NEW YORK – Capsule Auctions will present a sale of American and European Art on Thursday, October 27 beginning at 11 am Eastern time. It will include a range of subjects, from charming landscapes to classical renderings of the human form, surveying centuries of traditional Western art. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Likely to land among the top lots is Danseuses (Dancers), an exuberant pastel on paper by Pierre Bonnard that pushes the boundaries of figural art almost into abstraction. It carries an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.
The sale also features a study by Gustav Klimt for his major unfinished painting, The Bride. Much like the eventual painting, the drawing, estimated at $75,000-$100,000, reveals multitudes about the artist’s methods of working. Untainted by the pure and radiant color that populates this and many of Klimt’s other later works, the graphite drawing is intensely intimate. Unlike other studies of this painting, which feature undulating lines that give its forms the appearance of slowly disintegrating into the paper, the pencil strokes here are definite, bordering on sculptural. The ultimate flatness of the painted bride is absent here. Drawn in this way, she has weight, sharpness, presence.
Work by New York icon Al Hirschfeld will also make an appearance. Though many would classify Hirschfeld as a caricaturist, the legendary artist looked at his craft slightly differently. He tended to tweak the word a bit, describing himself instead as a characterist. When viewing his work, including the prints and drawings coming up for auction at Capsule this month, it’s not difficult to see why. Several Hirschfeld works in the October 27 sale come from the collection of actor Charles Durning, led by a rendering of him as Big Daddy from the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Its estimate is $1,000-$2,000.
Also included are a variety of sketches by Joe Eula, whom Andy Warhol once called “the most important person in New York.” While the fashion illustrator certainly boasted impressive social laurels – he called Coco Chanel a close friend – it was his work that earned him such an enduring reputation. Capsule’s October 27 sale showcases a number of examples of Eula’s artistic prowess, among them a 1988 portrait of Hubert de Givenchy and a woman friend, estimated at $700-$1,000.
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