The Shape of Things to Come consists of 158 lots and features works by Elizabeth Catlett, Barkley L. Hendricks, Noah Purifoy, William T. Williams, Norman Lewis, Faith Ringgold, Melvin Edwards, Bettye Saar, Charles White, Romare Bearden, Lorna Simpson, Richard Mayhew, Hughie Lee-Smith, and others.
A number of works in this sale have been in private collections, unseen by the general public, from 20 to over 50 years. The documentation of these works via photographs, established provenance, and identifying them as having been in major museum exhibitions add to their value.
Selected highlights from Sale 2353 follow:
|Hughie Lee-Smith, Rooftops, Oil on linen canvas, 1961, 24"x 18". Image: Swann Auction Galleries|
Rooftops is a fascinating example of Hughie Lee-Smith's early 1960s work in New York in which he continued to paint rooftop scenes as he had in Detroit. Rooftops shows Lee-Smith interest in portraying the changing urban environment, showing the deterioration of America's urban areas during periods of great growth and prosperity. Lot 22 has an estimate of $25,000 - $35,000.
|Faith Ringgold, The American People Series #15: Hide Little Children, Oil on canvas, 1966, 26"x 48". Image: Swann Auction Galleries|
Lot 35 Faith Ringgold, The American People Series #15: Hide Little Children
This painting is from Faith Ringgold's The American People Series that included approximately twenty paintings completed between 1963 and 1967. This was her first mature series of paintings and they displayed her pointed observations on race relations during the Civil Rights era. In the publication, Faith Ringgold, The David C. Driskell Series, author Lisa Farrington notes "despite their apparent playfulness, Ringgold used these charming faces as a smokescreen to obfuscate, but not completely veil, a vastly profound message- the shielding of America's youth from racial hatred." Lot 35 has an estimate of $35,000 - $50,000.
|Noah Purifoy, Untitled: Standing Figure, Assemblage construction, circa 1968-70, 51½"x 15"x 12". Image: Swann Auction Galleries|
The figurative sculpture, Standing Figure, is an outstanding example of Noah Purifoy's important work in assemblage, and is the first significant work of the artist to come to auction. "By 1970, Purifoy had expanded his range of assemblage material to include diverse, organic materials such as leather, feathers, brass and copper. The enigmatic female figure, with leather breasts mounted on her flanks, and a dense decorative surface, reflects both the assemblage aesthetic and early Surrealist sculpture."
Lot 45, which was acquired directly from Purifoy by sculptor Artis Lane, has an estimate of $60,000 - $90,000.
|William T. Williams, Truckin, Acrylic 0n cotton canvas, 1969, 84"x 60". Image: Swann Auction Galleries|
Lot 61 William T. Williams, Truckin
Truckin, a significant early painting by William T. Williams, is his earliest painting to date to come to auction. "It is an excellent example of Williams' first year of painting after completing his MFA from Yale University, with the imagery that quickly gained him an international recognition as an abstract painter in the late 1960s and early 1970s."
Lot 61 has an estimate of $75,000 - $100,000.
|Barkley L. Hendricks, Sergio, Oil and acrylic on linen canvas, 1972, 60"x 44". Image: Swann Auction Galleries|
Sergio has an extensive museum exhibition history, extending from early 1970s through 2010. This is a bold portrait by Barkley Hendricks that was painted at the beginning of his career, and is an excellent example of his trailblazing work in portraiture. Sergio was executed during the time, spring of 1972, that Hendricks was finishing his MFA studies at Yale University.
Lot 80 has an estimate of $80,000 - $120,000.
|Elizabeth Catlett, Standing Figure, Carved tropical wood and black enamel, 1986, 18"x 7"x 4¼". Image: Swann Auction Galleries|
|Elizabeth Catlett, Reclining Figure, Black marble, 2005, 32"x 15"x 11½". Image: Swann Auction Galleries|
Lot 119 Elizabeth Catlett, Standing Figure and Lot 144 Reclined Figure
The works will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries, to check dates, see Preview Dates. An illustrated auction catalogue, with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online.
For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Nigel Freeman at 212-254-4710, extension 33, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live online bidding is also available via invaluable.com.