RENTON, Wash. – An Andy Warhol original 1965 acrylic and screenprint on canvas titled Flowers as well as vibrant original artworks by Alden Mason, Morris Graves, Dale Chihuly, Z. Z. Wei and Kenjiro Nomura will appear in an online-only Modernism: Art and Object sale scheduled for Thursday, September 29 at MBA Seattle Auction House. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Warhol’s Flowers is the undisputed headliner of the auction, with a robust but appropriate estimate of $200,000-$400,000. The work, in excellent original condition, is signed and dated on the verso overlap and notated “Andy Warhol / 65 Billy” on the verso (with “Billy” believed to be Warhol’s boyfriend at the time, Billy Name).
Flowers was originally purchased from Gordon Locksley of the Locksley/Shea Gallery in Minneapolis for $250. The buyer was Dr. Herbert W. Johnson of St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Walker also purchased 10 of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can screenprints for $675 that he later donated to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 1993. Flowers, however, has remained in the family.
The painting was kept at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Johnson until their death in 2008. It was then transferred to a daughter, who held it until 2017, when it went to another family member who is serving as the family’s consignor for the auction. A 1970s color photograph of a family member sitting at a piano with one of the soup can prints behind them is being included to support the provenance.
A museum-quality oil on canvas abstract painting by Alden Mason (American, 1919-2013), titled Orange Goofer and belonging to the artist’s coveted Burpee Garden Series, has an estimate of $50,000-$70,000. The signed and titled work features an array of eye-dazzling colors and is in excellent original condition.
Lots 30-32 are tondo, aka circular, tempera on paper mystic bird compositions by Morris Graves (American, 1910-2001). All three date from 1979, are signed, and have an image area of 13 by 13in. Individually, each is estimated at $20,000-$30,000. Their titles are Hen Blue Jay with Pomegranate, Young Blue Jay with Persimmon and Cock Blue Jay Wrecking an Apple.
A large and impressive 1995 deep blue seaform blown glass creation by Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941-), titled Ultramarine Blue Seaform with Red Orange Lip Wrap, is estimated at $6,000-$9,000. The work is signed and dated on the bottom and accompanied by a copy of the original receipt from Chihuly Studio.
Lots 44 and 45 are original paintings by Kenjiro Nomura (American, 1896-1956), both of which were featured in a recently-published book on the artist. One is a gouache on cardboard from 1952 titled City Lights, estimated at $5,000-$7,000. The museum-quality Mark Tobey-esque white writing abstraction is unsigned but verified by Nomura’s son.
The other is an oil on Masonite, also, from 1952, titled Fish Market, a scarce Northwest Seafood still life abstraction with price tags in the style of those used at the Pike Place Market. Its estimate is $3,000-$5,000.
A dreamy landscape composition by Z. Z. Wei (Chinese and American, b. 1957-), titled Favorite Drive, carries an estimate of $5,000-$7,000 and is in excellent condition. Wei was born in Beijing, China but has been living in Washington state since moving there in 1989.
To inquire about consigning a single piece, an estate or collection to MBA Seattle Auction House, call 425-235-6345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about MBA Seattle Auction House, please visit www.MBAauction.com.
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