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LIGHTNING RELEASES (6/11/2014) – Clarke Auction’s June 16th sale will feature some of the best American sculpture, paintings, and graphic works to date. The most exciting and important work by an American artist in the sale is the 1954 abstract bronze sculpture entitled Moons of Saturn by Ibram Lassaw.  Lassaw, a New York School sculptor, co-founded the American Abstract Artists in 1936 and served as president of the organization from 1946 to 1949. The avant-garde artist and one of the most influential figures of post-war art denied the notion that art should to be representational and embraced abstraction in its purest form. Lassaw’s Moons of Saturn, a fine example of his iconic open-form welded sculpture, epotimizes this principle and, as the title suggests, the execution of this concept is truly out of this world.

While in Taos, New Mexico during the summer of 1954, Lassaw created several sculptures that he and his family brought back to New York in an old Ford Woody station wagon purchased by the artist from his friend, Max Ernst. Among the works was the sister sculpture to Moons of Saturn, titled Planets, now in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Clarke is pleased to offer the rare Moons of Saturn for auction on the 16th of June with a $10,000 to $15,000 presale estimate.

Lassaw and the early New York abstract expressionists challenged and changed the path of modern and contemporary art. Clarke will also offer several other three-dimensional works by artists who were no doubt influenced by their predecessors. Two modernist bronze horses by New York sculptor, ceramicist, and painter, Fred Farr, will be sold with modest $600 to $900 estimates and will be complemented by 5 calligraphic drawings by Farr, of the same subject, to be sold in separate lots.  There will also be two unique modern figural bronzes by Harry Marinsky including a charming bronze of masked Venetian figure on stilts and a 1959 figure of a man on a bicycle ($1,000/$1,500 ea.).

Paintings and prints by American artists are also well represented in this sale. Andy Warhol’s 1971 screenprint Electric Chair will be offered with an $8,000-$12,000 estimate. The graphic work, one from a series of ten images demonstrates the artist’s fascination with death and disaster, a theme that is reminiscent of the Warhol’s Silver Car Crash that sold for $104.5 million at Sotheby’s this past November.

LeRoy Neiman, an artist who, like Warhol, is known for his Pop Art subject matter, uses a more expressive technique. Two unique works by Neiman from the collection of a New York filmmaker will be sold on the 16th. An unusual watercolor and ink composition using overlapping imagery depicts Marlon Brando as Napoleon in the 1954 film, Désirée, while a mixed media shows a seated Robert Morley as Colonel Roberts in Finders Keepers, 1966. The Neiman’s are estimated $8,000 to $12,000 and $2,000 to $3,000 respectively.

New York scenes and subjects are always favorable among artists and collectors alike. A nearly surrealist image of the city by California-based artist Dong Kingman is a stand-out work in the June sale. The distinctive painting, a luminous watercolor on paper featuring the Statue of Liberty represents the artist’s ownership of the medium and is offered with a $4,000 to $6,000 estimate. A very large abstract by New-York based artist Linda Stojak will be sold with a $3,000 to $5,000 estimate. The mixed media painting is wrought with texture and emphasizes the female form, a theme indicative of the artist, through the placement of a small headless figure at the base of the canvas.

Paintings in the traditional style will also be featured. An oil on canvas executed in 1892 by Chester Loomis captures a scene from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great American novel, The Scarlett Letter. A pensive Hester, is seated in the autumn woods cloaked in gray surrounded by the muted tones of changing seasons, an emblazoned ‘A’ across her chest. The emotionally captivating painting is one of the best by the artist to come to market and will be sold with a $2,000 to $3,000 estimate.

A conventional still life by Ogden Pleissner from a Westchester, NY estate represents an unconventional painting for the artist. Known for his landscapes, genre, and field and stream watercolors, Pliessner demonstrates his traditional training and technical ability through this early arrangement of pears, a wine bottle and a knife done in oil. The work, estimated at $2,000 to $3,000 was exhibited in the Salons of America Inc. Spring Exhibition and bears the original label on the back of the period Newcomb Macklin frame.

 The realist painter, Nelson Shanks, fought to uphold the tradition of skillful representation of human experience through portraiture and figure painting when abstraction was taking hold in the mid 20th century. Two oils of female nudes by Shanks reflect the technical quality and humanist emotion of the classists and are estimated to sell between $1,000 to $1,500 and $800 to $1,200.

The June 16th auction will also feature works by the following American artists:  Abraham Walkowitz, Stephen Wilson Van Schaick, Frederick Coffay Yohn, Jacques Zucker, Robert Kluth, Louis Ribak, Benjamin Kopman, George Segal, Paul Landacre, John Anderson, Robert Broderson, Charles Augustus-Smith, George Morrison, David Lund, Joan Nelson, Peter Drake, Adam Cvijanovic, Sara Kolb Danner, and Ed Kerns.

To view the full auction catalog please visit www.ClarkeNY.com. Catalog is updated daily. For condition reports, bid registration, or additional auction information, please call the gallery at (914) 833-8336 or email info@clarkeny.com

In house previews for the June 16th auction will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 14th and 15th from 12pm to 6pm and Monday, June 16th (day of sale) from 12pm to 4pm sale start. 

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