Alice Baber’s Abstract Axe in the Grove Painting Leads John Moran Auctioneers’ Art + Design Auction

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John Moran Auctioneers will soon present Art + Design, a sale featuring works from prominent collections, institutions, and galleries. Highlights from the sale include fine art by Alice Baber, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Hans Burkhardt, and Ted Harrison. Design highlights include pieces by George Nakashima, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, Frank Gehry, and George Nelson, along with fine art prints, paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, design, and more. The sale will be held live on March 1, 2023. Collectors can view the complete catalog and place bids by visiting Bidsquare.

Alice Baber, (1928-1982), "Axe in the Grove," 1966, Oil on canvas, 48" H x 64" W
Alice Baber, (1928-1982), “Axe in the Grove,” 1966, Oil on canvas, 48″ H x 64″ W

Axe in the Grove, a 1966 oil on canvas by Alice Baber, is a leading lot in the Art + Design auction (lot #139; estimate: USD 50,000 – $70,000). Alice Barber (1928 – 1982) was an American Abstract Expressionist painter. Baber was often unwell as a child and regularly traveled to Florida to benefit from sunlight and the outdoors. Later, she traveled as an artist and collected art. She was fond of Latin American art and Asian art, in particular Japanese art. Shapes and colors always intrigued her. And for many, Baber’s art defied trends, inspired by sensuous movements and translucent colors. The available painting depicts a myriad of color dots. It was exhibited in A. M. Sachs Gallery, New York City. It was signed by Baber in 1966 and gifted to the present owner in 1980.

Yves Klein, (1928-1962), "Table Monogold," designed 1961/1963, Gold leaf, glass, Plexiglass, wood, and steel, 14.25" H x 49.25" W x 39.25" D
Yves Klein, (1928-1962), “Table Monogold,” designed 1961/1963, Gold leaf, glass, Plexiglass, wood, and steel, 14.25″ H x 49.25″ W x 39.25″ D

Table Monogold, a gold leaf table designed by Yves Klein, is a noteworthy furniture lot in the upcoming auction (lot #192; estimate: $12,000 – $18,000). It was made between 1961 and 1963 with gold leaf, sealed inside glass, plexiglass, wood, and steel. It comes with a signed placard of authenticity affixed to the underside. Klein (1928 – 1962) was a French artist and widely influential figure in post-war European art. He believed his mission in life was to change or provoke emotion through his art. Like Baber, he too traveled to Japan to learn Judo and was influenced by Japanese culture and art. Gold, pink, and blue were his signature colors. Klein threw half of the gold he received during his performance art into a river to restore balance that humans disrupted. Toward the end of his life, Klein used the remaining gold to create a series of gold-leafed works, like the available piece.

Kenneth Hassrick, (1921-2004), Untitled, 1965, Iron, 68.25" H x 30" W x 18" D
Kenneth Hassrick, (1921-2004), Untitled, 1965, Iron, 68.25″ H x 30″ W x 18″ D

Alongside fine art and furniture, the upcoming sale will also exhibit sculptures and pop culture collectibles. An untitled 1965 iron sculpture signed by Kenneth Hassrick is a leading lot (lot #72; estimate: $3,000 – $5,000). Hassrick (1921 – 2004) was an island artist. About his works, he said that he chose to express his ideas by “the means of the female figure as the most useful subject, and one of the most complicated and ever variable of subjects.”

Other noteworthy lots in the Art + Design auction include: 

  • Usar algumas palavras que ainda nao tenham idioma (Group R) da Serie Materia de Poesia (Para Manoel de Barros), 2013, a set of six inkjet prints in colors on Canson Rag Photographique paper laid to aluminum panels by Rosângela Rennó Gomes (lot #200; estimate: $20,000 – $30,000)
  • Perspective Reflected, 1964, oil and gold leaf on canvas by Margaret Keane (lot #233; estimate: $5,000 – $7,000). 
  • In the Beginning, a 2022 photopolymer resin and beads sculpture by Rick Wolfryd (lot #205; estimate: $1,500 – $2,000).
  • Attributed to Bruno Munari, a Modern chess game, circa 1960, hand-painted wood with Plexiglas, hand-painted wood pieces, and foosballs (lot #197; estimate: $700 – $900).

The Art + Design auction by John Moran Auctioneers will take place on Feb 28, 2023. Interested collectors may attend live in the Philadelphia gallery or online via Bidsquare

About John Moran Auctioneers 

John Moran Auctioneers is a family-owned and operated company, and a market leader and trendsetter in sales of California and American art. We offer more works of California Impressionism, California Style watercolors, and Western art than any other auction house. Our personalized approach is our trademark. Since our founding in 1969, we have had the privilege of offering quality art and antiques from estates and private collections to buyers around the globe. Commitments to honesty, client care, and professionalism have always been the bedrock of our operating philosophy. Building on decades of success, John Moran Auctioneers continues to set and surpass auction records for the most important California Impressionists, including Granville Redmond, William Wendt, Maurice Braun, Paul Lauritz, Elmer Wachtel, Joe Duncan Gleason, Edgar Payne, Hanson Puthuff, and Joseph Kleitsch. We also handle top Western artists such as Nicolai Fechin, Oscar Edmund Berninghaus, and Gustave Baumann, and Regionalist works by Millard Sheets, Emil Kosa Jr., and Phil Dike among many others.

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