Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

This March at Clars, we are privileged and honored to present a very important work by 1991 National Artist of the Philippines, Hernando Ruiz Ocampo.


Ocampo stands as an iconic artist in the Philippines, being a leader of modernist painting in the country during the first half of the twentieth century. As a painter who ushered in an era of creative exploration in the country, Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.


Hernando Ruiz Ocampo (Filipino, 1911–1978), Mga Kiti, 1978, acrylic on tetoron, 35.5″ x 354.25″.
Hernando Ruiz Ocampo (Filipino, 1911–1978), Mga Kiti, 1978, acrylic on Tetoron, 35.5″ x 354.25″ (detail shot).
Estimate: $700,000–$1,000,000

Ocampo was born and raised in greater Manila in 1911 and studied both law and writing — becoming an accomplished poet and fiction writer before approaching the visual arts. His early painting career is marked by experimentation with modes of expression, including a series titled Luetica, for which his visceral depictions of human mortality earned him strong reactions upon exhibition.

After the devastation of World War II in the Philippines, progressive artists worked to reflect the hardships and realities of life. Ocampo and his colleagues, including fellow National Artists Vicente S. Manansala and Cesar Legaspi, inaugurated a movement of distinctly Filipino Neo-Realism, combining modernist abstraction with figurative subject matter.

Neo-Realists took their inspiration from the struggles of workers, family life, poverty, and the local landscape. Although one can detect the influence of prior and concurrent movements in Europe and the United States — including Cubism and Vorticism as well as Social Realism — the Neo-Realists’ work was categorically unique in its blend of the Filipino experience with modernist aesthetics. Out of the many talented artists in his circle, Ocampo favored the freedom that abstraction afforded him in his work; and as he gained confidence in his practice, it became more symbolic and less objective in nature.

Ocampo continued to delve further into abstraction as his career progressed. His close peer, Cesar Legaspi, was quoted speaking about Ocampo’s creative evolution, stating, “I think the impact of those paintings was needed then as the controversy between the moderns and the conservatives was going full blast and we had to have some kind of exemplar as to how far and how powerful a new kind of art could be.”

While Ocampo did create paintings that used abstraction while still forming a recognizable scene, such as the landscape Reaching for the Moon and the mother and child figures in Break of Day, his most well-known pieces are those that allow for open interpretation and push viewers to investigate their own subconscious. Here, the painter relies on formal elements to create a sensory experience. The principles of color and shape were fundamental to Ocampo’s work in the later years of his career. One can identify his personal connection to the color orange in many of his works, and he uses amorphous and organic shapes like tiles to form imposing structures — painstakingly faceted with vivid tones to achieve depth and form.

The monumental work by Ocampo in our March sale, one of only two made by the artist in this size, is titled Mga Kiti, which can be taken as a reference to either duck embryos or mosquito larvae. Dating to 1978, the scroll-like painting, done in acrylic paint on Tetoron fabric, showcases a repeating pattern of similar forms that echo human figures, the bodies of birds, lotus pods, and cellular structures. The background — painted a deep red that graduates into lighter crimson — recalls blood, with the small circles sprinkled throughout suggesting blood cells. Yellow linework traces throughout the length of the painting in a style reminiscent of batik, a medium originating in the neighboring country of Indonesia, and further separates the areas of red, black, and orange like cells dividing.

The lines and colors seem to undulate, expand, and contract — like compartments of breathing lungs. Like in much of his previous work, Ocampo utilizes color, specifically in the spectrum of orange, and creates a mosaic-like composition. Although the piece was commissioned by patron, Ginny Jacinto, the idea of regeneration may have been close to Ocampo’s own heart during its creation; the artist was in his late sixties and dealing with multiple health issues. Mga Kiti was Ocampo’s final painting before his death in December of 1978. Its themes of renewal, movement, and creation seem to be a summation of his work — the balance between figuration and abstraction, and a pure expression of life itself. Mga Kiti serves as a grand testament to Ocampo’s talents as a master of his craft both in formal composition, with his uncanny ability to evoke tactility and sensoriality, and as a translator of ideas, emotion, and the creative force from which all art originates.


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Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

Sawyier is known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Highlights

This November we are excited to present several very special works in our dedicated Modern and Contemporary Art sale.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ is excited to present our Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Auction on September 14th. The sale will feature artworks spanning movements and decades, with notable works for all collectors.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

This January at Clars we are pleased to offer two paintings by American Impressionist, Paul Sawyier.


Sawyier was born in Ohio in 1865 and raised in Frankfort, Kentucky. He traveled first to The McMicken School of Design (now the Art Academy of Cincinnati) to study under Frank Duveneck, and later to New York to study under William Merritt Chase at the Arts Students League of New York.


Paul Sawyier (American, 1865–1917), Garden with Fountain, oil on panel, signed. Panel: 20″ x 24″. Provenance: Estate of Philip F. Schaefer/Fleishmann (New York).
Paul Sawyier (American, 1865–1917), Garden with Fountain, oil on panel, signed. Panel: 20″ x 24″. Provenance: Estate of Philip F. Schaefer/Fleishmann (New York).
Sold: $49,125

Early in his career, Sawyier excelled in portraiture, painting the likenesses of well-known figures in his community. Although he sometimes included figures in his subsequent paintings, they mostly focused on rural landscapes. Known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York, Sawyier gained enough recognition in art circles to exhibit work at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.


Paul Sawyier (American, 1865–1917), Fountain and Rose Garden, oil on panel, signed. Panel: 24″ x 20″. Provenance: Estate of Philip F. Schaefer/Fleishmann (New York).
Paul Sawyier (American, 1865–1917), Fountain and Rose Garden, oil on panel, signed. Panel: 24″ x 20″. Provenance: Estate of Philip F. Schaefer/Fleishmann (New York).
Sold: $28,820

After his professional painting career ended, Sawyier retired to a houseboat in the New York Catskills. He was known to paint in the area en plein air, both in oils and watercolor. Sawyier is notable not only for being one of the only painters from Kentucky working in the Impressionist style during the turn of the century, but also for his ability to capture the atmosphere and tranquility of his surroundings. Although distinctly impressionistic, Sawyier’s work does retain aspects of Realism and Romanticism, perhaps preserved from his years studying in arts academies. Sawyier remains one of Kentucky’s most celebrated artists, and his work is collected in several large museums nationwide.


Read More

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Henrietta Berk

Henrietta Berk’s artistic prowess stood out as she delved into the intricacies of human emotion and intimacy during the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: Percy Gray

Born 1869 in San Francisco, California, Gray became a prominent figure in the California plein air movement.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

A notable work in our October Collections Auction is a large print by funk artist, William T. Wiley. Wiley began his artistic studies at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), and later taught at U.C. Davis alongside artists Roy DeForest and Robert Arneson.


As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials, eschewing the Minimalist trend and embracing chaos. He often described himself as a sort of spiritual descendent of Marcel Duchamp, building upon the Dadaist tradition of absurdity. One of Wiley’s graduate students was Bruce Nauman, who would go on to become one of the biggest names in American Conceptual art. Nauman remembered Wiley as keeping his studio open at all hours for students. In doing this, young artists could practice their craft and work through creative blocks.


William T. Wiley, (American, 1937–2021), Mr. Bones, 1989, woodcut with hand coloring, 74&#8243 x 23&#8243.
William T. Wiley, (American, 1937–2021), Mr. Bones, 1989, woodcut with hand coloring, 74″ x 23″.
Estimate: $3,000–$5,000

Wiley’s work has been the subject of major exhibitions, including showings at the 1980 Venice Biennial, the de Young Museum, and a retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The monumental woodcut print featured this month is titled Mr. Bones, and features hand coloring by the artist.

The piece demonstrates Wiley’s eclectic visual style, including sketchy, movement-heavy lines and text interspersed throughout, with a humorous, surrealist-inspired subject. Wiley was known for wearing blue jeans and cowboy boots around his Marin County home, a look that is replicated on the aforementioned character of Mr. Bones. His peers and neighbors lovingly referred to the artist as a frontiersman for his choices in wardrobe, but within the artistic community of the San Francisco Bay Area he was exactly that — a pioneer of experimentation.


Read More

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

Sawyier is known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Highlights

This November we are excited to present several very special works in our dedicated Modern and Contemporary Art sale.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ is excited to present our Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Auction on September 14th. The sale will feature artworks spanning movements and decades, with notable works for all collectors.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

“I seek the power of the rock, the magic of the water, the religion of the tree, the color of the wind, and the enigma of the horizon,” George Morrison (American, 1919–2000).


George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes. Morrison captured the American landscape and environment in vibrant multicolored paintings through the lens of the Chippewa tribe’s culture.


George Morrison, Night Shadows. Red Rock Variation. Lake Superior Landscape.
George Morrison (American, 1919–2000), Night Shadows. Red Rock Variation. Lake Superior Landscape, 1994, acrylic on canvas board, 5″ x 14″.
Sold: $34,650

Morrison was born Wah Wah Teh Go Nay Ga Bo (Standing in the Northern Lights) in 1919 on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation, MN, a rural fishing village on the north shore of Lake Superior. He began drawing as a child while he was confined to a full-body cast after a surgery. He later attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, graduating in 1938.

After graduation, Morrison associated himself with a group of Abstract Expressionist painters in New York City. He graduated from New York’s Art Students League in 1946. There he would find critical acclaim, and eventually, as a Fulbright scholar, he studied and worked in Paris and Aix-en-Provence.


George Morrison, Dark Wind. The Passage of the Spirits. Red Rock Variation: Lake Superior Landscape.
George Morrison (American, 1919–2000), Dark Wind. The Passage of the Spirits. Red Rock Variation: Lake Superior Landscape, 1995, acrylic on canvas on board (panel), 4.75″ x 11″.
Sold: $13,860

He began a teaching career at Cape Ann Art School in Massachusetts and continued to teach art and Native American studies at various institutions, such as the Rhode Island School of Design and University of Minnesota, throughout his life. While teaching Morrison also produced art and showed his work — primarily in the Midwestern United States.

Later in life, he would go on to receive several important commissions and continue his work on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation — creating prolifically assembled totemic sculptures and making horizon-line paintings. In 2022, a selection of five of his paintings were commemorated by the United States Postal Service as Forever Stamps.


Read More

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

Sawyier is known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Highlights

This November we are excited to present several very special works in our dedicated Modern and Contemporary Art sale.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ is excited to present our Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Auction on September 14th. The sale will feature artworks spanning movements and decades, with notable works for all collectors.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography. In 1970, Leibovitz began working as a staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine, where she continued to photograph musicians such as John Lennon and Fleetwood Mac for 13 years.


In 1970, the then 21-year-old Leibovitz secured an interview with Jann Wenner, the founding editor of Rolling Stone. Impressed by her portfolio, Wenner entrusted her with her inaugural task, capturing photos of John Lennon in New York. The photograph to be offered at Clars’ Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Auction originates from the momentous session and effectively captures a portion of the lighthearted essence shared by the renowned couple. An image of Lennon by Leibovitz from this series graced the cover of Rolling Stone in January 1971, marking a pivotal juncture in the early journey of this significant photographer. She quickly gained recognition for her distinctive style of capturing candid and intimate moments with musicians and celebrities.


Annie Leibovitz, John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Annie Leibovitz (American, b. 1949), John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1970, gelatin silver print, 11″ x 7.5″.
Sold: $6,300

Nearly a decade after, on December 8, 1980, Leibovitz captured the iconic photo of a nude Lennon embracing a clothed Yoko. In taking this photo, Leibovitz became the final professional photographer to immortalize Lennon before his tragic shooting and death, which happened just five hours later. Her iconic photograph of John and Yoko is one of her most famous works from that era. Leibovitz’s photographs for Rolling Stone helped redefine the concept of celebrity portraiture and set a new standard for the magazine’s visual identity.

In 1983, Leibovitz started working with Vanity Fair magazine, and in 1991, she was the first woman to stage an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. In her personal life, Leibovitz was the long-time partner of writer and philosopher Susan Sontag and has three daughters.


Read More

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

Sawyier is known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Highlights

This November we are excited to present several very special works in our dedicated Modern and Contemporary Art sale.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ is excited to present our Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Auction on September 14th. The sale will feature artworks spanning movements and decades, with notable works for all collectors.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Henrietta Berk

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Exploring Intimacy and Connection: Henrietta Berk’s Oil on Canvas Portrait of Phyllis Diebenkorn


In the illustrious realm of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, where artists sought to rekindle a connection with the human form, Henrietta Berk’s artistic prowess stood out as she delved into the intricacies of human emotion and intimacy. One of her most enigmatic works was an oil on canvas portrait of Phyllis Diebenkorn, the wife and muse of acclaimed artist Richard Diebenkorn. This captivating portrait not only immortalizes Phyllis but also offers a glimpse into the personal connections within the artistic community of the mid-20th century Bay Area.


Henrietta Berk, Portrait of Phyllis D. (Phyllis Diebenkorn).
Henrietta Berk (American, 1919–1990), Portrait of Phyllis D. (Phyllis Diebenkorn), 1960, oil on canvas, 25″ x 16″.
Sold: $7,560

In the 1950’s, the Bay Area Figurative Movement emerged as a reaction against the prevailing abstract expressionism. The movement emphasized figurative and representational art, and it sought to reconnect with the human form, exploring a more tangible and recognizable approach to artistic expression. Fueled by the desire to break away from abstract expressionism, artists like David Park, Wayne Thiebaud, Raimonds Staprans, James Weeks, and Richard Diebenkorn sought to reintroduce representational art — infusing it with an emotive and personal touch.

Henrietta Berk was an American painter known for her significant contributions to the Bay Area Figurative Movement. She was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and pursued her passion for art from an early age. Berk’s artistic journey was deeply intertwined with the movement and the artists who shaped it. She studied under the tutelage of Richard Diebenkorn at the California College of the Arts. She was a part of the “Bridge Generation” of the Bay Area Figurative movement, which included the artists: Nathan Oliveira, Theophilus Brown, Paul Wonner, and Frank Lobdell.


Henrietta Berk.
Henrietta Berk.

Phyllis Diebenkorn played an essential role in Richard’s life and work. As a muse and a pillar of support, she provided invaluable insight into Richard’s creative process. A frequent model in Richard’s work, she appears in many of his paintings and drawings. Through Berk’s lens, we get a glimpse of Phyllis as more than just a subject — her portrait reveals a woman of depth, grace, and secretive allure.

In Berk’s oil on canvas portrait of Phyllis, she captures an intimate and tender moment. The deft brushstrokes emphasize Phyllis’ ethereal presence. The interplay of light and shadow add a sense of mystery, inviting the viewer to delve deeper into the subject’s thoughts and emotions.


Richard and Phyllis Diebenkorn.
Richard and Phyllis Diebenkorn.

Berk’s portrait of Phyllis Diebenkorn not only serves as a testament to her artistic skill but also as a window into the lives of influential figures within the Bay Area Figurative Movement. The painting stands as a poignant reminder of the connection between art and personal relationships. Through this portrait, we are invited to explore the intimacy and emotions that underpin the relationships between artists and their muses, weaving a captivating tale of people who defined the Bay Area Figurative Movement.


Read More

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

Sawyier is known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Percy Gray

Born 1869 in San Francisco, California, Gray became a prominent figure in the California plein air movement.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: Percy Gray

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Percy Gray was an American artist known for his landscape and still life paintings. Born 1869 in San Francisco, California, Gray became a prominent figure in the California plein air movement. He studied at the California School of Design and later taught there as well.


Gray’s artwork often depicted the natural beauty of California, particularly its coastal and mountainous landscapes. He had a keen eye for capturing the interplay of light and shadow in his paintings, showcasing a strong sense of atmosphere and mood. Gray’s brushwork was characterized by loose, impressionistic strokes that conveyed a sense of spontaneity and vitality.


Percy Gray, Eucalyptus Trees along the Wooden Fence.
Percy Gray (American, 1869–1952), Eucalyptus Trees along the Wooden Fence, 1920, watercolor, 9.75″ x 13.5″.
Sold: $5,985

Path to the Foothills captures the serene beauty of nature with its delicate brushstrokes and vibrant hues. The way Gray skillfully portrays the winding path leading through the foothills is simply mesmerizing. Gray’s mastery of watercolor shines through in this piece, as he effortlessly captures the essence of the Californian landscape with lush foliage and distant mountains.


Percy Gray, <em>Path to the Foothills</em>.
Percy Gray (American, 1869–1952), Path to the Foothills, 1921, watercolor, 13.75″ x 10.5″.
Sold: $6,300

Throughout his career, Gray exhibited his works extensively — both locally and nationally. He was a member of various art societies, including the Bohemian Club and the California Art Club. Today, Percy Gray’s paintings can be found in private collections and museums, contributing to the legacy of California Impressionism.


Read More

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

Sawyier is known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Henrietta Berk

Henrietta Berk’s artistic prowess stood out as she delved into the intricacies of human emotion and intimacy during the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: William Wendt

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Born in Germany, William Wendt started his artistic practice making furniture in his home country. Upon emigrating to the United States, he turned his focus to painting.


William Wendt, <em>A Gray Day - Monterey</em>
William Wendt (American, 1865–1946), A Gray Day – Monterey, oil on canvas, 14″ x 17″.
Sold: $8,190

Wendt was among the landscapists who comprised the Eucalyptus School of painters, named for the trees commonly seen in California. These artists applied the looseness of French Impressionism to renderings of the unique geography of California. Wendt was also associated with the Arts and Crafts movement in the state, which espoused a belief in making art in harmony with nature. Among his peers, Wendt was known as the “Dean of Southern California landscape painters,” and his commitment to celebrating the natural beauty of his surroundings continues to inspire generations of West Coast painters.

An exciting addition to our July 14th sale is an oil on canvas painting by California artist William Wendt. Largely self-taught, Wendt often employed a plein-air method while painting his naturalistic landscapes. For the piece in our sale, Wendt traveled north of his Laguna Beach studio to capture an overcast day at the beach in Monterey. The image includes his trademark painterly brushstrokes and prominent use of green tones. Along with his wife, sculptor Julia Bracken Wendt, and a host of other prominent artists, Wendt founded the California Art Club in 1909, which remains an active fine arts organization in the state.


Read More

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

Sawyier is known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Henrietta Berk

Henrietta Berk’s artistic prowess stood out as she delved into the intricacies of human emotion and intimacy during the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: William Keith

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

William Keith was born in Scotland and emigrated to the United States as a child, eventually settling in San Francisco. After studying watercolor techniques, he began painting with oils, and by 1870, he was working as a full-time fine artist.


Keith is known for his dramatic California landscapes, particularly his depictions of Yosemite National Park and other locations in the Sierra Nevada mountains. His work combines realism with romanticism, capturing the detailed topography of California intimately and monumentally.


William Keith, Into the Yosemite Valley.
William Keith (American, 1838–1911), Into the Yosemite Valley, circa 1895–1906, oil on canvas, 36″ x 60″.
Sold: $113,400 – 5th highest auction record for the artist

Keith’s artistic prowess shines through in his captivating depiction of the Yosemite Valley, featuring majestic horses that add an extra touch of dynamism and wonder to the scene. With meticulous brushstrokes and a keen eye for detail, Keith transports us into the heart of Yosemite’s natural splendor.

Through his artwork, Keith not only immortalizes the raw beauty of Yosemite but also invites us to appreciate the symbiotic relationship between nature and the human spirit. Keith’s paintings played a significant role in shaping public perception of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the serene beauty of Yosemite. Along with those of other artists, his paintings helped inspire the conservation movement and ultimately contributed to the establishment of Yosemite as a national park in 1890.


Read More

Artist Spotlight: Hernando Ruiz Ocampo

Ocampo developed a singular style that expressed the Filipino experience through emotive color, form, and abstraction.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Paul Sawyier

Sawyier is known primarily for his watercolor depictions of scenery in Kentucky and New York.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: William T. Wiley

As an associate of the Funk Art movement, Wiley was a purveyor of using unconventional materials.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: George Morrison

George Morrison was a Native American artist well known for his abstract paintings and landscapes.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz began her artistic career at the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 1960s, where she originally studied painting but was inspired to change her focus to photography.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Henrietta Berk

Henrietta Berk’s artistic prowess stood out as she delved into the intricacies of human emotion and intimacy during the Bay Area Figurative Movement.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Fine Art

Artist Spotlight: Gustave Baumann

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Born in Magdeburg, Germany in 1881, Gustave Baumann was a renowned American artist who achieved notoriety for his exquisite woodcuts and prints.


Gustave Baumann, Arroya Chamisa, 1927.
Gustave Baumann (American/German, 1881–1971), Arroya Chamisa, 1927, 1956, woodcut in colors, 9.5″ x 11.25″.
Sold: $11,340

He immigrated to the United States and settled in the artistic community of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baumann was known for his exquisite craftsmanship, intricate details, and captivating compositions. His woodcuts and prints showcase an appreciation for nature, displaying vibrant colors and capturing the essence of landscapes and cultural scenes.


Gustave Baumann, Summer Clouds.
Gustave Baumann (American/German, 1881–1971), Summer Clouds, woodcut in colors, 11″ x 9.75″.
Sold: $15,000

Filled with beautiful blooming landscapes in brightly colored skies, his work illuminated the beauty and grandeur of the American Southwest. Baumann’s meticulous technique — combined with his ability to evoke a sense of nostalgia and tranquility — makes his art highly desirable for collectors seeking timeless beauty.


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