Smaller Version of the 1989 Liberty Mourning Her Sister by Martin Wong Fetches $161,000 -- A World Auction Record for the Artist
Strong Prices for 1960s Metal Sculptures by Harry Bertoia
Record Price for Cuban Artist Luis Martinez Pedro
Doyle New York’s May 12, 2015 sale of Post-War & Contemporary Art showcased a wide range of paintings and sculpture by prominent and emerging artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Works by American, European, Latin American and Asian artists encompassed Abstract Expressionism and various other abstract movements that follow, including Pop Art, Minimalism, Op Art, Fluxus and Street Art, as well as representational imagery from the years after World War II through the present day.
Ed Ruscha (American, b. 1937)
Highlighting the sale was a seminal work on paper by Edward Ruscha -- the 1974 pastel, Thinking The Same – that achieved an exceptionally strong $197,000, far surpassing its estimate of $60,000-80,000. Consigned by the Estate of Susanne Schnitzer, the work is indicative of Ruscha’s wry take on language. Employing the common phrase, “thinking the same,” Ruscha takes the assumed commonality of thought implied, and lays the text across two fields of disparate color, pink and green, clashing against both each other as well as the phrase that joins them.
Harry Bertoia (American, 1915-1978)
From the Estate of Erica Lemle Amsterdam were 1960s organic-themed metal sculptures by Harry Bertoia that also out-performed their estimates. Bush, a biomorphic shape executed in bronze and measuring approx. 18 1/2 inches in diameter, sold for $161,000, more than doubling its estimate of $50,000-70,000. The elegant Dandelion, a large gilt stainless steel and brass sculpture measures 77 inches in height and 32 inches in diameter, fetched $125,000, within its estimate of $120,000-180,000.
Martin Wong (American, 1946-1999)
Attracting a great deal of interest was Martin Wong’s Liberty Mourning the Death of Her Sister – Beijing, a smaller version of the six-foot tondo by Wong of the same name that Doyle New York sold in Fall 2014 for a then-record of $137,000. Competitive bidding sent the current work soaring past its estimate of $15,000-20,000 to fetch $161,000 – a World Auction Record for the Artist. This smaller version of the original was painted by Wong for exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre as a centerpiece of the Asian American Arts Centre's landmark touring show CHINA: June 4, 1989 An Art Exhibition. The work reflects his response to the Tiananmen Square tragedy and was featured alongside works by Barbara Kruger, Vito Acconci, Nam June Paik and many others. Wong's somber depiction of America's Statue of Liberty captures an image of grief, as the nation of Wong's ancestry suffers a major blow against the concepts of democracy and freedom.
Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976)
Two gouachesby Alexander Calder attracted international competition, which doubled their estimates at the sale. An untitled work from 1974 and another from 1972, each estimated at $40,000-60,000, sold for $106,250 and 100,000, respectively. Calder is one of only a few early American modernists to hold status as a global artist, exceeding constraining categorizations such as nationality. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey, then moved to Paris in 1926 where he befriended the leading practitioners of the avant-garde. He was one of only a few American artists asked to exhibit with the Abstraction-Creation, a group of avant-garde artists who worked with geometric abstract forms.
Luis Martínez Pedro (Cuban, 1910-1990)
A 1941 pencil drawing of a Woman with Flowers by Cuban artist Luis Martínez Pedro from the Estate of Susanne Schnitzer fetched a World Auction Record of $34,375, far surpassing its estimate of $6,000-8,000. The drawing exceeded even works in executed oil on canvas by the artist.
International competition from bidders in the saleroom, on the telephones, and on the Internet resulted in a sale total of $1,806,813, against an estimate of $1,469,000-2,183,000, with 70% sold by lot and a strong 93% sold by value.
All prices include the Buyers' Premium.
NEXT POST-WAR & CONTEMPORARY ART AUCTION: Fall 2015
Consignments are currently being accepted for the Fall 2015 Post-War & Contemporary Art auction. 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 contact Harold Porcher or Angelo Madrigale at 212-427-4141, ext 249, or email [email protected]