12A, 1948 was also one of three works illustrated in the infamous August 8, 1949 Life magazine article titled “Jackson Pollock – Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?” that proclaimed Pollock’s early and eternal role as a leading figure in American art.
For all its extreme materiality, Richard Serra’s oeuvre contains a core of conceptual premises that the artist has explored with ever-increasing rigor and audacity. Corner Prop (1969-1976) is an early and quintessential example of Serra’s oft-quoted Verb List of 1967-68, which is a litany of actions that have activated his innovations in sculpture – “to fold”, “to split” and “of tension”, to name a few (est. $2/3 million). Serra’s “Prop” sculptures were a revelation in the late 1960s, combining his lead “rolls” with squares or cubes that achieve stability solely from the balanced tension between the weight and angle of each unit, the wall and the floor. The elegant simplicity of the forms belies the complexity and tension in the conflict and balance of opposing forces that Serra has continued to master throughout his career, culminating in the monumental steel sculptures of recent years.
CONTEMPORARY ART DAY Exhibition opens: 8 May
13 May 2010
AFRICAN, OCEANIC AND PRE-COLUMBIAN ART Exhibition opens: 8 May
14 May 2010
The spring sale of African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art will comprise a select offering of high-quality works from private collections. Among the Oceanic works on offer is a Hawaiian Feather Cape formerly in the collection of the Niagara Falls Museum, Canada (est. $300/500,000). Feather-covered shoulder capes are widely recognized and appreciated hallmarks of traditional Hawaiian culture; the present example features brilliantly colored red, black and yellow feathers. Also formerly in the collection of the Niagara Falls Museum, an Austral Islands Chief Necklace will be offered, and is the most complex known necklace of this type (est. $300/500,000). The sale will also comprise works from the JOLIKA Collection of Marcia and John Friede led by a Magnificent Mundugumor Figure, Middle Yuat River, Papua New Guinea (est. $1/1.5 million). No figure as complete or of such high quality is known to have appeared at auction. Among the African works on offer is a Banda Ancestor Figure from the Ubangi Region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that is attributed to the Master of Mobaye (est. $250/400,000). A Rare Feng Reliquary Ensemble will also be offered, featuring a male ancestor figure with its original container used to house family relics (est. $250/350,000). Rarely do reliquary containers survive together with Feng ancestral figures. Highlights of the Pre-Columbian works on offer include a Taino Wood Snuffer, Haiti (est. $80/120,000), one of only three known examples in wood. The work would have been used as part of a ritual hallucinatory experience and depicts the bird-man transformational figure. A Large Vera Cruz seated figure, a form which rarely appears at auction, is another highlight of the sale (est. $125/150,000). Several single-owner groupings will also be featured, including a strong group of Costa Rican polychrome