MONROVIA, Calif. – John Moran’s Winter Modern & Contemporary auction will take place on Tuesday, March 1. It features fewer than 50 lots, but in this case, less is more. The lineup includes solid names such as Lita Albuquerque, Charles Arnoldi and Channa Horwitz, and also a selection of prints and multiples from artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Vija Celmins. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Conceptual artist Shen Shaomin (Chinese/Australian, b. 1950-) created an oil-on-linen series entitled Handle with Care, each depicting famous paintings shrouded in bubble wrap. Most of the paintings in the series are derived from works by Andy Warhol, as with the one on offer, Handle with Care No. 19, featuring Marilyn Monroe. The photorealist paintings are adorned at the edges with Trojans Art-branded packaging tape, one of the leading fine art packing and shipping companies in China. When originally exhibited in 2015, the pieces were strategically placed on the floor and leaned against the wall as if installation had not yet taken place. Handle with Care No. 19 is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.
Los Angeles artist Channa Horwitz (American, 1932-2013) had a steadfast and logical approach to art-making. Even though her work is often compared to other minimalist artists such as Sol LeWitt and Frank Stella, it wasn’t until much later in life that she started to see the type of recognition her male counterparts enjoyed. Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight once described Horwitz’s work as “patterned Minimalist drawings that breathe, pulsate and visually warp in most un-Minimalist ways.” Her 1987 piece 4/7-4/6 -, moire is composed of casein and gold leaf on mylar and has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.
Also hailing from Los Angeles is installation and environmental artist Lita Albuquerque (American, b. 1946-). Born in Santa Monica, the artist spent her formative years in Tunisia and Paris, giving her an outlook that is all her own. Albuquerque tackles huge concepts such as time and space and translates them into ephemeral works of art that often utilize pure pigment. Untitled or Auric field or Lunar Flash, a sculptural painting comprised of gold leaf and blue pigment on panel, carries an estimate of $30,000-$50,000.
Among the works on paper are two lithographs, one by Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923-1997) and another by Vija Celmins (Latvian/American, b. 1938-) that are sure to steal the spotlight. Celmins’ 1971 lithograph on paper, Desert, is estimated at $30,000-$50,000, while Lichtenstein’s 1984 Dagwood lithograph on Arches 88 paper has a $40,000-$50,000 estimate.
Three-dimensional artworks within the sale are led by sculptor Gwynn Murrill’s (b. 1942-) 1994 bronze titled Cougar. It measures less than one foot in length, allowing buyers the opportunity to interact on a more intimate level with work made by the Michigan native. The little big cat has an estimate of $1,000-$2,000.
The title for most impressive bronze may go to Antonio Grediaga Kieff (Canada and Spain, b. 1936-) for Jerga, which was made around 1974. The well-traveled artist has exhibited work all over the world, including Tel Aviv, Taipei and Havana. The word “jerga” translates to “jargon” in Spanish; the bronze Jerga is estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
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