NEW YORK – Capsule Auctions will present Mostly Modern, a 62-lot sale of modern, post-war, and contemporary art on May 27, starting at 1 pm Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Leading the lots is a canvas by Irene Rice Pereira, an American abstract artist, poet, and philosopher whose work was key to the development of the Modernist movement in the United States, particularly mid-century Abstract Expressionism. Contrary to the formal elements of the movement, Pereira rejected the flattening of picture plane; instead she attempted a deeper connection between art and audience. Her geometric shapes are contained within the canvas, coexisting in between one another across seemingly infinite planes in the fore-, middle-, and backgrounds. Untitled (Squares) is a strong example of her oeuvre. It is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.
Elite furniture on offer include a bronze Panther table by Judy Kensley McKie, a leading figure in the American studio furniture movement. Her work and career exist contemporaneously with other master craftspeople of the 20th century, including Wharton Esherick, Sam Maloof, George Nakashima, and Wendell Castle.
The daughter of two graphic artists, McKie learned woodworking from her father as a child. After attending the Rhode Island School of Design to train in the graphic arts, McKie was still intrigued with furniture production and independently honed her skills in carving and design.
Over time, McKie developed a highly personalized and signature style deeply influenced by her fascination with Pre-Columbian, African, Inuit, and Native American visual cultures. Each of her works wonderfully exhibits an imagination that blurs the expected norms of form and function.
After more than 20 years of working in wood, McKie began casting in bronze, describing this material transition, “I can do things in metal I couldn’t do in wood. Metal gives a sense of permanence and age.”
The Jaguar table offered in the auction beautifully displays McKie’s talent for combining whimsy with superb craftsmanship. Jaguars are normally a fearsome beast in nature, but in McKie’s unique interpretation, they assume a curvilinear graphic quality that is both elegant and balanced. The Panther table is estimated at $20,000-$30,000.
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