Freeman’s Modern and Contemporary Art Sale Features Kentridge, Hepworth, & Houser
This May, Freeman’s will survey the last century of Modern and contemporary art in a 59-lot auction. The event will begin at 11:00 AM EDT on May 11th, 2021. The catalog samples from some of the biggest art movements of the 20th century, including Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, and Pop Art.
An etching titled Sleeper Red from South African artist William Kentridge is one of the leading lots. The work depicts a human figure curled on a table against a deep red and black background. The viewer’s eye follows the outline of the subject’s body across the painting, from his head tucked in the crook of an elbow to his round belly poking out the front. This piece belongs to the larger Sleeper Series, which Kentridge created in 1997 to honor the 100th anniversary of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi play. This etching, numbered 29/50, will come to auction with an estimate of USD 30,000 to $50,000.
The sale also features Modern and contemporary sculpture from around the world. Barbara Hepworth’s Torso II (Torcello) is among the key items ($150,000 – $250,000). Executed in 1958, this work documents the British sculptor’s experiments with texture and form. The bronze piece rests on a slender base and broadens near the top. Deep depressions in the top corners evoke human shoulders and collarbones. A slightly smaller sculpture from Hepworth’s friend and rival Henry Moore is also available ($20,000 – $30,000).
Sculpture collectors can also consider the work of Chiricahua Apache artist Allan Houser. Two Houser works will come to auction with Freeman’s. The first, titled Corn Harvest, shows a woman holding a pouch full of maize ($12,000 – $18,000). Houser’s Seated Woman appears next in the catalog ($8,000 – $12,000). In this work, a woman sits with her knees drawn to her chest. Her hair flows down her back as she looks to the side. Other notable sculptors represented in the sale include German artist Fritz König, American bronze artist Tom Otterness, and German woodcarver Karl Hartung.
Freeman’s upcoming auction presents works from the Pop Art movement as well. A green and dark blue print of Andy Warhol’s Mao has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Warhol fans will see another iconic motif elsewhere in the sale. American Pop and post-Pop artist Richard Pettibone often appropriated the work of his contemporaries to explore the concepts of production and authenticity. Pettibone’s Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe references Warhol’s signature portrayal of the American actress ($10,000 – $15,000). This interpretation features splashes of light blue and yellow on Monroe’s eyelids and lips. The work comes in a handmade frame to contrast the mass-produced quality of Warhol’s screenprints.
The auction will feature several additional lots:
* An untitled work by early Abstract Expressionist artist Esteban Vicente (25,000 – $40,000)
* Ross Bleckner’s 1999 Bonds and Proteins oil painting ($20,000 – $30,000)
* Two political illustrations for “Fermín” by Diego Rivera ($20,000 – $30,000 each)
* Polish Art Deco artist Zofia Stryjeńska’s Harvest Scene ($10,000 – $15,000)
* An untitled figure painting by American “abstract realist” Paul Keene ($6,000 – $10,000)
Founded by Tristram Bampfylde Freeman in 1805, Freeman’s is America’s oldest auction house. The 216-year-old company has two locations in Philadelphia with an office in Richmond, Virginia. It serves an international client base through online sales and regional representatives. Freeman’s specializes in art and objects from the Pennsylvania and Mid-Atlantic regions.
Freeman’s will offer the upcoming Modern and Contemporary Art auction on May 11th, 2021. Bidding will begin at 11:00 AM EDT. Visit Bidsquare for the complete catalog or to place a bid.