Hindman’s May Fine Art Auctions Realize Over $7.4 Million Led By A Sought-After Mucha Painting

  • CHICAGO, Illinois
  • /
  • May 06, 2021

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Alphonse Mucha (Czech, 1860–1939) Woman with Flowering Branches, 1920, oil on canvas, signed Mucha and dated (lower right) 30 ¼ x 25 ¼ inches. Property from the Estate of Avis Hope Truska, Scottsdale, Arizona. Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000. Price Realized: $456,500.

Hindman Auctions presented its spring Fine Art sales this week, realizing more than $7.4 million across three days of sales, beating presale estimates, and setting global auction records. A renowned selection and competitive international bidding brought fantastic results. Strong engagement with works by artists such as Alphonse Mucha, Edward Willis Redfield, Jim Nutt, Bernard Frize, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, and Frank Stella drove remarkable prices to conclude a successful series of auctions. Property from the Collection of Noel and Kathryn Dickinson Wadsworth (Atlanta, Georgia), the Estate of Avis Hope Truska (Scottsdale, Arizona), the Miriam B. Swanson Trust (Chicago, Illinois), and the Collection of Ms. Mavis Staples (Chicago, Illinois), among others, all saw outstanding results.

“We were pleased to see such incredible results and to have set new records across all three days of sales,” said Joe Stanfield, Hindman’s Director and Senior Specialist of Fine Art. “Bidders showed significant interest with the amazing collections offered, and we are thrilled with the way buyers engaged with the American and European Art auction in particular.”

The May 3 American and European Art auction realized over $3.2 million in 136 lots, and featured a significant selection of Impressionist landscapes, and Modernist and Ashcan works. Leading the auction was Alphonse Mucha’s painting Woman with Flowering Branches (lot 136), which shattered its presale estimate of $60,000-80,000, ultimately achieving $456,500. Top performers also included Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita’s Les Deux Amies (lot 72), which realized $384,500 against a presale estimate of $150,000-$250,000. Strong engagement with Pennsylvania Impressionist works was demonstrated, including with Edward Willis Redfield’s The Peaceful Stream in Winter and Daniel Garber’s Near Solebury (lot 51 and 50), both of which realized $150,000, well above their presale estimates. George William Sotter’s Winter Night (lot 52) also saw competitive bidding and realized $118,500, more than double its presale estimate of $50,000-70,000.  

Jim Nutt (American, b. 1938) Did You Hear Something?, 1981, acrylic on canvas signed Jim Nutt, titled and dated (verso) 14 x 12 inches. Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000. Price Realized: $181,250.

Other standouts included Jean Dufy’s Vue de Balcon (lot 74) from 1926, which soared past its estimate of $40,000-60,000 to realize $81,250. Orville Bulman’s In the Jungle (lot 9) and Lê Phổ’s Fleurs (lot 68) also beat expectations, realizing $75,000 and $65,625, respectively. A new record was set by Mary Nicholena’s Looking Toward the Sea (lot 57), which realized more than double its presale estimate, selling for $17,500.

The May 4 Post War and Contemporary Art auction, set new records and realized over $2 million. Leading the auction was Joan Mitchell’s Untitled, 1989 (lot 32), which sold for $475,000. The work is a stunning example of her late career work and was created during her time in France, with her studio in Claude Monet’s backyard. New records were set by William T. Wiley’s Monument for Union Oil and Pacific Wild Life (lot 76), which sold for $34,375, more than ten times its presale estimate, and Ree Morton’s Regional Piece (lot 78), which realized $34,375, more than double its estimate. Auction records for works on paper were set by William Copley’s Some Like it Hot (lot 60), which sold for $50,000 against a presale estimate of $6,000-8,000; Karl Wirsum’s Untitled (lot 58), which realized five times its presale estimate and sold for $15,000; and Ray Yoshida’s Untitled (lot 61), which achieved $34,375 against a presale estimate of $6,000-8,000.

The auction illustrated a continuing strong demand for artworks by the Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists, as well as abstract expressionist and minimalist works. Jim Nutt’s Did you Hear Something? (lot 51) sold for $181,250, surpassing its estimate of $100,000-150,000. Other standout lots included Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Figure with Open Arms (lot 47), which realized $75,000 against a presale estimate of $40,000-60,000 and Bernard Frize’s Rimano (lot 6), which sold for $81,250, more than double its estimate. Both lots are from the Estate of Leslie "Mitzi" S. Magin (Naples, Florida), which benefitted four Naples, Florida Charities — St. Ann School Foundation, Ave Maria School of Law, St. John Neumann Catholic High School, and NCH Healthcare System.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Four Polo Players, 1985, unique screenprints with collage on colored graphic art paper bearing the stamps of the Estate of Andy Warhol and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., initialed VF, and numbered 54.014, 54.016, 54.022, and 54.023 24 x 18 inches. Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000. Price Realized: $137,500.

Property from the Collection of Mavis Staples saw strong engagement, such as Ernie Barnes’ painting The Grape Vine (lot 69) from 1966, which realized more than triple its presale estimate, setting a new auction record and selling for $75,000. Ernie Barnes’ Singer (lot 68) was another top performer from the collection and realized well above its presale estimate, selling for $34,375.

The May 5 Prints and Multiples auction set eight global auction records and saw incredible engagement with Pop Art works, particularly with prints by Andy Warhol. Highlights included his Four Polo Players from 1985 (lot 21), which realized $137,500 against a presale estimate of $60,000-80,000. The work was commissioned by Polo Magazine in 1985 for the 10th anniversary issue and illustrates his fascination with fame, celebrity, and repetition. Warhol’s Campbell's Soup I: Cream of Mushroom from 1968 (lot 18) set a new record, selling for $50,000, more than double its presale estimate. Andy Warhol’s Mao portraits (lots 19 and 20) were also top performers, realizing $68,750 and $62,500, respectively.

Other highlights included Frank Stella’s complete Aluminum Series (lot 41), which climbed past its presale estimate of $20,000-30,000 to achieve $75,000 and set a new auction record. Eager bidding also led to Ellsworth Kelly’s Yellow (Jaune), from Suite of Twenty-Seven Lithographs (lot 26) setting a record, exceeding its presale estimate of $6,000-8,000 and achieving $25,000. Cy Twombly’s Natural History Part II: Some Trees of Italy (lot 42) surpassed its estimate and ultimately realized $62,500 against a presale estimate of $30,000-50,000.

Hindman continues to welcome consignments for 2021 fall Fine Art auctions. For more information, visit HindmanAuctions.com.

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