FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Modern and contemporary prints are in – way in. But it’s not just savvy art collectors who want them. So do interior designers, Hollywood set decorators, and new homeowners hoping to add items of quality to their décor without breaking the bank. A favorite source for all of these sorts of buyers is Quinn’s Auction Galleries in northern Virginia – specifically their sales of Modern and Contemporary Prints, the next of which takes place on Thursday, December 3rd. All bidding will be conducted remotely, either absentee, by phone, or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated lots in the sale are the 17 prints from Pablo Picasso’s (Spanish, 1881-1973) La Suite Vollard, published in Paris in 1933.
These hand-signed works include such depictions as The Sculptor’s Studio, The Blind Minotaur, and Marie-Therese agenouillee contemplant un groupe sculpte (Marie-Therese Kneeling, Studying a Sculpted Group), which is shown at the top of this page. The subject of the latter print is Marie-Therese Walter, a young woman who was Picasso’s muse and mistress from 1927 until around 1935, when the artist moved on to his next relationship, with photographer/painter Dora Maar. Each Vollard print is estimated at $2,000-$3,000, with the exception of “Marie-Therese…,” which is entered with a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.
In addition to the Vollard suite, the auction features several other Picasso prints. Guitare et Partition Sur Guéridon (Guitar and Partition on Pedestal) from the circa-1920 Dix Pochoir suite, Galerie Rosenberg, Paris, is printed in colors on Arches wove paper and measures 9 by 12 inches (sheet). It is pencil-signed and numbered 71/100 at lower right and lower left. The artwork will convey with 1996 paperwork from Meyerovich Gallery in San Francisco. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.
An excellent buying opportunity for collectors of mid-century art, Stanley William Hayter’s (British, 1901-1988) engraving/soft-ground etching Day and Night is titled, signed and dated in pencil. The 17½ by 23¾ inch (sight) print is editioned 22/50 and was published in 1952. One of four Hayter works in the sale, it is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.
A quintessential Alexander Calder (American, 1898-1976) work, Ballons Et Cerfs Volants (Balloons and Kites), is a lively lithograph in colors created by the contemporary master circa 1970. It is artist-signed and editioned XVI/XL in pencil. With Calder’s name on the minds of many since the recent $1.9 million auction price realized by one of his mid-century mobiles, this print’s $1,200-$1,600 estimate might seem quite appealing to collectors.
From the same decade, a Robert Indiana (Americana, 1928-2018) screenprint for the Hirshhorn Museum’s opening exhibition is artist-signed in pencil and editioned 68/100. Estimate: $800-$1,200
One of the largest pieces in the auction is Robert Longo’s Empire: The Brandenburg Gate, a striking 1981 silkscreen on paper. Editioned 39/46 and measuring 59½ by 39 inches, it comes to auction with an $800-$1,200 estimate. Even larger, Man of Peace, an 84¼ by 40½ inch (framed) woodcut created in 1952 by Leonard Baskin (American, 1922-2000), is pencil-signed and in very good condition. Like the Longo, its estimate is $800-$1,200.
For those display areas that might not require a sizable artwork, collectors may wish to consider one of nine other Baskin lots offered in the December 3 auction. Among those selections is the petite, pencil-signed etching titled Bearded Man Wearing a Hat. It measures 4½ by 3 1/8 inches (sight), is numbered 181/200 and estimated at $200-$300.
The auction features two sizable collections of contemporary art by Shepard Fairey (American, b. 1970-) and Shag (Josh Agle, American b. 1962-), respectively. Between Shag’s vivid colors and retro vibe, and Fairey’s monochromatic prints inspired by Russian propaganda posters, the two artists add an exciting pop-culture vibe to the sale. Shag’s 2016 original serigraph on paper titled Summer of 76 – Ramones is pencil-signed and editioned 106/250. Estimate: $200-$300. Fairey’s Obey Star Letterpress, an artist’s proof from an edition of 400 published on May 21, 2013, is artist-signed and estimated at $160-$260.
“This auction has styles and works that appeal to a variety of tastes, whether the buyer is a seasoned collector or new to art appreciation,” said Quinn’s Departmental Associate Jennifer Sweetapple. “Every day, more and more people are discovering prints as an excellent way to own art from the world’s greatest artists, both past and present, at a fraction of the cost of original paintings.”
Quinn’s Thursday, December 3, 2020 auction will start at 2 p.m. ET. There will be no in-person floor bidding. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.com. To request a condition report about any item in the auction, or to discuss consigning to a future Quinn’s auction, call Jennifer Sweetapple at 703-532-5632, ext. 573; or email email@example.com. Visit Quinn’s online at www.quinnsauction.com.