Auction of Impressionist, Modern, Post-War & Contemporary Art at Doyle on May 14

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • May 04, 2019

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Henry Moret (French, 1856-1913), Rochers de Penharn Baie de Douarnenez, 1911, Oil on canvas, 36 1/2 x 28 3/4 inches. Property of the Gertrude D. Davis Trust. Est. $75,000-125,000.

Doyle’s auction on Tuesday, May 14 will offer a wide range of paintings, drawings and sculpture in two sessions. Impressionist & Modern Art will commence at 11am and Post-War & Contemporary Art at 2pm.

The public is invited to the exhibition on view from Saturday, May 11 through Monday, May 13. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in Manhattan. The catalogue is available online at

The session of Impressionist & Modern Art showcases European and American paintings, drawings and sculpture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The offerings range from Academic and Barbizon art through Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to German Expressionism and early Modernism.

Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) was one of America’s finest and most prolific illustrators, with a successful career spanning over fifty years. Reproduced as the cover for the 1922 Christmas issue of Life magazine, a festive picture depicts three costumed servers presenting the beginnings of a holiday meal in gleaming silver dishes (est. $150,000-250,000).

Henry Moret (1856-1913) was one of a group of painters associated with the School of Pont-Aven in Brittany, the most famous of which was Paul Gauguin. When Gauguin left in 1891, Moret developed his unique bold style, focusing on the craggy landscape and turbulent seas surrounding Brittany, such as a depiction of the Bay of Douarnenez from the Gertrude D. Davis Trust (est. $75,000-125,000).

The landscapes of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) have been appreciated from the artist’s time to the present day for their harmonious integration of classical structure with subtle effects of light and color. In Le Soir dans la campagne au bord de l’eau, painted when the artist was nearly 80 years old, we see these qualities brought together in an expressive evocation of sunset over a country lake (est. $60,000-80,000).

Boris Anisfeld (1878–1973) produced haunting stage and costume designs for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes. In 1917 he left Russia for the United States, where he continued his stage designs for the Metropolitan Opera. When he taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, beginning in the 1920s, Anisfeld and his family spent summers in New Mexico and Colorado, where a charming painting in the sale of children and their dog was certainly painted (est. $20,000-30,000).

Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966), Christmas Life, 1922, Oil on board, 17 3/8 x 14 3/4 inches. Est. $150,000-250,000.

Emma Fordyce MacRae (1887-1974) attended the Art Students League where she trained under Frank Vincent DuMond, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and later with John Sloan. She was a member of the National Association of Women Artists. Central Park was one of her favorite themes, an example of which is a bright depiction of the zoo in Spring (est. $10,000-15,000).

The session of Post-War & Contemporary Art showcases paintings and sculpture by prominent and emerging artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Works by American, European, Latin American and Asian artists encompass Abstract Expressionism and various other abstract movements that follow, including Pop Art, Minimalism, Op Art, Fluxus and Street Art, as well as representational imagery from the years after World War II through the present day.

Many artists who emerged onto the American art scene at the time of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Clifford Still incorporated the Abstract Expressionist format into their own works.  But a number of them, including Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993), returned to a figurative style.  For approximately two decades, Diebenkorn returned to abstraction with a group of landscape derived compositions, the Ocean Park Series, of which this 1972 work on paper is a prime  example (est. $100,000-200,000). The Ocean Park paintings, drawings and prints are the most widely celebrated of Diebenkorn’s career.

Another highlight of the sale is a large-scale work by Chilean-born artist Roberto Matta (1911-2002). In 1933, Matta moved to Paris where he met Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Le Corbusier and the poet and theorist André Breton, who encouraged him to join the Surrealist movement. During this period, Matta developed an art of diffused fi lms of color, biomorphic forms, and bold lines. In 1938 he moved to the United States, where he began to work principally in oil on canvas while continuing to develop his expressive, semi-abstract works. The 50% Irrational in Matter from 1951 is a prime representation of Matta’s contribution to the Surrealist movement (est. $100,000-200,000).

Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993), Untitled, 1975, Acrylic and charcoal on paper, 25 x 19 inches. The Estate of a Gentleman, Park Avenue and Southampton, New York, Est. $100,000-200,000.

Mark Tobey (1890-1976) is often associated with the Abstract Expressionist painters of New York. Although he was fully aware of the works of his peers, he arrived at his mature style creating works known as his White Writing paintings influenced by Asian calligraphy and Baha’i and Zen Buddhism. A 1954 painting from the Estate of Elizabeth B. Vondracek is a wonderful example of Tobey’s rhythmic patterning and energetic compositions that emanate a spiritual energy (est. $20,000-30,000).

Pat Steir’s (b. 1940) beloved series of “waterfall” paintings, which she began in the 1980s, were influenced by her relationship with the late John Cage, and his philosophy of chance in art. Steir’s interest in the role of time, environment and gravity allow her to explore the idea of removing the artist from the process of creating a work of art (est. $18,000-22,000).

Created in Eureka, CA, several years before Martin Wong’s (1946-1999) arrival in New York, WACO Studio Loft is a prototypical rendering of Wong’s loft space. Its painted frame would be something ofetn employed by him throughout his career. The dreamlike setting is indicative of the atmosphere Wong worked in during his time in Eureka, which also carried through to his later, and far grittier, works depicting the rawness of the Lower East Side (est. $12,000-18,000).

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