G. Harvey

G. Harvey, The Picnic, available in Fine and Decorative Arts on March 30, 2019, 10 AM CDT.

“Art should communicate. If I provide only an exact rendering, then I have failed. But to paint with your heart and soul will give one’s mind and emotions an impression that no one can take from you. This is what I endeavor to accomplish.”

–G. Harvey

G. Harvey was born Gerald Harvey Jones in San Antonio, Texas in 1933 to a family with deep Western roots. His grandfather had been a cowboy in his youth, working as a trail boss driving longhorns up to Kansas. Jones grew up roaming the Texan plains and hearing his grandfather’s stories about the exciting people and events that once filled them. He had always liked art, but was not sure quite how he wanted to make a career out of it. After graduating from UT Austin, he got a job teaching technical art at O’Henry Junior High School in Austin. His wife, Pat, bought him paints, and he began painting as much as he could on weekends. Although he enjoyed his trade and his students, he soon found that he was not getting enough time to paint, so he quit his job to paint full time.

Initially, Jones was interested in landscape painting, and spent his days out sketching in his favorite Texas landscape. Soon, however, he began turning to more human subjects, looking for inspiration to the romanticized West from his grandfather’s stories and to his devout Christian faith. Jones’ technique, particularly with historical paintings, was always a research-heavy approach. He would spend several days at a time living with cowboys at a local ranch that did things the old-fashioned way, sketching and getting a feel for how they lived. Having that feel was important to Jones–he felt strongly that his art must be evocative, providing its viewers with a thorough sense of a place instead of simply the sight of it.

G. Harvey’s paintings quickly became successful. His dedicated fan base included presidents and governors, and his art was displayed in governor’s mansions and even the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, where he held a one-man show called “The All-American Horse.” He was also becoming a household name, and made an effort to make his art more widely available by releasing popular print editions of his paintings. As he continued in his career, he broadened his subject matter, painting an increasing number of city scenes and different, moodier, genre pieces. However, he generally remained within his favorite time period–the turn-of-the-century “Golden Age,” a time Jones thought of as one of great excitement and change. Gerald Harvey Jones died in 2017 after a long and fulfilling career in art.

The Picnic, featured in Fine and Decorative Arts on March 30, 2019, depicts a family having a riverside picnic. It is a brilliant example of G. Harvey’s work, featuring in particular his fascination with painting light. Sunlight dapples the leaves on the trees and glistens on the ripples in the water. The subtle shadings of light lend a feeling of movement to the piece, as the viewer is drawn downstream from the watery foreground to the picnicking family further toward the background. This family, although small, draws focus and contains one of Harvey’s favorite elements. The parasol the woman holds makes it clear that this painting depicts Jones’ favored “Golden Age,” but it is a subtle nod; the painting is in some ways more similar to his earlier landscapes, and shows his dedication to subtle blending of the two genres–the way he painted places that mattered to him, but then filled them with the people he imagined must once have inhabited them.

Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Mucha Cycles Perfecta Poster, available in Fine and Decorative Arts on March 30, 2019, 10 AM CDT.

Alphonse Mucha is considered one of the foremost figures in Art Nouveau, helping to define the aesthetics of the movement with his widely distributed and diverse work. Mucha, who counted among his friends and collaborators Paul Gauguin, the Lumière brothers, and Auguste Rodin, was an extremely talented and versatile artist whose continual experimentation and pursuit of beauty in art made him well-loved by both the artistic establishment and the masses.

Mucha was born in 1860 in what was then Bohemia. Always drawn to the arts, Mucha received a choir scholarship for secondary school, and while he did not excel academically, it was in the churches he sang in that he saw the art frescoes that led him to decide he wanted to be an artist. Mucha began his art career by doing freelance design work while working at a clerical job. At the age of 19, he made the jump to a full-time career in art, working as a set designer in Vienna. After the theater at which he was working burned down, he returned home and continued freelancing, eventually gaining the patronage of Count Karl Khuen-Belasi, who funded his education.

With this support, Mucha went to Munich and enrolled in the Academy of Arts. After two years, he moved to Paris to study at the Académie Julian, where he fell in with a group of students who were proponents of the then-shocking idea that design should be respected at the same level as fine art. This idea would have a profound effect on the young Mucha, who was already going back and forth between the two genres, and would continue to seamlessly blur the line between them throughout his career.

In Paris, Mucha finished his studies at the Académie Colarossi and began working as an illustrator and theater set and costume designer. At this time, he became friends with many of his artistic compatriots who would also become great artists, such as Paul Gauguin, with whom Mucha shared a studio for a time. By the early 1890s, Mucha had achieved moderate success as an illustrator and designer, filling in the gaps by making forays into teaching and photography. His big break came in 1894 with his design for the poster for a production of Gismonda at the Théâtre de la Renaissance. This poster became so wildly popular that people began stealing it in large numbers, causing a major problem for the theater.

Mucha’s success led to many job offers: he took a six-year contract with Sarah Bernhardt to design all her posters, sets, and costumes, became involved with several publications, and signed a contract with the Imprimerie Champenois. The Imprimerie Champenois was a major force in the printing world at the time, and distributed his work widely, making him a household name. While he was busy with posters and other design work, he was simultaneously gaining success as a painter, and he held his first solo exhibition in 1907. This led to further exhibitions of his work throughout Europe and even in America. His success only encouraged his tendencies to branch out, and he accepted offers to design jewelry and even a pavillion at the Exposition Universelle, for which he was awarded the légion d’honneur by the French government.

In the early 20th century, Mucha’s success continued to grow. He continued to take widely varying commissions and travel. In 1906, he married Maruška Chytilová, a former art student from Prague whom he had met in Paris. They moved together to Chicago, where Mucha had gotten a position as an instructor at the Art Institute. While in the United States, Mucha secured funding for his Slav Epic, a series of twenty massive works which he viewed as his magnum opus. He returned to Bohemia in 1910, where he continued to paint, and was very involved in the movement for the founding of Czechoslovakia. Mucha died in 1939, after a case of pneumonia was exacerbated by his arrest by the Nazis.

Mucha was very much a person of his time, and his advertising poster for the British bicycle company Cycles Perfecta in many ways captures the spirit of the age. A beautiful woman leans over the handlebars of a bicycle, her movement suggested only by her wild and energetic hair, which commands much of the frame, flowing up from her head in graceful, viny tendrils. Mucha, whose name is often synonymous with Art Nouveau, brilliantly demonstrates the aesthetics that defined the movement with his striking typography, focus on costume, and stunning, graphic linework.

The fact that the cyclist is a woman is also significant to the era in which this poster was created. While beautiful women are, of course, a common marketing strategy, women were likely a large part of the audience for whom Mucha’s poster was intended. Cycling was gaining popularity at the turn of the 20th century, and a growing number of its devotees were women, who found that cycling allowed them an unprecedented level of freedom. Particularly in Britain, where Mucha’s poster was commissioned, women were taking to cycling in large numbers, and, with their growing freedom in other spheres, were forming a significant audience for marketers to target. Mucha acknowledges this, as he captures the freedom and joy created by cycling in his figure. The Cycles Perfecta poster is a perfect testament to the marriage of beauty and function that defined Art Nouveau.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol Marilyn Screenprint, available in Fine and Decorative Arts on March 30, 2019, 10 AM CDT

It is not an exaggeration to say that Andy Warhol’s Marilyn is one of the most recognized images of all time. Marilyn Monroe’s face extends to the edges of the frame, smirking at the viewer under heavy-lidded eyes through exaggerated, psychedelic swaths of color. Her arched eyebrows invite the viewer in. It is a face—and an interpretation of a face—that is instantly recognizable. Warhol himself was a 20th century icon, a force in the art world but also in the wider world. Warhol created art that was not only accessible to but fundamentally about the American public. An early adherent of the pop art movement, Warhol is easily its most famous figure, with his unusual talent for selecting the most ubiquitous of images and portraying them in a manner extremely fitting to pop culture: bold, exciting, and shamelessly overproduced and artificial. As art philosopher Arthur Danto explains it, Warhol was the master of capturing into art “the defining images of the American consciousness.”

Andy Warhol was born Andrew Warhola to a poor immigrant family in Pittsburgh. His early childhood was difficult, and young Warhol was frequently ill. During these periods of illness, he stayed at home from school with his mother, Julia, who he adored. To keep him occupied during bedridden periods, she and his siblings would bring him coloring books and magazines. This sparked an early interest in art, as well as a fascination with the movie stars in the magazines. Coloring, collaging, and dreaming of Hollywood got Warhol through these early illnesses, and this experience—and his choice of escape—stuck with him. After his recovery, he attended the movies weekly for the rest of his childhood, and continued this tradition with few interruptions through his adulthood.

After high school, Warhol attended the Carnegie Institute of Technology to study art. He struggled initially, since the school had a fairly traditional and academic art department, something Warhol chafed against. He struggled in his theory classes—his frequent absences from school and his immigrant parents had left him somewhat behind his peers academically—but even more than that, he longed to be creative in a way his assignments wouldn’t allow. Soon, however, things began to look up, as he gained the support of many of his professors and struck up friendships with many of his most creative classmates, many of whom, notably Philip Pearlstein, went on to become successful artists themselves.

Following graduation, Warhol moved to New York City, where he made his home for the rest of his life. He began his career working as a freelance commercial artist, something many of his artistic contemporaries were also doing, and he soon began doing well in this field. His first notable success came when the director of Glamour Magazine commissioned him to illustrate women’s shoes, something he became known for as a commercial artist. He spun this theme into his first professional success as an artist, a 1956 series of paintings of shoes. Fittingly for someone with his pop culture obsession, these shoes were named and themed after major celebrities and movie stars.

While Warhol’s career as a commercial artist had brought him financial success, his career as a fine artist took longer to take off. He did some gallery shows, which led to mixed reviews and no financial success. He began to be increasingly influenced by—and jealous of—the pioneering pop artists who moved on the edges of his circle, particularly Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, who had, by the late 1950s, managed to achieve both the success and the controversy that Warhol craved. By 1960, Warhol was making pop art in earnest. Eventually, a crisp, accurate painting of a Coca-Cola bottle—a tidy and frustrated response to the abstract expressionism he was increasingly fed up with—attracted the attention of the assistant of influential gallery owner Leo Castelli. However, getting picked up by a gallery took time. Warhol was in a constant state of production throughout the first two years of the 1960s, but had trouble striking on a subject he felt was just right. When a friend suggested he paint everyday objects that were dear to him, he began his series of money and Campbell’s soup cans, for which he had an affection due to his mother making Campbell’s soup for him in his childhood.

These series of paintings quickly attracted notice, with critics extolling the unique way he presented his objects, repeated but isolated. His career began to pick up; he showed his soup cans in Los Angeles, and was soon picked up by the Stable Gallery in New York, allowing him increased stability as a fine artist. He continued to produce series of duplicate works, and in 1962, he was introduced to silk-screening, a technique that would change the course of his career. Screen printing allowed Warhol to produce the vast quantities of identical pieces he wanted. He took a very detached view of his own—and all—art, and this new production method provided him the emotional space from his works that he desired. During this early period of his success, Warhol would work in his studio in a state of constant stimulation from the outside world, keeping a radio and a television on at all times. It is no surprise, then, that he was engrossed in the news of Marilyn Monroe’s death as soon as it occurred.

Warhol had always been fascinated with fame, but this included, and perhaps even centered on, the darker side of it. He once explained that “vacant, vacuous Hollywood was everything I ever wanted to mold my life into. Plastic, white on white.” Marilyn Monroe, at the time, was the pinnacle of this side of Hollywood. Her rise to fame from being Norma Jeane Baker had long since become the stuff of legend, and her subsequent status as the ultimate sex symbol was unrivaled. She had the most famous face in the world, a glamorous life envied by the public, and yet all of that was empty. Her highly publicized marriages had ended in divorce, and she seemed to be increasingly unhappy, struggling with substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. Warhol watched all of this unfold through the media and his regular attendance of the movies. He was intrigued by the tragic arc of her scandalous, beautiful career. Since his early childhood, he had been “preoccupied” with death, particularly when it was public, and Monroe’s death, with the context of her life, which Warhol viewed as the shell of fame hiding a deeply troubled individual, was particularly compelling to him.

The summer after Monroe’s death, Warhol began making screen prints of her. These were based on her publicity photo for Niagara, a 1953 noir film that helped solidify Monroe’s status as a star. Warhol’s fascination with her and her grisly death consumed him through the end of the summer of 1962, and he eventually made 23 series and portraits depicting Monroe. He felt screen printing was the perfect way to depict her, his bold, unfeeling lines of color reducing her captivating face into a mere “mask,” a nod to the turmoil underneath. The response to these Marilyn prints was immediate and divisive. Much of the public was enthralled, and the Museum of Modern Art purchased one of these prints; on the other hand, many critics were disgusted and shocked by his work, thinking of it as unfit for the tasteful, high-class world of art. Finally, Warhol had achieved both the recognition and the controversy he had been seeking.

The rest of Warhol’s career, despite occasional bumps, continued this upward trajectory. His bright, repetitive works were something something something. In 1964, he finally entered into the partnership with Leo Castelli he had wanted so badly in his early career. Something more about his works here. In the mid 1960s, Warhol began exploring film, and soon turned to it as his primary focus in making art, a natural move for someone as obsessed with cinema as he. Soon, he was creating stars instead of simply idolizing them. In the 1980s, he returned to painting, managing to stay cutting-edge with his works, exhibiting with up-and-comers such as Jean-Michel Basquiat. By his untimely death in 1987, he was himself a huge public figure, the kind of cultural icon he had always been obsessed with. Warhol’s constant outward focus was one of his biggest strengths. He created images everyone could relate to. He saw himself as very separate from the intellectual elites of the artistic world, choosing instead to mass-produce images of the items and people accessible to the masses. While his usage of this mass-production certainly seems to be an intellectual commentary on society—Warhol was nothing if not full of contradictions—he insisted that he was not making anything deep. In his words, “Just ordinary people like my paintings.”

Andy Warhol Appraisal Services

For those with an Andy Warhol artwork that needs to be appraised or authenticated the process can be a daunting task. Huge auction prices and a panoply of fakes has made this process unnecessarily difficult for the average person. An Andy Warhol appraisal can often be done in a matter of days with little or no effort on the part of the owner. Usually we can come visit you or you can visit us with your artwork in a few days time. Whether its a small flower painting or a full suite of Warhol Marlyn Prints we are ready. 

Warhol Appraisal Services:

  • Insurance or Replacement Values
  • Museum Donation Valuations and Appraisals 
  • Free Estimate of Auction Values
  • Estate Planning Value Appraisal 
  • Authenticity consultation
  • Provence Research 

Get a Phone Consultation:    612.440.6985

Email Us Images:   Info@RevereAuctions.com

By getting in touch you are obligated to nothing, we often can be quite helpful for free in a few minutes over the phone. 

Andy Warhol values are driven by several factors all of which are taken into account when we execute you appraisal.  Warhols work can be divided into three groups, photograph, prints and original unique artworks. Andy Warhols photographs tend to be the least valuable mostly for the very large numbers of them and their distance from his iconic style. His prints are the bulk of the works for sale on the market and those values are influenced by the subject matter. The Marilyn Monroe print suite is one of the most desirable of his print subjects, other topics are less well know and followed, such are works that deal with the soviet union. Any Warhol works involving the USSR often appraise at half of other print subjects. Many of these prints were sold in Minneapolis Minnesota through by Gordon Locksley of Locksley Shea Gallery and Daytons Gallery 12. Helping with the appraisal, restoration and possible sale of these works is our speciality. The last group of works are the original and unique works such as his small flower paintings. These tend to command the highest prices. 

Once broken down into one of these groups the appraisal gets into preferences shown by collectors in the past year, provenance research, and  of course authenticity. 

Joseph Anton von Prenner: The Witches Sabbath Print

Joseph Anton von Prenner’s old master print of the w

Joseph Anton von Prenner’s old master print of the witches Sabbath

A group of old, haglike women crowd around a steaming cauldron. The smoke rises up in a thick plume, enveloping several figures, who are flying away from the crowd, clearly intent on wreaking havoc. The crowd below revels, brandishing brooms, consulting grimoires, and even riding a skeleton. This image, which comes to us in Joseph Anton von Prenner’s 1728 engraving, seems comfortably fantastical. At the time of the image’s initial creation, however, it would have been interpreted as an illustration of a genuine phenomenon.

 

In the 16th century, fear of witchcraft gripped Europe. Witch-hunting began flourishing in Central Europe in the 15th century, and spread and intensified through Europe over the course of the next two centuries, peaking in the 17th century. Although the definition of “witch” was often blurry, witches were people who committed maleficia, or acts of ill-intentioned magic, and, more importantly to the church and political establishment, were in league with the devil.Witches were said to engage in many wicked activities, but the most alarming was the witches’ sabbath, in which witches met by moonlight–often traveling to distant locations by flying–to drink, dance, and make merry. Satan was generally present at these gatherings, collecting souls and giving demonic sermons in a mockery of Christian church services. Other common activities recorded included orgies, eating babies, and, of course, working magic of the most evil kind.

 

Witches’ sabbaths, in all their titillating detail, quickly became popular subjects for art during the period of witch trials. Woodcuts depicting witches and their sabbaths were distributed widely in broadsheets and pamphlets to the common people, but witches and their demonic activities also became popular subjects for painters and other artists. Interest in–and fear of–witches crossed class lines, with everyone from paupers to kings consuming tales and depictions of witchcraft. The witches’ sabbath scene described above comes from a painting from the mid to late 16th century. Two versions of this painting, which is known as Witches’ Sabbath, survive, done in oil on panel and differing slightly in size. Little is known about the creation of this painting. It is attributed to either Frans Verbeeck or Bartholomeus Spranger, two accomplished Flemish painters from the mid to late 16th century. It is unknown who initially commissioned the painting, but it is clear that one version of this painting made its way into the collection of the Imperial Gallery in Vienna at some point in its early life.

 

At this time–long before public museums and other public institutions–art had a very limited audience. Royalty and nobility amassed enormous collections of art, specimens, and other precious objects and curiosities, emphasizing their roles as the holders of knowledge and power within their kingdoms. These collections grew haphazardly at the whims of their owners and encompassed a wide variety of objects. By the 18th century, these collections were truly impressive, spanning archaeology, natural history, and art of all varieties, but they were accessible to only a lucky few. By the 1720s, however, this was beginning to change. Public museums began to open around this time, and these private collections began to be recorded in more lasting and accessible ways. At the Imperial Collection in Vienna, Frans van Stampart, the court painter, and Joseph Anton von Prenner, another accomplished artist, decided to immortalize the collection by creating engravings of each of the pieces in the collection in thirty volumes. Only three volumes were ever produced, and were published under the title Theatrum Artis Pictoriae between 1728 and 1733.

 

While van Stampart and von Prenner’s ambitious project was never completed, one of the paintings which was recorded was Witches’ Sabbath.  Its inclusion in Theatrum Artis Pictoriae makes it a notable player in a different movement in history than the dark one it depicts–the movement toward popularization of knowledge. This engraving is so much more than the simple fantasy scene it appears to be on the surface. Instead, its history traces changing mindsets through central European history, showing the genuine fear of the dark arts during a period of witch panic, the hidden gems in a royal collection, and the early efforts to document and share carefully stored information with the public.

Gordon Locksley, Art Dealer Extraordinaire

A bus from Chicago pulled into a Minnesota snowstorm. Early fifties. A young man cast forth, hooded in an opera cape. From Chicago’s theater and street scenes, Gordon Locksley had arrived in Minneapolis.

In time, Gordon Locksley along with business and former personal partner Prof. George Shea would create the modern art scene in post-war Minneapolis. As I write this memoir, I recall Gordon with his charisma and drive, meanwhile more reserved George Shea, professor of Japanese literature, remains remembered for his refined taste.

Fifties Minneapolis was a comfortable well-to-do city along with its twin, Saint Paul, serving a large hinterland – fluid class lines, while progressive, and literate. Robust theater had replaced its Vaudeville era, also with a distinguished opera, important museums, and a world class orchestra.

Conventional Minneapolis was susceptible to new stimulation.

I admire how Gordon slid into and molded the changing local art scene, mid to late twentieth century. His timing was fortuitous, promoting a new art paradigm with the energy flow of gay culture through personal contacts, and as this culture was positioning toward mainstream.

Art dealings began with their tony hair salon, the Red Carpet. They promoted sales to rich clients, first posters, later original art.

Gordon with Prof. Shea introduced the new conventions and placed the art scene on steroids. New movements of Pop art and later Minimalism were confronting conventional taste.

This new art scene was deftly carried into sales. The abstract expressionist era of Willem de Kooning and the tapping-one’s-subconscious methods of Robert Motherwell and George Morrison were being overtaken, first by Pop, then by the Minimalists.

Among the Pop artists Gordon promoted Roy Lichtenstein, who sped action to the momentary. Lichtenstein painted lit light bulbs, explosions, brushstrokes, BenDay dots as instant brushstrokes, throwaway comic books — stylized and banal. Then Claes Oldenburg monumentalized everyday things. In grand form, Claes made soft sculpted hamburgers, 5-story clothespin, elephant size shuttlecocks, bridge of spoon with a cherry, metallic Mickey Mouse…

and Andy! Andy Warhol marketed fame. Andy featured famous people. Famous products. “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes” You make the context. Cans of soup, then in multiples. Campbell Mushroom Soup. Leitmotif of church casseroles. Famous people in Masks. Marilyn in mask. Marilyn in Double. Marilyn in multiples. Marilyn’s lips. Marilyn’s death mask.

Andy removed art’s authority: “Anyone can make this.” “There is nothing to it. Nothing there.” Yet the market loved it. His silkscreen 200 One Dollar Bills brought $43.8 million dollars at Sotheby’s. A silkscreen, and with duplicate serial numbers!

And Gordon was his dealer. Featuring Andy with riotous parties.

Gordon sped up the art scene. Parties with live bands, wild costumes, dancing, press articles, TV. Cristo’s wrapped nudes in their Lowry Hill home. Their unit in this neo-Renaissance mansion comprised the lower floor. It was centered around a grand balustraded staircase, a cameo for presenting famous guests.

A second theme of Gordon’s art was stripping art’s attributes: The Minimalists They did not merely pare down art’s form as did Brancusi, Malevich, or Isamu Noguchi. Rather they forced removal of art’s attributes.

Having already lost narrative during the abstract expressionists, Minimalists gnawed away at art’s conventions. The new art required planning art instead of discovering art. Curves, natural materials, anything with human associations must go. Ellsworth Kelly removed color modulation, even non-primary coloration. Frank Stella removed frames, Sol Le Witt removed physical boundaries. Then Dan Flavin’s neons brought light directly into the artwork. Art was no longer a passive object reflecting sunlight.

“What a pleasure to hear your voice!” as Gordon would answer my phone calls. Yet I don’t recall my first meeting Gordon. Once at the Red Owl grocery noticed Gordon and George looking at me. Likely I knew who they were from TV or newspapers. Also, Gordon was a good friend of my mentor, prominent antiques dealer Joe Walton. Soon I got to know Gordon, while my friend Denny McGann sought Gordon’s advice on his idea of a lighted box with two-way mirrors.

Upon knowing Gordon better, I learned aspects of modern art and on art dealing. “Always return favors.” Regarding Dan Flavin’s neon tube piece, when I asked what this was about “What better way to say Fuck You!!” he answered. Yet I missed some pointers like that of a proposed a trade of an Ad Reinhart drawing for a small male nude bronze (then and now worth around $1,000, and the Ad Reinhart? Never mind.)

Around 1977 I was invited by Gordon and George to attend an art opening of John Chamberlain’s crushed automobiles. Crushed dreams? Arriving in my vintage Bentley may have been risky as Cunningham had once bought a collection of pristine autos from a museum and proceeded to strip them of interior, engine, parts. Meanwhile I had asked Gordon whether my casual dress was OK; he said he only required a jacket being an art dealer. I was fine. He always cared more for his friends than for their appearance. He was intensely loyal to friends.

My greatest gifts from Gordon occurred at the Mia dinner honoring him. A friend asked Gordon whether he knew me: “From the beginning of time!” he exclaimed. And later Gordon complimented an article I had written on Andy Warhol.

William Scott

William Scott was born in Scotland in 1913. He shortly afterward moved to Northern Ireland with his family, where he began his artistic education with Kathleen Bridle, a local art teacher. He went on to study at the Belfast School of Art, and then later at the Royal Academy in London, where he initially studied sculpture before switching to painting.

After his graduation, he and his wife Mary Lucas, who he had met in art school, moved to France to open an art school with Geoffrey Nelson, a fellow painter. This school allowed Scott to pursue his artistic career in France while also focusing on teaching, a lifelong passion of his. During this time, Scott began to achieve artistic success, displaying his paintings–at this point, primarily still lifes–at the Paris Salon d’Automne.

At the start of World War II, Scott and Lucas moved back to Britain, where Scott enlisted in the army. In the army, Scott served in the Royal Engineers as a lithographic draftsman, putting his art skills to patriotic use. Following the war, Scott went to teach at the Bath Academy of Art. During this period, his success continued to grow, with multiple solo exhibitions, as did his network of other important artists. He was closely tied to the St. Ives Group of artists and also built friendships with abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. It was during this period when Scott first began experimenting with abstraction in his works.

As he continued to gain success, he left his position at the Bath Academy of Art and painted full time. He represented the United Kingdom at the Venice Biennale and the São Paulo Biennale, where he won the prestigious Sanbra Purchase Prize. In the 1960s, Scott traveled the world with his art, exhibiting throughout Europe and Asia and doing a yearlong residency in Berlin. He lectured for the British Council in Australia, Mexico and India. His work also received great acclaim within Britain, with a retrospective exhibit at the Tate in 1972, which showed 135 of his works and many other major exhibitions. In addition, he was conferred honorary doctorates from Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast, and the Royal College of Art in London, as well as being elected to the Royal Academy.

This piece is an important demonstration of the major art themes of Scott’s life, showing his still lifes on their slide into abstraction, containing both abstract and representational elements. The objects, while still recognizable, are flattened, and seem almost to hang off a horizon line rather than sit on a table. Scott’s subtlety in his blending of colors creates vibrance in an otherwise stiff composition, retaining the mood of his earlier still lifes.

Walasse Ting

Today in 1967 A.D.

In our time life more comfortable and complicated

People more busy and nervous

More money and more war

Everybody want more and more expensive living

If you talk about nature, she running into flower shop or go to country for weekend

If anybody melancholy please take an aspirin

A poem is nothing

Not bigger than a banana not worth three cents

Sometimes after big dinner I wish you

Take a look little star

See yourself

without

a

mirror

 

-Walasse Ting, preface to Chinese Moonlight.

Walasse Ting was a painter and a poet, a powerhouse in the mid-20th century art and intellectual scene. His work was fluorescent and shocking, intended to confront the viewer and force them to pause their worldly cares to focus on beauty. Born Ding Xiongquan in Wuxi, Jiangsu province in 1929, Ting had little formal artistic education. After a brief stint at the Shanghai Art Academy, he left for Paris, arriving in 1949. He quickly fell in with the CoBrA group, an avant-garde collective of artists known for their spontaneous way of painting and rebellion against the artistic establishment. Their emphasis on Outsider Art had a profound effect on Ting, especially since he had little art training and tended to see himself as an outsider in the art world.

In 1959, he left Paris for New York City, where he was influenced by Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. He became friends with many artists working in these styles, including greats such as Andy Warhol, with whom he once put on a joint exhibition. His work was influenced by these connections, pulling ideas from both movements and fluctuating between abstraction and figural works with a unique ease. He also began finding inspiration in more traditional sources, using bold strokes inspired by the calligraphy of his native China. In addition to art, he began publishing poetry during this period, both original poems and translations of classical Chinese poems. He published thirteen books, many of which contained illustrations by himself and his artistic contemporaries.

In 1970, he won the Guggenheim Fellowship Award for Drawing. His career continued to flourish, and he split his time between New York and Amsterdam, painting, writing, and displaying his works. He additionally made many trips to Paris to exhibit at the Salon de Mai and traveled to Tahiti to explore the tropical landscapes and colors. During his long and varied career, he had over 60 solo exhibitions of his paintings, as well as making forays into theater direction and teaching. In all his endeavors, he tried to use art to bring beauty into the lives of as many people as possible, because, in his words, “[w]ithout beauty, life makes no sense.”

This painting is a fine example of Ting’s abstract works. The vigorous sprays of intense color across the subdued green background create contrast and movement, blending the abstract style popular with his artistic contemporaries, such as Jackson Pollock, with traditional Chinese notions of the beauty in blank space. This work is considered by many to be his most original, and perhaps the high-water mark of his career.

Margaret Roper

Margaret Roper (1505-1544) was the eldest and favorite daughter of Sir Thomas More. Extremely well educated for a woman of her time, she was particularly well-known for her knowledge of Latin and Greek. Her translation into English of Precatio Dominica by the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, a close family friend, was one of the earliest translations ever published by a British woman, and was very well-received. She was her father’s closest confidante in his later years, and his writings about her make it clear that he saw her as an intellectual equal. After his execution in 1535 for his refusal to accept Henry VIII’s departure from Catholicism, she and her lawyer husband, William Roper, were the people who ensured that his story did not die with him. Along with rescuing and preserving his head, Margaret carefully collected and protected More’s writings, particularly his letters from prison. Her diligence ensured the survival of the narrative of More’s martyrdom, likely leading to his eventual sainthood, conferred in 1933.

This portrait is a copy by a well-trained artist of part of an original portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger. Holbein, often seen as the greatest portrait painter of his generation, first came to England in 1526 with a letter of recommendation to Sir Thomas More from Erasmus, who he had painted previously. Along with painting his now-famous portrait of More, Holbein also painted a group portrait of More with his family. This painting was destroyed by a fire in the 18th century, and now survives only through copies. Copying paintings was a common practice in the 16th century, and Holbein’s works were in high demand. His portraits were extremely popular during his lifetime, and after he died, no other portrait painters initially stepped up to take his place. As a result, the market for copies of his portraits boomed in the century after his death, as collectors clamored for Holbeins of their own. The majority of these were created within a century of his death, a fact backed up for several pieces by dendrochronology. Research even suggests that many copies were created using Holbein’s own drawings and patterns, which had come into the possession of Henry VIII following Holbein’s death.  

This portrait is most likely one of those early copies. There was evidently some desire to own portraits of Margaret, since multiple portraits of her alone copied from Holbein’s Sir Thomas More with his Family and Household are extant, including one in the National Trust in Knole, Kent. This was likely due to her influential status and fame as a model woman of letters. This painting is generally consistent with the other surviving copies; however, Roper’s bodice is here depicted as solid black and does not include a red panel as in other versions. The details of her costume are carefully rendered, with layers of mordant creating a low relief forming the gold decorations and chains in her garments. This painting includes Margaret Roper’s arms, which consist of her husband’s impaling her own, made up of Thomas More’s quartering her mother’s.

Le Pho

Have a Le Pho? 

Call us for a free estimate of auction value:  (612) 440 – 6985

 

Le Pho was born in Vietnam in 1907. As a child, he was constantly finding opportunities to make art. As the son of the Viceroy of Tonkin, he had the opportunity to study art at the newly established Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Hanoi under Victor Tardieu (1870-1937), a well-respected French painter. In 1931, he traveled to France with Tardieu, where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris on a scholarship. He then traveled to Italy to do research, also visiting the Netherlands and Belgium in his tour of Europe.

After returning to Vietnam, Le Pho became a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Hanoi. During his professorship, he decided to continue his education by making trips to China to study and make art. While in China, he studied traditional Chinese sculpture, visited museums, and even had the opportunity to paint the Emperor and Empress.

In 1937, he was sent to Paris to work on the Indochina Pavilion at the International Exposition of Art and Technology in Modern Life. He stayed in France after the Exposition, where he found great success as an artist. His first solo exhibition was in 1938, and soon after, his work began getting international exposure. His works were widely distributed, particularly in the United States because of an exclusive contract he signed in 1964 with Wally Findlay Galleries, an American company.

Despite his expatriate status, Le Pho kept close ties to his homeland. He was active in the Vietnamese community in Paris, and worked with Vietnamese dignitaries and intellectuals to advocate for better treatment of the colonized Vietnamese people. His ties to his homeland are also evident in his subject matter. His paintings featured women and flowers, which he depicted in ways influenced by Vietnamese traditions and aesthetics.

 

Have a Le Pho?  Call us for a free estimate of auction value:  (612) 440 – 6985

Or email us at Info@RevereAuctions.com