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Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: Robin Starr

Varieties in the Printmaking of Joan Miró

Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983) Plate (Auction 3140B, Lot 75, Estimate: $2,500-3,500)

Joan Miró is best known as a painter of Surrealistic figures that dance across flat surfaces like alien cartoon creatures searching for a party. Wise collectors know that he was also a skilled and prolific printmaker, working in lithography and intaglio techniques for much of his career. He began experimenting with printmaking in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until later in life that he pursued it vigorously.… Read More

Modern American Life: The Lithographs of George Bellows

George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) Preliminaries, alternatively titled Preliminaries to the Big Bout, 1916, edition of 67 (Lot 13, Estimate: $15,000 – 25,000)

One of the youngest of the Ashcan School artists, George Wesley Bellows began making prints in 1916. Like his paintings, his lithographs incorporated a wide breadth of subject matter, depicted in realistic, often gritty, detail that signified American city life in the early 20th century in all of its vast varieties.… Read More

A Master of Many Mediums: Pablo Picasso’s Work in Ceramics

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) Femme au char triomphal, 1949 (Lot 100, Estimate: $40,000-60,000)

Pablo Picasso was a dynamic, creative force. He was intrigued by and experimented with countless media throughout the course of his long and illustrious career. Picasso’s Cubist oil paintings – some incorporating collage – of the 1910s changed the world of Western Art forever.  He worked in crayon, pencil, and pastel and was a prolific printmaker as well.… Read More

Who Can Come to an Auction?

I get asked this question more than any other.  The short answer:  Everyone.

A single word isn’t much of a blog post, so let me give you the longer version. Skinner auctions are public auctions.  Absolutely anybody who loves art or antiques is welcome to attend. The previews are a time for potential bidders to come into the gallery and view lots first-hand; to examine the condition of a Wayne Thiebaud woodcut, or the construction of a card table or to feel the heft of a piece of Wedgwood.… Read More

Reflections on Photorealism

Joyce Stillman-Myers (American, b. 1943) Cut Rocks (Lot 458, Estimate $2,500-$3,500)

Photorealism arose in the 1960’s in part as a counterpoint to the Abstract Expressionist movement. The rejection of all representation by Abstract Expressionist artists of the 1940’s was meant to allow the viewer to focus purely on emotion and expression without the need for a deep cultural knowledge. It was intended to remove elitism from art.… Read More

From Obscure to Iconic: The Flowers of Andy Warhol

[Detail] Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Flowers/A Portfolio of Ten Works, Suite of 10 screenprints 1970 (Lot 70, $400,000-$600,000)

This article is featured in the Journal of the Print World, January 2016 issue.

“Andy Warhol is best known for his iconic subject matter: Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and Elvis Presley. His paintings marry these motifs with screenprinting to express the commercial nature of his work; its manufacture over its customized production.… Read More

Collecting Trends: Modern and Contemporary Paintings

Agnes Martin (Canadian/American, 1912-2004) Blue Flower, 1962 (Lot 397, Estimate $1,500,000-$2,000,000)

Highlights of Skinner’s May 29th  Fine Paintings and Sculpture auction included three works by modern artists that each exemplify important aspects of mid-20th century art. The artist’s international origins—Canada, Russia, and Venezuela—are fittingly emblematic of the global nature of today’s art market.… Read More

Collecting Trends: Modern and Contemporary Prints

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Northwest Coast Mask, from COWBOYS AND INDIANS, 1986, edition of 250 plus proofs (Sold for: $13,530)

Highlights of Skinner’s May 29th auction of fine prints and photographs included a number of pop art prints that speak to the trends in collecting in this increasingly popular area. Three examples highlight the diversity of artists and images that are included in the category of pop art.

Pop art takes its name from the integration of popular culture and art, and is most closely associated with the New York art scene starting in the late 1950s.… Read More

In Defense of Snow

Isaac Witkin’s Jacob’s Dream, 1986, (figure 1)

I have a confession to make.  When you’re not shoveling it or raking it off your roof, the snow is actually beautiful. You may think I have an acute case of cabin fever, but let me explain before you deem me to be a total nut job.

I grabbed two young friends and my snow shoes and headed to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum on a snowy Thursday.  Many of the smaller works near the museum’s entrance were buried beneath mountains of the white stuff, but there was still plenty to see, and all of it was transformed. … Read More

ZaoWou-Ki in the Journal of the Print World

As a regular contributor to theJournal of the Print World I have had the opportunity to explore a broad range of topics of my choosing. These are often based on the works that we’ve offered here at Skinner:  some of the ones that I’ve found especially interesting. January’s  Journal of the Print World issue features several articles related to printmaking in China. On that theme, I’ve examined the career of ZaoWou-Ki, a Chinese artist who spent most of his career in France. … Read More

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