Staff
Picks

Modern, Post War & Contemporary Art

Our staff talk about their favorite pieces in our upcoming auction.

AUCTION
MARCH 31, 2020

Ken Price, Club Zebra (1981)

With eye-catching animal print and lude cutouts echoing Mattisse swimmers, Price’s Club Zebra paints a cartoonish jauntiness atop the underbelly of urban life, something that I find resonant during this time of uncharacteristic solitude for city dwellers. The composition flattens and compartmentalizes its urban blight, layering innuendo and blunt sexual imagery with bright, calming colors and basic shapes, mixing the nostalgia of fifties Fords with the two-tone rust lines of social decay and base humanity. The independence of the lone figure fills me with a sense of hope: no matter how much things change around us, we can’t help but adapt and move forward.

Cary Hooper, Technology Director 

Cary Hooper, Technology Director 

Josh Smith, Palette Print III (2009)

One of my favorite works in the upcoming Modern postwar and contemporary sale is Josh Smith’s Palette Print III. Trained as a printmaker but known for his paintings, this work seems to visually combine both mediums. The print feels chaotic and confined. You can get a real sense of the exact movement from the artist to create this work.

Samantha Hodnovich, Cataloger

Beverly Semmes, Buried Treasure (1996)

A trail of black fabric weaves across the foreground of the image, leading the viewer through a tangled map, which focally culminates at a bold red “x” – a Hidden Treasure. This ominous photograph, created by Beverly Semmes, challenges the audience on their definitions of treasure. What treasures do we precisely garner from life and art? As a consistent theme throughout her works, often explored through massive fabric installations and multi media artworks, Buried Treasure perpetuates Semmes’ dialogue on intrinsic meaning and captures the artist’s big thematic inquiries within a small, curious window.

Mikela Wesson, Admin. Assistant 

Benoît Gilsoul, Untitled (Monochromatic composition)

What an energetic and complicated drawing Gilsoul gives us here. Exciting moves at every turn. Most interesting  is his use of thin graphite lines to visually hold in pools of ink. Gilsoul is best known for his many large scale stained glass projects, and you can’t help but see the correlation between these marks and the lead came construction that holds stained glass pieces together. 

Andrew Sroka, Art Director

John Cage, Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel (1969)

John Cage’s touch is quite light in his homage to Marcel Duchamp. This fun and interactive piece riffs off of the rank and file of the chess board with  8 sheets of lithographed plexiglas whose order are determined by the viewer. Under the artist’s guidance we co-create the composition and project meaning on to the work as our minds fill in the space between the broken typography and the incomplete images.

Simon Baranoff, Partner

Simon Baranoff, Partner

Aaron Siskind, Savoy Dancers (1967), silver gelatin print,
9 x 7 1/4 inches

One of my favorite works in the upcoming Modern postwar and contemporary sale is Josh Smith’s Palette Print III. Trained as a printmaker but known for his paintings, this work seems to visually combine both mediums. The print feels chaotic and confined. You can get a real sense of the exact movement from the artist to create this work.

Samantha Hodnovich, Cataloger 

Mikela Wesson, Administrative Assistant 

Matsumi Kanemitsu, Self Portrait #4 (1969), ink on paper,
14 x 11 inches

Kanemitsu’s ephemeral forms lend a sense of motion and figuration to the swelling ink that captures the mutability of the medium perfectly. This self portrait reminds me of all the traditional calligraphy and landscapes I’ve worked with in the past, in a lovely, abstract fashion that I find both provocative and comforting.

Samantha Hodnovich, Cataloger 

Cary Hooper, Technology Director