Published: May 23, 2017
NEW YORK CITY — For the first time in the company history Shapiro Auctions will hold two dedicated sales on Wednesday, May 31, at 10 am, with an auction of Modern & Contemporary Art followed by a sale of antique and modern Fine Jewelry.
The modern and contemporary art auction will feature 300 lots by internationally recognized artists from North and Latin America, Europe, Russia, and Asia. Amid works by such artists as Maurice Vlaminck, Joan Miro, Fernando Botero, John Walker, Ilya Kabakov, and James Rosenquist, a couple of core collections will also be presented, including a group of 1960s-70s Polish modernists put together by Bart N. Stephens, an American cultural affairs officer stationed in Europe and Asia, who spent several years during the 1960s in Poland as a cultural attaché.
Filled with works by artists such as Zbigniew Makowski, Jan Cybis, and Alexander Kobzdej, the Stephens collection presents a midcentury capsule of Poland’s modernists with many of the works being eventually exhibited or included in European and American publications and exhibitions. Once of the works featured in the sale, “Nucleus,” a striking oil by Z. Makowksi (lot 70, $10/15,000), was acquired by Stephens after he won a bidding war for the painting against the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The auction also features 70 lots from the holdings of another collector, the renowned art dealer and critic Viktor Kholodkov, who amassed a fine collection of early Soviet art, much of which is in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Kholodkov championed the works of artists such as the avant-garde graphic artist Mikhail Tarkhanov, Igor Yershov, Olga Deineko and Nikolai Troshin, whose works (along with those by many others) are presented in the upcoming sale.
A significant portion of the auction is dedicated to the holdings of Mimi Ferzt Gallery, a stalwart of the New York gallery scene, which recently closed after more than 20 years. The gallery was an important institution, known for supporting the work of Russian Non-Conformist artists such as Oscar Rabin and Mikhail Chemiakin and bringing them to the American public. The auction will feature works from the gallery by Boris Sveshnikov, Anatoly Zverev, Lydia Masterkova, and many others.
The sale will showcase a variety of works by contemporary Chinese artists, including porcelain sculpture by Liu Liguo, and several oils by Li Tianbing and Bai Wenzhong, all acquired directly from the artists. Likewise, there will be a number of works by modern Vietnamese artists, including Mai Trung Thu, Le Pho, and Vu Cao Dam.
The art auction will be followed by a selection of modern and antique jewelry and vanity pieces by the likes of Fabergé, Movado, Cartier, and many others. The jewelry sale will feature over 80 lots, including a large group of delicate enamel and hardstone egg pendants by Fabergé as well as rare gem-set brooches. Standouts include include an aquamarine and diamond pendant having a central precious stone weighing over 60 carats (lot 417, $10/15,000). The Deco elegance continues with a period diamond and platinum bracelet featuring emerald accents, set with more than 12 carats of diamonds (lot 431, $20/25,000).
Preview continues May 25–29, 10 am to 6 pm, May 30, 10 to 1, and by appointment, at Shapiro Auctions, 506 East 74th Street. For more information, www.shapiroauctions.com or 212-717-7500.
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