LOS ANGELES — John Moran Auctioneers will present major works by Judy Chicago, Marcos Grigorian, Rosangela Renno, Jenny Holzer and the Father of the Space and Light Movement, James Turrell, with his important work, Hologram #10, at its Autumn Modern & Contemporary Art Sale on Tuesday, November 1. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
For more than a half a century, James Turrell has worked directly with light and space to create artworks that engage viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception. Along with being an artist, Turrell is an avid pilot and considers the sky his studio, material and canvas. He is quoted as saying, “My work has no object, no image, and no focus. With no object, no image, and no focus, what are you looking at? You are looking at you looking. What is important to me is to create an experience of wordless thought.” The Turrell work on offer, Hologram #10, is part of his Hologram collection. It has an estimate of $150,000-$200,000, and was created using a glass construction displayed on the wall and a projector installed into the ceiling.
Moran’s November 1 sale will also feature the fresh-to-market 1973 work Transformation Painting by the feminist artist and educator Judy Chicago. This work represents a pivotal moment in her career — it marks the transition of her artistic practice away from the light and space movement and toward more socially conscious works, particularly in relation to gender and sexual identity. Chicago helped pioneer the feminist art movement in the 1960s and 70s and this is a strong example of artwork from that time. Transformation Painting is estimated at $80,000-$120,000.
Like Turrell, Doug Aitken is an American artist known for creating electrical works intended to elicit unexpected and profound responses from the viewer. His installations incorporate video, photography, sculpture and performance, highlighting a range of subjects. Appearing in this sale is his work titled FATE, estimated $70,000-$80,000. It consists of an LED light box with text overlaid onto the three-dimensional wall-mounted letters that read, “The handle comes up the hammer goes down.” — a reference to the auction market.
A bold and bright oil on wood panel, dubbed Turtle, comes from the abstract artist Josh Smith. The New York-based painter first became known in the early 2000s for a series of canvases demonstrating his experimentation with abstraction and figuration. He is now represented by the David Zwirner Gallery in New York, where this painting was part of a show displaying more than 100 similar works. Valued at $50,000-$70,000, Turtle is a choice example of his signature style.
Included in this sale are several works previously held in an important New York corporate collection, the same collection that contained the Alice Baber work that recently set a new world auction record for the artist at Moran. This more than 50-year-old collection features work by Robert Neuman, most notably the 1959 painting Ciudad de Corazones. Neuman was part of the second generation of abstract expressionists; in 1956, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and traveled to Barcelona, Spain, influencing a style shift from his Black Paintings to exploring the expressive nature of color. Ciudad de Corazones was part of this series. It has a $8,000-$12,000 estimate and measures 77 by 146in, making it the biggest Neuman painting to ever come to auction.
Rounding out the highlights is a piece by the French mixed-media artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, who uses materials such as wax, sulfur, and glass to explore ideas of material transformation. His 2016 glass sculpture, Collier Rose, carries an estimate of $18,000-$22,000 and was made to be suspended.
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