Modernists lead American Art at Swann

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Modernists lead American Art at Swann
Ben Shahn, Men on a Bench, gouache on paper, circa 1940. Sold for $50,000.



NEW YORK, NY.- Swann Galleries continued the spring 2019 season with a sale of American Art on June 13, which boasted three artist records.

American Modernists were standouts in the sale with two of the three records: Attilio Salemme’s 1945 oil on canvas painting Rivalry, at $21,250, and Nautical Composition with an Anchor, oil on board, by Joseph Lambert Cain, at $11,250. Suzy Frelinghuysen’s Cubist-inspired oil and collage work, Act Three, 1942 reached $40,000, and Esphyr Slobodkina’s Abstract Composition, gouache on board, circa 1940s earned $8,450.

Scenes of America’s diverse terrain were well received by collectors. Highlights included a run of vibrant watercolors by Charles Burchfield: Clouds and Trees Under Blue Skies, circa 1920s ($23,750), Summer Landscape (Trees on a Hill), 1917 ($13,750), and Brook, 1916 ($12,350) were among the top lots. Also of note was an example of Hughie Lee-Smith’s mid-career oeuvre, Coastal Landscape, oil on canvas, 1960s ($11,250); Albert Bierstadt’s oil on paper Rocky Mountain Landscape ($22,500); and a snowy New York City scene, At the Plaza, New York, by Guy C. Wiggins ($18,750).

Western landscapes featured Ruth Monro Augur’s circa late 1930s oil on canvas depiction of the Oklahoma Land Rush, which sold for $10,000, and a group of 10 circa-1870 Mexican cowboy and horse-riding scenes by Victor Pierson, which set a record for the artist at $7,500.

Ben Shahn’s Men on a Bench, gouache on paper, circa 1940, led the sale at $50,000. Further figurative works of note featured Seated Man, a pencil drawing by Marsden Hartley ($30,000) and Pavel Tchelitchew’s 1932 pen and brush drawing Studies of Wrestlers ($9,375).

Swann Galleries is currently accepting consignments for the fall 2019 season.










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