snowy peaks of Canada as one flat plane whose layers magically convey a sense of the
spaciousness and depth of an actual panoramic view.
Avery is perhaps best-known for his figural works, in which he depicts the human form with a minimum of lines to create a structural simplicity rooted in design rather than reality. Avery often based his large figural works, such as Woman at Telephone, 1948, (est. $700,000/1 million) on his many figural drawings he did as preparatory sketches. In Woman at Telephone, Avery constructed his design using flat, boldly colored interlocking shapes. Avery completed Hen and Cock in 1951 (est. $400/600,000) using his solidly established compositional format of using flat planes of color carefully juxtaposed to each other. In Hen and Cock we see the same deceptively simple composition infused with his characteristic whimsy.
Arthur Dove painted Arrangement (est. $600/800,000) in 1944, two years before his death, during a period in which he was approaching his work with a new intensity and focus. Following a heart attack, Dove was diagnosed with a kidney disorder that left the artist housebound for the rest of his life. Ironically, this setback yielded the most fully-developed and forward-looking work of his career. Arrangement, like other works from this fruitful period, represents the culmination of Dove’s unique synthesis of nature and abstraction and comprises sculptural, biomorphic, three-dimensional and overlapping shapes.
In contrast to Avery and Dove’s modernist works of the 1940s is Thomas Hart Benton’s Little Brown Jug, circa 1941 (est. $600/800,000), which draws inspiration from Glen Miller’s 1939 recording of a song of the same name. Music became was great passion for Benton, and scenes incorporating musicians, dancing and vignettes based on popular folk songs were often subjects of his canvases.
Norman Rockwell’s Under the Mistletoe was painted in 1936 for the December 19th cover of The Saturday Evening Post (est. $600/800,000). Though Rockwell painted over 300 covers illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post during his forty-seven year career with the publication, his most beloved works were his holiday-themed covers. Under the Mistletoe captures an intimate but playful moment between a travelling gentleman and a barmaid as he bends forward for a kiss under the mistletoe.
Two works by the late Andrew Wyeth will also be featured. Bikini (est. $300/500,000), which was executed in 1968, was the first work Andrew Wyeth painted featuring Siri Erickson. After the death of Christina Olson, the subject of
Wyeth’s famed painting Christina’s World, Siri filled the void left by Christina and assumed the role as Wyeth’s model for the next ten years. In 1982, after summering in Maine for almost sixty years, Andrew Wyeth painted Sea Level (est. $300/500,000), which depicts the worn, slatted wood siding of a schoolhouse owned by the Wyeths on Bradford Point. For Wyeth, watercolor allowed him to instantaneously record the world around him as he saw it. As Wyeth’s career
progressed, the bold, fluid watercolors he had painted in his youth gave way to starker, more tightly executed works like