Skinner Spotlights Iconic Artists during American & European Works of Art Auction

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

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

BOSTON, MA – May 13, 2015 On May 29th, Skinner, Inc. will host an outstanding auction of American & European Works of Art, beginning with a superb range of prints and photographs at 12 P.M., followed by a strong grouping of fine paintings, sculpture, and drawings at 4 P.M. An accompanying online auction of Fine Art, covering sculpture, prints, paintings, and photographs, will take place from May 26 through June 1.

“This auction features a robust assortment of American works, with several fresh to market items that are sure to excite buyers,” said Robin Starr, Director of American & European Works of Art at Skinner. “The market is leaning toward modern and contemporary pieces, which is reflected in the fantastic offerings in this sale.”

American & European Paintings

American paintings are well represented in this auction, with the highest estimated lot by painter Agnes Martin. Titled Blue Flower, this 1962 piece is an early quintessential example of Martin’s work.Martin shifted to a Minimalist style based on grid-like structures beginning in 1958, so Blue Flower, with its subtle palette and squares of blue canvas, represents the beginning flourishing of her mature style.  The work is accompanied by identification labels from the Robert Elkon Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and an unattributed museum label affixed to the back (Lot 397, estimated between $1.5 million to $2 million).

Many exceptional highlights come from private collections, including the Coast of Monterey by Thomas Moran, an exemplary painting depicting the California coast (Lot 249, $250,000 to $350,000). Like the Moran, a 1908 painting by William Glackens, A Cape Cod Shore, also descended through multiple generations of a collecting family (Lot 298, $250,000 to $350,000).

Pavel Tchelitchew‘s Annunciation, of 1931, also comes to the block from a private collection.  The composition is a Surrealistic depictionof the angel Gabriel standing behind the figure of Mary, all in the artist’s muted palette of blues and grays (Lot 325, $70,000 to $90,000).

Desirable works by Federico Andreotti, Jesús Rafael Soto, Maurice Brazil Prendergast, Martin Johnson Heade, Aristide Maillol also shine in this auction.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Northwest Coast Mask, from COWBOYS AND INDIANS, 1986, edition of 250 plus proofs (Lot 53, Estimate $10,000-$15,000)

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Northwest Coast Mask, from COWBOYS AND INDIANS, 1986, edition of 250 plus proofs (Lot 53, Estimate $10,000-$15,000)

American & European Prints

Fine prints by modern and contemporary masters, including pieces by Pop artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, and Claes Oldenburg, in addition to works by Jeff Koons, make up a large portion of this sale.

A stand-out Warhol offering is Northwest Coast Mask, from his Cowboys and Indians series (Lot 53, $10,000 to $15,000). This series, published in an edition of 250 features iconic images of Geronimo, Annie Oakley, and John Wayne, along with images of cultural objects such as kachina dolls, a Plains Indian shield, and this Northwest Coast mask probably made by the Kwakiutl tribe.

Another fantastic “pop” work is Cathedral #4 by Roy Lichtenstein, from his Cathedral series, created in homage to impressionist artist Claude Monet (Lot 31, $6,000 to $8,000). Claes Oldenburg’s 1969 Profile Airflow speaks to his characteristic approach to Pop Art in depicting mundane, everyday objects;,in this case a scaled-down version of a 1934 Chrysler Airflow (Lot 38, $15,000 to $20,000).

David Hockney’s 1984 Pembroke Studio Interior, , is sure to delight collectors (Lot 24, $15,000 to $25,000), as is Jeff  Koons’ Puppy, a multiple which references his colossal 1992 piece by the same name that sits at the entrance to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Lot 29A, $8,000 to $12,000).

Old Master prints are well-represented, with highlights including Albrecht Dürer’s The Lamentation, from The Engraved Passion, 1507 (Lot 20, $2,000 to $3,000).

Buyers will also discover works by important printmakers including Frank Weston Benson, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dalí, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Ed Ruscha, and Zao Wou-Ki.

Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, 1898-1995) René Breguet, Ice Skating Waiter, St. Moritz, 1932, printed later. (Lot 63, Estimate $5,000-$7,000)

Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, 1898-1995) René Breguet, Ice Skating Waiter, St. Moritz, 1932, printed later. (Lot 63, Estimate $5,000-$7,000)

Fine Photographs

A solid grouping of works by European photographers, including Florence Henri, Dora Maar, and Joost Schmidt, can be found in this auction, with several examples from the Bauhaus and Surrealism movements.

Images by German-born photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt are available, including René Breguet, Ice Skating Waiter, St. Moritz (Lot 63, $5,000 to $7,000) and Dying Monk in Varlaan Monastery, Thessaly, Greece, 1935 (Lot 64, $8,000 to $12,000), a vintage print that hung in the photographer’s New York apartment for many years. André Kertész’s photograph, Homing Ship, October 13, 1944, reflects a modernist sensibility while adding a poetic surrealism to an everyday scene (Lot 80, $5,000 to $7,000).

Images by American artists include examples by Rebecca Lepkoff, whose 343 Cherry Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City (Lot 78, $800 to $1,200) and In a Greek Cafe on the Lower East Side (Lot 79, $1,000 to $1,500) capture an intimate look at New York’s Lower East Side.  Photographs by Danny Lyon and Leonard Freed on the block illustrate the Civil Rights movement: Teenage Girls Arrested for Demonstrating in a Stockade Outside of Leesburg, Georgia (Lot 91, $1,500 to $2,000) and Black in White America: John’s Island, South Carolina (Lot 93, $1,000 to $1,500).

Rounding out this stellar grouping are images by photography masters including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Aaron Siskind, Ernst Haas, Garry Winogrand, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and others.

Online Auction

Skinner is pleased to present an online auction of Fine Art, beginning Tuesday, May 26th at 12:00 P.M. with the first lot closing on Monday, June 1st at 4:00 P.M. This online sale represents the first time all categories – prints, drawings, paintings, sculpture and more – will be included in one online auction.

Bidders can participate at any time during the eight-day auction from the comfort and convenience of home, and have the added value of previewing the online-only lots in person during the regular Boston preview hours.

Previews, Catalog, Events, and Bidding

Previews will be held on Wednesday, May 27th, from noon to 5 P.M.; Thursday, May 28th, from noon to 8 P.M.; and Friday, May 29th, from 9 A.M. to 10 A.M.

Illustrated catalogs are available from the Subscriptions Department, at 508-970-3240, or from the Gallery. Prices realized will be available online, at, both during and after the sale. The Skinner website enables users to view every lot in the auctions, leave bids, order catalogs and bid live, in real-time, through SkinnerLive!

About Skinner

Skinner auctions draw international interest from buyers and consignors alike, with material regularly achieving record prices. The company’s auction and appraisal services focus on fine art, jewelry, furniture, and decorative arts from around the globe, as well as wine, fine musical instruments, rare books, Asian art, clocks, Judaica, and more. Monthly Skinner Discovery auctions feature a breadth of estate material. Widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the business, Skinner appraisers have appeared on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, since the show’s inception. Skinner has galleries in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts, as well as in New York City and Coral Gables, Florida, with bidders participating in person, by phone, and online. Join auctions live with SkinnerLive! and Bidsquare. For more information and to read our blog, visit the website at, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.



Robin S.R. Starr
Director of American & European Works of Art

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