Hans Hofmann painting could top $500K at Heritage Auctions, May 24

Hans Hoffmann

Hans Hofmann’s ‘Holocaust,’ 1953. Estimate: $300,000-$500,000. Heritage Auctions image

DALLAS – One of the most fascinating and emotionally charged paintings by famed Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann could sell for as much as $500,000 or more in Heritage Auctions’ Modern & Contemporary Art Auction on Thursday, May 24, in Beverly Hills, California. Hans Hofmann’s Holocaust, 1953 (est. $300,000-$500,000) is expected to be the top lot in the auction, which features 125 lots, several of which could yield six-figure returns. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

“Hans Hofmann is an iconic Abstract Expressionist artist, and to see such a brilliant and uncommon work from the 1950s is thrilling,” said Heritage Auctions American Art Director Aviva Lehmann. “Here, we see Hofmann paint from his historical memory something that words would always fail — struggle, destruction and then ultimately rebirth, following World War II. He does so through pure abstraction, with a churning, circular energy and thick, vibrant brushwork in a way that only Hofmann can. The result is this perfect encapsulation of color, play and movement that one comes to associate with the greatest examples of Abstract Impressionism.”

Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup Box (Onion Mushroom), 1986 (est. $150,000-$250,000) was painted nearly a quarter of a century after the legendary American pop artist first adopted the popular soup in his art in 1962. It represented a step in the evolution of popular art, acknowledging society’s growing consumerism and reflecting Warhol’s ability to spotlight otherwise ordinary parts of people’s daily lives. This synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas image is stamped twice with the artist’s signature, dated and inscribed “Certified /  A1090.6 / © 1986 Andy Warhol” on the reverse.

Hans Hoffmann

Andy Warhol ‘Campbell’s Soup Box’ (Onion Mushroom), 1986. Estimate: $150,000-$250,000. Heritage Auctions image

Fernando Botero’s Seated Man, 2000 (est. $100,000-$150,000) is one of the artist’s paintings that strays from his pattern of focusing on families or couples. In paintings like this one, when he opted instead to paint a single figure, the person shown often is pensive and a little awkward, and often is holding a cigarette. Botero often paints with elements of contradiction: While his subjects are stiffly posed, staring out at the viewer, the subject in Seated Man is looking casually at something other than the painter, his drab suit offering a distinct contrast from the bright colors around him. The painting is signed and dated “Botero 00” in the lower left corner.

Hans Hoffmann

Fernando Botero’s ‘Seated Man,’ 2000. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. Heritage Auctions image

Günther Uecker Poesie der Destruktion, 1984 (est. $100,000-$150,000) is invested in rationalizing the opposing forces of creative beauty and destruction. While many of the artist’s works are carefully composed – in this case, rows of nails are arranged to convey optical effects. This work offers the deceptive appearance of randomness because of the nails that partially shield the ground of orange and black streaks of oil paint interspersed with passages of raw canvas. It is signed, titled and dated: “Poise der Destruktion / 84 / Uecker” on the reverse.

Hans Hoffmann

Günther Uecker ‘Poesie der Destruktion,’ 1984. Estimate: $100,000-$150,000. Heritage Auctions image

Other top lots in the auction include:

– Keith Haring, Untitled, 1984: est. $80,000-120,000.

– Tom Blackwell, Sunday in New York, 1986: est. $80,000-120,000.

– Jeff Koons, Ice Bucket, 1986: est. $80,000-120,000.

– Alex Katz, Red Robins (four panels), 1977: est. $60,000-80,000.

– Mary Corse, Untitled from the Grey Light Grid series, 1988: $30,000-50,000.

– Donald Judd, Untitled, 1986: est. $25,000-35,000.

– David Hockney, Fredda Bringing Ann and Me a Cup of Tea, 1983: est. $15,000-20,000.

– Hans Hofmann, Landscape No. 130, 1934: est. $50,000-70,000.

– Friedel Dzubas Desert Heart, 1976: est. $40,000-60,000.

– Paul Jenkins, Phenomena East Encounter, 1974: est. $20,000-30,000.

– Francisco Zúñiga, La calera (The Lime Seller), 1977: $20,000-30,000.

– George Rickey, Two Folded Rectangles Eccentric Gyratory, 1978-90: est. $15,000-25,000.