Clars’ April 14th and 15th auctions will offer notable Chinese scholars objects, fine works of art ranging from Maynard Dixon to Red Grooms, and furniture and decorative pieces that will delight those interested in historical travel.
The Asian Art department will offer a nice group of Chinese scholars objects including a finely carved aloeswood ‘scholars’ brush pot, a large celadon jade ruyi scepter, and a Kangxi period underglaze blue and white brush pot painted with various court figures.
On offer also is a nice collection of Chinese paintings and calligraphy by some of the top 20th century masters such as Zhang Daqian, Pan Tianshou, Yu Youren, and Pu Ru.
This month at Clars, we are offering an oil on board by American painter, Maynard Dixon, who is much revered for his depictions of the American West and Southwest. Born in Fresno, California, Dixon later moved to San Francisco to study art at what is now the San Francisco Art Institute. There he developed his unique style that melded the bold graphics of Precisionism with the moody atmosphere captured by Tonalist painters, like James McNeill Whistler. The painting in our April sale, titled Sentinel Peak, shows a stark desert landscape with a solitary butte dominating the horizon. A trail of white clouds seems to rise from the peak like a chimney into a strikingly blue sky. This piece is estimated at $15,000–$25,000.
Also featured in our April sale is an oil on canvas painting by Croatian artist, Vladimir Becic — a painter for whom Clars holds the highest records at auction. Among the long list of prominent creatives who honed their craft at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, Becic is known in his home country for helping to usher in modernity in fine arts during the early 20th century. Though his style evolved throughout his career, Becic’s post-World War I paintings are some of his most remarkable works. The landscape in our April auction shows influence by predecessors, such as Paul Cezanne, utilizing tone to portray texture. However, Becic’s forms are strikingly smooth, with flat rocks, glossy water, and fluffy tree tops that emphasize tactility and volume while idealizing and simplifying the forms. The inclusion of two female figures collecting water in jugs adds to the idyllic, otherworldly atmosphere of the scene — a place outside of time with all objects in harmony. This piece, titled Landscape Bosnia, II, is estimated at $20,000–$40,000.
Another item in this month’s auction is a three-dimensional collage by American artist, Red Grooms. Known for the absurdist humor in his Pop Art compositions, Grooms has worked as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker, taking the latter method to a new level in the work in this sale. The collaged lithograph, titled De Kooning Breaks Out, depicts famed Dutch-American artist Willem de Kooning pedaling a bicycle with a female figure, taken from one of his many Woman paintings, riding on the handlebars. The figures quite literally “break out” in this instance, with the printed paper folding and layered to create a three-dimensional composition. This piece is estimated at $4,000–$6,000.
Furniture & Decorative Arts
The Furniture & Decorative Arts department will have a wonderful collection of items in the April auction. Featured lots will span from across the globe and ages.
Highlights that will delight those interested in historical travel, include a selection of historic and folk art maritime items, relating to Titanic and Olympic White Star Lines, as well as a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk from the late 1800s, estimated at $4,000–$6,000.
In addition, there will be a collection of Egyptian masks from the Estate of Joanna Barnes and Jack Warner (Santa Barbara, California). Ms. Barnes was a Hollywood film actress featured in movies such as Auntie Mame (1958) and The Parent Trap (1961). Mr. Warner was a prominent architect.
There will be a fine selection of furniture as well, including an Italian micro mosaic decorated foyer table, estimated at $8,000–$12,000.