FRANKLIN, Mass. – A dark brown ink drawing on heavy wove paper attributed to the famous Dutch Master artist Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), titled Garden View of the Church at Auvers (1890), signed by van Gogh, sold for $12,000 in the premiere online-only fine art auction titled Prestige Signature Collection: Master Artworks, held on April 26th by Woodshed Art Auctions.
“The location in the drawing was positively identified as Garden View of the Church of Auvers, and the artwork dates from the last year of van Gogh’s life,” said conservator/auctioneer Bruce Wood of Woodshed Art Auctions (formerly The Woodshed Gallery), based in Franklin, Mass. (www.woodshedartauctions.com). “Without better paperwork, we had to call it an attribution, but there’s little doubt it is authentic and probably should have gaveled for $100,000 or more.”
Van Gogh lived just three months in Auvers-sur-Oise, a small village north of Paris. He moved there in 1890, after having spent a year at an asylum in Saint-Remy. The sketch in the auction has been identified as a view of the church in Auvers, the only gable-roof bell tower among the locations van Gogh lived in France. Tragically, van Gogh committed suicide that year, at age 37.
The Prestige Signature Collection: Master Artworks sale was something new for Woodshed Art Auctions – the confluence of a group of excellent pieces arriving at once in the gallery, and all having one thing in common: they were limited to artworks by internationally recognized artists. This, the debut auction, featured just 26 artworks, by names that are known to nearly everyone.
These included Andy Warhol (Am., 1928-1987), Pablo Picasso (Sp./Fr., 1881-1973), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Fr., 1864-1901), Fernand Leger (Fr., 1881-1955), and van Gogh. The next Prestige Signature Collection sale will be held on May 24th with market-fresh works by Wilfredo Lam, Mario Careno, Victor Brauner, Maurice Sendak, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean Cocteau.
“Moving forward, we’re dividing our sales into two categories,” Wood said. “These are Studio Art Sales, which are larger catalogs of fine and decorative art, and Prestige Signature Collection Sales, which will feature a smaller, refined selection of artworks by more recognized artists.” He added, “The April 26th Prestige Collection sale and its focused attention paid off for consignors.”
Internet bidding was facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com and Invaluable.com, as well as the Woodshed Art Auctions website. Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices include a 20 or 25 percent buyer’s premium, applied depending on how the bid was submitted.
The runner-up top lot was a mixed media on paper by Fernand Leger (Fr., 1881-1955), titled Composition with Three Women, artist signed and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The 18 inch by 13 ¼ inch work gaveled for $10,312. Leger was a painter, sculptor and filmmaker. His boldly simplified treatment of modern subject matter made him a forerunner of pop art.
Several drawings attributed to the pop art icon Andy Warhol were in the auction. These included a drawing in color markers on manila folder-weight paper titled Two Campbells Soup Cans that realized $3,125; and a drawing in ink on lightweight parchment paper titled Tap Shoe that went for $7,812. Both were signed by Warhol and were formerly the property of New York collector.
Several Picassos also came under the gavel. These included a pair of signed attributions that rose to identical selling prices of $2,500 each: an ink drawing on paper titled Reclining Woman and a pencil drawing on paper titled Woman Chased by Man and Dog. Both were unframed. Also, an autograph and drawing on a book page by Picasso, not an attribution, changed hands for $875.
A lithograph by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec from the painter’s Café Concert series titled Madame Abdala en Bebe (1893), unsigned (but identified with the artist’s monogram), finished at $500. Abdala, the subject, was a singer at the Ambassadeurs in Paris. The only state lithograph, made as one in an edition of 500, measured 10 ½ inches by 7 ¾ inches and was in very good condition.
An artwork in pencil and gouache on paper, attributed to the early American modernist painter Stuart Davis (1892-1964), titled Abstract, measuring about 20 inches by 25 inches, topped out at $3,750. Davis was known for his jazz-influenced, bold, brash and colorful proto pop art paintings of the 1940s and ‘50s, as well his Ashcan School pictures in the early years of the 20th century.
A signed, dated (1912) and numbered (7/7) bronze sculpture on a marble base by the French sculptor, painter and printmaker Aristide Joseph Bonaventure Maillol (1861-1944), titled Femme nue assise (“Seated Female Nude”), brought $676. The work was eight inches tall on a one-inch base, and was in good condition, except for some minor handling marks and a chip on the base.
Woodshed Art Auctions is a family-owned art gallery specializing in oil painting restoration and live and online art auctions. The company is celebrating its 49th anniversary.
Woodshed Art Auctions 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, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Woodshed Art Auctions and the next auction planned for May 24th, 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.