Wednesday, April 12, 2017

RESULTS: Swann's African-American Fine Art Sale 2442

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

Another piece of art by David Hammons appeared in the top selling category of artworks sold in sale 2442. Lot 101, an Untitled (Body Print), dating circa 1975 -1977 had a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 - $90,000; it sold with a Buyer's Premium for $161,000 to a collector. This body print which is a colorful work on paper includes three impressions of the artist's face.

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
All five works by graphic abstractionist Alvin D. Loving, Jr. found homes, with nearly all selling above their estimates. A monumental untitled diptych of two hexagonal canvases broke the artist’s previous auction record, selling to a phone bidder (collector) for $161,000. Lot 112 had pre-sale estimate of $80,000 - $120,000. 

Lot 139: Frank Bowling, Morning Light, acrylic on cotton canvas,

1974. 76½" x 46½". Photograph: Swann Auction Galleries
Morning Light, a brilliantly colored abstraction by Frank Bowling, is an early example of his mid-1970s series of poured paintings. Lot 139, which was a luminous poured painting, sold for $161,000 and was a record for the artist. Morning Light, an acrylic on canvas, had a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 - $90,000; it was purchased by a collector. 

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 repouss√© 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 

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful results. Thanks for sharing, and for keeping us informed about black art developments.