James Martin paintings surface in Benefit Shop auction Oct. 10

James Martin’s painting, ‘Edgar Allan Poe Raven with Party Hat, Scotch Whiskey,’ features a large bird wearing a party hat and shoes, 16in x 14in. Benefit Shop Foundation Inc. image

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y – Sometimes described as a storyteller or jazz improvisationalist, James Martin (born 1928), has been creating art for decades that is an integral part of the Pacific Northwest scene. Reminiscent of the work of Red Grooms with a similar humorous bent, Martin’s colorful constructions often depict characters from the underbelly of a city. The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc. will offer 17 gouaches by Martin collected over several decades with works covering the major periods in the artist’s career, circa 1950s-70s, at its monthly Red Carpet auction on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

All lots open with a $1 bid and there are no reserves.

Early in Martin’s career in the late 1950s-early ’60s, his work caught the attention of collectors and he participated in museum exhibitions, including at the Seattle Art Museum. In his 90th year, a striking collection of his paintings, long off the market, will likely stir up much interest.

This untitled James Martin painting seems to depict Vincent van Gogh, 13½ x 11¾in. Benefit Shop Foundation Inc. image

The collection comes from the estate of the late Arthur and Teddy Edelman, formerly of Ridgefield, Connecticut. Arthur, who died in January and was predeceased by his wife two years earlier, co-founded Edelman Leather (which the Edelmans sold to Knoll in 2008) and had a passion for midcentury artworks and furniture, often befriending artists like Andy Warhol and James Martin. Arthur was an innovative designer in the fashion and home furnishings industry. In Benefit Shop’s August auction, a collection of midcentury modern furniture and glass, with Edelman provenance, brought robust prices and sparked interest worldwide.

The latest offering from the Edelman estate is likely to create just as much, if not more, interest. “These artworks are quirky, whimsical, well-executed and have been out of public view and the marketplace for decades, thanks to the trained eye of the Edelmans, who appreciated these gems,” said Pam Stone, owner and founder of the Benefit Shop Foundation.

In works like Dancing Monk, Rembrandt Driving Jim’s Truck, Trying on Gran’s Shoes, Edgar Allen Poe and the Raven with Party Hat, and Potato on the Road (below), Martin demonstrates a gift for the narrative with a sly nod to pop culture and as always, pairing unlikely objects as motifs in his work. His imagination runs freely in his paintings. Also on offer are his portraits of George Washington, Mona Lisa and Vincent van Gogh.

James Martin, ‘Potato on the Road,’ 14½ x 23½inches. Benefit Shop Foundation Inc. image

In life and in his art, Martin has a sense of humor. His work created from his studio in Edmonds, Washington, is sometimes signed DDR (for Donald Duck Ranch, the name for his house/studio, which he built by himself).

Much more than just art will cross the block, from jewelry such as pair of William Spratling earrings, circa 1930-40s, in sterling silver to fashion, including a Georgeou Furs coat and designer handbags. Glass ranges from a pair of signed Lalique crystal bird trinket dishes to a pair of 9-inch-tall Moser Bohemian glass gilt bud vases in a pleasing green hue while the Asian category features a pair of carved marble foo dogs on stands, 10 inches tall (below).

A pair of carved marble foo dogs on stands, 10 inches tall, will cross the block. Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.

“We have a great grouping of estate contents across the board from horse country to Manhattan chic with more art, more jewelry, more ceramics, more midcentury modern and more fashion,” Stone said.

The furniture category includes this set of six Sherrill dining chairs upholstered in a floral fabric. Benefit Shop Foundation Inc. image

Rounding out the sale are a Japanese porcelain tea set, early 1900s and an AP B. Karfiol Maternity framed lithograph, circa 1930s-40s, of a mother holding a child.

For more information contact the Benefit Shop Foundation at 914-864-0707.

Rockers Blondie to play Cuba on four-day cultural exchange

Blondie in 1977: Gary Valentine, Clem Burke, Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, and Jimmy Destri. Image: Private Stock Records

NEW YORK – Blondie will be playing two nights in Cuba next March as part of a four-day cultural exchange program, and fans can come along.

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Vinyl records hit all the right notes

This 45 of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over) is pressed on green vinyl. It’s a common record, but if you’re looking for colored vinyl collections, this is a good one to start searching for. Photo courtesy of Chuck Miller

NEW YORK — Digital downloading has forever changed the music industry, but the interest in vinyl is on the uptick. Some music labels, especially small indies, even continue to release new music on vinyl. For collectors, there is a thrill to removing a record from its artfully-adorned jacket and placing it on a turntable to enjoy. It’s an experience that cannot be matched by downloads from iTunes or other digital-music services.

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Paintings attributed to modern masters in Woodshed sale Oct. 4

Unframed oil on canvas attributed to Richard Diebenkorn (American, 1922-1993), signed and dated ‘70’ bottom right (est. $150,000-$250,000). Woodshed Art Auctions image

FRANKLIN, Mass. – An elite selection of 54 original oil and watercolor Impressionist, Pop and Modern paintings by and attributed to renowned artists such as Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Franz Kline and Sam Francis will come up for bid in an auction slated for Thursday, Oct. 4, by Woodshed Art Auctions. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Ai Weiwei in a June 2007 photo by Benutzer. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany license.

Ai Weiwei to receive award from Refugees International

Ai Weiwei. Lisson Gallery image

WASHINGTON – Refugees International (RI) will honor artist and humanitarian Ai Weiwei at its 16th Annual New York Circle Luncheon on Tuesday, October 23, with their 2018 Exceptional Service Award. Ai is being recognized for his continuous work and advocacy on behalf of refugees.

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Blackwell to auction Koons, Mapplethorpe, Bierstadt art Oct. 13

Jeff Koons (American, b. 1955-), Balloon Venus, iconic lacquered resin sculpture from special limited edition commissioned by Dom Perignon in 2013. Est. $45,000-$60,000

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Blackwell Auctions of Clearwater, Fla., will offer a carefully curated sale of fine paintings, important prints and sculptures on Saturday, October 13. Highlights include Jeff Koons’ iconic Balloon Venus, multiple signed works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Robert Rauschenberg and many others; and original paintings by Albert Bierstadt, Lilla Cabot Perry, Diego Rivera, Raphael Soyer and Man Ray. Bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

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John Coker selling family’s automotive collection Oct. 6


Award-winning 1948 Nash Ambassador Super Two-Door Coupe, complete 100-point restoration. Conveys with full collection of trophies. Est. $30,000-$60,000. John Coker Ltd. image

OAKDALE, Tenn. – A Tennessee family’s 350-lot collection of classic cars, petroliana, automotive toys and country store items will make its auction debut on Oct. 6 in a no-reserve onsite auction conducted by John Coker Ltd. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Rivertown presents estate-sourced Asian art in Oct. 13 sale

Fu Bao Shi (Chinese, 1904-1965), ink and color painting on paper, mounted; 12 x 8¾in (sight). Provenance: acquired in New York in September 1982. Est. $10,000-$12,000. Rivertown Antiques & Estate Services image

HOUSTON – Rivertown Antiques & Estate Services, one of the world’s most trusted sources of Asian fine and decorative art, will present a 188-lot auction on Saturday, Oct. 13, featuring rarities whose timeline runs from the Shang Dynasty (2nd millennium B.C.) through the 20th century. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Ruling: national monuments lawsuits to stay in Washington

The Sixshooter Peaks in Bears Ears National Monument, San Juan County, Utah. U.S. Bureau of Land Management public domain image

WASHINGTON — Today a federal judge ruled that the lawsuits to decide the fate of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments will be heard in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. This is the venue in which they were originally filed by the Native American Tribes for whom Bears Ears is sacred, as well as conservation, outdoor recreation, and paleontology groups fighting to defend the monuments. On December 4, 2017, President Trump slashed Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, stripping nearly 2 million acres of lands of Antiquities Act protections.

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Cold case: death of African American artist Ellis Ruley

Ellis Ruley (USA, 1882-1959), ‘Autum (sic) Leaves,’ oil on board. Image courtesy LiveAuctioneers archive and Material Culture

NORWICH, Conn. (AP) – Amid the sounds of birds chirping and water falling from a fountain on the quiet morning, a small group Sunday walked through Ellis Walter Ruley Memorial Park, the former home and painting spot of the late city artist.

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