Henry Koerner to be featured at Moran's June 14th California & American Fine Art Auction Pasadena, CA –John Moran Auctioneers is pleased to announce that their June 14, 2011 California and American Art Auction at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA will present a selection of m
News-Antique.com - May 27,2011 - Pasadena, CA –John Moran Auctioneers is pleased to announce that their June 14, 2011 California and American Art Auction at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA will present a selection of more than 200 paintings and other artworks from private estates and collections. Top California Impressionists such as Hanson Puthuff, John Gamble and William Wendt, and leading representatives of other regional schools, will take their place in the spotlight, but the sale will also feature a very good selection of works by artists active in the post-war era, including Lorser Feitelson, Leroy Neiman, Ogden Pleissner and Henry Koerner. The sale is notable for the high number of works valued over $50,000.
Moran’s is particularly privileged to offer Under the Overpass by Henry Koerner (1915 – 1991), a powerful work consigned directly from the family collection of close personal friends of the artist. Koerner’s son Joseph noted in correspondence with the family that the painting is ‘’one of the most important of the group of pictures painted (most likely) in 1948-9’’, just after the artist was given his first one-man show in Berlin and began his association with the ‘magic realist’ painters. Koerner’s work from this period attracted much acclaim, setting the course for a highly successful career that eventually included acquisitions of his work by several major museums including the Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney.
Koerner, who was born in Vienna to a Jewish family, escaped to America in 1938 when Hitler invaded Austria. His parents and brother stayed in Austria and he never saw them again. Returning to Vienna in 1946 after working on assignment for the US government making sketches of the Nuremburg trials, he learned of their death.
Suggesting a possible interpretation of the symbolic elements in Under the Overpass, Joseph Koerner continues: ‘’the big red trolley is a key image in his work. It refers both to the trolley that passed before his childhood home, the Number 5 trolley; and it has a sort of archetypal meaning as the coming and going of people into life and out again, in death, a meaning I believe is compounded by the fact of his parents being deported to the extermination camp by train… I do not know whether he (Joseph Koerner) actually knew this, but they were in fact transported from Vienna, via Minsk, to a death camp called Maly Trostinec, in Belarus…. The actual setting for the painting is, I imagine, a combination of two things: some train somewhere in NYC, perhaps in Brooklyn, where my father lived; and an overpass cutting over the great boulevard of trees called the Hauptallee, in the Prater. Of course the beauty of the painting, and its public significance, far transcends the personal story it contains, however painful and resonant that story itself may be.’’ The unsigned work, which was painted in oil and tempera on board, will be offered with an estimate of $100,000 – 150,000.
Other sale highlights form a comprehensive survey of the California Impressionist School, replete