Published: June 24, 2008
Contemporary art has been breaking records worldwide recently, and Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers felt a tip of the market trend with its Modernism auction May 17‱8 totaling sales of $1.5 million.
A painting by Helen Frankenthaler (American b 1928), “Return and Exit,” 1974, acrylic on canvas, attained $475,500. The painting, in muted blues with streaks of white and yellow, appeared on the cover of the auction catalog. The provenance stated that the painting’s initial owner sold the painting at Sotheby’s New York in February 1997 to John Berggruen of San Francisco and it ultimately sold to the owner who purchased it through the Robert Stein Gallery in St Louis.
Andy Warhol’s color screenprint portrait “Mao,” dated 1972, number 200/250, printed by Styria Studios, doubled its presale estimate at $61,360. The portrait with a dark blue background and rust/brown complexion grabbed one’s attention, measuring 36 by 36 inches.
Ernest Trova, a self-trained St Louis native, became one of the significant artists of the late Twentieth Century. He is best known for “The Falling Man” series. His study for “Falling Man (figure in sphere)” ($8/9,000), 1986, stainless steel, numbered 3/8, realized $30,680 from an East Coast telephone bidder.
Within a selection of Arts and Crafts furniture, a rare oak desk for Gustav Stickley, circa 1903, by Harvey Ellis sold for $112,100. A similar inlaid library table of the same design can be found at the Los Angeles Museum of Art.
The auction included a wide assortment of Art Nouveau and decorative arts to include Steuben, Tiffany, Galle, Lalique and Daum Nancy glass. Silver included a Tiffany & Co. Audubon sterling silver flatware service that sold for $13,570.
Designer furniture by Dunbar, Paul McCobb, Edward Wormley, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings and Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller performed solidly.
With 500 works of art in the auction, the trustees of the Nelson Gallery Foundation of Kansas City saw their painting by Charles Ragland Bunnell (American, 1897‱968), sold by order of the trustees, bring $18,880, far exceeding its presale estimate of $2/3,000.
All prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
Mark Howald, executive vice president of Ivey-Selkirk and department head for Modernism, is now accepting consignments for the autumn Modernism sale, November 15‱6.
For information, 314-726-5515 or www.iveyselkirk.com .
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