FRANKLIN, Mass. – Mixed media paintings on paper attributed to Andy Warhol (Am., 1928-1987) of Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon, George Harrison and several other subjects are part of Woodshed Art Auctions’ online-only Prestige Signature Collection, a 111-lot sale that’s already available for viewing and bidding (at www.woodshedartauctions.com). The sale ends Oct. 4th.
The Taylor, Lennon and Harrison works (as well as one of Mount Vesuvius) all carry pre-sale estimates of $80,000-$100,000, although the one of Liz is probably expected to finish ahead of the others because it’s so iconic and closely associated with Warhol. All four are signed by the artist and come with certificates of authenticity from Bonnier Art Services in Toulouse, France.
The Prestige Signature Collection sale features paintings, drawings and studies by some of the most famous, influential painters of the Impressionist, post-Impressionist, Modern and Pop Art movements. In addition to Warhol, the list includes names such as Basquiat, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Chagall, Modigliani, Rothko, Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell, Fernand Leger and others.
The list continues with names like Helen Frankenthaler, Antoni Tapies, Wilfredo Lam, Franz Kline, Egon Schiele, Chaim Soutine, Suzy Frelinghysen, Ralph Mazzucco and even R. Crumb and Dr. Seuss, among others. Also in the sale is a fine selection of autographs by political figures like Adolf Hitler, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and Douglas MacArthur.
The artwork, though, will command center stage. “As the collection for this sale came together, I realized that some of our consignors are attracted to artists’ working studies,” said Bruce Wood, owner of Woodshed Art Auctions. “These paintings and drawings show the thought processes and working methods of the artists, methods that are often disguised in their finished artworks.”
Mr. Wood observed that the Warhol paintings on paper “show experimentation with color and brushwork, while the drawings and gouache studies of Van Gogh and Matisse show the speed and abbreviated details used to capture the impression of a fleeting moment.” Other Warhols in the sale include one of actor Dennis Hopper and two shoe studies (Warhol had a thing for shoes).
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) needs no introduction. A nice group of works attributed to the Dutch Master will come up for bid. The expected top earner is a pen and brown ink drawing on laid paper, signed “Vincent” and titled Landscape with Haystacks. It may have been an early sketch for an 1889 oil painting with a similar title and is expected to bring $80,000-$100,000.
Two other Van Gogh attributions carry identical estimates of $60,000-$80,000. One is a tempera and gouache on bond paper titled Portrait Study of Madame Trabuc, also signed “Vincent” and possibly a sketch for a similarly titled portrait done in 1889. The other is an unframed brown ink on paper drawing titled Road with Houses signed by Van Gogh and possibly a preliminary study.
Two giants in the fine art world, both with ties to America as well as the Russian Federation, are Mark Rothko (1903-1970) and Marc Chagall (1887-1985). Both these men, in fact, were born in Russia, and Chagall ended up living in France. The gouache on paper attributed to Chagall in the auction is titled Circus Acrobats and is artist signed lower right. It should hit $50,000-$70,000.
The acrylic on primed cotton canvas attributed to Mark Rothko, an untitled abstract composition signed verso, could very well be the top lot of the auction. The sizable painting – 54 ¼ inches by 30 ½ inches, framed – has been attached to a new stretcher, partially obscuring the signature. But there’s nothing obscure about the painting or any doubting it’s a Rothko (est. $80,000-$120,000).
Another candidate for top earner is an oil on canvas painting attributed to the French and Russian artist Chaim Soutine (1893-1943), titled Expressionist Landscape with Women, artist signed and framed and possibly painted in Ceret, in southern France, in the 1920s. The work was reportedly confiscated by the Russian Government in the 1960s and has an estimate of $80,000-$120,000.
The watercolor and ink drawing attributed to Pablo Picasso (Sp./Fr., 1881-1973), titled Bullfight, is signed “Picasso” and dated “3/3/67” (est. $40,000-$60,000). The 6 ¼ inch by 8 inch drawing was left to its previous owner from a longtime friend around 1995, who presumably acquired it from his friend, the art critic, art dealer and collector Douglas Cooper sometime prior to 1980.
Works attributed to the French-American artists Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) and Fernand Leger (1881-1955) will be offered. Mitchell’s signed and framed oil on canvas painting titled Abstract Composition, should finish at $60,000-$80,000; while the watercolor and ink on paper attributed to Leger, signed, with a verso stamp from a Paris gallery, has an estimate of $30,000-$40,000.
Paintings attributed to the noted female American artists Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) and Suzy Frelinghysen (1911-1988) both carry estimates of $40,000-$60,000 and both are abstract compositions. Frankenthaler’s is an oil on canvas work, signed and framed. Frelinghysen’s is a reverse-glass oil painting, signed verso and dated 1941, with Salander-O’Reilly Galleries (N.Y.).
Two other paintings also carry identical estimates, of $30,000-$40,000, and they’re from artists with international pedigree. One is an oil on canvas abstract composition attributed to Sam Francis (1923-1994), who lived and worked in the U.S., France and Japan. The mixed media work installed in a heavy wooden frame titled Vietnam Pastel I is signed by Raphael Mazzucco (b. 1970), who has spent time in New York, France, Italy and Holland. It is not an attribution.
It should be pointed out that many of the works in this auction – most of them, in fact – are listed as ‘attributed’ because they have a partial or missing provenance. Attributions and identifications are based in part on Woodshed Art Auctions’ careful study, but they are not guaranteed. Unless stated otherwise in the catalog description, no further provenance or information is available.
Woodshed Art Auctions is a family-owned art gallery specializing in oil painting restoration and live and online art auctions, celebrating its 50th anniversary. The firm is always accepting quality artworks for future auctions. To inquire about consigning a single piece or an entire collection, you may call Bruce Wood at 508-533-6277; or, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Woodshed Art Auctions and the October 4th online-only Prestige Signature Collection auction, please visit www.woodshedartauctions.com.
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About The Woodshed Gallery
The Woodshed Gallery is a full-service auction and art restoration firm based in Franklin, Mass. The firm holds live and online art auctions throughout the year.