Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature a selection of artwork from an array of international artists.


A featured highlight this month is a watercolor on paper by influential German-Swiss artist Paul Klee. This piece, titled Fragment of a Mural (Fragment einer Wandmalerei), shows an abstract image that is left to the viewer to decipher. Klee is known for the use of geometric forms in his work — often building his arrangements with triangles and rectangles — but here we see an unrecognizable object, made more mysterious by the title identifying it as just one section from a larger composition. Klee is perhaps even better known for his innovative take on color theory. The blending of purple into red into gray tones seen in this work illustrates Klee’s opinion that small sections of color could be unified to create a harmonious visual. Furthermore, during his time as an instructor at the Bauhaus, Klee taught as a master of stained glass, often using smoking techniques to color pieces of glass. The muted tones in this watercolor echo the hazy, blended hues that would result from smoking glass. The work on paper is estimated at $100,000–$150,000.


Paul Klee, Fragment einer Wandmalerei.
Paul Klee (German, 1879–1940), Fragment einer Wandmalerei, 1933, gouache, 7.5″ x 9.75″ (19.05 x 24.8 cm).
Estimate: $100,000–$150,000

Also included in the sale this month is a work on paper, titled Green Hill, by American artist, Mark Tobey. As a founder of the Northwest School in Seattle, Washington, Tobey imbued in his peers an appreciation of East Asian culture — the effects of which are visible in Green Hill, with its muted color palette echoing Shan Shui landscapes, and an expressionist style that mimics calligraphy. The misty atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest was a driving influence on Tobey, who used earthy tones to illustrate Green Hill, with the green of the hill obscured almost completely by a heavy fog against a sepia sky. Green Hill is dated 1957, the year before Tobey became the second American artist to win the International Grand Prize at the 1958 Venice Biennale. The work is estimated at $30,000–$50,000.


Mark Tobey, Green Hill.
Mark Tobey (American, 1890–1976), Green Hill, 1957, tempera, 12.25″ x 18″ (30.8 x 45.4 cm).
Estimate: $30,000–$50,000

Another important work in the February sale is a steel sculpture by acclaimed Mexican artist, Rufino Tamayo. The piece depicts two figures, likely one male and one female based on their clothing, standing with hands overlapped in an uncomplicated embrace. The stylized figures are reminiscent of the simplified figures seen in well-known Tamayo paintings like Tres Personajes, with dominant geometric lines replacing the naturalistic curves of the human body. The sculpture shows the figures’ bodies as rectangles, with semicircle arms and circular hands. The male figure’s legs and female figure’s skirt are triangular, and the base is a narrow rectangular platform. The gray patina of the metallic material is consistent throughout and recalls the stone and clay sculptures of the Zapotec, an indigenous Pre-Colombian culture from whom Tamayo claimed both heritage and inspiration. The work is estimated at $70,000–$100,000.


Rufino Tamayo, Untitled (Dos Figuras).
Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899–1991), Untitled (Dos Figuras), 1989, steel sculpture with patina, 16.5″h (41.90 cm).
Estimate: $70,000–$100,000

Next featured in the February sale is the Makemono lithograph scroll by Catalan painter and sculptor, Joan Miró, created circa 1956. Considered a major figure in the Surrealist family, Miró uses this color-printed Chanton silk scroll to marry a traditional East Asian medium with his “automatism” technique, a method of revealing an individual’s psyche through spontaneous drawing and painting. Makemono presents form and color before narrative, showing abstract human figures interspersed with birds, eyes, and nonobjective forms derived purely from the artist’s imagination. From an edition of only 50, the vibrant scroll is anchored by wooden batons on each of the two ends and includes its original carved and painted wood box. The scroll is estimated at $20,000–$30,000.


Joan Miró, Makemono
Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893–1983), Makemono, 1956, color lithographic scroll in colors on silk with wooden batons (accompanied with original carved and painted wood box), 16.13″ x 382″ (41 x 970 cm).
Estimate: $20,000–$30,000

Other notable artworks to be offered in the sale include prints by Yayoi Kusama, a ceramic plate by Pablo Picasso, and a painting by Guy Anderson.


Pablo Picasso, Visage Masque.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Visage Masque, 1947, ceramic plate, 12.5″ x 15″ (31.75 x 38.1 cm).
Estimate: $20,000–$30,000
Fernand Leger, Deux Personnages.
Fernand Leger (French, 1881–1955), Deux Personnages, 1947, watercolor, 12.5″ x 16.25″ (32 x 41 cm).
Estimate: $60,000–$90,000
Enrico Donati (American/Italian, 1909–2008), Luxor VIII, 1979, oil and sand on canvas, 50″ x 48″ (127 x 122 cm), 1 of 2 to be offered.
Estimate: $10,000–$15,000
Bidding for Clars’ February 9th, 2023 auction is available by phone, absentee bid, and live online at Live.Clars.com and through Liveauctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. For more information about this auction, please contact [email protected].

Read More

February Highlights

Our February 10th and 11th Auctions will offer stunning jade from China, rare furniture and collectibles, and Edwardian and Art Deco jewelry from private estates.

  • Auction

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

January Highlights

The Estate of Joanna Barnes and Jack Warner (Santa Barbara, California), will highlight Clars’ January auctions.

  • Auction

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Winter Auctions Highlights

The December auction series will include the Winter Fine Jewelry & Timepieces Auction on December 16th and the Winter Design + Art + Asian Art Auction on December 18th.

  • Auction

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Jaime Zacarias, also known as “GERMS,” is an artist native to South Los Angeles who names his Chicano heritage and predecessors among his influences.


GERMS, Queso
Jaime “Germs” Zacarias (American, 21st century), Queso, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 48″.
Sold: $500

Mentored by Chicano painter, Gilbert “Magú” Lujan, and taking inspiration from the Surrealists as well as Avant Garde and street artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, Zacarias paints otherworldly creatures that draw reference from familiar imagery while creating strikingly original forms.


GERMS, Untitled (Free/Dumb)
Jaime “Germs” Zacarias (American, 21st century), Untitled (Free/Dumb), 2022, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″.
Sold: $750
GERMS, Ziggy
Jaime “Germs” Zacarias (American, 21st century), Ziggy, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 48″ x 36″.
Sold: $500

Zacarias says, “I find myself mesmerized by the seemingly infinite details and borderline infectious behaviors of each character I create, while striving to transform and challenge the traditional interpretations of the icons we all know so well.” The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.


GERMS, L.A. Taco
Jaime “Germs” Zacarias (American, 21st century), L.A. Taco, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 40″ x 16″.
Sold: $562.50
GERMS, Untitled (Squid)
Jaime “Germs” Zacarias (American, 21st century), Untitled (Squid), acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 24″.
Sold: $500
Sources:
Jaime GERMS Zacarias – GERMS 4 U
Watch Inside the World of Artist Jaime ‘Germs’ Zacarias | SoCal Connected | KCET

Read More

Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Post Sale Highlights

The September 16 Modern + Contemporary Art + Design sale at Clars, totaled over $1.3M across 230 lots.

  • Modern + Contemporary
  • Stories & News

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

“How do I know when I’ve finished a painting? It’s when that element of surprise is there” (Joan Brown).

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars is excited to kick off the Fall Season with an exceptional Modern + Contemporary Fine Art sale on Friday, September 16th.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Post Sale Highlights

  • Modern + Contemporary
  • Stories & News

The September 16 Modern + Contemporary Art + Design sale at Clars, totaled over $1.3M across 230 lots.


Cowboys and Indians
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians (the complete set of ten screenprints), 1986, screenprints in colors, 36″ x 36″ each.
Sold: $503,750

Clars’ Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design sale on September 16th started off the season with impressive results having 230 lots achieve a little over $1.3 million in sales. Fine Art led the way with $1.1 million in sales with the highlight being Andy Warhol’s complete set of ten screenprints, Cowboys and Indians, selling for $503,750. Rick Unruh, Clars CEO, remarked, “Clars is definitely ‘moving up the ladder’ in being recognized internationally as one of the premier auction houses for Modern and Contemporary works. This past auction was our 3rd complete set of Warhols to be offered in the last 2 years — all with outstanding results.”

Another stellar performance was several Pumpkin screenprints by Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929) selling for a combined price of $108,750.


Yayoi Kusama Prints from the September 16th Sale
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929), Top left: Pumpkin (Y), Top Right: Dancing Pumpkin (YOR), Bottom Left: Napping Pumpkin, Bottom Right: Red Colored Pumpkin.
Sold: $108,750

Clars Auction Gallery had a nearly 100% sell through rate for the Fall Design sale, with just above 100 lots selling for over $210,000 total.


Angelo Mangiarotti Eros Dining Table
Angelo Mangiarotti Eros Dining Table.
Sold: $18,750

Clients from across the country were vying for Design lots, with many items selling at or above the high estimate. Cristina Campion, Associate Director of 20th Century Design at Clars commented, “strong sales like this one really demonstrate that Clars is a recognized name among Design collectors across the United States.”


Mario Bellini, Cab Chairs Model 413To be offered at our Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Sale
Mario Bellini, Cab Chairs Model 413.
Sold: $10,625

Top picks included an Angelo Mangiarotti ‘Eros’ Dining Table sold for $18,750, with a $6,000–$9,000 estimate. Other auction highlights include a suite of eight Mario Bellini Cab Chairs, Model 413, that brought $10,625, a set of Christian Liaigre Bazane Stools that sold for $9,375, a Charles and Ray Eames 670 and 671 chair and ottoman that realized $8,125, and a Vladimir Kagan Ondine Chair that commanded $8,125.


Christian Liaigre Bazane stools.To be offered September 16th
Christian Liaigre Bazane stools.
Sold: $9,375

Clars is gearing up for it’s next Design auction on December 18th, and is hopeful that the department will continue to see an upward trajectory in sales.


Vladimir Kagan Couture Sloane II sofa.To be offered at our Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Sale
Vladimir Kagan Couture Sloane II sofa.
Sold: $8,125

Read More

Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

St. Francis Yacht Club + Clars

On November 30th, the St. Francis Yacht Club invited Clars Auction Gallery to an evening of Cocktails, Clars & Valuations.

  • Event
  • Stories & News

SJICA Benefit Art Auction

Clars Auction Gallery is proud to partner with the ICA of San José in their 2022 Annual Benefit Art Auction, IN THEIR OWN WORDS. Join us November 5th, 5PM.

  • Event
  • Stories & News

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Clars is excited to kick off the Fall Season with an exceptional Modern + Contemporary Fine Art sale on Friday, September 16th, 10AM PST.


The star lot will be the complete portfolio of Andy Warhol’s 1986 Cowboys and Indians. The ten screenprint series portrays a range of imagery representing both historical and mythical lore of the American West. They will be offered with an estimate of $500,000–$700,000. Additional highlights will include important works by Bay Area Figurative artists including Nathan Oliveira, Raimonds Staprans and Joan Brown, as well as works by KAWS, M.F Husain, Yayoi Kusama, and Richard Pettibone.


Cowboys and Indians
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians (the complete set of ten screenprints), 1986, screenprints in colors, 36″ x 36″ each.
Estimate: $500,000–$700,000
Nathan Oliveira (American, 1928–2010), Untitled (from the Windhover series), 1990, oil on canvas board mounted to panel, 16.5″ x 20.5″.
Estimate: $12,000–$18,000
Raimonds Staprans, Boats in Blue Water
Raimonds Staprans (Latvian/American, b. 1926), Boats in Blue Water, 1963, oil on canvas, 22″ x 25″.
Estimate: $12,000–$18,000
Cucumber and Lemon
Joan Brown (American, 1938–1990), Cucumber and Lemon, 1965, oil on plywood board, 16.25″ x 15″.
Estimate: $40,000–$60,000
KAWS Four Foot Companion
KAWS (American, b. 1974), Four Foot Companion, 2007, black cast vinyl sculpture, 51″ x 23″.
Estimate: $40,000–$60,000
Maqbool Fida Husain
Maqbool Fida Husain (Indian, 1913–2011), Untitled (Woman and Horse), 2000, acrylic on canvas, 54.5″ x 34″.
Estimate: $60,000–$80,000
Yayoi Kusama, Napping Pumpkin
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929), Napping Pumpkin, 1993, screenprint, 20.8″ x 25.75″.
Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Richard Pettibone Screenprint
Richard Pettibone (American, b. 1938), Andy Warhol Double Elvis, 1968, screenprint on canvas, 8.5″ x 8.5″.
Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Gustave Baumann, Rain in the Mountains
Gustave Baumann (American/German, 1881–1971), Rain in the Mountains (1926), 1956, woodcut in colors, 9.25″ x 11.25″.
Estimate: $12,000–$18,000
Invader, Invasion Kit #11: Blue
Invader (French, b. 1969) Invasion Kit #11: Blue, 2009, ceramic tile mosaic, 6.25″ x 8.75″.
Estimate: $10,000–$15,000
Nathan Oliveira, Smiling Man with Green Eyes
Nathan Oliveira (American, 1928–2010), Smiling Man with Green Eyes, 1961, oil and gouache on paper, 25″ x 20″.
Estimate: $10,000–$15,000
Bidding for Clars’ September 16, 2022 auction is available by phone, absentee bid, and live online at Live.Clars.com and through Liveauctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. For more information about this auction, please contact [email protected].

Read More

Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

February Highlights

Our February 10th and 11th Auctions will offer stunning jade from China, rare furniture and collectibles, and Edwardian and Art Deco jewelry from private estates.

  • Auction

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

January Highlights

The Estate of Joanna Barnes and Jack Warner (Santa Barbara, California), will highlight Clars’ January auctions.

  • Auction

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Highlights

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Clars’ upcoming Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Auction will be held Friday, September 16th, featuring an array of mid-century San Francisco Bay Area figurative works.


Cowboys and Indians
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians (the complete set of ten screenprints), 1986, screenprints in colors, 36″ x 36″ each.
Estimate: $500,000–$700,000

Highlights include the complete portfolio of Andy Warhol’s Cowboys and Indians — one of his last major works before his death — estimated at $500,000–$700,000. In this portfolio, Warhol portrays a range of images that represent both the history and constructed lore of the American West, pulled from reality and fiction. Warhol interspersed portraits of world-famous Americans with those of anonymous Native Americans in his ironic commentary on America’s collective mythology of the historic West.


Cucumber and Lemon
Joan Brown (American, 1938–1990), Cucumber and Lemon, 1965, oil on plywood board, 16.25″ x 15″.
Estimate: $40,000–$60,000

Another exceptional highlight is an oil on panel from 1965 by Joan Brown (American, 1938–1990) titled Cucumber and Lemon estimated at $40,000–$60,000. This charming still life was gifted to fellow artist and friend, Ira Yeager (1938–2022), on his birthday.


Nathan Oliveira paintings
Nathan Oliveira (American, 1928–2010), Untitled (from the Windhover series), 1991, oil on panel, 16″ x 20″.
Estimate (each): $12,000–$18,000

Two later paintings by Nathan Oliveira (American, 1928–2010) from his Windhover series (commissioned by Stanford University in 1991) will be also offered at $12,000–$18,000 each.


Mario Bellini, Cab Chairs Model 413To be offered at our Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Sale
Mario Bellini, Cab Chairs Model 413.
Estimate: $10,000–$15,000

The auction will feature a fine selection of Design items including a set of Mario Bellini Cab Chairs estimated at $10,000–$15,000, an Angelo Mangiarotti Eros Dining Table estimated at $6,000–$9,000, and a Vladimir Kagan Couture Sloane II sofa estimated at $6,000–$9,000.


Angelo Mangiarotti Eros Dining Table
Angelo Mangiarotti Eros Dining Table.
Estimate: $6,000–$9,000

There will be other noteworthy Designers in the auction including ceramicists such as James Lovera, Antonio Prieto and Lagardo Tackett, as well as Danish Modern including Eric Hansen, Arne Iversen, Johannes Andersen, Peter Hvidt, and American and Italian Modern such as Charles and Ray Eames, Christian Liaigre, among others.


Vladimir Kagan Couture Sloane II sofa.To be offered at our Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Sale
Vladimir Kagan Couture Sloane II sofa.
Estimate: $6,000–$9,000

Read More

Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

February Highlights

Our February 10th and 11th Auctions will offer stunning jade from China, rare furniture and collectibles, and Edwardian and Art Deco jewelry from private estates.

  • Auction

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

January Highlights

The Estate of Joanna Barnes and Jack Warner (Santa Barbara, California), will highlight Clars’ January auctions.

  • Auction

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Andy Warhol

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Andy Warhol’s Cowboys and Indians series was one of his last major works before his death in 1987.


Left: General Custer; Right: Geronimo
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians (the complete set of ten screenprints), 1986, screenprints in colors, 36″ x 36″ each. Left: General Custer. Right: Geronimo.
To be offered: September 16th
Estimate: $500,000–$700,000

In 1986, Andy Warhol created the Cowboys and Indians series. In this portfolio, Warhol portrays a range of images that represent both the history and constructed lore of the American West, pulled from reality and fiction. Warhol interspersed portraits of world-famous Americans with those of anonymous Native Americans in his ironic commentary on America’s collective mythology of the historic West.


Left: Mother and Child; Right: Teddy Roosevelt
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians (the complete set of ten screenprints), 1986, screenprints in colors, 36″ x 36″ each. Left: Mother and Child. Right: Teddy Roosevelt.
To be offered: September 16th
Estimate: $500,000–$700,000

Rather than portraying Native Americans within their historical landscape, or cowboys in their veritable forms, Warhol went with a stylized and romanticized version of the American West — already a favored lens in novels, films, and various television series popular during the 20th century.


Cowboys and Indians
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians (the complete set of ten screenprints), 1986, screenprints in colors, 36″ x 36″ each. Left: Plains Indian Shield. Right: Northwest Coast Mask.
To be offered: September 16th
Estimate: $500,000–$700,000

Included in the composition are Native Americans and their authentic emblems — a mask, Kachina dolls, and a shield — alongside John Wayne, Annie Oakley, Teddy Roosevelt and General George Custer, the latter group exemplifying Warhol’s preoccupation with stardom.


Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians.
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians (the complete set of ten screenprints), 1986, screenprints in colors, 36″ x 36″ each. Left: John Wayne. Right: Annie Oakley.
To be offered: September 16th
Estimate: $500,000–$700,000

At this point in his life, Warhol was forming bonds with a number of younger artists in the New York art scene including Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Salle, Keith Haring and Julian Schnabel.


Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians.
Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987), Cowboys and Indians (the complete set of ten screenprints), 1986, screenprints in colors, 36″ x 36″ each. Left: Indian Head Nickel. Right: Kachina Dolls.
To be offered: September 16th
Estimate: $500,000–$700,000

Read More

Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Post Sale Highlights

The September 16 Modern + Contemporary Art + Design sale at Clars, totaled over $1.3M across 230 lots.

  • Modern + Contemporary
  • Stories & News

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

“How do I know when I’ve finished a painting? It’s when that element of surprise is there” (Joan Brown).

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures, installations, paintings, performances and fashion. Kusama is the highest-selling living female artist and has a body of work that spans over the past 70 years.


Yayoi Kusama, Napping Pumpkin
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929), Napping Pumpkin, 1993, screenprint, 20.8″ x 25.75″.
Sold: $37,500
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1939), A Pumpkin GB-D, 2004, screenprint, 9.4″ x 11.1″.
Sold: $40,625

A preeminent figure in the art world, Kusama emerged onto the art scene in the 1960s in New York, collaborating with Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenberg, and Robert Morris and contributed to the rise of feminist and pop art.


Kusama, <em>Grapes</em>
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929), Grapes, 1982, screenprint, 12.4″ x 10.6″.
Sold: $21,250
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1939), Pumpkin, 1983, screenprint, 23" x 19".Estimate: $30,000–$50,000 (one of two to be offered).
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1939), Pumpkin, 1983, screenprint, 23″ x 19″.
Sold: $31,250

Throughout her work, Kusama has explored such themes as her own obsessive-compulsive disorder, hallucinations, sexuality and freedom. Various Kusama prints that were sold at Clars exhibit her signature style, featuring polka dots and nets in dense patterns with obsessive repetition.


Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1939), Pumpkin, 1983, screenprint, 23" x 19" (one of two to be offered). Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1939), Pumpkin, 1983, screenprint, 23″ x 19″.
Sold: $87,500

In 1993, Kusama represented Japan at the Venice Biennale. She has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo as well as a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2012. In 2017, she opened the Yoyoi Kusama Museum in Tokyo near her studio and the psychiatric hospital where she has voluntarily lived since 1977.


Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929), High Heels, 1986, screenprint, 12.4" x 16”.
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1929), High Heels, 1986, screenprint, 12.4″ x 16″.
Sold: $17,500
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1939), Flower (1), 1992, lithograph in color, 9.4″ x 11.1″.
Sold: $12,500

Read More

Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Post Sale Highlights

The September 16 Modern + Contemporary Art + Design sale at Clars, totaled over $1.3M across 230 lots.

  • Modern + Contemporary
  • Stories & News

Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

“How do I know when I’ve finished a painting? It’s when that element of surprise is there” (Joan Brown).

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Fall Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars is excited to kick off the Fall Season with an exceptional Modern + Contemporary Fine Art sale on Friday, September 16th.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

June Modern + Contemporary Art + Design Post Sale Highlights

  • Modern + Contemporary
  • Stories & News

The June 17th Modern + Contemporary Art + Design sale at Clars totaled $1,070,250 across 239 lots.

Clars was pleased to establish the new, world auction record for Raimonds Staprans (American/Latvian, b. 1926) with the painting Blue Boats selling for $187,500. This beats the previous record held by Clars from September 2020 of $147,600. As Rick Unruh, CEO of Clars, stated, “Staprans has incredible upward momentum at auction at the moment. There is a scarcity issue with his exceptional works currently. Blue Boats was one of those exceptional works. Reaching a new price level and ‘raising the bar’ is challenging but rewarding when it occurs.”


Raimonds Staprans (American/Latvian, b. 1926), <em>Blue Boats</em>, 1990, oil on canvas, 44" x 48".
Raimonds Staprans (American/Latvian, b. 1926), Blue Boats, 1990, oil on canvas, 44″ x 48″.
Sold: $187,500

Also of note was a rare collection of four works by Leonor Fini (French/Argentine, 1908–1996) that were offered at Clars Modern + Contemporary sale on June 17th. This combined collection sold for an astounding $250,625 with one particular painting, Zorniga, selling for $187,500.


Leonor Fini (Argentine/French, 1908–1996), Zorniga, 1959, oil on canvas, 31.5" x 10".Sold: $187,500
Leonor Fini (Argentine/French, 1908–1996), Zorniga, 1959, oil on canvas, 31.5″ x 10″.
Sold: $187,500

Highlights for Design included a set of Mario Bellini Cab chairs that sold for $17,500, and a Phillip Lloyd Powell New Hope Chair that brought $15,000. Cristina Campion, Associate Director of 20th Century Design at Clars noted, “There’s always a strong market for good Design. We’re currently seeing bidders vying for the top lots, and as a result Clars is achieving strong auction records across the board.”


Mario Bellini, Cab Chairs Model 413, set of ten.
Mario Bellini, Cab Chairs Model 413, set of ten.
Sold: $17,500
Phillip Lloyd Powell, New Hope Lounge Chair and Ottoman.
Phillip Lloyd Powell, New Hope Lounge Chair and Ottoman.
Sold: $15,000

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Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

St. Francis Yacht Club + Clars

On November 30th, the St. Francis Yacht Club invited Clars Auction Gallery to an evening of Cocktails, Clars & Valuations.

  • Event
  • Stories & News

SJICA Benefit Art Auction

Clars Auction Gallery is proud to partner with the ICA of San José in their 2022 Annual Benefit Art Auction, IN THEIR OWN WORDS. Join us November 5th, 5PM.

  • Event
  • Stories & News

June Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Clars is excited to present our Summer Modern + Contemporary Art sale on Friday, June 17th.

The offered works will span numerous movements and mediums. One major highlight of the sale will be a striking oil on canvas by Bay Area artist, Raimonds Staprans (American, b. 1926). The 1990 work, titled Blue Boats, is a strong example of his use of bold colors and geometric forms to build his composition. The presence of heavy linear division and abstraction of everyday objects makes the work a stunning example of his hallmark style. While he considers himself an abstract painter, his works were influential in the Bay Area Figurative Movement, along with colleagues Wayne Thiebaud and Robert Diebenkorn. The painting is estimated at $150,000–$200,000.


Raimonds Staprans (American/Latvian, b. 1926), <em>Blue Boats</em>, 1990, oil on canvas, 44" x 48".
Raimonds Staprans (American/Latvian, b. 1926), Blue Boats, 1990, oil on canvas, 44″ x 48″.
Estimate: $150,000–$200,000

Another important work being offered is a work on paper, titled Odalisque by Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954). Considered the godfather of Fauvism, Matisse is renowned for his vibrant portraits, still lifes, and cut-out paper collages. After an influential trip to Morocco in the 1910s, Matisse drafted numerous examples of the Odalisque, inspired by the orient and the ideal exoticism. Clars Auction Gallery is pleased to offer a 1928 “return to order” study of the Odalisque, composed of black india ink. Previously exhibited at Delaware Art Museum and from the ex-collection of Baltimore, Maryland architect Robert Raley, the work on paper is estimated at $60,000–$80,000. Clars is grateful to George Matisse for confirming the authenticity of the drawing.


Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954), <em>Odalisque</em>, 1928, black india ink on Arches paper, 10" x 13".
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954), Odalisque, 1928, black india ink on Arches paper, 10″ x 13″.
Estimate: $60,000–$80,000

Other important pieces to be offered in the sale include works by Leonor Fini, Gordon Onslow Ford, Yayoi Kusama, and Ray Parker to name a few.


Leonor Fini (Argentine/French, 1908–1996), <em>Passenger XXXVIII (Azuba)</em>, 1987, oil on paper (mounted on canvas), 17.75" x 21.75".<br><b>Estimate: $30,000–$50,000</b>
Leonor Fini (Argentine/French, 1908–1996), Passenger XXXVIII (Azuba), 1987, oil on paper (mounted on canvas), 17.75″ x 21.75″, (one of five to be offered).
Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Leonor Fini (Argentine/French, 1908–1996), Zorniga, 1959, oil on canvas, 31.5" x 10".Sold: $187,500
Leonor Fini (Argentine/French, 1908–1996), Zorniga, 1959, oil on canvas, 31.5″ x 10″, (one of five to be offered)..
Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Leonor Fini (Argentine/French, 1908–1996), Passage IV, 1990, oil on canvas, 29" x 23.75".Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Leonor Fini (Argentine/French, 1908–1996), Passage IV, 1990, oil on canvas, 29″ x 23.75″, (one of five to be offered).
Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Gordon Onslow Ford (British, 1912–2003), <em>Mountains of Desire</em>, 1939, oil on canvas, 28.75" x 36", (one of two to be offered).<br><b>Estimate: $50,000–$70,000</b>
Gordon Onslow Ford (British, 1912–2003), Mountains of Desire, 1939, oil on canvas, 28.75″ x 36″.
Estimate: $50,000–$70,000
Gordon Onslow Ford (British, 1912–2003), <em>The Wish 2</em>, 1945, oil on canvas, 29.5" x 36".<br><b>Estimate: $40,000–$60,000</b>
Gordon Onslow Ford (British, 1912–2003), The Wish 2, 1945, oil on canvas, 29.5″ x 36″.
Estimate: $40,000–$60,000
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1939), Pumpkin, 1983, screenprint, 23" x 19" (one of two to be offered). Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, b. 1939), Pumpkin, 1983, screenprint, 23″ x 19″ (one of two to be offered).
Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Ray Parker (American, 1922–1990), Untitled, 1979, oil and acrylic on canvas, 67.25" x 153.75". <br><b>Estimate: $50,000–$70,000</b>
Ray Parker (American, 1922–1990), Untitled, 1979, oil and acrylic on canvas, 67.25″ x 153.75″.
Estimate: $50,000–$70,000
Christopher Brown (American, b. 1951), <em>Summer Rose</em>, oil on canvas, 65" x 65". <br><b>Estimate: $30,000– $50,000</b>
Christopher Brown (American, b. 1951), Summer Rose, oil on canvas, 65″ x 65″.
Estimate: $30,000–$50,000
Charles Arthur (Chuck) Arnoldi, (American, b. 1946), <em>Pico</em>, 1978, acrylic on canvas, 40" x 34".<br><b>Estimate: $25,000–$30,000</b>
Charles Arthur (Chuck) Arnoldi, (American, b. 1946), Pico, 1978, acrylic on canvas, 40″ x 34″.
Estimate: $25,000–$30,000
Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931–2004), <em>Cynthia in the Bedroom</em>, 1981, screenprint, 27" x 30.5".<br><b>Estimate: $5,000–$7,000</b>
Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931–2004), Cynthia in the Bedroom, 1981, screenprint, 27″ x 30.5″.
Estimate: $5,000–$7,000
George Peck (Hungarian/American, b. 1941), <em>Romantic Painting #1</em>, 1978, oil and wax on canvas, 72" x 69".<br><b>Estimate: $5,000–$7,000</b>
George Peck (Hungarian/American, b. 1941), Romantic Painting #1, 1978, oil and wax on canvas, 72″ x 69″.
Estimate: $5,000–$7,000
Fraser Smith (American, b. 1958), <em>The Cats of Morpheus</em>, 1988, watercolor on wood, 55" x 47".<br><b>Estimate: $4,000–$6,000</b>
Fraser Smith (American, b. 1958), The Cats of Morpheus, 1988, watercolor on wood, 55″ x 47″.
Estimate: $4,000–$6,000

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Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

February Highlights

Our February 10th and 11th Auctions will offer stunning jade from China, rare furniture and collectibles, and Edwardian and Art Deco jewelry from private estates.

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Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

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  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

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January Highlights

The Estate of Joanna Barnes and Jack Warner (Santa Barbara, California), will highlight Clars’ January auctions.

  • Auction

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

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Modern Art Sale Sets Record

  • Modern + Contemporary
  • Stories & News

Clars’ Modern Art Sale Sets Loie Hollowell Record. Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Antiques And The Arts Weekly.


Easily surpassing its $400,000–$600,000 estimate was Point of Entry (Blood-Orange Moon Over Orange Sac) by Loie Hollowell (American), a 2017 mixed media work that attracted global attention but sold to a new American client for Clars for $1,050,000. It was the first time one of Hollowell’s works have brought that much money from a sale in the United States and is also the first work sold by the auction house to bring more than $1 million.

OAKLAND, CALIF. – On Friday, March 25, Clars Auction Gallery set a new record for Loie Hollowell (American, b 1983), when Point of Entry (Blood-Orange Moon Over Orange Sac), a mixed media work measuring 48 by 36 inches achieved $1,050,000 from a buyer in the United States who was a new client for Clars. The price was not only the artist’s highest price realized in a sale in the United States (the current overall record for Hollowell stands at $2,126,095 for Linked Lingams [yellow, green, blue, purple, pink], set in June 2021 in Hong Kong) but it was the first time in Clars’ 50-year history that a lot has surpassed the million dollar mark. It was far and away the top lot of 1,579 lots of modern and contemporary art, design, furniture, decorative and fine art, Asian art and jewelry offered March 25–27; the tally for the three days of sales was about $3 million, a total that ranks in the top three in the firms’ history and the highest sale since the company changed ownership in 2019.

Rick Unruh, chief executive officer and director of fine art at Clars, said, “Clars showed the global art world that when one has an exceptional, contemporary piece, such as our Loie Hollowell, they (the bidders) will come – and they did. We went all out with marketing, we even marketed it in Asian newspapers to get to the Hong Kong market. We had clients from all over the world interested. Many of the bidders on it were new to Clars.”

The second highest price of the sale at $150,000 was a rare drawing by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) titled, Etudes VII (d’apres Manet) from 1961. Well-documented in the artist’s catalogue raisonné, the lot had multiple international bidders but in the end sold to a buyer in San Francisco. Rounding out the top three at $106,250 was the double-sided oil on canvas work titled Fishing Town with Women on Beach/Seascape with Trees by Maria-Mela Muter (Polish French, 1876–1967). It received serious international attention, including from Poland and Israel and sold to a buyer in Poland.


Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), Etudes VII (d'apres Manet), 1961, graphite on les Annonay (watermarked) paper, 17.75" x 23.5". Provenance: Alex Maguy, Paris; Estate of Liselotte Weber (Burlingame, CA). Exhibited: Alex Maguy Galerie de L’Élysée, Hommage à Picasso, November 19–December 25, 1966. Reference: Zervos XX:50.Estimate: $100,000–$150,000.
An international buyer prevailed against other international competition to take Etudes VII (d’apres Manet), a graphite drawing by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) to $150,000. It had extensive publication and provenance (Estimated: $100,000–$150,000).
Mela Muter (Polish/French, 1876–1967), Fishing Town with Women on Beach/Seascape with Trees (verso), oil on canvas (double-sided), 19.5" x 25.5".Estimate: $50,000–70,000.
“Works by women artists are doing much better,” Rick Unruh said. Fishing Town with Women on Beach/Seascape with Trees, a double-sided oil on canvas work by Maria-Mela Muter realized $106,250 from a buyer in Poland (Estimated: $50,000–$70,000).

Works by such iconic artists as Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Wayne Thiebaud, Salvador Dali, Sol Lewitt and Richard Diebenkorn peppered the sale and brought strong results too. Particularly noteworthy was Roy Lichtenstein’s Shipboard Girl offset lithograph from 1965, which made $53,125, a price that is an improvement over the $20,000 hammer price the Napa Valley, Calif., seller paid for it when they acquired it from Clars in 2013. The seller of the Litchtenstein also sold a portfolio of 39 prints – etchings, aquatints, drypoints and soft ground etchings – by British artist David Hockney (b 1937), which nearly doubled its low estimate to finish at $34,925. Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm had been acquired at Sotheby’s New York in 2011 for $8,125.


Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923–1997), Shipboard Girl, 1965, offset lithograph, 27.25" x 20.25".
The seller of Shipboard Girl by Roy Lichtenstein had acquired it from Clars in 2013 for a hammer price of $20,000. They made a profit as it brought $63,125 ($42,500 hammer price) in this sale (Estimated: $40,000–$60,000).
David Hockney (British, b. 1937), <em>Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm</em>, 1970, complete portfolio of thirty-nine (39) etchings, with additional six (6) loose etchings, 17.75" x 12.5". <br><b>Estimate: $18,000–24,000.</b>
The seller of David Hockney’s Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm 39-print portfolio from 1970 paid $8,125 for it when they acquired it from Sotheby’s New York in 2011. It more than quadrupled in value, realizing $34,925 at Clars (Estimated: $18,000–$24,000).
M.C. Escher (Dutch, 1898–1972), Castel Mola, 1932, lithograph, 8.75" x 12.25".Estimate: $10,000–15,000.
A Palo Alto, Calif., collector paid $34,925 for Castel Mola, a 1932 lithograph by M.C. Escher (Estimated: $10,000–$15,000).

Cristina Campion, Clars’ associate director of Twentieth Century design, was thrilled with the international response to works by American master woodworkers, like George Nakashima and Vladimir Kagan. A 1971 wall hanging cabinet by Nakashima that retained its original work card from the George Nakashima Studio topped off at $62,500, more than twice its high estimate and sold to an international buyer bidding on the phone. A contour rocking armchair from the Vladimir Kagan collection, circa 1999, had provenance to Dennis Miller Associates of New York City and found a new home with an online bidder for $16,900, more than three times its high estimate.

Another favorite among bidders was Danish designer Hans Wegner, who was represented in the sale with six lots. Leading the group at $17,500 was a valet chair, followed by a Papa Bear lounge chair that realized $13,700.


George Nakashima, 7′ overhanging walnut wall case, executed in 1971.
International bidders joined the fray for this wall hanging cabinet that was made in 1971 by George Nakashima. It sold to one of them, bidding on the phone, for $62,500 (Estimated: $20,000–$30,000).
“The sinuous lines of that chair are trending in furniture and design,” said Cristina Campion, Clars’ associate director of Twentieth Century design. Online interest in the piece was strong and it sold to an online bidder for $16,900 (Estimated: $3,000–$5,000).
Clars Auction Gallery will sell Asian Art, Jewelry, Furniture, Decorative and Fine Art on April 24, and Jewelry and Timepieces on May 19.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, www.clars.com or 510-422-0940.

Read More

Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Highlights

Clars’ February 9th Important Winter Modern + Contemporary Art Auction will feature artwork from an array of international artists.

  • Auction
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Chiura Obata

Chiura Obata was trained in both Japanese and Western painting techniques — a unique education that would influence his style over the years.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Jaime “Germs” Zacarias

The marriage of nostalgia and innovation in the work of GERMS creates a visual language that transcends barriers, both cultural and temporal.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

Artist Spotlight: Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is well known for her sculptures and installations, paintings, performances and fashion.

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

St. Francis Yacht Club + Clars

On November 30th, the St. Francis Yacht Club invited Clars Auction Gallery to an evening of Cocktails, Clars & Valuations.

  • Event
  • Stories & News

SJICA Benefit Art Auction

Clars Auction Gallery is proud to partner with the ICA of San José in their 2022 Annual Benefit Art Auction, IN THEIR OWN WORDS. Join us November 5th, 5PM.

  • Event
  • Stories & News