

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Louis LeB. Webre
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212-427-4141, ext 232

  • Collection of Judith Leiber
  • Estate of William Begell
  • Estate of a New York Lady
  • Estate of a Private Collector
  • Estate of a Private Collector
  • Estate of Arnold Kleinick
  • Estate of Francis L. Pagani, Jr.
  • Estate of Jane P. Shaffer
  • Estate of Marguerite Gilpatric
  • Estate of Mollie Schildkrout
  • Estate of Murray L. Nathan
  • Estate of Rhoda Graf
  • Estate of Robert C. Graham, Sr.
  • Estate of Susan Erpf Van De Bovenkamp
  • Estate of Waldo Hutchins III
  • Estates of Angus and Alice Thuermer
  • Estates of Richard and Norma Flender
  • From the Collection of The Cooper Union, Sold to Benefit Student Scholarships
  • Knoedler & Company
  • Property from the Estate of a Washington D.C. Philanthropist
  • Property of a California Collection
  • Property of a Private Collector
  • The Creekmore and Adele Fath Charitable Foundation Collection
  • The Property of a New Jersey Collector
  • The Rumsey-Harriman Collection; Estate of Mrs. Charles C. Rumsey
  • The Spanierman Gallery, LLC

A Selection of Auction Highlights

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