Picasso pitcher, Singer painting stand out at Gray’s March 28

Clyde J. Singer (1908-1999) ‘Art Exhibit, January 1963,’ casein on board. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000. Gray’s Auctioneers image

CLEVELAND – A striking Clyde Singer painting titled Art Exhibit, dated 1963, opens Gray’s March 28 auction, a sale that also features works by Picasso and Miro as well as fine jewelry. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Born in Malvern, Ohio,  Singer became known for his regionalist paintings in oil and watercolor of people at carnivals, standing in bars, on windy street corners, celebrating holidays, or looking at pictures in a gallery.

Continuing with artists from northeast Ohio, lot 2 is Viktor Schreckengost’s Winter Night, a watercolor cityscape in rich deep green and blue hues that defy the medium (below). In addition to being a gifted painter, Schrekengost found great success as an industrial designer and ceramicist, contributing designs to everything from decorative vases and bicycle seats to wartime prosthetics for wounded soldiers and early prototypes for radar feedback. As a professor of industrial design at the Cleveland Institute of Art for more than 50 years, his influence on further generations of artists and designers in Ohio was incalculable.

Viktor Schreckengost (1906-2008) ‘Winter Night,’ watercolor. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000. Gray’s Auctioneers image

Lot 14 is a portfolio by German-born photographer Abe Frajndlich, titled Homage to Yukio Mishima. Now based in Cleveland, Frajndlich has received global acclaim throughout his career as a portrait photographer with a uniquely artful sense of composition, using surreal motifs and juxtaposition to illuminate the internal nature of his subjects. Homage to Yukio Mishima finds Frajndlich interpreting the work of the celebrated and controversial Japanese author, particularly his contributions to the Noh theater tradition. In the portfolio of 12 silver gelatin prints, Frajndlich recontextualizes Noh motifs like facelessness, transformation and emphatic movement through stark black and white images with a brutally evocative eeriness.

Some of Picasso’s most endearing and sought-after works are his playful ceramics. Lot 22 at Gray’s Auctioneers on March 28 is a Pichet Têtea small pitcher embellished with contrasting black and white heads, from an edition of 500 dated 1956.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) ‘Pichet Tetes,’ 1956, white earthenware clay, oxidized paraffin decoration, white enamel. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Gray’s Auctioneers image

 Joan Miro’s black and white lithograph Maravillas Acrosticas is lot 15 in the auction. This lithograph is signed in pencil and numbered 14 from an edition of 15. The Spanish artist’s innovative use of line, organic shapes, and color represents a major contribution to Surrealism.

Rounding out the visual art are two more pieces of particular note. Lot 90 contains North Carolina, a gorgeous depiction of deer roaming the untamed countryside as captured by 19th-century Dutch landscape painter William Anthony Frerichs. Contained in lot 5 is Excavating, a brilliant watercolor by yet another northeast Ohio native, Emma Yarlekovich. The painting is a dazzling pastel rendition of a balcony sitting above a bustling urban scene.

Also included in this month’s auction is a wide variety of fine jewelry, including an abundance of jade pieces, including the beautiful set of 18K yellow gold, diamond and lavender jade earrings with matching ring contained in lot 145.

An 18K yellow gold, diamond and lavender jade ring with matching earrings. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000. Gray’s Auctioneers image

Lot 114 contains one of the most precious items in the auction, an antique 14K yellow gold and platinum diamond ring, inlaid with one larger round older brilliant cut diamond encircled by 11 smaller diamonds. Also included in the auction is lot 138: an 18K yellow gold, pearl and diamond ring, set with a cultured pearl surrounded by 46 round and square cut diamonds, as well as many other lovely items in 18K and 14K gold.

Also included is a full service of Gorham sterling silver tableware in lot 249, as well as a number of other fascinating curiosities like the two antique maps by 17th-century French cartographer Nicolas Sanson contained in lots 92 and 93.

Gorham sterling silver flatware service, 20th century. Estimate: $800-$1,200. Gray’s Auctioneers image

Finally, this month’s auction contains a variety of furniture and decorative items, including lot 278, a sleek and elegant metal and slate console table wrought by Eric St. Regis.