ARTnewsletter Archive

Ups and Downs at Swann Contemporary-Art Sale

Louise Nevelson’s Maquette for Monumental Sculpture III, 1977, was the top lot at Swann Galleries’ June 8 auction of American and contemporary art, fetching $78,000 on a $50,000/70,000 estimate.

NEW YORK—Louise Nevelson’s Maquette for Monumental Sculpture III, 1977, was the top lot at Swann Galleries’ June 8 auction of American and contemporary art, fetching $78,000 on a $50,000/70,000 estimate. With 322, or 74 percent, of the 433 lots finding buyers, the sale fell just short of its $1.3million/1.98million overall estimate, taking in just $1.2million. Other top lots in the sale included Willem de Kooning’s lithograph and watercolor The Devil at the Keyboard, 1976, which sold for $40,800 (estimate: $40,000/60,000); Childe Hassam’s undated watercolor Landscape with a Bridge, which sold for $28,800 (estimate: $12,000/18,000); Paul Cadmus’s color pastel Standing Nude, which sold for $26,000 (estimate: $12,000/18,000); Edward Bannister’s oil Landscape, 1883, which sold for $21,600 (estimate: $8,000/12,000); Andy Warhol’s offset lithograph Flowers, 1964, which sold for $19,200 (estimate $10,000/15,000); and Will Barnet’s gouache Woman on Stairs, 1987, which sold for $18,000 (estimate $10,000/15,000).

Stronger than estimated prices were paid for Jared French’s watercolor self-portrait, ca. 1930, which sold for $14,400 on a $5,000/8,000 estimate, and three pencil drawings by Arshile Gorky: Untitled (Studio Still Life), ca. 1930, which sold for $10,200 on a $3,000/5,000 estimate; Still Life with Table and Pitcher, ca. 1930s, which took $13,200 on a $4,000/6,000 estimate, and Female Nude with Studies, ca. 1930, which sold for $8,400 on a $4,000/6,000 estimate. An untitled gouache, by Hans Hofmann took $10,200 on a $4,000/6,000 estimate, and two late-1970s screenprints by Warhol also sold well—Muhammad Ali brought $12,000 on a $3,000/5,000 estimate, and After the Party sold for $13,800 on an estimate of $6,000/9,000.

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