LAMBERTVILLE, N.J. – An oil on canvas by Milton Avery titled Girl by Harbour achieved the highest price ever for a piece of flat art sold at Rago Auctions, selling for $564,500 on May 4. Rago Auction’s May Fine Art sales realized $3.63 million. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
Other highlights from the American + European Art sale, a session that totaled $1.4 million, include several works by regional artists including lot 103, a painting by Pennsylvania Impressionist Fern Isabel Coppedge titled Lambertville Looking into New Hope (below), which sold for $40,625; lot 84, a painting by Henry Martin Gasser titled Newark Street Scene, which sold for $30,000; and lot 101, a local landscape titled Lambertville Quarry by Alfred Nunamaker, the youngest of the New Hope School artists, which sold for $10,625.
Strong results were also achieved by lot 88, Guy Carleton Wiggin’s Wall Street in Winter, which realized $36,250; lot 168, an untitled bronze sculpture by Mexican artist Francisco Zuniga that sold for $25,000 against an estimate of $7,000- $10,000; and lot 107, an oil on canvas by Francis Speight titled Hope House that defied its high estimate of $5,000 to sell for $33,750.
Rago’s Postwar + Contemporary Art sale, which realized $2.3 million in sales across 454 lots, was led by lot 545, a nearly 7-foot-tall tall verdigris bronze sculpture by Ossip Zadkine titled Arlequin Hurlant which sold for $137,500. Other highlights from the sale included lot 722, David Salle’s massive acrylic and lead diptych Pauper, which sold for $93,750; lot 693, an untitled watercolor by Fernando Botero which achieved a sale price of $56,250; and lot 511, an oil on burlap by Mavis Pusey titled Nuvae, which sold for $42,500, setting a new auction record for the Jamaican-born American artist.
Also of note in the sale: lot 747, an untitled marble sculpture by Igor Mitoraj, which realized a price of $50,000 against a high estimate of $30,000; lot 841, a signed, dated and numbered screenprint of Roy Lichtenstein’s Art Critic, which sold for $40,625; lot 500, Mary Bauermeister’s mixed media work Pen Down, which more than doubled its high estimate of $15,000 to sell for $35,000; and lots 695 and 696, two still lifes depicting fruit by Colombian artist Ana Mercedes Hoyos, which sold for $33,750 and $31,250, respectively.
One of two single-owner segments in the Postwar + Contemporary sale, “Living Large: Big Paintings from the Allan Stone Collection,” saw the sale of several large scale works including lot 641, William Beckman’s Portrait of Diana II (below), which sold for $27,500 against a $15,000 high estimate; and lot 631, James Havard’s Stopping the Falling Eagle (739), which realized a sale price of $20,000, double its high estimate.
Highlights from the second single-owner segment, “The Archive of Artist/Designer,” which offered for sale prototypes and editions of designs produced by famed artists for A/D, include lot 764, a hand-loomed silk on linen by Chuck Close titled Lucas/Rug (below), which realized a price of $32,500; and lot 794, a wool tapestry of Andy Warhol’s Flowers, which sold for $20,000.
“The May sales were met with a new level of enthusiasm. Bidders were inspired by important works from the 20th century, spanning Impressionism, Modernism and Contemporary Art. We were able to set records for important artists as well as for the auction house and are honored to have worked with all the consignors and bidders that helped make the sale a success,” noted Meredith Hilferty, Rago’s director of Fine Art.