CHICAGO – Hindman presented its spring fine art sales this week, realizing more than $7.4 million across three days of sales, beating presale estimates and setting global auction records. A renowned selection and competitive international bidding brought fantastic results. Strong engagement with works by artists such as Alphonse Mucha, Edward Willis Redfield, Jim Nutt, Bernard Frize, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, and Frank Stella drove remarkable prices to conclude a successful series of auctions.
The May 3 American and European Art auction realized more than $3.2 million in 136 lots, and featured a significant selection of Impressionist landscapes as well as Modernist and Ashcan works. Leading the auction was Alphonse Mucha’s painting Woman with Flowering Branches, which shattered its presale estimate of $60,000-$80,000, ultimately achieving $456,500. Top performers also included Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita’s Les Deux Amies (lot 72), which realized $384,500 against a presale estimate of $150,000-$250,000. Strong engagement with Pennsylvania Impressionist works was demonstrated, including with Edward Willis Redfield’s The Peaceful Stream in Winter and Daniel Garber’s Near Solebury, both of which realized $150,000, a sum well above their presale estimates. George William Sotter’s Winter Night also saw competitive bidding and realized $118,500, more than double its presale estimate of $50,000-$70,000.
Other standouts included Jean Dufy’s Vue de Balcon from 1926, which soared past its estimate of $40,000-$60,000 to realize $81,250. Orville Bulman’s In the Jungle and Le Pho’s Fleurs also beat expectations, realizing $75,000 and $65,625, respectively. A new record was set by Mary Nicholena’s Looking Toward the Sea, which realized more than double its presale estimate, selling for $17,500.
The May 4 Post War and Contemporary Art auction set new records and realized more than $2 million. Leading the auction was Joan Mitchell’s Untitled, 1989, which sold for $475,000. The work is a stunning example of her late career work and was created during her time in France, with her studio in Claude Monet’s backyard. Records were set by William T. Wiley’s Monument for Union Oil and Pacific Wild Life, which sold for $34,375, more than ten times its presale estimate, and Ree Morton’s Regional Piece, which realized $34,375, more than double its estimate. Auction records for works on paper were set by William Copley’s Some Like it Hot, which sold for $50,000 against a presale estimate of $6,000-$8,000; Karl Wirsum’s Untitled, which realized five times its presale estimate and sold for $15,000; and Ray Yoshida’s Untitled, which achieved $34,375 against a presale estimate of $6,000-$8,000.
The auction illustrated a continuing strong demand for artworks by the Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists, as well as abstract expressionist and minimalist works. Jim Nutt’s Did you Hear Something? sold for $181,250, surpassing its estimate of $100,000-$150,000. Other standout lots included Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Figure with Open Arms, which realized $75,000 against a presale estimate of $40,000-$60,000, and Bernard Frize’s Rimano, which sold for $81,250, more than double its estimate.
Property from the collection of Mavis Staples saw strong engagement, such as Ernie Barnes’ painting The Grape Vine, from 1966, which realized more than triple its presale estimate, setting a new auction record and selling for $75,000. Ernie Barnes’ Singer was another top performer from the collection and realized far more than its presale estimate, selling for $34,375.
The May 5 Prints and Multiples auction set eight global auction records and saw incredible engagement with Pop Art works, particularly with prints by Andy Warhol. Highlights included his Four Polo Players from 1985, which realized $137,500 against a presale estimate of $60,000-$80,000. The work was commissioned by Polo Magazine in 1985 for the 10th anniversary issue and illustrates his fascination with fame, celebrity, and repetition. Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup I: Cream of Mushroom from 1968 set a new record, selling for $50,000, more than double its presale estimate. Andy Warhol’s Mao portraits were also top performers, realizing $68,750 and $62,500, respectively.
Other highlights included Frank Stella’s complete Aluminum Series, which climbed past its presale estimate of $20,000-30,000 to achieve $75,000 and set a new auction record. Eager bidding also led to Ellsworth Kelly’s Yellow (Jaune), from Suite of Twenty-Seven Lithographs setting a record, exceeding its presale estimate of $6,000-$8,000 and achieving $25,000. Cy Twombly’s Natural History Part II: Some Trees of Italy surpassed its estimate and ultimately realized $62,500 against a presale estimate of $30,000-$50,000.
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