Midcentury Modern furniture has been recently challenging the idea that only fine art is art. The combination of functionality, design foresight, elegance, and edginess has made the midcentury modern market bring fine art numbers at auction over the last several months.
Clarke Auction in Larchmont, NY, Westchester's Premier Auction House, has successfully navigated the rough economy of late by providing its bidders with exceptional midcentury selections in its last several sales. The upcoming Sunday, October 21st sale at Clarke Auction will maintain the reputation for spectacular midcentury pieces, as well as elevating midcentury art, African American art, and fine art to the top of the sale.
Last sale, the Paul Evans cityscape console was described as "disco design", and the October 21st sale proves, by comparison, why this is so. Featured at Clarke this month are both the cityscape designs of Paul Evans, in the form of a dining table and coffee table, as well as the brutalist designs of Paul Evans, in the form of a mirror and hanging console to be sold in one lot, as well as a fantastic Paul Evans sculptured dining table. Paul Evans absolutely covers both elegance and edginess in each of these differing designs.
The sculptured dining table, console, and mirror are on the completely opposite end of the design spectrum from the Paul Evans' cityscape design. The brutalist sculptured table is one of the largest available, with a two part sculpted base with glass top measuring 11 feet long.
The discovery of the Paul Evans table is a rare pleasure, but not quite as rare as the collection of Arne Vodder Dining Chairs to be offered October 21st. The set of ten upholstered midcentury chairs designed by Arne Vodder for Sibast are made with beautifully cut rosewood and black leather upholstered seats on a raised T back. These important chairs are very hard to find and are all in remarkable condition.
The importance and recognition of midcentury design is not only prevalent in the auction and design industries, but the entertainment industry as well. A perfect example featured on October 21st at Clarke Auction is a midcentury Danish design bassinet that was prominently featured on the popular television show Dexter. After its cameo in the show, it now plays a role in the midcentury selection at Clarke Auction.
No midcentury selection would be truly complete without perhaps the best known name, Charles and Ray Eames. The lot of five Eames Shell Back Chairs completes with Eiffel tower bases, in three separate colors, adding style to practicality and functionality.
The fine art selection keeps to its name with many fine lots, especially from African American artists. Two of the most important pieces in this selection include two separate oils on canvas by A.C Hollingsworth. The Hollingsworth oils are of magnificent imagery and execution. One Hollingsworth is an early figural painting that is atypical of Hollingsworth's signature style. The other Hollingsworth, a Modernist Oil on Canvas is wrought with symbolism, imagery, and vivid beauty.
Other African American works include such names as Bob Thompson, Walter Sanford, and Samuel Middleton. An exquisite marble relief of an African American girl entitled "Little Ida" by Charles Calverley also tops the African American selection.
Other predominant and important pieces include several large and unique paintings by Jonah Kinigstein, an oil landscape by French artist Albert Charles Lebourg, a gouache of a seated woman by Iosif Iser, and two gouaches by Carlos Merida. The oil landscape by Charles Lebourg is a beautiful work by this artist because of its timeless style and use of color.
The oils on canvas may steal the eye but the print selection at Clarke Auction supports many world renowned names as well. The "Pyramids" lithograph by Alexander Calder is one highly sought after example, but the selection features prints by the likes of George Bellows, Reginald Marsh, Paul Cadmus, and Albrecht Durer.
Midcentury and fine art may not be your first finds of the sale, so keep an eye open for the multitude of other lots which include jewelry, Sterling Silver, and a broad selection of furniture and decorative arts. The auction begins 2pm on Sunday, October 21st, 2012. Preview days are Friday, October 19th, and Saturday, October 20th from 12pm to 6pm. The previews and auction are open to the public and all are encouraged to preview and bid.
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