NEW YORK, NY -- Coinciding with the annual week of art fairs taking place throughout New York City, Doyle’s new auction category of Fine Paintings bearing moderate estimates offers opportunities for new and seasoned collectors alike. Shani Toledano and other Specialists in Doyle’s Paintings Department share their favorite works from among the 150 lots being offered.
Lot 98, Reynolds Beal (American, 1866-1951), Wellfleet, 1916. Est $4,000-6,000.
I was drawn to the painting Wellfleet by Reynolds Beal, because it brought me back to my childhood, when my family took summer trips to the Cape to be by the ocean. Although we stayed in Truro, we spent time in Wellfleet and endless days on its beaches. I love the sense of the “unfinished” in this painting. The simple outlines of the buildings to the brushy lines of the reeds along the banks of the inslet draw the viewer across the water towards the rich, lush greens enveloping the town. I like to think the artist accomplished what he set out to do. To me, it makes sense. It doesn’t need one more stroke.
Lot 137, Robert De Niro, Sr. (American, 1922-1993), Dora in Red Dress, 1960. Est. $4,000-6,000.
Robert De Niro Sr. painted Dora in Red Dress in 1960. Around this time the artist moved to Paris where he lived and worked for a portion of his career. Though he is part of The New York School and exhibited with his peers Philip Guston, Franz Kline and Willem De Kooning, De Niro's handling of imagery and aesthetic choices also tie him to such European artists as Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard. This painting is a fine example of his expressionist brushstroke and formal imagery that perfectly illustrates his melding of many modernist styles. De Niro studied under the legendary art instructor and painter Hans Hofmann in the 1940s. This clearly influenced the development of his unique style, as both artists’ works share in flowing line, the push and pull of colors and masterful balance of form.
Lot 10, Henry Pember Smith (American, 1854-1907), An Italian Lake. Est. $4,000-6,000.
As a young man, Henry Pember Smith traveled widely in Europe, studying old master paintings in London, Paris and Venice, and it was through carefully looking at these classic works that he developed his exquisite sense of light and color. He had a particular fascination for buildings near water, loving the many contrasts of rough and smooth textures, and the scintillating reflections of light. This serene view of an Italian Lake – probably a town by Lake Como, one of Smith’s favorite haunts – is a particularly fine example of his best work in this vein.
Lot 83, Alexandre Benois (Russian, 1870-1960), Set Design, possibly for Queen of Spades, 1919. Est. $4,000-6,000.
I am particularly drawn to the set design by Alexandre Benois for Queen of Spades. Benois was one of the most illustrious designers for the ballet, theater, and opera, as well as a Curator at the Hermitage. He is noted for his evocative designs for Diaghilev, for Petrouchka, and countless other ballets, which present complete and fantastic worlds. The Queen of Spades was illustrated by Benois on numerous occasions, for publication as well as the stage. The opera by Tchaikovsky is based on a story by Pushkin, and its world premiere was in 1890 in St. Petersburg. Our design is a very complete set, beautifully and deeply toned, as well as meticulously finished, describing the interior details, as well as the shadows cast, for the production design. It is on a large and heavy sheet, and has a wonderfully decorative as well as historic interest.
Three works by James Daugherty give the viewer insight into the American inter-War period and showcase the artist's visual language. On his way toward becoming an accomplished muralist, supported by federal art patronage like the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Daugherty found artistic expression through the vibrancy of city life and optimism for the future of democracy in the nation. His juxtaposition of striking colors and bustling figures bring to life an image of everyday life in New Deal America, filled with recreation and hope for a better tomorrow. Daugherty’s story is a timely reminder of the everlasting importance of supporting the arts at every level of society.
Auction Tuesday, March 13 at 11am
Exhibition on view Sat, March 10, 10am - 5pm / Sun, March 11, Noon - 5pm / Mon, March 12, 10am - 6pm