Doyle to Auction Mid-Century Abstraction Featuring Works from the Estate of Violet Werner on March 17

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • March 08, 2021

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Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989), Untitled, circa late 1950s, Oil on Masonite, 48 x 60 inches. The Estate of a New York Art Dealer. Est. $40,000-60,000. Lot 1044.
Kenneth Noland (1924-2010), Sand Glass, 1983, Acrylic on canvas, 85 x 69 1/2 inches. The Estate of Violet Werner. Est. $100,000-200,000. Lot 1008.

Doyle will hold an auction of Mid-Century Abstraction Featuring Works from the Estate of Violet Werner on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 11am. The sale focuses on abstract art spanning the 1940s through the 1980s and will include paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints. From the American Abstract Expressionists, as well as several prototypical artists that predated them, the auction documents the global evolution of abstraction within and beyond the fabled New York School; including Color Field artists, hard-edge abstraction, the Washington Color School, Minimalism and much more.

The public is invited to the exhibition on view Friday, March 12 through Monday, March 15. Safety Protocols will be in place. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in New York. View the catalogue and place bids at

Works from the Estate of Violet Werner
A special section of the sale is devoted to works from the remarkable collection of Violet Werner of Palm Beach and Minneapolis. Comprising lots 1001-1035, the Paintings and Prints reflect her passion for 20th century abstraction, her keen eye for strong images, bold aesthetics, and her unwavering support for artists and their craft. (Read Bio) (View Lots)

Kenneth Noland
A leading member of the Washington Color School, Kenneth Noland combined Color Field painting and geometric abstraction to achieve bold works focusing on form and color. From 1983, Sand Glass is a large-scale example of the chevron, one of the Noland’s best-known forms, employed with high-key colors to stunning effect (lot 1008).

Elaine de Kooning
Black Mountain College grad and Eight Street Club member Elaine de Kooning was overshadowed by husband Willem through much of her life, though the beloved artist and writer broke out of Abstract Expressionism, expanding into representational art. Vacillating between pure abstraction and portraiture throughout her career, a late 1950s untitled work in the sale is a magnificent example of her approach to action painting, deftly holding its own with the work of her male peers (lot 1044)

Charles Green Shaw
A founding member of the American Abstract Artists, Charles Green Shaw helped define American abstraction. A striking canvas from 1969, White on Black Against Yellow, finds Shaw late in his career, returning in a sense to his prototypical early works, with bold hard-edge abstraction (lot 1059).

Romare Bearden
The Harlem-based Romare Bearden was a founding member of the African-American arts collective Spiral, bringing attention to Civil Rights issues as well as to the new art of their community. Bearden expanded abstraction to include collage, as shown in The Obeah’s Dawn from 1984. A New York Times review of Bearden’s exhibition which included this work called it “the most primal image in the show.” (lot 1079)

Vivian Springford
Represented in this sale with two untitled works from 1963, Vivian Springford combined Abstract Expressionism with her passion for Chinese calligraphy – introduced to her by studio partner Walasse Ting. Springford brilliantly speaks to a commonality in the dripped and splashed action painting of the Ab Ex movement and the graceful expressions of calligraphic brushstrokes (lot 1050).

Other Highlights
Among the other sale highlights are a large-scale color monotype by Sam Francis (lot 1006) and works by Romare Bearden, Ilya Bolotowsky, Lynn Chadwick, Dorothy Dehner, Sorel Etrog, Ellsworth Kelly and Sol LeWitt.

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