Modern & Post-War Art at Swann May 20

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Elaine de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Sol Lewitt, & more

John Wesley, 7 Maidens, duco and oil on canvas, 1963. Estimate $80,000 to $120,000.
John Wesley, 7 Maidens, duco and oil on canvas, 1963. Estimate $80,000 to $120,000.

New York—Swann Galleries will hold its sale of Modern & Post-War Art on Thursday, May 20. The auction will present a selection of highlights ranging across Modernist illustration, American abstract artists—including members of the Irascibles and The Club—Color Field, Pop, Minimalism, American Surrealism and more.

The auction will be headlined by color field, pop and minimalism with 7 Maidens, a 1963 duco-and-oil on canvas painting by John Wesley ($80,000-120,000); Horizontal Brushstroke, a 2003 gouache-on-paper by Sol Lewitt; and a grouping of three portfolios Walasse Ting: Hot and Sour Soup, 1969 with hand lettered poems, acrylic and ink drawings and 19 color lithographs, Hot and Sour Soup, 1969 with 50 poems and 22 color lithographs, and Green Banana, 1971, with 10 poems and 10 color lithographs ($12,000-18,000). Also available are works by Albert Stadler, Emily Mason, James Hilleary and Michael Michaeledes.

Elaine de Kooning, Bacchus, acrylic on panel, 1983. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.
Elaine de Kooning, Bacchus, acrylic on panel, 1983. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

The New York art world is well-represented with works by Elaine de Kooning with Bacchus, a vibrant 1983 acrylic-on-canvas abstraction in hues of purple, blue and orange ($10,000-15,000); Robert Motherwell with Gauloises on Grey #26, a 1972 acrylic and paper collage ($30,000-50,000); Theodoros Stamos with What the Wind Does, (Still Life, Fire Island), oil on masonite, 1947 ($7,000-9,000); Judith Rothschild with Nouset Heights III, oil on canvas, 1970, a work that was a breaking point in her career ($1,200-1,800); and a run of works by Charles Green Shaw with Sight, oil on canvas, 1940 ($8,000-12,000), Separation, gouache on board, 1939 ($7,000-9,000), and Sacred Places, oil on canvas, 1942 ($7,000-9,000). Moving through the rest of America are abstract works by John Opper, Ibram Lassaw, Carl Holty, John Little and more.

American Surrealism includes James Guy’s Intellectual Merry-Go-Round, oil-on-canvas, 1940 ($12,000-$18,000); Lorser Feitelson’s Sketch of Nudes, oil on panel, 1944 ($9,000-12,000); and Helen Lundeberg’s The Edge, oil on board, 1951 ($7,000-9,000). Modernist illustrators are represented by Clarence Holbrook Carter with a grouping of three 1955 watercolors: Pipeline, Plowing, and Coal ($2,500-3,500).

Limited previewing (by appointment only) will be available through May 19, to be scheduled directly with a specialist in advance and conforming to strict safety guidelines. Swann Galleries staff will prepare condition reports and provide additional photographs of material on request. Advance order bids can be placed with a specialist for the sale or on Swann’s website, and phone bidding will be available. Live online bidding platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable, Live Auctioneers, and Artsy. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at and on the Swann Galleries App.

Additional highlights can be found here.


Lot 76: John Wesley, 7 Maidens, duco and oil on canvas, 1963. Estimate $80,000 to $120,000.

Lot 62: Elaine de Kooning, Bacchus, acrylic on panel, 1983. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

Auction date: Thursday, May 20, at 12:00 pm

Specialist: Harold Porcher • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 67

Chief Marketing Officer: Alexandra Nelson • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 19

Public Relations Associate: Kelsie Jankowski • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 23

Social media: @swanngalleries  

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Swann Auction Galleries is a third-generation family business as well as the world’s largest auction house for works on paper. In the last 75 years, Swann has repeatedly revolutionized the trade with such innovations as the first U.S. auction dedicated to photographs and the world’s only department of African-American Fine Art. More than 30 auctions and previews are held annually in Swann Galleries’ two-floor exhibition space in Midtown Manhattan, and online worldwide. Visit for more information.

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