Palm Beach Modern’s May 25 auction brimming with blue-chip collections

PALM BEACH, Fla. – By no coincidence, many of the names found on 20th-century art collectors’ “most wanted” lists also happen to appear on Palm Beach Modern’s auction roster for Saturday, May 25. Most of the artworks to be auctioned are from prestigious private, institutional or gallery collections and reflect a high level of connoisseurship. Additionally, the 532-lot offering of modern art and design features private collections of designer furniture, a world traveler’s collection of fine and decorative arts; and monumental Larry Mohr outdoor sculptures from a South Florida corporate collection.

Featured: Franz Kline abstract painting, Fabricius & Kastholm ‘Grasshopper’ chairs, artworks by Le Pho, Hockney, Katz, Stella, Peter Alexander, other notables

The timeless chic of mid-century modern furniture sets the tone for the sale. Ten lots of desirable Knoll furniture come directly from a collector who purchased most of the pieces directly from the manufacturer’s Manhattan showroom. The furnishings were chosen expressly for the consignor’s homes in Palm Beach, Fla., and Easthampton, N.Y. Highlights include two designs by Florence Knoll: a loveseat/sofa, $500-$800; and a pair of Model 51 “Parallel Bar” lounge chairs in a cool vanilla hue, $1,000-$2,000.

Pair of Fabricius & Kastholm (German/Danish) mid-century ‘Grasshopper’ chaise lounges, leather and canvas on chrome-plated steel frames. Est. $10,000-$20,000

Creating an authentic mid-century living room is not difficult when furniture choices include classic chairs and “Tulip” tables by Eero Saarinen for Knoll, or a stellar pair of Fabricius & Kastholm (German/Danish) “Grasshopper chaise lounges, estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

A beautiful selection of coffee tables includes a “Barcelona” table by Mies van der Rohe for Knoll, and a rare and striking 1972 Paul Evans design for Directional, $5,000-$8,000.

Rare Paul Evans for Directional bronzed resin over steel coffee table with glass top, signed, 1972. Est. $5,000-$8,000

A handsome Sol Lewitt glass-topped “grid” table, as shown in the reference Sol Lewitt: A Retrospective, is estimated at $8,000-$12,000.

Sol Lewitt (American, 1928-2007), wood, glass and metal coffee table; same model as depicted in ‘Sol Lewitt: A Retrospective.’ Est. $8,000-$12,000

From a private Florida collection, A Gio Ponti for Singer & Sons walnut, brass and glass table is referenced in Laura Falconi’s book about the revered Italian designer and is expected to make $10,000-$15,000.

Franz Kline (American, 1910-1962), Abstract Expressionist oil-on-paper, 26.5 by 23.5in (framed), extensive documentation of provenance, including accession and deaccession by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Est. $50,000-$80,000

Leading the fine art category is an important Franz Kline (American, 1910-1962) Abstract Expressionist oil-on-paper, artist-signed and measuring 26.5 by 23.5 inches (framed). It is accompanied by an extensive archive of documents pertaining to its prior ownership, including papers relating to accession and deaccession of the work by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The pre-sale estimate is $50,000-$80,000.

Alex Katz (American, b. 1927-), ‘Large Head of Vincent,’ signed, color sugarlift aquatint on paper, ed. 49/50. Est. $3,000-$5,000

Ten early and noteworthy Alex Katz (American, b. 1927-) prints from smaller editions have been consigned by renowned gallerist and print publisher Brooke Alexander. Large Head of Vincent, a signed color sugarlift aquatint on paper, ed. 49/50, is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

Peter Alexander (American, b. 1939-), abstract encaustic painting on Rives paper (Blue), 19.75 x 22in, signed, 1970. Provenance: Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York. Est. $10,000-$15,000

Also from the Brooke Alexander Gallery, two significant 1970 Peter Alexander (American, b. 1939-) abstract encaustic paintings, titled Yellow and Blue, respectively, carry individual estimates of $10,000-$15,000.

One of the most admired of all British contemporary artists, David Hockney (b. 1937), is represented in the sale with Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink, from his “Paper Pools” series. The 1980 signed work, number 66 from an edition of 1,000, is entered with an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.

David Hockney (British, b. 1937-), ‘Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink’ from the ‘Paper Pools’ series, signed, ed. 66/1000, 1980, 16.5 x 14.75in (framed). Est. $8,000-$12,000

Color, size and fantasy combine forces in Frank Stella’s (American, b. 1936-) The Candles (Stapling Down and Cutting Up VII). The 1992 collage, lithograph and screenprint on paper has an Irving Galleries, Palm Beach label on verso and is accompanied by the original receipt and appraisal. Measuring 59 by 49.75 inches (framed), it comes to auction with an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936-), ‘The Candles (Stapling Down and Cutting Up VII,’ collage, lithograph and screenprint on paper, signed, ed. 34/65, 1992. Est. $8,000-$12,000

A sensitive oil-on-canvas portrayal of a mother and child in a verdant setting is the unmistakable work of Le Pho (Vietnamese/French, 1907-2001). Measuring 27.25 x 32in (framed), the painting was held in a private collection since 2005 and is estimated at $20,000-$40,000.

Le Pho (Vietnamese/French, 1907-2001), oil-on-canvas painting, 27.25 x 32in (framed). Est. $20,000-$40,000

Larry Mohr (American, 1921-2013) was an accomplished sculptor known for his large-scale bronze and aluminum artworks composed of welded and bolted I-beams. Three of his finest outdoor sculptures were gifted by the artist to MorseLife Health System of West Palm Beach. Proceeds from the sale of these works, whose estimates range from $3,000 to $8,000, will benefit MorseLife, whose residential facilities and programs enhance the lives of seniors in the community.

Other special highlights in the auction include art dealer Donna Schneier’s enviable collection of contemporary glass, ceramics and studio furniture; and a Port St. Lucie, Florida, collector’s diverse holdings of Latin American art and sculptures, well-documented Pre-Columbian artifacts, and walking sticks acquired from a lifetime of world travel.

Also showcased in the May 25 auction are artworks deaccessioned by the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens of West Palm Beach to help fund their educational programs. The consignment includes collections of paintings by two European Impressionists: Dietz Edzard (German, 1893-1963) and Suzanne Eisendieck (Polish, 1908-1998). Although married, the artists built their own successful, independent careers. COAs for the auction artworks were provided by their daughter, Christine Edzard Goodwin.

The Saturday, May 25, 2019 auction will begin at 12 noon Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in the sale, call 561-586-5500 or email info@modernauctions.com. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.