Hindman Auctions presented its fall Fine Art sales last week, realizing more than $7.5 million across three days of sales and setting 15 new world auction records. A strong selection and intense bidding activity drove incredible results across the September 27th American and European Art, the September 28th Post War & Contemporary Art and the September 29th Prints & Multiples auctions. Martin Wong’s Persuit (El Que Gane Pierde - He Who Wins Looses) was the standout of the sales, setting a new world auction record for the artist and soaring past its presale estimate of $500,000 to $700,000 to achieve $1.1 million. Artworks by Hans Hofmann, Nicolai Fechin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Sonia Delaunay, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Frank Stella and Yvonne Thomas also achieved remarkable prices.
Works from the Rumsey Hall School (Washington Depot, Connecticut), the Collection of Homer E. Noble (Denver, Colorado), the Estate of R. Lawrence Dunworth (Palm Beach, Florida) and the Estate of Barbara Bonfigli (Tiburon, California) achieved excellent results. Property from the Estate of Timothy E. Burton (Brookfield, Wisconsin), the Estate of Richard Altermann, (Santa Fe, New Mexico) and the School Sisters of Notre Dame, being sold to benefit the organization also saw fantastic engagement.
“We are thrilled by how buyers responded to the extraordinary offerings, particularly in this season’s Post War & Contemporary Art auction,” shared Hindman’s Director of Fine Art Joseph Stanfield. “Seeing a work as spectacular as the Wong painting set a new record for an artist with such an important message is extremely rewarding for our team.”
The September 27th American and European Art auction realized $2,367,563. The auction saw excellent engagement with Impressionist, Modernist and Regionalist works.
Nicolai Fechin’s Study of a Woman (Portrait of Elena Konstantinovna Luksch-Makowsky) (lot 46) from circa 1906-1908 emerged as the top lot of the sale and sold for a strong price of $680,000. Fechin is one of the most renowned portrait painters of the 20th century, and the subject of this artwork is considered to possibly be Marina Flamant Makovsky, daughter of noted Orientalist painter Konstantin Makovsky (Russian, 1839–1915).
Notable sales also included Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Les Fleurs (lot 77) from 1913, which achieved $400,000, four times its presale estimate. The lot saw tremendous interest and competitive international bidding activity. Les Fleurs demonstrates the central role floral still lifes played throughout Renoir’s long career. His depictions of elaborate bouquets gave him the ability to experiment with the effects of light and color, and how small adjustments could impact shifts in tone, texture and form. In this work we see Renoir’s characteristic feathery brushwork showing anemones at different states of opening, with some petals fully opened to reveal their blue-black centers, while others remain as buds.
Highlights also included Martha Walter’s At the Beach (lot 47), which skyrocketed pasts its estimate of $25,000-35,000 to sell for $125,000 and Sonia Delaunay’s Self-Portrait from 1916 (lot 70), which sold for $56,250, more than double its presale estimate of $20,000-30,000. Mitchell Siporin’s End of an Era (lot 20) was another top performer, selling for $62,500 against a presale estimate of $15,000-25,000.
Other noteworthy sales included Gustave Camille Gaston Cariot’s Crépuscule, lever de lune sur le pont Neuf (lot 78) which doubled its presale estimate, selling for $53,125. Celso Lagar’s Scene au Cirque (lot 113) sold for an impressive $46,875 against a presale estimate of $6,000-8,000 and Lê Phổ’s Les Poppies (lot 909) climbed well past its presale estimate to achieve $43,750. Jules Pascin’s Marinette au manteau rouge (lot 74) also exceeded its presale estimate, realizing $34,375 against a presale estimate of $15,000-25,000.
Auction records were set for Jack Keijo Steele’s The Picnic (lot 11) which sold for $6,250 and Alfred Sessler’s 50₵ Minus 37₵ an Hour for County Aid (lot 16), which realized $13,750, nearly seven times is presale estimate. Records were also set for Siporin’s End of an Era (lot 20), which realized $62,500 against a presale estimate of $15,000-25,000 and Ivan Albright’s Troubled Waves (Silence) (lot 24), which sold for $34,375.
The September 28th Post War and Contemporary Art auction achieved $3,439,000 with intense bidding activity throughout.
Martin Wong’s Persuit (El Que Gane Pierde - He Who Wins Looses) (lot 18) set a new world auction record and emerged as the top lot, ultimately selling for $1.1 million. Wong is recognized for his merging of social realism and visionary art styles, as well as considering themes such as ethnic and racial identities. He became known for documenting New York City in his works. This piece captures the city in the gritty 1980s and the way in which urban life can feel imposing, particularly for the underrepresented. Persuit (El Que Gane Pierde - He Who Wins Looses) captures an ominous, authentic and gritty New York night and illusionistic wooden frame peppered with poetic phrasing, typically borrowed from his often collaborator Piñero. In his signature uncommon social-meets magical-realist fashion, Wong champions the underdog, the underrepresented, the unseen, while also revealing the unique and flawed glory of these ignored individuals. The painting is from Rumsey Hall School, a coeducational boarding and day school in Washington, Connecticut.
Hans Hofmann’s Mutation in Transition (lot 32) was another top performer, which exceeded its presale estimate and sold for $764,000. Full of vibrant energy, the work is a multifaceted dialogue between color, form and medium and a striking example of the innovative techniques that ensured the artist’s enduring legacy. This painting is an excellent example of how Hofmann created a sense of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface and manipulated color contrasts to create light and movement.
Additional highlights included Miyoko Ito’s Bird in Sunset (lot 60), which realized $200,000, more than six times its presale estimate of $30,000-50,000. Larry Poon’s Emi Koussi (lot 42A) doubled its presale estimate, selling for $93,750, and Harry Bertoia’s Untitled (Bush) (lot 37) soared past its presale estimate of $50,000-70,000 to sell for $87,500. Other standouts were Henry Taylor’s Portrait of Light Kim (lot 23), which sold for $87,500 against a presale estimate of $15,000-$25,000 and Yvonne Thomas’s Canyon (lot 31), 1953, which sold for $77,500, more than double its estimate. Jacob Hashimoto’s Glossolalia III (lot 70) skyrocketed pasts its presale estimate of $30,000-50,000 to achieve $68,750 and set a new auction record.
Auction records were also set by Kikuo Saito’s Agnes Section (lot 42A) which sold for $46,875 compared to a presale estimate of $10,000-$15,000 and Lenore Tawney’s Untitled (String Box), which tripled its presale estimate to achieve $43,750. Records were also set by Nicolas Guagnini’s El Bien y El Mal, which realized $22,500 against a presale estimate of $4,000-6,000, Konstantin Milonadis, which doubled its presale estimate, selling for $8,125, and finally William Scharf’s Whole Dawn, Half Egg and Untitled which sold for $5,000 (among four other lots that broke the artist’s previous record of $2,300).
The September 29th Prints & Multiples auction set new auction records and saw tremendous bidding activity across multiple sessions, ultimately achieving $1,449,313.
Andy Warhol’s John Wayne (from Cowboys and Indians) (lot 33) and Pablo Picasso’s Service Visage Noir (lot 109) were the top lots of the auction, with both selling for $112,500. Warhol’s John Wayne illustrates Warhol’s fascination with celebrity and consideration of how the West is glamorized by mass media. Pablo Picasso’s Service Visage Noir (lot 109) is made up of a complete set of 12 ceramic plates and more than doubled its presale estimate. Other Picasso ceramics that reached noteworthy prices included Pablo Picasso’s Hibou aux ailes déployées (A.R. 397), which set a new auction record.
Auction records were also set with three works by Louise Nevelson: Dawnscape (lot 1), Morning Haze (lot 2) and Night Tree (lot 3). Morning Haze, a diptych cast paper relief, sold for $20,000. A new record was also set for Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s counterproof pastel Au Moulin de la Galette, which sold for $34,375.
Other standout sales included Marc Chagall’s Romeo et Juliet (lot 86), which sold for nearly triple its presale estimate and ultimately realized $43,750. Other highlights included Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Carceri d'Invenzione portfolio (lot 185) which exceeded its presale estimate of $20,000-30,000 to sell for $46,875, and the complete set of Salvador Dali’s Memories of Surrealism (lot 74), which climbed well past its presale estimate of $10,000-15,000 to realize $31,250. Frank Stella’s Swoonaire (lot 8) (from Imaginary Places) sold for $25,000, tripling its presale estimate and setting a new record. Another Warhol work that achieved a strong price was Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland (from Reigning Queens) (lot 32), which sold for $20,000 against a presale estimate of $10,000-15,000.
A session of 30 artworks by Corita Kent from The School Sisters of Notre Dame, being sold to benefit the organization, saw tremendous success and soared past its expected total estimate to realize over $60,000. Corita Kent, an American Roman Catholic religious sister, artist, designer and educator, is known for her vibrant pop art serigraphs that advocated for a range of social causes.
All auction results can be viewed on HindmanAuctions.com.