Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: May 21st

As our interest in Fine Art broadens, it is necessary for us to include a wider variety of images.  In our previous auctions I have included brightly colored mostly abstract or geometric works.  But there is a dark brooding side to modernism that deals with conflict or impending conflict.  Also, modern and contemporary artists have a long history of addressing the age old subject of eroticism.

The most obvious images in this auction that deal with impending death or doom are the Richard Bosman falling Mountaineer (Lot 276), Anna Katherine Skeele War Dance (Lot 298), and Larry Clark’s haunting images from his Tulsa series (Lots 146 and 147).

Lot 276 Richard Bosman, Mountaineer, 1986, Oil on canvas, Estimate $5,000 - 7,000

Lot 298 Anna Katherine Skeele, War Dance, circa 1945, Oil on canvas with artist's frame, Estimate $3,000 - 5,000

Lot 146 Larry Clark, Untitled (From Tulsa), 1971, Estimate $2,000 - 3,000

Lot 147 Larry Clark, Untitled (From Tulsa), 1971, Estimate $2,000 - 3,000

However, Warhol’s Electric Chairs series (Lot 360) and Richard Avedon’s image of Warhol’s scars from his gun-shot wounds (Lot 144) are equally suggestive of the certainty of death.  It is ironic that Warhol is able to make an image of the electric chair beautiful and bright, almost inviting.

Lot 360 Andy Warhol, Electric Chairs (suite of 10), 1971, Screenprints in colors, Estimate $150,000 - 200,000

Lot 144 Richard Avedon, Warhol, 1971, Estimate $3,000 - 5,000

One of my personal favorite pieces in this auction is John Baldessari’s “Jacob’s Ladder: Love (Yellow, Red Blue, and Black and White); War (Orange, Violet, Green and Black and White)”, Lot 143, with the front and the back images revealing the opposing human emotions of anger and affection.

Lot 143 John Baldessari, Jacob's Ladder, 2004, Estimate $6,000 - 7,000

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