Monday, May 30, 2016

Freeman’s American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists Auction: Wyeths, Henri, Shinn, du Bois, Redfield, Lewis

With paintings from three generations of Wyeths, two members of The Eight, and representatives of the New Hope School among others, Freeman’s American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists auction touches on important genres and subjects of great American art, in short a collector’s dream. The June 5 auction includes 125 lots and begins at 2pm.

After selling four works of illustration art by N.C. Wyeth within the past year for a total of $1.3 million, another exceptional illustrative work by Wyeth comes to auction at Freeman’s.

“After the Day’s Work  (Arriving Home)” (Lot 80, est. $150,000-250,000) is an idyllic illustration of a man retiring home to his family, reminiscent of Norman Rockwell’s iconic style. The painting was initially published in an English textbook in 1926, but it is possible that it may date to as early as 1921 (presently dated to ca. 1924-1926). This fresh to market painting has been in private hands since it was acquired in 1993.

Other works from the Wyeth family include several sketches and a watercolor by Andrew Wyeth (Lots 81-83). The watercolor (Lot 81, est. $30,000-50,000) is a thank you note of sorts presented to the graphic designer who laid out Betsy Wyeth's book, Christina's World: Paintings and Prestudies of Andrew Wyeth, published in 1982. It will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the artist's work.

Two paintings of pastoral life by Jamie Wyeth,

“Two Stayed Home” and

“Fallen Tree” (lots 84 & 85 both est. $30,000-50,000), feature the artist’s signature technique and distinctive imagery.

Lot 27: Robert Henri \"Manolita Marequis\"Two works from the Ashcan School are also among the auction’s highlights with Robert Henri’s “Manolita Marequis" (Lot 27, est. $120,000-180,000) being one of the standouts. Robert Henri is best known as the most prominent and celebrated member of the group known as The Eight. Henri frequently traveled to Spain, particularly between 1900 and 1926. During that time he painted a large and significant amount of works depicting Spanish people and their everyday life. The 1908 piece “Manolita Marequis" is an excellent example of a privately owned work that embodies Henri's fascination with Spanish subjects, including dancers. Her striking red and black floral dress and vivid rose in her hair are matched only by her commanding expression. An exotic beauty, her bold features immediately demand the viewer's attention and the dark background and animated brushstrokes add to the painting's appeal.

Also from the Ashcan school, “The Plaza Looking Northeast at 59th Street” (Lot 29, est. $50,000-80,000) by Everett Shinn. According to a label in Shinn's handwriting verso, the painting depicts the "first sketches made for the decorations in the Hotel Plaza bar. These changed to more serious presentation. E.S." Three murals by Shinn adorn the walls of New York City's Plaza Hotel and were recently restored in 2010.

A student of Robert Henri and producing artwork during the Jazz Age, Guy Pène du Bois depicted the café life and culture around him. GUY PÈNE DU BOIS (american 1884-1958) \"LOCKED JURY\"
Pène du Bois’s “Locked Jury” (Lot 42, est. $40,000-60,000) is another notable piece in the sale. The color palette and stylized figures shows a number of various social interactions occurring as small vignettes throughout the composition. Of particular note is the woman in pink—the only female in the painting—on whom most of the color is concentrated, and who immediately draws the eye through her appearance of isolation and contemplation. Each encounter seems to be a separate engagement unto itself. The title, "Locked Jury", indicates a sense of disagreement and stalemate; the dark, almost smoky appearance of the room adds to the somber, yet intense sentiment exuding from the canvas. This painting was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From the Pennsylvania Impressionists, there is a selection of landscape paintings, including

Edward Willis Redfield’s “House in Point Pleasant” (Lot 115, est. $60,000-100,000), which boasts an impeccable provenance as it was passed directly from the artist through his family to the present owner.

The smaller scale piece by Redfield, “The Hill Country” (Lot 117, est. $80,000-120,000) abounds with brightness and life; the vivid, luminous colors of spring cover the canvas and invite the viewer into the scene. The painting will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of Redfield's work compiled by Dr. Thomas Folk.

Other notable paintings by Pennsylvania Impressionists coming to auction include Fern Isabel Coppedge’s “Harbor Scene” (Lot 96 est. $40,000-60,000); George William Sotter’s “The Neighbor’s House” (Lot 99, est. $40,000-60,000); and Walter Elmer Schofield’s “May in Cornwall” (Lot 116, est. $25,000-40,000.

Additional Lots of Interest in Freeman's June 5 Auction American Art & Pennsylvania Impressionists 

Lot 1 Martin Lewis “Glow of the City" est. $30,000-50,000