Highlights in Art, Design, and Books

Explore must-see 20th Century Paintings and Prints, 21st Century Photography, Mario Bellini Furniture, and Selections from the Library of Rosa and Aaron Esman all in Art, Design, and Books.

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Published on
February 22, 2024
Lot 130 Paul Brach, Merlin (1957)

Lot 130 | Paul Brach, Merlin (1957)


20th-Century Paintings and Prints

Paul Brach is featured in the sale with large-scale oil paintings on canvas, pastel works on paper, and a portfolio of lithographs. Brach's work is characterized by its bold use of color, dynamic brushwork, and exploration of form and space. He was associated with the second generation of Abstract Expressionists, alongside artists like Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell. His paintings, like the ones included in the sale, often evoke a sense of energy and movement, inviting viewers to engage with the expressive qualities of his work.

Lot 97 Peter Lanyon, Beach (1961)

Lot 97 | Peter Lanyon, Beach (1961)


An exciting offering is the above mixed media work on paper by Peter Lanyon. Peter Lanyon was a prominent British artist known for his significant contributions to the St Ives School of Artists and his pioneering work in abstract landscape painting. Lanyon's artistic style evolved, transitioning from figurative depictions of the Cornish landscape to more abstract and expressive interpretations like the work featured in the sale. He experimented with bold colors, gestural brushwork, and innovative techniques to capture the essence of the land and its elemental forces. 

Lot 105 Brice Marden, From "Ten Days" (1971-72)

Lot 105 | Brice Marden, From "Ten Days" (1971-72)


Among the print offerings in the sale are the eight etchings from Brice Marden’s acclaimed series “Ten Days” being offered individually. Lots 103-110 showcase Marden's masterful use of aquatint which he used to create his vast range of textures and tones, adding richness and complexity to the surfaces of his prints. His etchings, like those in "Ten Days", contribute to the broader narrative of his artistic evolution, extending his exploration of form and color and offering a different lens through which to appreciate his distinctive visual language.

Lot 80 Robert Polidori, Sala Alejo Carpentier, Gran Teatro de la Habana (2000)

Lot 80 | Robert Polidori, Sala Alejo Carpentier, Gran Teatro de la Habana (2000)


21st Century Photography 

Among the 21st-century art in Art, Design, and Books there are a few captivating photographs including work by Robert Polidori and Angela Strassheim. Robert Polidori often focuses on capturing the essence of places marked by history, transformation, and human presence. He has traveled extensively, documenting cities around the world, from Havana to Chernobyl, New Orleans to Versailles. Sala Alejo Carpentier, Gran Teatro de la Habana is from the year 2000 and was taken in Havana. Through his lens, he reveals the complex interplay between architecture, culture, and the passage of time.

Lot 84 Angela Strassheim, Untitled (Alicia in the Pool)(2006)

Lot 84 | Angela Strassheim, Untitled (Alicia in the Pool) (2006)


Angela Straussheim’s photo Untitled (Alicia in the Pool), calls to mind Botticelli’s, The Birth of Venus, with Alicia’s positioning, wind-blown hair, and the tiny pool mimicking Venus’s seashell. In her work, Straussheim is known for exploring pivotal and transitional moments of life and girlhood, especially the fleeting innocence of childhood and the contemplation of motherhood.

Lot 44 Mario Bellini, La Rotunda

Lot 44 | Mario Bellini, La Rotunda


Mario Bellini Furniture

The design section of the sale boasts an impressive array of pieces designed by renowned Mario Bellini for Cassina. Throughout his career, Bellini has been celebrated for his versatility, designing everything from furniture and household objects to architectural projects. His designs often exhibit a timeless elegance and a meticulous attention to detail. In Art, Design, and Books, we’re pleased to offer two La Rotunda tables. From their sleek glass tops to rich wood finishes, each element is carefully selected to complement the overall design aesthetic. Whether used as a focal point in a living room or as a functional workspace in an office setting, these tables seamlessly integrate into any space, enhancing its visual appeal and functionality.

Lot 47 Mario Bellini, Cab Chairs Group

Lot 47 | Mario Bellini, Cab Chairs Group


The sale also includes a set of Bellini’s renowned Cab Chairs. What sets the Cab Chair apart is its distinctive silhouette, characterized by a sleek, curvaceous form that envelopes the sitter. The chair's shell is molded from a single piece of flexible polyurethane foam, creating a seamless and organic shape that cradles the body with unparalleled ergonomic support. Beyond its ergonomic design, the Cab Chair was heralded for its distinctive silhouette and elegant form. 

Lot 33 Mario Bellini, Duc Sectional Sofa

Lot 33 | Mario Bellini, Duc Sectional Sofa


Rounding out the group is an exceptionally comfortable Duc Sectional Sofa with luxurious black leather. The sofa's modular design allows for versatile configurations, adapting effortlessly to various living spaces and interior styles.

Lot 5 John Elderfield, Frankenthaler, Signed (1989)

Lot 5 | John Elderfield, Frankenthaler, Signed (1989)


Selections from the Library of Rosa and Aaron Esman

Over their seventy-year marriage, Rosa and Aaron Esman cultivated a shared passion for the arts, resulting in a vast collection of Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary art. Their mutual adoration for art extended to Dr. Aaron Esman's profound love for literature, culminating in an exceptional library filled with art books and print portfolios of unparalleled quality and depth. Many books like this beautiful bind-up of Helen Frankenthaler’s work boast personal inscriptions from the artists to the Esmans. 

Lot 18 František Kupka, Quatre histoires de blanc et noir (1926)

Lot 18 | František Kupka, Quatre histoires de blanc et noir (1926)


A very popular item from the Esman collection is František Kupka’s Quatre histoires de blanc et noir. This portfolio offers a complete set in each state from an edition of 100 printed by G. Kadar Presses in Paris 1926. Kupka's keen interest in the intersection of art and science is prominently evident in these prints. He was known for drawing inspiration from theories of light, space, and the invisible forces that govern the universe. The Quatre Histoires de blanc et noir correspond to four different formal solutions. The cycle is formed by four sub-cycles: organic, triangular, cosmic, and vertical. Two of them research the motifs created – organic, the other two motifs given by geometry. In these monochrome pages form and line play to create exceptional varying abstract scenes. 

Preview Hours

Friday, February 23rd, 11-3PM

Tuesday, February 27th, 11-3PM

and by appointment

Pre-bidding for Art, Design, and Books is available now. Live bidding begins February 28th at 11:00 AM EST.

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