Eye on Auctions
Asian Art Week highlights
The fall auction season is upon us, and once again I am pleased to bring to your attention many wonderful objects on view during the free preview exhibitions held for a few days before each sale (see the websites for details). Illustrated catalogues are posted online several weeks before the auctions, so you can browse at your convenience to get a feel for the material.
Mid-September is "Asian Art Week" in New York for those auction houses that deal in this field, which has grown to encompass modern and contemporary works as well as earlier objects, so that is where we'll begin.
Sotheby's NY (sothebys.com)
On Sept. 17, a spectacular offering of ten Magnificent Ritual Bronzes from the Collection of Julius Eberhardt serves as prelude to large sales of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on the 17th and 18th, and Fine Classical Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy on the 19th. A smaller sale of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art on the 18th is less impressive. The Eberhardt pieces, created at the peak of the Chinese Bronze Age, overshadow everything else. Also of interest is a concurrent "selling exhibition," Footsteps of the Buddha: Masterworks from Across the Buddhist World. Subsequent auctions include Important Jewels on Sept. 24 and Photographs on Oct. 2, featuring a gorgeous palladium print of one of Stieglitz's images of Georgia O'Keeffe nude, and a Moholy-Nagy photogram.
Christie's NY (christies.com)
On Sept. 17, a single-owner sale of works of art inherited by Supratik Bose from his grandfather, artist Nandalal Bose, includes N. Bose's iconic Indian nationalist image of Mohandas Gandhi marching in a seminal act of non-violent civil disobedience, and a superb collection of illustrated postcards and drawings exchanged between N. Bose and his friends, artist and writer Abindranath Tagore, and Nobel-prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore. Also on the 17th, South Asian Modern and Contemporary Art; on the 18th, Japanese and Korean Art, including a late 16th century six-panel screen of a Portuguese trading ship; Fine Chinese Paintings; and Indian and Southeast Asian Art, including works from the estate of Fong Chow, former Metropolitan Museum curator, and dramatic bronze sculptures from the collection of Ariane Dandois. On the 19th, Important Chinese Archaic Bronzes from a Distinguished Private Collection include a rare covered wine vessel in the shape of a house and a playful frog-form water pot. Also that day, a selection of Chinese Jade and Works of Art from the immense Lizzadro Collection, and Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, which carries over to the 20th.
A wide-ranging sale of American Furniture and Decorative Arts on Sept. 25 features superb 18th and 19th century eastern seaboard pieces from important collections, and ends with 28 lots of furniture by Thomas Molesworth commissioned by Moses Annenberg in the early 1930s for his Wyoming Lodge at Ranch A.
Less elaborate Asian Art sales here: Sept. 16, Fine Chinese Art, Sept. 17, Fine Japanese Art, and Sept. 18, Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art, followed on Sept. 25 with English, Continental and American Furniture.
The season here starts with 19th and 20th Century Prints and Drawings on Sept. 12--well worth a visit for the range and quality of the works, if you can catch it in time. On Oct. 3, Point of Departure: Postwar African-American Fine Art features examples of the shift to abstraction on the part of many African-American artists.
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