Artist Spotlight: Joan Brown

  • Artist Spotlight
  • Modern + Contemporary

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

Born on February 13, 1938, she was a San Francisco native. Brown studied at the California School of Fine Art and was a prominent member of the second generation Bay Area Figurative movement. In 1960, at the age of 22, Brown had her first museum show occur at the Whitney Biennial in New York, showcasing her abstract expressionist paintings. After divorcing her first husband, Bill Brown, she was married to Bay Area Figurative sculptor, Manuel Neri, from 1962 to 1966.


Cucumber and Lemon
Joan Brown (American, 1938–1990), Cucumber and Lemon, 1965, oil on plywood board, 16.25″ x 15″.
Sold: $31,250

Brown taught introductory painting and drawing classes at the California School of Fine Arts and University of California, Berkeley. Later in her career, Brown became increasingly interested in public sculpture. On October 26, 1990, Brown travelled to India to help with the installation of one of her obelisks. Brown died along with others, when a concrete turret from the floor above collapsed while they were installing the mosaic obelisk.


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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

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

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

Dragon Vases Soar Above Estimates

  • Asian Art
  • Stories & News

Clars Auction Gallery had an excellent August sale with many highlights and strong prices in our Asian Art Department.

Dozens of telephone bidders were vying for two Chinese imperial bronze ‘dragon’ vases. These vases soared well above estimate to realize a price of $245,000.


Asian Art Dragon Vases
Left: Chinese imperial bronze ‘dragon’ vase, mark and period of Qianlong. Right: Chinese imperial bronze ‘dragon’ vase, mark and period of Jiaqing.

Each features five-clawed dragons in pursuit of flaming pearls amid scrolling clouds in low relief. The precision and intricacy of the molding indicates the imperial origin, while the patina on the surface demonstrates the age. One statue has the inscription “Qianlong Nianzao of the Great Qing Dynasty” and the other has the book “Great Qing Jiaqing Nianzao,” both of which were purchased in Tokyo, Japan around 1949.

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Fine Jewelry & Timepieces Valuation Day | February 17th

Clars will be hosting a Fine Jewelry & Timepieces Valuation Day on February 17th, 10AM–2PM. This event is by appointment only.

  • Event
  • Stories & News

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

November Asian Art Highlights

Clars will offer an exquisite selection of paintings and calligraphy, archer’s rings, fine porcelains, and other categories of Asian works of art on November 20th.

  • Asian Art
  • Auction

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

Valuation Day | PBS KVIE

Clars Auction Gallery is excited to partner with PBS KVIE for this Valuation Day. Join us October 29th!

  • Event
  • Stories & News

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