Noteworthy Contemporary American Art Highlights Weschlers September 14th Auction

Weschlers is pleased to offer an extensive and varied collection of Contemporary and Postmodern American art in their September 14th Capital Collections auction. Particular highlights include an impressive range of superlative works by Washington Color School artists: Thomas Downing, Sam Gilliam, Kenneth Noland, Paul Reed and Howard Mehring. Known for their abstract works and experimentation with technique and color, these artists helped thrust Washington, D.C. to the forefront of the visual art scene in the 1960s and 70s. Additionally, significant works by artists closely associated with The School include: Helen Frankenthaler, Jacob Kainen, Leon Berkowitz and Willem de Looper. Andy Warhol, Zao Wou-Ki, William Christenberry, Alexander Calder and more are also on the block. Traditional artwork by artists such as duoard Lon Corts, Severin Roesen, Clovis Franois Auguste Didier and Tadeusz Ajdukiewicz round out the offerings.

Three quintessential works by Thomas Downing (Am. 1928-1985), include the expansive Spread Shade, an acrylic on canvas at 86 x 86 inches for $50,000-60,000, an untitled horizontal work for $7,000-9,000 and Grid Forty, a serigraph estimated at $1,000-1,500all three works feature the artists best known colored dots.

The works of Sam Gilliam (Am. b. 1933), a friend and student of Downings, continue to defy auction estimates. Surf, the acrylic and aluminum powder on canvas mounted on back-beveled edge stretcher is a particularly exciting offering in the sale, conservatively estimated in the $30,000-50,000 range. This work was created in 1968, a seminal year in the artists career and the work has been verified by the artists studio since it is unsigned. Two pastel watercolors by Gilliam, both entitled Floating Forms, are each estimated to bring $8,000-12,000; along with two linear untitled watercolors by the artist for $5,000-7,000 each; After Smoke a serigraph from 1985, in for $2,000-3,000; and Mid 3 1977, a framed collotype on hand-made paper for $3,000-5,000.

Kenneth Noland (who taught Thomas Downing and Howard Mehring) is included with the untitled oil stick and mixed media on hand-made paper, offered at $15,000-25,000. Several works by Paul Reed (Am. 1919-2015) include the mixed media and collage on board entitled Barcelona CVII, for $1,500-2,500, an acrylic on canvas, Anac for $1,000-1,500, a silkscreen entitled Barcelona, for $700-900 and a serigraph, Thule for $800-1,200. Howard Mehrings (Am. 1931-1978) works include an untitled oil on canvas which is offered at $1,500-2,500 and a serigraph from 1970 is estimated to bring $700-900.

Color Field artist and a primary influence on the formation of the Washington Color School, Helen Frankenthalers works include two abstracts with fluid shapes: the woodcut in color, Tales of Genji I, offered at $30,000-50,000; along with the monotype, Spring Run V from 1996, expected to fetch $10,000-15,000.

Pop Art icon Andy Warhol (Am. 1928-1987) is represented in the sale with his work Albert Einstein, a signed screenprint, dated 1980, in for $10,000-15,000. Zao Wou-Ki (Ch./Fr. 1921-2013), untitled lithograph is expected to bring $4,000-6,000. Five Sculptural Ideas is one of three lots by British artist Henry Moore (1898-1986), the etching and aquatint is offered for $6,000-8,000.

More classical genres are represented with works by Clovis Franois Auguste Didier (Fr. 1858-1939), A Consoling Mother, expected to fetch $10,000-15,000, Edouard Leon Cortes (Fr. 1882-1969), entitled Arc de Triomphe, estimated to reach $15,000-25,000 and two works by Tadeusz Ajdukiewicz (Pol. 1852-1916), including: Soldiers on Horseback for $7,000-9,000 and Rider on Horseback for $3,000-5,000.

Contemporary furniture highlights include: a George Nakashima black walnut and rosewood 'Minguren I' coffee table, circa 1980, $8,000-12,000, and the iconic Charles and Ray Eames rosewood and black leather 670 lounge chair and 671 ottoman, manufactured by Herman Miller, design introduced 1956, offered for $3,000-4,000. More furniture highlights include a Carlos Motta peroba rosa wood Parati dining table, mid 20th century for $2,000-3,000 and a Philip & Kelvin LaVerne pewter and bronze Ming side table, circa 1960s, estimated to bring $800-1,200. The practical yet elegant Tiffany Studios favrile glass and bronze Counterbalance table lamp, first quarter 20th century is offered for $4,000-6,000.

Highlights among the American and European furniture and decorations include: an intricately carved Continental Baroque style scrimshaw bone mounted ebonized wood table cabinet, probably Italian, early 19th century, expected to sell between $1,000-2,000; Liseuse by Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (Fr. 1824-1887), an elegant Chryselephantine cold painted bronze sculpture of a young woman reading is estimated to fetch $1,500-2,500; a set of four George III silver candlesticks and a pair of three-light candelabra arms, London, candlesticks circa 1791, should bring $3,000-5,000. The sale also includes a large selection of porcelain such as Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica, Berlin Porcelain, Meissen and multiple dinner services by the Hungarian maker Herend, including patterns: Rothschild Bird, Kitty, Chinese Bouquet Rust, Kimberly and Printemps. Two lots of Aesthetic Movement black painted cast-iron garden benches by Pierce of Wexford, circa 1880s, estimated to realize $1,000-1,500 and $1,500-2,000 respectively.

Several spectacular designer lots highlight the jewelry section of the sale, including the substantial Italian 18-karat yellow-gold wide flexible lion bracelet by Bulgari. This extraordinary 110.8 dwt bracelet is offered with an estimate of $10,000-$20,000. The Retro 14-karat yellow-gold, emerald and diamond belt bracelet by Tiffany & Co., circa 1940s is in for $4,000-6,000. If classic gold is too understated, add a splash of color with the Italian 18-karat yellow-gold, coral, diamond and white enamel sunburst cuff bracelet by Verdura, estimated at $10,000-15,000. Diamonds never disappoint and they are plentiful among the offerings in the sale. The stunning Art Deco platinum, diamond and blue sapphire ring should fetch $5,000-7,000; pair that with the exquisite Art Deco platinum, diamond and blue sapphire cocktail bracelet, circa 1925, in for $5,000-7,000. The more delicate but equally elegant Art Deco tested platinum, diamond and seed pearl 18-jewel manual-wind lapel watch by Albert Burger, Lucerne, Swiss, circa 1930 is in for $1,000-2,000. A sparkling platinum and diamond cocktail ring with a floral motif should fetch $7,000-9,000 and thechoker length platinum and diamond swag necklace, with 15.50 carats worth of diamonds is expected to sell for $10,000-15,000.

The public is welcome to view all lots during exhibit hours prior to the sale: Saturday, September 8 from 10am to Noon; Sunday, September 9 from 11am to 2pm; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, September 10, 11, and 12 from 10am to 4pm; and Thursday, September 13 from 10am to 2pm.

The catalogue for the Capital Collections Auction is available for purchase at the gallery and may be viewed online at