Palm Beach Modern's Nov. 2 auction features select modern & decorative art, sculptural design Palm Beach Modern’s Nov. 2 auction features select modern & decorative art, sculptural design & cutting-edge street art. Highlights: Larry Mohr estate sculptures, monumental street art by Barry McGee.
News-Antique.com - Oct 17,2013 - WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – There is no such thing as an average sale at Palm Beach Modern Auctions (PBMA). Each of the company’s events is carefully curated, with the tastes of today’s sophisticated art buyers kept firmly in mind as consignments are gathered.
Palm Beach Modern’s November 2nd auction will reveal just how broad the contemporary category has become, with a refined selection of abstract expressionist, outsider and street art; mid-century furniture, and superb minimalist sculptures from the estate of New York artist Larry Mohr (1921-2013).
The Mohr consignment is an important one. An accomplished sculptor whose figural and abstract works are housed in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art, Vassar College and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, Mohr was noted for his large-scale bronze and aluminum sculptures made of welded and bolted I-beams.
“Mr. Mohr passed away earlier this year, and much of his art was left to museums. We were allowed to pick five sculptures from his estate to offer at auction and chose some incredible abstracts that we felt would appeal to those who follow our sales,” said PBMA auctioneer Rico Baca.
Among the five Mohr artworks is a signed and dated 1999 stainless steel sculpture, 14 inches high by 36 inches wide, estimated at $1,500-$2,500. Also standing 14 inches tall, a star-like bronze is titled “CXC XXIII” and estimated at $750-$1,500. Each of the Mohr auction lots will be sold together with a catalog from the Georgia Museum of Art’s 1998 exhibition of Mohr’s sculptures.
Works by some of today’s most in-demand artists are entered in the 300-lot sale. Highlights include a Helen Frankenthaler signed 5-color screen print artist’s proof titled “Spoleto” (est. $1,000-$2,000), a Larry Rivers signed and dated (1968) mixed media cigar-box sculpture titled “Dutch Masters” (est. $4,000-$6,000), and a Paul Jenkins signed and dated (1971) abstract lithograph in blues and greens, 3/100 (est. $500-$1,000).
A dramatic pop art screen print by sought-after American artist Alex Katz is titled “White Hat” and depicts in close-up a stylish woman in a navy-trimmed white Panama hat. It is expected to make $3,000-$3,500.
One of the most exciting categories in the sale is street art, led by a monumental work by one of the movement’s true pioneers – San Francisco’s Barry McGee (a k a “Twist”). After he participated in the 2001 Venice Biennale, McGee’s profile skyrocketed, and much of his street art was scavenged or stolen, said Baca. “You don’t often see his art at auction, and certainly never a work as large as the one we will be auctioning, which measures 85.5 by 105 inches.”
The McGee artwork is painted on US Army surplus canvas and “has that classic Barry McGee look, where there’s one dominant central figure and his trademark drips of paint in the background,” Baca said. “It’s a quintessential example of a new movement – a sort of neo folk art that looks a lot like the hobo art seen on