Tag Archives: Larry Cohen

Peter’s Auction Picks of the Day: October 15th

Ode to a Sunny Day

After examining a few works for condition report requests today, I noticed that there are four works of art in the auction which left me longing for a relaxing day at the beach.

Alas, I have been cooped up in a nondescript warehouse in The Valley for days in preparation for this auction and have not seen the ocean in weeks.

I have been taking solace in the time I get to spend with great works of art and design.  My picks for today, therefore all relate to views of the ocean.

Larry Cohen’s “View from the Corner of Sunset: The Coast Highway” (Lot 463) presents the ocean as a narrow strip along the top of his oil on canvas from 1994.  From the distance of the viewer, I can imagine the soft echoes of breaking waves traveling up the sun-dappled hillside.

Another landscape with just a sliver of the Pacific Ocean in the background is Wayne Thiebaud’s “Seashore” watercolor (Lot 25).  The image is sparsely stippled in the foreground, giving the viewer the impression of natural flotsam and jetsam, as commonly carried up the shore and deposited during high tide.  The artist curiously treats the air above the ocean in the same manner, which could be seen as the flight or movement of birds.  Interestingly, the ocean becomes darker and more intense as your eye meets the horizon.  Other than two very small buildings in the distance (lighthouse?) one may surmise that this is a deserted strand of coastline.

In stark contrast to Thiebaud’s watercolor is Massmio Vitali’s densely populated beach scene (Lot 489).  The view presented by the artist is one of rich diversity and activity, spreading from the sand dunes past the water’s edge and right down into the water.  There are pockets of human interaction, which fill the frame in a very pleasing diagonal composition.   There are so many different people of all shapes and sizes, I can imagine the sound of laughter and conversation and the hollow smack of paddle ball banter.

Finally, and I think my favorite beach scene in this sale, is Shirl Goedike’s “Cagnes (Three Bathers)” (Lot 269). The composition of three women talking casually at the beach is, at first glance, fairly straight forward. But the more I look at it, the more interesting it becomes.  I think there are sly references to the classical, time-honored subjects like The Three Graces and Sirens come to mind.  Also, more recently, the artist is apparently tipping his hat to Wayne Thiebaud and/or the early California 50’s and 60’s  work of Diebenkorn.

For other works that recall the seaside, preview the complete catalogue in-person or online.

Lot Information:

Larry Cohen
View from the corner of Sunset: The Coast Highway
Oil on canvas
Signed and titled verso
28” x 28”
October 17, 2010 Auction

Wayne Thiebaud
Watercolor on paper
14.5” x 19.5”
Sold with receipt card, two catalogues, one poster, and some ephemera
October 17, 2010 Auction

Massimo Vitali
Untitled (Beach scene)
Circa 1995
Color photograph
Image 25.5” x 33.5”; Framed 35.5” x 43”w
October 17, 2010 Auction

Shirl Goedike
Cagnes (Three Bathers)
Oil on canvas
Signed lower right; signed and dated verso
15” x 20”
Sold with book, receipt, signed book, two brochures, and ephemera
October 17, 2010 Auction