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Gertrude Abercrombie, ‘Untitled (Woman with Tethered Horse and Moon),’ $437,500

Gertrude Abercrombie painting sells for record $437K at Hindman

Gertrude Abercrombie, ‘Untitled (Woman with Tethered Horse and Moon),’ $437,500
Gertrude Abercrombie, ‘Untitled (Woman with Tethered Horse and Moon),’ $437,500

CHICAGO – Hindman set a new world auction record for Gertrude Abercrombie with the sale of her 1947 painting Untitled (Woman with Tethered Horse and Moon) for $437,500. As a leader in offering works by the artist dubbed the Queen of the Bohemians, the firm broke its own auction record for the artist of $387,500, which it set in February. Abercrombie was just one of many female artists who drove Hindman’s December 14 Post-War & Contemporary Auction to strong results. It realized more than $2.044 million overall, nearly doubling its total estimate.

Building on the spellbinding success of the single-owner Gertrude Abercrombie auction this September, a new auction record was set for the artist with the 1947 work Untitled (Woman with Tethered Horse and Moon) when it achieved $437,500 against an estimate of $80,000-$120,000.

This mysterious and evocative 23 by 28in oil on canvas featured several quintessential Abercrombie elements – a solitary woman, a barren landscape, a white horse and a crescent moon. While there are multiple interpretations of this work, it clearly illustrates a point in Abercrombie’s oeuvre in which she’d shifted to more somber landscapes, and when the white horse took on a different role than it had in past works. In this personal painting, the horse could be viewed as representing Abercrombie’s husband at a difficult time in their marriage.

Gladys Nilsson, ‘Subterrachial Bop Boop (Subterrainien Bop Boop),’ $75,000
Gladys Nilsson, ‘Subterrachial Bop Boop (Subterrainien Bop Boop),’ $75,000

“The feminine market wave was in full strength during the December 14 sale,” commented Director and Senior Specialist for Post-War & Contemporary Art Zack Wirsum. “From Surrealists to Minimalists, there was no shortage of enthusiasm for the dynamite works these women artists created.”

Dorothea Rockburne’s Locus portfolio, $46,875
Dorothea Rockburne’s Locus portfolio, $46,875

Fierce bidding for women artists continued throughout the auction with the sale of Hairy Who artist Gladys Nilsson’s vibrant Subterrachial Bop Boop (Subterrainien Bop Boop), which earned $75,000 compared to a $15,000-$25,000 estimate. Abstract and minimal works saw intense bidding activity, led by Dorothea Rockburne, Joan Snyder and Alice Baber. Rockburne’s Locus portfolio brought in $46,875, the highest result for this portfolio to date. Three works by Joan Snyder sold for a total of $140,625, more than doubling the group’s high estimate, and Baber’s watercolor Olympus doubled its estimate to realize $50,000.

Fernando Botero, ‘Ballerina,’ $300,000
Fernando Botero, ‘Ballerina,’ $300,000

Works by Toshiko Takazeu, Ursula Von Rydingvaard, Miya Ando, Eleanore Mikus, Amelia Pelaez, Sonya Clark, Sabine Finkenauer, Alexis Portilla, Katia Santibaneza and Gloria Ortiz-Hernandez were also highly sought-after.

Fernando Botero’s bronze Ballerina from the collection of Theodore H. and Sharon B. Pincus of Chicago was another highlight of the day, selling for $300,000. This beautiful work perfectly captures Botero’s distinctive style of volumetric, oversize shapes. In addition, Li Chen’s sculpture Landscape in Heaven sold for $68,750 against a $30,000-$50,000 estimate.

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