Rachel Davis Fine Arts auction Oct. 23 toasts Burchfield
Fresh to the market from two private collections, the Burchfields are indicative of the exceptionally high quality and the pristine provenance of the works on paper, paintings, and sculpture that will grace the podium of the Davis gallery this autumn. As is becoming a custom, the art world will again focus on Cleveland in late October not just for Burchfield, but also for important pieces by major 20th-century American artists, as well as old masters, 19th-century American and European, and Japanese.
Burchfield’s 1929 lyrically somber watercolor Threatening Clouds comes to the Davis auction from a family with direct documented connections to the artist. His later watercolor Lane Through September Woods from 1953 shows a sweetly euphoric experience of nature. Three drawings from 1916, the year Burchfield left Cleveland to study in New York City trace their provenance to Kennedy Gallery: Washington Square, Outside the New York Public Library, and Road by the Casino. Burchfield’s love of nature and his affinity for light, are it through oil, watercolor or graphite, are evident in his 1953 drawing, Elm Trees and Greenhouse.
By no means alone in expressing a distinctive, compelling view of nature, Burchfield is joined at the Davis auction by Gustave Baumann. The German-born American artist developed a singular style and technique, unmistakably identifiable, in his wood relief prints of the Southwest and West. Davis provides collectors and dealers an opportunity to acquire four exemplary prints by Baumann: Aspen Summer, Arroyo Chamice, Pine and Aspen, and Paola Verde and Octoea.
The figure, more so than the landscape, consumed the talents of the American artists Charles W. White, Elizabeth Catlett and Ed Dwight. Major works by these three artists, all coming from a local private collection, will sell on Oct 23. Compellingly expressive, Charles W. White’s large graphite on paper, Mother and Child, a 1976 drawing commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum, conveys the incredible draughtsmanship and compassion of this African American Social Realist. Virtuosity and sensitivity similarly characterize the work of Elizabeth Catlett, still working at the age of 95 in her adopted Mexico. The Davis auction includes Catlett’s lithograph Domestic Worker, from an edition of 15, the first done by Catlett for the Taller de Gratico Popular, in fact the first lithograph the she created in Mexico. Domestic Worker recently sold at auction for $15,600. Haunting in its, simplicity, Catlett’s bronze sculpture Glory shows her mastery of the medium. Less evocative, more specific in detail are the bronzes of one of the foremost African-American sculptors Ed Dwight: Buffalo Soldier, from 1981. Also included is a fine mixed media collage by the well-known Romare Bearden..
The major movements in American art of the second half of the 20th century are well-represented at auction. Foremost purveyor of Pop, Roy Lichtenstein shows his signature reliance on the comics in the 1965 silkscreen The Melody Haunts My Reverie and his homage to modern culinary arts in the 1964 silkscreen The Turkey Shopping Bag. Andy Warhol ‘s Pop scavenges celebrity in his iconic silkscreen Liz. Robert Motherwell’s 1975 Djarum brings lithography and collage to Abstract Expressionism. Phillip Pearlstein’s contemporary realism and his predilection for the female nude are seen in his Nude on an Afghan. The Op Art of England is well represented by Brian Rice’s The Death of Pop. England’s gift to California, David Hockney keeps on giving with his lithograph The Portrait of Man Ray, as does the legacy of the beloved Saul Steinberg with a lithograph from his Six Drawing Tables portfolio.
The breath of the Davis Oct. 23 Fine Arts Auction ranges from the old masters, such as an Albrecht Durer engraving Witch to the 18th century, with an etching from Piranesi’s Prison series, through the 19th and 20th century European works, by the likes of Seymour Hayden and Anders Zone and into the best of the 20th century American, culminating with the appropriation in miniature by Richard Pettibone, a tiny oil directly after Lichtenstein’s Cathedral.
In addition to the prints, drawings, watercolors and sculpture, the sale encompasses a large selection of European and American oils with a deaccession from a local arts institution, as well as an offering of the art of the Cleveland School.
Preview for the Davis October auction opens on Saturday, Oct. 16. Buyers have the opportunity to bid in person, by phone, by proxy or live on the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.
For further information visit the Web site www.racheldavisfinearts.com or call the gallery at 216-939-1190.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.