CHICAGO – Avocado Salad and Blueberry Pie are on the menu at Hindman’s Thursday, September 28 auction of Post War & Contemporary Art. The 116-lot sale includes these two classic Pop Art works by Wayne Thiebaud and Claes Oldenberg that have been consigned from the estate of Kansas City collectors Morton and Estelle Sosland. Bidding is available via LiveAuctioneers.
Morton Sosland (1925-2019) had a long and successful career in foodstuffs, so it’s fitting the sale includes two depictions of American culinary favorites.
Wayne Thiebaud’s still life of an avocado salad from 1962 was acquired by the Soslands from the Allan Stone Galleries in New York in or around 1968. Typical of the artist’s colorful output that focused on the commonplace objects found in America’s diners and cafeterias, it is estimated at $1.2 million-$1.8 million.
Estelle Sosland was the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s first woman trustee. The couple donated one of the nation’s finest private collections of American Indian art to the museum and in 1994 commissioned Shuttlecocks, the sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen that graces the Nelson-Atkins’s lawn and became its logo.
The husband-and-wife artists were the creators of a much smaller cast aluminum and painted acrylic sculpture titled Blueberry Pie a la Mode, Flying, Scale B. Number 3 from a 1998 edition of 3, it was bought from the Grant Selwyn Fine Art gallery in New York the following year, and it is estimated at $150,000-$250,000.
Hindman is gaining fame for selling the works of local artist Gertrude Abercrombie (1909-1977), and there are two in the sale.
Estimated at $100,000-$150,000 is the 1941 oil on canvas titled John Carradine remembered from Man Hunt.
An unusual subject in Abercrombie’s oeuvre – but typical of her mature style – the picture displays the artist’s admiration for the actor John Carradine and a 1941 film which took an overt anti-Nazi position prior to the United States’ involvement in the Second World War. The painting was a gift from the artist and came to the present owner in 1974.
Dubbed “the Queen of the Bohemians” in a Chicago social circle that included the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker, Abercrombie was at her most prolific and productive in the 1940s and the early ’50s before alcoholism and arthritis took hold.
A later work from 1960 is the oil-on-Masonite Lady with Black Braid. It, too, comes to auction for the first time, having been bought by the owner’s family from the Devorah Sherman Gallery in Chicago in 1961. It is estimated at $60,000-$80,000.