Feb. 7, 2008
OAKLAND, Calif.—Two paintings by Chinese contemporary artist Chen Danqing were the standouts of Clars Auction Gallery’s Feb. 2 & 3 auction. The event drew over 3,000 bidders, and featured sales totaling over $1.3 million, including record-breaking prices for multiple artists. The sale was the 4th largest in Clars’ 60 year history. As with all Clars’ auctions, Internet bidding was offered by www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
Painted in 1983, Danqing’s paintings were both portraits of men from his noted collection of Tibetan paintings, and fetched the highest auction prices on record for works from this series. “Tibetan Men,” sold for $191,900* after a flurry of telephone bidding, while “Portrait of Tibetan Villagers” realized $136,900. Both pieces came from the collection of Allan Fingerhut, a California art gallery owner who played an instrumental role in bringing works from China’s Yunnan School to the attention of the American market in the late 1980s. Clars’ February sale featured a number of important, contemporary Asian paintings from this collection. Each of these works attracted significant attention and drew a number of international bidders.
As a result, two smaller paintings by Luo Zhongli also fetched strong prices during this sale. Clars had previously offered a number of works by this Yunnan School, “heavy color” artist with great success, and was pleased to realize $40,950 for “The Grain Field” and $38,025 for “Shepherd.” Another work from the Fingerhut collection, a 1980s oil on canvas by Taiwanese artist Dr. Tsing-Fang Chen titled “Love Above Confrontation” fetched a record-breaking $55,575. A striking painting, the piece attracted interest for its unique portrayal of female figures in the manners of Titian, Chagall and Picasso in the same composition, exemplifying Chen’s distinctive technique of examining and reinterpreting classic motifs in Western art.
Paintings by California artists also boosted the sale this February. “Kilauea Crater,” an unsigned oil on board by Jules Tavernier sold for $28,080, while “Figures on a Beach” an oil on canvas by Mary DeNeale Morgan, fetched $15,210. A painting by Marion K. Wachtel, “High Sierras, Crystal Lake,” also realized $15,210.
TThe February sale at Clars also featured very strong showings for jewelry. A stunning pair of 14k white gold Asscher cut diamond ear pendants sold for $32,175, while a gent’s Rolex Explorer II wristwatch set with black dial and bezel and oyster bracelet, fetched $18,720.
Finally, Clars was pleased to offer a turquoise, 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 Holiday Coupe which sold for $21,060. The lot included the original receipt for the car from an Oakland dealership, detailed maintenance records, and the car’s original plastic seat covers.
Clars’s Mar. 5 & 6 sale will feature important European and Californian art, Asian art and art objects, as well as furniture, decoratives and fine estate jewelry.
* Please note that all of the prices listed include Clars’s buyer’s premium
To view the archived auction catalog, with prices realized, please visit www.LiveAuctioneers.com