Modern art took center stage in Kaminski Auction's recent Twentieth Century Decorative Arts and Design Auction that took place on January 13, 2013. Among the three hundred some lots offered for sale were a number of excellent finds, including eye-catching prints and paintings, as well as finely crafted furniture pieces.
A Richmond Barthe plaster bust took top spot in the auction. This emotively sculpted piece carried an estimate of $2,000.00 to $4,000.00, and sold for $7,800.00. Richard Barthes, the well-known artist of this work, also produced many public works of art, including a painting originally installed in the Haitian National Palace.
Two other works of fine art, the sculpture "Girl in Red Stockings" and a sculpture of a flapper by Demetre H. Chiparus, joined Barthe's plaster bust as the three highest selling lots of the auction, fetching $6,435.00 and $3,900.00 respectively.
The auction also featured a number of two-dimensional works by renowned artists. Among the top lots were works by David Hockney, Adolf Fleischmann, Peter Max and Anna Hills. The colorful Hockney print, entitled "My Mother and the Parrot," features a doubling of the mother and parrot pair, first in primary colors and then below in black and white. Originally estimated at $1,500.00 to $2,500.00, the intriguing print ultimately sold for $3,900.00. Another Hockney piece, a 16.5" x 18.5" etching of a dachshund sleeping also sold above asking price. The lively lines of the etching attentively capture the scuttling energy of the small dog pictured at a rare moment of rest. This skillful work was of interest to a number of bidders, including one customer phoning in from over seas. The dachshund fetched $3,510.00 at the close of bidding.
The Fleischmann piece captured the German abstract artist's signature use of rhythmic horizontals and verticals. Fleischamann's ouvre, of which the piece offered at Kaminski Auctions is a quintessential example, provided the foundation for the development of the popular Op Art movement in later years. Bidders at Kaminski recognized the value of this influential work, and the painting sold above the $2,500.00 asking price, for $3,390.00. Peter Max's mixed media piece from "The 911 Series" entitled "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" brought a similar price, selling for $2,925.00. The brilliantly vibrant and busy piece reflected the artist's iconic "psychedelic sixties" style.
A painting by Anna Hills depicting a colorfully impressionistic coastal scene from Monterey, California also sold well. Hills was not only an important early American impressionist, but also foundational member of the Laguna Beach artist community, responsible for the creation of the Laguna Beach Art Museum. Her small work from around 1920 sold for $3,159.00. A 16.5" x 18.5" etching of a dachshund sleeping, although indistinctly signed, also sold above asking price.