"PH-234," by Clyfford Still, oil on canvas, 69 by 59 5/8 inches, 1948
28 is a large and sumptuous abstract oil on canvas entitled "PH-234" by
Clyfford Still (1904-1980). It measures 69 by 59 5/8 inches and
was painted in 1948. It was exhibited at the Hirschhorn Museum
and Sculpture Garden in Washington in an retrospective on the artist in
"Across its expansive surface Untitled
unveils the complexity of Still's oeuvre as he brings together
different areas of color, creating a palpable sense of tension as large
sea of deep blue tussles for supremacy with subtle passages of light
pigment as a vertical expanse of scorching red, spreads across the
surface like a trail of molten lava," the catalogue entry observed.
It has an estimate of $25,000,000 to $35,000,000. It sold for $28,165,000.
"PH-66," by Clyfford Still, oil on canvas, 90 by 67 1/2 inches, 1955
large Still that was included in the same exhibition at the Hirshhorn
is Lot 21, "PH-66," an oil on canvas that measures 90 by 67 1/2
inches. It was painted in 1955.
"Omens of Spring," by Adolph Gottlieb, oil, gouache, tempera and casein
on cnnvas, 68 by 92 inches, 1950
The catalogue entry includes the following quote from the artist in
"A great free joy surges through me when I work. Only, the
conceptions are born too quickly. And with tense slashes and a
few thrusts the beautiful white fields receive their color and the work
is finished in a few minutes. Like [the Spanish matador] Belmonte
weaving the pattern of his being by twisting the powerful bulls around
him, I seem to achieve a comparable ecstasy in bringing forth the
flaming life through these large responsive areas of canvas. And
as the blues or reds or blacks leap and quiver in their tenuous
ambiance or rise in austere thrusts to carry their power infinitely
beyond the bounds of the limiting field, I move with them and find
resurrection from the moribund expressions that held me only hours ago."
The lot has an estimate of $8,000,000 to $12,000,000. It sold for $9,125,000.
Lot 32 is
a lovely and joyous abstraction by Adolph Gottlieb (1903-1974) entitled
"Omens of Spring" from the artist's "Pictograph" series. An oil,
gouache, tempera and casein on canvas, it measures 68 by 92 inches and
was painted in 1950. It has a modest estimate of $2,000,000 to
$3,000,000. It sold for
"Lorelei," by Anselm Kiefer, oil, emulsion, acrylic, lead, plaster,
birdcage and lacquer on canvas, 74 3/4 by 110 1/4 by 11 inches, 2005
Lot 48 is a great and large work by
Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945). Entitled "Lorelei, the oil, emulsion,
lead, plaster, birdcage and lacquer on canvas, measures 74 3/4 by 110
1/4 by 11 inches. It was created in 2005. It has a modest
estimate of $700,000 to $1,000,000. It sold for $785,000.
"Sumac 17," center, by Alexander Calder, hanging mobile, sheet metal,
wire and paint, 41 5/8 by 75 1/2 by 39 3/8 inches, 1955
auction has several works by Alexander Calder (1898-1976) and they are
related to his "Voyage to India" in 1955 in response to a letter from
Gira Sarabhai, youngest of eight children of a wealthy family in
Ahmedabad. The 18-page entry about Calder's trip in the auction's
sumptuous catalogue notes that "Gira and her brother Gautam had founded
the Calico Textile Museum - arguably the best of its kind in the world
- and had already welcomed leading figures of the European and American
avant-garde to their home, including Isamu Noguchi, LeCorbusier and
John Cage." "Others would soon follow," it continued, "including
Robert Rauschenburg, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Neutra - who
visited whilst designing the U.S. Embassy for Karachi - and Charles and
Ray Eames, with whom Gira and Gautam would collaborate to establish the
city's celebrated National Institute of Design."
Lot 29, "Red
No. 1," by Sam Francis, oil and canvas, 64 by 45 inches, 1953
Lot 10, "Sumac 17," is a hanging mobile by Calder of sheet metal, wire
and paint that measures 41 5/8 by 75 1/2 by 39 3/8 inches. It was
made in 1955. It has an estimate of $4,000,000 to
$6,000,000. It sold for
Lot 29 is
the first of two paintings by Sam Francis (1923-1994) in the auction
from the collection of Guy and Marie-Helene Weill. Entitled "Red
No. 1," it is an oil on canvas that measures 64 by 45 inches. It
was painted in 1953 and has been widely exhibited. It has an
estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. It sold for $4,421,000.
"Green," by Sam Francis, oil on canvas, 50 3/4 by 63 1/2 inches, 1953
Francis is Lot 30, "Green" is a lush oil on canvas that measures
50 3/4 by 63 1/2. It was painted in 1953.
"Smooth Egg with Bow (Magenta/Violet)," by Jeff Koons, mirror-polished
stainless steel with transparent color coating, 83 1/2 by 76 5/8 by 62
inches, one of five differently colored versions, 1994-2009
The catalogue notes that Francis was much enamoured of the waterlily
paintings of Claude Monet and the catalogue entry noted that in 1957
"anointed Francis as the natural heir to Monet."
"Across this rich and verdant luxuriant canvas, Francis lays out a
series of corpuscular shapes that jostle and nestle together like a
jigsaw....The result is a mosaic of dazzling chromatic intensity,
luxurious in its variety and rich in formal interest."
It has an estimate of $1,800,000 to $2,500,000. It sold for $1,925,000.
Lot 55, "Smooth Egg with Bow
(Magenta/Violet)," by Jeff Koons (b. 1955), mirror-polished stainless
steel with transparent color coating. It measures 83 1/2 by 76 58
by 62 inches and was created between 1994 and 2009. It is one of
five different colored versions.
Lot 17, "No.
17," by Mark Rothko, oil on canvas, 91 by 69 1/2 inches, 1957
The catalogue notes that the work "represents the promise of Spring and
the corresponding overtures of fertility and reproduction that are
embodied therein, not to mention the religious symbolism of
resurrection and new life," adding that "on a more basic, carnal level,
it evokes the sensorial pleasures that are unleashed when a shiny
chocolate egg is unwrapped and devoured, as well as the ritualized
moment of surprise emobodied by a beautifully wrapped gift." It
is part of the artist's "Celebration" series.
The lot has an estimate of $7,000,000 to $10,000,000. It sold for $7,445,000.
Lot 17 is appropriately entitled "No. 17"
and is a large and very dark oil on canvas by Mark Rothko
(1903-1970). It measures 91 by 69 1/2 inches and was painted in
1957. It has an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000,000. It sold for $32,645,000.
"Untitled," by Mark Rothko, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 24 by 18
A far more attractive Rothko is the
untitled Lot 46, an oil on paper mounted on canvas that measures 24 by
18 inches. It was painted in 1968. It has been exhibited at
the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Whitney Museum of
American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. It has an
estimate of $2,500,000 to $3,500,000. It sold for $3,189,000.