A Blue Dog, an Orange Drink, a Leprechaun and a Yoke-Winged Man helped push Heritage Auctions
Modern & Contemporary Art event past the $2.6 million mark Thursday.
Almost 680 bidders worldwide participated in the sale, most through Heritages website and app.
So many styles and mediums invited so many national and international bidders, Heritage Auctions Vice President of Modern & Contemporary Art Frank Hettig said, and that led to what we saw today: great results.
One of the sales biggest surprises occurred early on, when it came time for George Rodrigues beloved dog Tiffany to go hunting for a new owner. After a vigorous round of bidding, involving clients both online and on the phone, Rodrigues 14-by-11-inch Blue Dog, painted in 1996, sold for $112,500 more than nine times its pre-auction estimate and a world record for a Blue Dog of that size. It was also the highest price Heritage has ever realized for a work by the late Louisiana artist featuring his blue spaniel/terrier with the white nose and yellow eyes.
Helen Frankenthalers Leprechaun, an acrylic on canvas from 1991, also sold for well above estimate at $362,500 a number befitting her prominence as one of modern American arts most influential figures. This soak-stained abstract painting was among the events most celebrated and coveted pieces, and produced the second-highest price ever paid for a Frankenthaler post-1990.
It was bested Thursday only by Wayne Thiebauds 1961 oil Orange Drink, among the Sacramento-based artists works that make fine art of food, as evidenced by the $750,000 sale price. This work featuring a diners lunch order of hamburger and fries guarded by bottles of ketchup and mustard and, of course, the titular orange soda was among the pieces included in 1962s exhibition "New Paintings of Common Objects at the Pasadena Art Museum in California.
Another big hit at Thursdays sale was Friedel Dzubass 1983 acrylic Above-Below, an extraordinary piece of work meant to be displayed either horizontally or vertically. Its new owner will get to make that call: The painting sold for $112,500, almost three times its pre-auction estimate.
There were far more than just paintings in this sale: Pichet Trois Taureaux Graves, a 1953 ceramic by Pablo Picasso that once belonged to his wife Jacqueline, sold for $81,250. Stephen DeStaeblers 1994 sculpture Yoke-Winged Man found a new home at $56,250 far higher than its $40,000 estimate.
And Katharina Fritschs painted-plaster Pudel (Poodle) sold for $40,000, almost three times more than its pre-sale estimate.
Clearly, every dog had its day.