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.

Yosemite landscape painting attributed to Albert Bierstadt expected to make $50,000-$100,000

“With only about 150 lots, this is a tight sale,” said Edwin Bailey, Blackwell’s owner. “There’s a little something for everyone, but there’s really no chaff, no filler. We found ourselves inundated with dozens of great pieces, so we decided that instead of dropping a few of them here and there into our estate auctions, we’d hold an art-only event of consistently high quality across the board.”

Jeff Koon’s Balloon Venus (shown at top of page), a sculpture commissioned by Dom Perignon comes complete, perfect and untouched in its own custom protective case. Its auction estimate is $45,000-$60,000.

Albert Bierstadt (American, 1830-1902), Yosemite landscape, oil on canvas, circa 1890. Est. $50,000-$100,000

A Yosemite oil painting attributed to Albert Bierstadt headlines the sale’s non-contemporary offerings, estimate $50,000-$100,000, along with works by Lilla Cabot Perry, Raphael Soyer, Diego Rivera, and a trove of paintings by French Social Realist painter Pierre Villain, whose entire body of work from the 1930s has remained within his family until only the last decade.

Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989), Hyacinth, one of three large, signed photogravures by the artist included in the sale. Est. $20,000-$30,000

A group of highly desirable photogravures and lithographs – until recently on long-term loan to St. Petersburg’s Museum of Fine Art (from the collection of Iris and E. Stan Salzer) – includes three large, signed works by Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as pieces by Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Robert Rauschenberg, Vik Muniz, Philip Pearlstein, Roxy Paine and many other important contemporary artists. Most of the Salzer collection came from the University of South Florida’s famed Graphicstudio, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

James Bodrero, one of four original Disney Fantasia concept art sketches, circa 1940. Est. $3,000-$4,500

Four original James Bodrero concept drawings from Disney’s classic Fantasia, circa 1940, depict scenes proposed for the epic animated feature’s “Pastoral Symphony” segment.

French religious ivory relief carvings, including a 14th-century diptych panel depicting the Crucifixion; and several 17th-century panels, were held in a family collection for more than 10 generations. (Note: Bidding on these items will not be available through LiveAuctioneers, and items may only be shipped to destinations permitted by law.) Blackwell unconditionally and perpetually warrants their authenticity and age.

“The sale of ivory is, at present, a contentious issue,” Bailey said, “and I hold firmly to the belief that the poaching of elephants is unconscionable and utterly immoral. But I am also of the opinion that art that was created centuries ago from elephant ivory has no correlation to today’s illegal trafficking. The current, precious elephant population must be protected, and we will never sell any piece of ivory whose age and legality are suspect.”

Man Ray (American, 1890-1976), La Decoration Des Corps Rationnels, original watercolor painting of erotic theme, 1933. Est. $4,000-$8,000

Works by Man Ray, Peter Max, Alexander Calder, Ed Ruscha, John Zang, Sam Newton, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Joseph DeCamp, Paul Strisik, Linda Le Kinff, Carlo Canevari, Erte, Richard Tuttle, Ringo Starr and many others round out the October 13 art sale.

Summertime in Florida – which stretches far beyond the traditional three months – is typically regarded by auction-goers as the “off-season.” Many auction houses close down during those months of scorching heat and instead spend the time accumulating inventory in anticipation of the snowbirds’ return from the north and east.

Pierre Villain (French, 1880-1950), oil-on-canvas of a young couple, signed, 20 x 24in. One of 19 lots of 1930s social realism paintings in the auction. Est. $200-$400

“We decided that even though the ‘season’ hasn’t officially started, it wouldn’t really matter to our customers who flee the Florida heat. With phone, web and mobile options available, location is taken right out of the equation.”

Jim Dine (American, b. 1935-), ‘Hand Painting on the Mandala,’ 1986, etching, 48/60. Est. $5,000-$10,000

Auction start time is 12 noon Eastern Time. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers. Note: Blackwell Auctions has its own professional in-house shipping department and can dispatch merchandise worldwide (unless goods are restricted).

For additional information on any auction item, call Blackwell Auctions at 727-546-0200 or email info@blackwellauctions.com. Online: www.blackwellauctions.com.