Hindman Auctions achieved the highest total result for a series of Fine Art sales in the company’s history, realizing more than $9.9 million across three days of sales, with 11 new auction records set. Bidders from 49 countries and 38 states participated in the May 10th American & European Art, the May 11th Post War & Contemporary Art and the May 12th Prints & Multiples auctions. Enthusiastic bidding led to works by Ed Clark, John Craxton, Gertrude Abercrombie, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Franz Sedlacek, Le Pho, Wolf Kahn, David Hockney and Andy Warhol seeing particularly exceptional results.
Collections that saw spirited bidding included Property from the Collection of Richard D. Simmons, (Alexandria, Virginia); from the Estate of Jost Hermand (Madison, Wisconsin), sold to benefit the University of Wisconsin Foundation; from the Estate of Celestia B. Smithgall (Atlanta and Gainesville, Georgia); from the Carmen S. Holeman Trust (Indianapolis, Indiana); and from the Estate of Richard Altermann (Santa Fe, New Mexico).
Additional collections that saw significant engagement were Property from the Collection of Dominic Pangborn (Grosse Pointe, Michigan); from the Roger Brown Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (New Buffalo, Michigan), sold to support the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Scholarship Fund; from the wareHOUSE, Atlanta, Georgia; and from the Estate of Helen Uihlein-Peters, (Milwaukee, Wisconsin).
“We are incredibly proud to have reached this new record for a series of Fine Art sales, and to have presented so many seminal works that resonated so deeply with bidders,” shared Joseph Stanfield, Hindman’s Vice President and Senior Specialist for Fine Art. “On top of that, we are delighted to have sold works to support institutions including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Webster University and the University of Wisconsin.”
American & European Art | May 10
The American & European Art auction realized $3,523,062, the highest total for a sale in this category, across 114 lots.
The European session saw particularly heated bidding. Emerging as the top performer was Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s 1899 oil on canvas La Baie de Villefranche-sur-Mer (lot 10), a work from the Collection of Richard D. Simmons, which realized $524,000. With its expressive brushstrokes and sparkling color, this magical work is suggestive of the artist’s feelings of the region. The warm tone and radiant light beautifully capture the lush, serene environment. The view is an evocative example of Renoir’s landscapes of the French Riviera. Another highlight from the collection was Alfred Sisley’s La Seine à Saint-Mammès (lot 11), which sold for $87,500.
A standout from the late 20th century American works were a session of eight works by Wolf Kahn, which all saw frenzied bidding activity. Bidders from across the country drove the prices well beyond their pre-sale estimates with Against a Dark Blue Sky II from 1998 (lot 82) selling for $112,500, over five times the low estimate and becoming only the ninth painting by the artist to ever sell in the six figures at auction.
Additional highlights included Franz Sedlacek’s 1926 oil on board Landschaft mit Jäger (lot 35), which sold for $250,000, far surpassing its estimate of $60,000-80,000. Works by Le Pho also saw fervent bidding activity, with the artist’s 1974 oil on canvas Les Dahlias Blanches (lot 3) selling for $187,000, more than double its presale estimate, and his 1970 oil on canvas Composition (Fleurs) (lot 4) tripling its estimate to sell for $187,500.
Post War & Contemporary Art | May 11
The Post War & Contemporary Art auction set a new house record for a Fine Art sale, realizing $4,494,375 across 127 lots, more than double its estimate.
Leading the auction was Ed Clark’s 2006 acrylic on canvas Creation (lot 65), which sold for $740,000 against a presale estimate of $150,000-250,000, the second highest price ever achieved for the artist. This majestic late career work saw competitive phone and online bidding that propelled this exceptional painting to an almost record price. Following as the second top lot was John Craxton’s esoteric taverna scene Still Life with Three Sailors (lot 18), which saw intense international bidding, resulting in the work realizing an impressive $400,000 against an estimate of $150,000- $250,000, ultimately selling to an overseas bidder.
Works by Chicago Imagists saw tremendous interest, continuing to exhibit Hindman’s strong force in the category. Hindman was proud to offer two dynamic works from Roger Brown’s New Buffalo, Michigan Collection, which sold for $90,0000 to support The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Scholarship Fund. The offering was made up of a larger than usual yet equally unusual Jim Nutt stage drawing titled Do you See Something? (lot 6) and a Karl Wirsum’s Any One? Ten Is!, a dimensional tennis player (lot 7) that was most notably included in his Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago show and his retrospective at Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois.
Leading the session of Imagist material was Roger Brown’s 1974 Red Diner (lot 8), which realized $81,250 against a presale estimate of $30,000-50,000. The work is a playful nod to one of the Art Institute of Chicago’s crown jewels Nighthawks in Brown’s unique visual language and signature backlight windows on all four sides.
The sale ended on a high note with the sale of four works (lots 116-119) by Chicago’s Queen of the Bohemians, Gertrude Abercrombie, with the group selling for a collective $925,000. The result for the quartet continued the momentum following the firm’s record-setting sale of the artist’s 1964 work The Dinosaur for $387,500 in February, and the firm is looking forward to sharing a significant Abercrombie announcement soon.
Six new auction records were set for works by Walter Darby Bannard, John Buck, Emilio Cruz, Ronnie Landfield, Caesar Paternosto and John Wilde.
Prints & Multiples | May 12
The Prints & Multiples auction realized $1,695,406 and reached a robust 98 percent sell-through rate across 173 lots, with especially strong results achieved for modern and contemporary master prints.
David Hockney’s Lithograph of Water Made of Lines (lot 77) led the highly anticipated session of modern prints, selling for $175,000 against a presale estimate of $50,000 - $70,000 and setting a new record for the print. The work is from Hockney’s most in-demand series of prints that was created at the pinnacle of his print making career.
Andy Warhol’s 1982 Goethe (lot 81), which represents the artist's first print inspired by a historical work of art, was the second top lot of the auction, realizing $81,250 compared to an estimate of $40,000-60,000. Warhol’s 1986 Kachina Dolls (from Cowboys and Indians) (lot 79) and Plains Indian Shield (from Cowboys and Indians) (lot 78) were also standout lots, selling for well above their estimates at $40,625 and $32,375, respectively.
Additional highlights included Jasper John’s Decoy II (lot 19) which realized $68,750; Robert Longo’s Joseph, which realized $43,750; and Roy Lichtenstein’s Untitled Head (lot 82), which sold for $37,500. Auction records for individual prints were set by David Hockney’s Above and Beyond (lot 76), which sold for $28,125; Frank Stella’s Bonne Bay (from Newfoundland Series) (lot 22), which realized $31,250; Alex Katz’s Joan (lot 73) and White Hat (from Alex and Ada portfolio) (lot 72), which sold for $18,750 and $16,250, respectively.