NEW YORK—On Dec. 12-13 Leslie Hindman Auctioneers held its first sale since moving a half mile from Aberdeen Street to a building in Chicago’s West Loop that is two-and-a-half times larger. The auction of postwar, contemporary, American and European art, held in three sessions over two days, produced sales of $1.3 million (hammer price), at the top end of the $874,750/1.4 million presale estimate. Of the 396 lots on offer, 316, or 80 percent, found buyers.
The top sale price was $126,000, for Percival Leonard Rosseau’s The Brook Pool, 1929, which had been given a conservative $20,000/30,000 estimate. “It was a great piece, fresh on the market, and we had eight people on the phone,” auction house owner Leslie Hindman told ARTnewsletter, adding that the painting, consigned by the Chicago Athletic Association, had sold to a dealer in Virginia.
The Chicago artists Ed Paschke (1939-2004), Jim Nutt (b. 1938) and Stephen Pace (b. 1918) also fared well. Paschke’s oil Ambrosia, 1979 (estimate: $20,000/30,000) earned $72,000; Nutt’s Dandy Landing, Bart, in mixed-media on paper, which bore a modest $3,000/5,000 estimate, soared to $72,000; and Pace’s untitled 1956 oil, with an even lower $1,000/2,000 estimate, drew $45,600.
Both the Paschke and Nutt pictures were picked up by Chicago private collectors, while the Pace was taken by a Chicago dealer. All three prices notched auction records for the respective artists. “We always do well with Chicago images,” Hindman reports. Noting that “80 percent of our sales are to people out of Chicago,” she says that 40 percent of the house’s earlier paintings sale in September fell to buyers from Europe.
Other top sellers were three Andy Warhol prints: Paramount, ($38,400, more than twice the $18,000 high estimate); Shoes, 1980 ($55,200; estimate: $18,000/22,000); Mao ($60,000; estimate: $25,000/35,000)—and two oils by Alson Skinner Clark (1876-1949): The artist’s Wells Street Bridge and Northwestern Station, in oil on board (estimate: $30,000/50,000), and Cathedral Gate, Cuernavaca, Mexico, 1926, in oil on canvas (estimate: $10,000/15,000), fetched $66,000 each.
Flower Market, Madeleine, by Antoine Blanchard (1910-1988), sold for $12,000, more than doubling the $3,000/5,000 estimate.
A number of the lots came in under the low estimates, however, including: Kara Walker’s pop-up book Freedom, a Fable, 1997, which sold for $3,000 (estimate: $5,000/7,000).
Other lots failed to meet the reserves, among them Michael Goldberg’s Codex morals piede Sermignanc VII, 1981 (estimate: $10,000/15,000). Eleven of 14 sculptures by Louis Durot were bought in.