There was a standing-room only crowd at Swann Galleries' spring auction of African-American Fine Art on Thursday, April 6, 2017. Sale 2442, the most recent Swann Auction Galleries' African-American Fine Art Sale brought in $2,522,705 with Buyer’s Premium, exceeding its pre-sale low estimate of $1,982,300 by over $540,000. Of the 181 lots that were offered at auction, 138 sold (76% sell-through rate by lot). Nigel Freeman, founder and director of the African-American Fine Art department at Swann Galleries, said “I am thrilled with this sale’s strong results. We saw great activity with bidding often exceeding the high estimate, and several record prices. We continue to build on our strengths with both modern and post-war artists, surpassing our previous records with artworks from the 1930s through the ‘70s.”
Lot 102: David Hammons, Untitled (Double Body Print Collage),
pigment and ink on paper and printed paper collage on cardboard,
1976. 30"x 40". Photograph: Swann Auction Galleries
Six of the top lots either reached or exceeded $100,000; this post will focus on those lots. Lot 102, David Hammons' Untitled (Double Body Print Collage), had a pre-sale estimate of $200,000 - $300,000 and sold for $389,000 with Buyer's Premium. "This striking body print is an excellent example of David Hammons' mid-1970s incorporation of collage, and only the second double body print by the artist to ever come to auction." The Double Body Print Collage was purchased by a collector.
Lot 101: David Hammons, Untitled (Body Print), pigment and graphite on wove paper,
circa 1975-77. 26" x 21". Photograph: Swann Auction Galleries
Lot 112: Alvin D. Loving, Jr. Untitled, diptych of acrylic on shaped cotton canvas, 1968. Approximately
59½" x 69" and 62"x 69" (two irregular hexagons); together 62" x 138". Photograph: Swann Auction Galleries
Lot 139: Frank Bowling, Morning Light, acrylic on cotton canvas,
1974. 76½" x 46½". Photograph: Swann Auction Galleries
Lot 169: Hughie Lee-Smith, Silhouette, oil on linen canvas,
1995. 42" x 50". Photograph: Swann Auction Galleries
Lot 169: Silhouette, a large oil on linen canvas, epitomizes the Surrealism found in Hughie Lee Smith's late-career painting. This paining had a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 - $90,000; it sold to a dealer for $161,000.
Lot 13: Sargent Johnson, Untitled (Negro Mother), copper with paint,
1935 -36. Approximately 12" x 6½"x 2". Photograph: Swann Auction Galleries
"Untitled (Negro Mother) is an excellent and very scarce work in copper repoussé by Sargent Johnson from the mid-1930s. In this defining mid-career body of work, Johnson incorporated themes from African sculpture and modernist design to create powerful representations of African-American womanhood...." Lot 13, Untitled (Negro Mother), had a pre-sale estimate of $80,000 - $120,000. Attaining an artist record, it was sold to a dealer for $100,000.
The next sale of African-American Fine Art at Swann Galleries will be held in October 2017. For more information, contact Nigel Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.