13-foot M.C. Escher print could top $100K at Clars Sept. 15

The highlight of the print category will be M.C. Escher’s ‘Metamorphosis II,’ a 13-foot-long framed work shown here in segments. Estimate: $80,000-$100,000. Clars image

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery will present an exceptional selection of fine art from several renowned American and international artists at their Sept. 15 sale of Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry and Asian Art. The important fine art will be complemented with investment level property spanning all the categories. The property to be offered at this sale comes from prominent California estates as well as museums, private institutions and special collections. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

The highlight of the print category and one of five works by M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972) to be offered and is his most ambitious project, Metamorphosis II, 1939/1940, (above). This 13-foot woodblock print is an elaboration of his work Metamorphosis I from 1937. From November 1939 to March 1940 Escher worked on the 13-foot-long woodcut Metamorphosis II, a high point of his work in the graphic medium. Upon his return to Holland from Belgium in 1939, Escher created a series of motifs for regular division of the plane to form a continuous pictorial story through metamorphosis and a few associations of ideas, ending in a memory of Italy (the view of Atrani) and one of Chateau-d’Oex (the chessboard), and finally in a pattern identical to that at the start of the print, thus suggesting a complete cycle. The work is a greater expansion in the concept of tessellated patterns working to become an altogether different pattern, which Escher explored in Metamorphosis I. This second iteration of the metamorphosis tessellation concept was printed only upon request due to the technical challenge of printing a woodcut in colors on japon paper so large, with so many colors. Therefore, the precise edition size is unknown. This extremely rare-to-auction print should soar at an estimate of $80,000-$100,000.

Among the other highlights will be Two paintings: Green Lamp, from Paintings Series, 1984, (below) a woodcut, lithograph, screenprint and collage in colors by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997). This work is pencil-signed and dated lower right, and will be offered for $30,000-$40,000.

‘Two paintings: Green Lamp, from Paintings Series,’ 1984, a woodcut, lithograph, screenprint and collage in colors by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997) will be offered for $30,000-$40,000. Clars image

Clars will also offer a spectacular piece by renowned Austrian artist, Gottfried Helnwein (b. 1948). The large oil and acrylic on canvas, Untitled, (Nightmares of a Sleeping Child), 2005, was included in a 2005/2006 exhibition at the Modernism Gallery in San Francisco. It displays the quintessential message of Helnwein’s work, the disturbed child. Combining elements of hyperrealism and disrupted innocence, Helnwein comments on the taboo and society’s construction of the childhood fantasy. This Helnwein painting will be offered for $40,000-$60,000.

From Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein. (b. 1948) will be this large oil and acrylic on canvas, ‘Untitled, (Nightmares of a Sleeping Child),’ 2005, estimated at $40,000-$60,000. Clars image

Two impressive Old Masters will be offered at this sale. The first, titled Enthroned Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels (below) by Arezzo School/Circle of Neri di Bicci (Italian, 1419-1491), is an oil and tempera on wood panels. Neri di Bicci was the third and last in line of the thriving Bicci family workshop. Although in his early work his style was virtually indistinguishable from that of the workshop, by the late 1440s Neri began to achieve an autonomy of form that lead to his simple and clearly identifiable style. This important work will be offered for $50,000-$70,000.

‘Enthroned Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels’ by Arezzo School/Circle of Neri di Bicci (Italian, 1419-1491) will be offered for $50,000-$70,000. Clars image

The second old master to be presented will be Landscape with Figures, Birds and Church, an oil on panel by the Circle of Jan Brueghel the Elder (Flemish, 1568-1625). This painting bears the signature “J. Bruegel” on the lower center panel. A flower painter and landscape artist, Jan Brueghel the Elder worked from nature and was called “Velvet Brueghel” for his skill at painting rich and delicate textures.  This work by J. Bruegel will be offered for $20,000-$40,000.

A pencil on paper by Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978) will be the highlight of the American offerings. Untitled (Study for “Saturday Evening Post,” cover: Dec. 6, 1924) is a wonderful winter/Christmas scene done in his iconic signature style. This important work of art and history will be offered for $50,000-$70,000.

The impressive decorative arts and furnishings offering in this category will literally span thousands of years, from ancient B.C. Egypt to important mid-century modern design. The historic journey-through-auction begins with a 26th dynasty (500 B.C.) Egyptian bastet that carries an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

Flash forward to the 20th century for an important selection of Tiffany Studios items including a Tiffany Studios patinated bronze and leaded glass Acorn table lamp that is expected to bring $7,000-$10,000. A collection of highly desirable art pottery will be offered from Newcomb College and Teco.

This sale will present a solid selection of Mid-Century Modern Design including a John Dickinson whitewashed chest (below) estimated at $6,000-$9,000 and a Paul Evans for Directional PE 17 sculptured bronze wall shelf. Also included is an Erwin and Estelle Laverne lacquered fiberglass and enameled steel Tulip chair, a Roger Sprunger for Dunbar rosewood desk, George Nakashima for Widdicomb side tables, Finn Juhl for Baker side chairs and Edward Wormley for Dunbar lounge chairs.

This John Dickinson whitewashed chest, circa 1970, is estimated at $6,000-9,000. Clars image

Rounding out the 20th century offerings will be a French E. Goyard steamer trunk, circa 1900, estimated at $6,000-9,000.

Spectacular estate and fine jewelry will round out this important sale. A 21.39-carat (AGL), diamond and platinum ring will lead this category with an estimate of $25,000-$30,000.

Clars’ Fine Art, Decorative Art, Furniture, Jewelry and Asian Art Auction will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 -15. The sales will begin at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time/12:30 p.m. Eastern both days.

For more information contact Clars Auction Gallery at info@clars.com.