Clars’ Important May 21st auction will feature an array of exceptional significant works by American Post-War/Contemporary artists and others. One of the major highlights of the sale will be Untitled (Arto Lindsay), by Jean-Michel Basquiat (American, 1960-1988). This oil stick on paper measures 14”h x 11”w, and is accompanied by the Certificate of Authenticity from the Authentication Committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat (dated April 23rd, 1999). The subject depicted in this work is the musician Arthur Morgan Lindsay (Arto). Lindsay was part of the No Wave music group called DNA (1978-1982). DNA was featured in the film “Downtown 81” (1981), which features Jean-Michel Basquiat running into the band and Arto while on a quest to sell his artwork. It is not clear whether Untitled (Arto Lindsay) was ever shown in a gallery exhibition, or if it was given as a present at some point to the musician by Basquiat. It is known however, that this work was created during one of the most creative periods in Basquiat’s career, and its depiction of another fixture of New York City’s art scene of the early 1980’s will certainly pique collectors’ attention. The work has been in private hands since 2001 and will be offered to high anticipation in the Important May 21st sale with an estimate of $70,000-$100,000.
After the record breaking success of “Lifeboat” that sold for $296,500 in their November 2016 sale, Clars will be offering another monumental work by Contemporary, American realist painter, Bo Bartlett (American, b. 1955). Titled Damascus Road (1988), this work is estimated to achieve $125000-$175,000. This 120 x 168 inch, oil on linen is a dark, mysterious scene featuring a bearded, young black man walking erratically on a remote highway as well as a mother desperately trying to leave with her young son while all are facing an ominous, armed figure in uniform. As Catherine Liu wrote in her review of this painting from his solo PPOW show in New York for ARTFORUM in March 1989, “The black man would seem to represent Paul at the point of his conversion, but his role here seems ambiguous. Bartlett uses the vocabulary of figurative painting to represent the state of the body in the aftermath of a disaster; he quotes freely from Velazquez and Delacroix. The violence and horror in Bartlett’s painting is implicit, embedded in a narrative. Whereas Delacroix tried to create an art engaged with the revolutionary turbulence of his times.” A must have for Bartlett collectors, this painting from nearly 30 years ago, is still considered à propos today.