ARTnewsletter Archive

Heritage Contemporary Sale Offers Big Names at Lower Prices

At the Heritage Auctions Oct. 26 sale of modern and contemporary art in Dallas, the top lot was an untitled 1998 silkscreen and pigment on foamcore by Richard Prince, which sold for $131,450 including premium, albeit missing the estimate of $150,000/250,000.

NEW YORK—At the Heritage Auctions Oct. 26 sale of modern and contemporary art in Dallas, the top lot was an untitled 1998 silkscreen and pigment on foamcore by Richard Prince, which sold for $131,450 including premium, albeit missing the estimate of $150,000/250,000.

Other notable lots sold included: a 1983 pastel, charcoal, paint and fabric on an aerial photograph, Surrounded Islands (Project for Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida), by Christo that sold for $119,500, compared with an estimate of $120,000/180,000; David Bates’s oil, Barbeque, 1982, that sold for $77,675, against an estimate of $70,000/90,000; and Andy Warhol’s screenprint of Mick Jagger, 1975, that sold for $35,850, against an estimate of $20,000/30,000.

Chinese painter Zhang Xiangming’s oil, Beijing Girl Series No. 8, 2011, sold for $28,680, on an estimate of $10,000/12,000, and Jean Dufy’s undated L’Écuyère à panneaux, sold for $23,900 (estimate: $18,000/24,000).

The sale included more than 165 works from the estate of Dr. Edmund P. Pillsbury, a museum curator and former Heritage fine arts department chairman. Pillsbury was the founding director of the Yale Center for British Art in 1977, and served as director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas from 1980 to 1998. He is credited with a vigorous campaign of building the museum’s permanent collection.

After leaving the Kimbell, Pillsbury became director of the Meadows Art Museum of Southern Methodist University in 2003 and, from 2005 until his death in 2010, worked at Heritage.

“Professionally, Dr. Pillsbury is associated with Italian Renaissance art, but he collected a lot of contemporary art, particularly the work of emerging artists, in the last 10 years of his life,” said Ed Beardsley, managing director of fine and decorative arts at Heritage Auctions. He added that the Pillsbury collection amounted to “close to $300,000,” and many of the buyers were local.

Among the pieces sold were: Bernard Frize’s acrylic and resin on canvas, Roxy, 2000, which realized $28,680, compared with an estimate of $30,000/50,000; Warhol’s offset lithograph, Liz, 1965, which realized $23,900, compared with an estimate of $7,000/9,000; and Argentinian painter Fabian Marcaccio’s Janeila’s March (7 Parts), 2002, which sold for $16,730, compared with an estimate of $15,000/20,000.

Overall, the sale earned $1.2 million, falling just under the presale estimate of $1.25 million/1.4 million, and 196, or 70 percent, of the 280 lots found buyers.

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