New York— Christie’s announces Modern Icons: Property from an Important Private Collection will highlight the American Art auction on November 18 in New York. Representing the leading American Modernist artists of the 20th Century, featured highlights include Arthur Dove’s Sunset and Thomas Hart Benton’s Keith Farm, Chilmark (each estimated at $2,000,000-3,000,000). The collection of 24 lots also includes works by Edward Hopper, Milton Avery, Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, Walt Kuhn, Charles Burchfield, Oscar Bluemner, Maxfield Parrish and John Marin. Viewing is by appointment only 13-17 November at Christie’s Rockefeller Center Galleries.
Thomas Hart Benton’s Keith Farm, Chilmark represents the culmination of the great Regionalist master’s craft and is emblematic of the everyday American subject matter he sought to champion (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000). The work depicts the small Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard which had a significant impact on Benton’s defining style and a spot the artist continuously returned throughout his career. With Keith Farm, Chilmark, Benton’s treatment of a representational subject matter combined with boldly abstracted and undulating forms achieves an obvious reverence for America: understood today as a hallmark of the artist’s oeuvre.
Arthur Dove’s Sunset represents his exploration into abstract technique that characterizes his revolutionary body of work (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000). Dove’s examinations of pure abstraction in the early 20th Century are recognized as American art’s earliest forays into nonobjective painting, and throughout his ambitious career to follow, the artist continued to balance inspiration from the natural world with a boldly innovative spirit. As epitomized by Sunset of 1935, Dove’s abstracted visions of nature’s rhythms importantly anticipated and influenced the post-War Abstract Expressionist movement to come.
Prospect Street, Gloucester by Edward Hopper from 1928 is characteristic of his best watercolors and triumphant in its perennial modernity (estimate: $1,500,000-2,500,000). The aqueous medium transformed Hopper’s work, instilling it with an immediacy and spontaneity absent in his more laborious oils, and the absence of human presence and the largely shuttered windows are suggestive of Hopper’s later fascination with the theme of modern isolation.
Several works by Stuart Davis are led by Carrefour, which belongs to Davis’ seminal series of works painted in Paris in the late 1920s, and captures the dynamic effect the visual energy of the city and its architecture had on the artist (estimate: $700,000-1,000,000). Maxfield Parrish’s Dingleton Farm reflects his life-long interest in the effect of light on nature and his passionate attention to detail in the presentation of the majestic topography (estimate: $600,000-800,000).