PHILADELPHIA — From Pablo Picasso to Ken Price, Sam Gilliam and Grace Hartigan, Freeman’s Wednesday, May 17 Modern and Contemporary Art auction brings the best of the 20th and 21st century to market. The 67-lot sale is led by Picasso’s Two-Handled Pitcher, a unique work from a private Philadelphia collection showcasing the best of Picasso’s experiments in ceramics and collaboration with Suzanne and Georges Ramie at the Madoura Pottery studio beginning in 1946. The pitcher carries an estimate of $300,000-$500,000. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
“Our upcoming sale presents quite a dynamic selection of painting, sculpture, ceramics, prints, and works on paper,” said Head of Sale Alasdair Nichol. “In particular, it’s an honor to offer Picasso’s Two-Handled Pitcher; it’s playful but complex, and we anticipate competitive interest and bidding.”
The May 17 Modern and Contemporary Art sale offers several significant contemporary canvases, both abstract and figurative. The sale’s painting selection is led by Sam Gilliam’s Untitled, a fresh-to-market work that showcases Gilliam’s distinctive painting methods. Its estimate is $200,000-$300,000.
Also featured are several figurative works, from Vu Cao Dam’s sweet mother-and-child portrait Serenite to Abdur Rahman Chughtai’s Nude Goddess and Grace Hartigan’s vibrant, dynamic Two Geishas. This last has an estimate of $50,000-$80,000. Works by Wolf Kahn, Bo Bartlett, Judith Rothschild and Louise Fishman round out the auction’s painting selection.
Modern and Contemporary Art also includes several sought-after sculptures, including Ken Price’s Ha, estimated at $80,000-$120,000, a striking biomorphic form that seems to reference the rolling waves of the California coastline where Price was raised. And there are also exceptional rediscovered works on paper, such as Salvador Dali’s Le Colosse de Rhodes, a study for the painting now housed in Switzerland’s Kunstmuseum Bern; and Alexander Calder’s exhilarating Loops, Petals & Orbs.
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