Some of Picasso’s most endearing and sought after works are his playful ceramics. Lot 22 at Gray’s on March 28 is a pichet tête – a small pitcher embellished with contrasting black and white heads, from an edition of 500 dated 1956. This piece has been in the same family since it was purchased circa 1960. Miro’s black and white lithograph Maravillas Acrosticas is lot 15 in the auction. This lithograph is signed in pencil and numbered 14 from an edition of 15. The Spanish artist’s innovative use of line, organic shapes, and color represents a major contribution to Surrealism.
A striking Clyde Singer painting entitled Art Exhibit, dated 1963 - lot 1 - opens the auction at Gray’s in Cleveland, Ohio. “Born in Malvern, Ohio, forty miles south of Akron, Clyde Singer became known for his regionalist paintings in oil and watercolor of people at carnivals, standing in bars, on windy street corners, celebrating holidays, or looking at pictures in a gallery... his style is reminiscent of Robert Henri and John Sloan, continuing through the well-known regionalists, John Steuert Curry and Grant Wood.” - from an article by Elizabeth McClelland, published in "Little Bits of History, Clyde Singer, American Scene Painter" in TIMELINE, December 1966, a publication of the Ohio Historical Society.
Continuing with artists from Northeast Ohio, lot 2 is Viktor Schreckengost’s Winter Night, a watercolor cityscape in rich deep green and blue hues that defy the medium. In addition to being an exceptionally gifted painter Schrekengost found great success as an industrial designer and ceramicist, contributing designs to everything from decorative vases and bicycle seats to wartime prosthetics for wounded soldiers and early prototypes for radar feedback. As a Professor of Industrial Design at the Cleveland Institute of Art for more than 50 years, his influence on further generations of artists and designers in Ohio was incalculable.
Lot 14 is a portfolio by German born photographer Abe Frajndlich, entitled Homage to Yukio Mishima. Now based in Cleveland, Frajndlich has received global acclaim throughout his long career as a portrait photographer with a uniquely artful sense of composition, using surreal motifs and juxtaposition to illuminate the internal nature of his subjects. Among Frajndlich’s favorite subjects have been other celebrated photographers, having shot hundreds over the course of his career, including such household names as Annie Leibowitz and Andy Warhol. Homage to Yukio Mishima finds Frajndlich interpreting the work of the celebrated and controversial Japanese author, particularly his contributions to the Noh theatre tradition. The portfolio of 12 silver gelatin prints finds Frajndlich recontextualizing Noh motifs like facelessness, transformation, and emphatic movement through stark black and white images with a brutally evocative eeriness.
Lots 9-13 contain five pieces by renowned abstract expressionist Al Newbill. Born in Detroit in 1921, Newbill’s long career as a painter displayed a mastery of subtle tone and form, lending his compositions a harmony and tranquility that contrasts with the more frenetic style of contemporaries like William De Kooning and Jackson Pollock. Lot 9 contains Untitled, Lot 10 is Abstraction, Lot 11 is another Untitled piece, Lot 12 is The Trinity, and finally Lot 13 is a piece called Studio Visitation, which depicts a ghostly white figure silhouetted against a blue canvas.
Rounding out the visual art are two more pieces of particular note. Lot 90 contains North Carolina, an absolutely gorgeous depiction of a family of deer roaming the untamed Carolina countryside as captured by 19th century Dutch landscape painter William Anthony Frerichs. Contained in lot 5 is Excavating, a brilliant watercolor by yet another Northeast Ohio native, Emma Yarlekovich. The painting is a dazzling pastel rendition of a balcony sitting above a bustling urban miasma of streetlamps and passersby.
Also included in this month’s auction is a wide variety of fine jewelry, including an abundance of wonderful jade pieces, including the beautiful set of 18kt yellow gold, diamond and lavender jade earrings with matching ring contained in lot 145. Lot 114 contains one of the most precious items in the auction, an antique 14kt Yellow Gold and Platinum diamond ring, inlaid with one larger round older brilliant cut diamond encircled by 11 smaller diamonds. Also included in the auction is lot 138: an 18kt Yellow Gold, Pearl and Diamond ring, set with a cultured pearl surrounded by forty-six round and square cut diamond melee, as well as many other lovely items including the aforementioned jade and a number of other 18kt and 14kt gold pieces.
Finally, this month’s auction contains a variety of furniture and decorative items, including lot 278, a sleek and elegant metal and slate console table wrought by Eric St. Regis. Also included is a full service of Gorham sterling silver tableware in lot 249, as well as a number of other fascinating curiosities like the two antique maps by 17th century French cartographer Nicolas Sanson contained in lots 92 and 93.
Gray’s is open for in-person preview March 22 - 28; Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm, Saturday 12noon – 4pm. The auction starts at 11am EST on Wednesday, March 28 with live bidding available at GraysAuctioneers.com. The fully illustrated catalog is now online at GraysAuctioneers.com.
ABOUT GRAY’S AUCTIONEERS & APPRAISERS
Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers are Northern Ohio’s leading licensed auctioneers & appraisers of fine art, antiques, decorative arts, rare books, fine jewelry and antique rugs. A boutique auction house with over two decades of experience in the art business, the experts at Gray’s now offer traditional real estate services. The specialists at Gray’s have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the full value of their collections at auction. Gray’s auctioneers are licensed, insured and bonded in favor of the State of Ohio. Learn more at www.graysauctioneers.com