By Carter B. Horsley
This morning auction of Contemporary
Art at Sotheby's November 10, 2005 is highlighted by a great painting
by Wayne Thiebaud, a nice sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro, a fine
painting by Barbara Kruger, a nice Cy Twombly, a strong Helen
Frankenthaler and a good Malcolm Morley.
Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) is
best known for his luscious still lifes and dramatic urban scapes.
Lot 203 is a very fine study of rows of men's neckties that is
surprisingly powerful given its small size of 13 1/2 by 16 1/2
inches. Executed in 1970, it has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.
This lot is the back-cover illustration of the catalogue.
Lot 185 is a very handsome bronze with gold
patina sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926). Entitled "Disco,"
it is 36 inches in diameter and was executed in 1966 and is the
second artist's proof from an original editionof 3. It has a modest
estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
Lot 116 is a good untitled abstraction by Lee
Krasner (see The City Review article on a Krasner exhibition).
A gouache on paper, it measures 22 1/2 by 30 inches and was executed
circa 1964. It has a modest estimtae of $60,000 to $80,000.
Lot 136, "Gaudeamus Igatur (In Gay Enjoyment,"
is a strong abstraction by Hans Hofmann (1880-1966). An oil on
canvas, it measures 60 1/8 by 48 1/8 inches. Executed in 1963,
it has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.
Lot 255 is a strong abstraction by Helen Frankenthaler
(b.1928) that is entitled "Aqueduct." An acrylic on
canvas, it measures 62 1/4 by 39 1/2 inches and was executed in
1987. It has a modest estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.
Lot 200 is a good 1971 work by Cy Twombly (b.
1928). Entitled "Ramification," is is an oil, pencil
and oilstick on paper collage on paper that measures 33 1/4 by
27 1/4 inches. It has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.
Lot 175 is a simple but good pencil, wax crayon
and gouache on paper by Cy Twombly. It measures 25 1/2 by 20 inches.
executed in 1971, it has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
A work that employs a somewhat similar palette
and composition but is far more interesting is Lot 155, "Split
Level, Weather Vane," by Malcolm Morley (b. 1931). An oil
on pencil on canvas, it measures 37 1/2 by 45 1/2 inches and was
executed in 1964. It has a modest estimate of $30,000 to $40,000.
Lot 353 is a fine large photographic silkscreen
in on vinyl by Barbara Kruger (b. 1945). Entitled "Not Stupid
Enough," it measures 109 inches square and was executed in
1997. It was included in the retrospective exhibition on the artist
in 1999-2000 at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles
and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. It has an
estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.
Lot 354 is a good large work by Gilbert (b.
1943) & George (b. 1942). Entitled "Faith Curse,"
it consists of 20 hand colored photographs and overall it measures
94 3/4 by 98 3/8 inches. Executed in 1982, it has an estimate
of $200,000 to $300,000.
The most charming work in the auction is Lot
319, "Chintz Girls," by Laura Ford (b. 1961). The work
consists of five figures of girls in chintz, each 39 1/8 by 28
1/4 by 28 1/4 inches and made of plaster, wire and fabric. The
work was executed in 1998 and has an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.
Richard Artschwager (b. 1923) has a great sense
of texture and one suspects he makes great sandcastles. Lot 415,
"Two Diners (A)," is a fine example of his art, a formica
and acrylic on celotex in painted artist's wood frame. It measures
63 by 61 1/2 by 4 inches and was executed in 1986. It has a modest
estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
Lot 424 is an impressive and colorful painting
by Sandro Chia (b. 1946) that is entitled "Painter With Sons
and Frog." An oil on canvas, it measures 86 1/4 by 79 1/2
inches and was executed in 1984. It has an estimate of $120,000
Lot 444 is a large printed paper, oil and mixed
media on burlap by Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945). Entitled "Odin
and the World Ash," it measures 66 1/4 by 74 1/2 inches and
was executed in 1981. It has an estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.