The PostWar & Contemporary auction on 29 June presents an outstanding selection of American post-war art.
With Abstract Expressionism, American art completely emancipated itself for the first time from European influences. Theodoros Stamos is one of the leading Abstract Expressionists of the first generation. Both “Hovering Yellow Sun-Box“ from 1967 (CHF 40,000/60,000) and “Infinity Field-Lefkda Series“ from 1976 (CHF 30,000/50,000) captivate with their sovereign handling of color. David Smith, the most important sculptor of Abstract Expressionism, is represented by a wonderful double-sided drawing from 1959 (CHF 18,000/24,000), which impressively illustrates gestural painting.
A visit to an exhibition of works by the Abstract Expressionists was for the Minimalist Robert Mangold the initial spark that brought him to painting. The diptych “Red with Green Ellipse/Black Frame” from 1988/89 (CHF 180,000 /240,000) is from his mature period. His comprehensive oeuvre impresses with a unique consistency and absolute conviction that painting is still the leading medium. His work is dominated by the use of colour and space and their combination in one work. Alfred Jensen, too, found his way to art through the works of the Abstract Expressionists, but he followed his very own path, shaped by confrontation with the art of indigenous peoples such as the Mayans. In “Temple of Paestum” from 1961 (CHF 90,000/140,000), his interest in Greek history is also present. Louise Nevelson found her inspiration in African tribal art. The works offered here, „Cloud II“ (CHF 50,000/70,000) and “The City” (CHF 30,000/50,000) are impressive examples of her mural relief sculptures.
An outstanding work, “La passoire“ from 1947 by Jean Fautrier (CHF 100,000/200,000), as well as two wonderful paintings by Jean-Paul Riopelle (CHF 70,000/100,000 and CHF 50,000/70,000) present the French Art informel of the 1950s and 1960s. Two watercolours by Sigmar Polke from 1999 are fine examples of his impressive late work (CHF 60,000/80,000 and 80,000 /140,000).
The Prints & Multiples auction features a large-format woodcut by Franz Gertsch, “Gräser” (Grasses) (CHF 40,000/50,000). A small collection of prints by Alberto Giacometti offers a fascinating glimpse of the Swiss artist’s graphic work. Further works by Sonia Delaunay, Le Corbusier, Sol Lewitt, Keith Haring and Serge Poliakoff will be among the large selection to be offered in this sale.
Auctions of PostWar & Contemporary Art worldwide have steadily increased in popularity over the past decades, featuring impressive results and regularly setting new world records. The art of the second half of the 20th century and the early 21st century is both multi-facetted and highly creative. Abstract and figurative art have been placed on an equal footing for the first time, and so collectors can choose from style ranging from abstract expressionism to pop art, and from minimalism to the “Junge Wilde”, or make new discoveries in contemporary art.Koller is very active in this collecting category, with regular lectures, guided tours and advisory service, and the results of the past few years have proven the success of this strategy: the sold rate of our PostWar & Contemporary auctions consistently exceeds 90%.