On May 21, New York’s Showplace auction house will present their spring season Important Fine Art and Design sale. Known as a premier source for everything from canonic artworks and important design to haute horology, antiques, and luxury fashion, the forthcoming auction promises exciting and rare lots across categories. Ahead of the sale, collectors and connoisseurs can explore the hundreds of lots and discover the full breadth of unique and notable items and works included.
Showplace’s Important Fine Art and Design sale will feature numerous artworks by famous and art historically important artists, ranging from a “Mirror” lithograph by Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein to a bucolic vignette, (1896) by seminal Victorian painter Samuel Sidley. Ahead of the sale, we’ve selected six incredible, not-to-be-missed lots, offering a brief glimpse into the all the incredible works included in the auction.
Giuseppe Santomaso (1907–1990) was an influential Italian painter largely associated with both the Arte Informale and Lyrical abstraction movements. Inspired by French modernism and artists such as Georges Braque, as well as the work of mid-century Abstract Expressionists, Santomaso’s work from 1962 illustrates the influence—and the artist’s deft employment—of various 20th-century modes of abstraction. Santomaso enjoyed great success in his lifetime, with his work shown both at the Venice Biennale in several editions and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Ilya Yefimovich Repin
Ilya Yefimovich Repin (1844–1930) was one of the most famous 19th-century Russian artists, recognized for his important commissions and nuanced portraits of leading cultural figures of the time, including composer Mikhail Glinka, arts patron Pavel Tretyakov, and author Leo Tolstoy—the last of whom Repin counted as a close friend. The present portrait is demonstrative of the artist’s keen visual style, and it is significant in that it is reflective of a now-lost portrait of singer Feodor Chaliapin from the same year, granting insight into the evolution of Repin’s work at the time.
The sale includes an incredible collection of modern Israeli art, with work by artists such as Moshe Gershuni, Yehiel Shemi, Nurit David, Azriel Zelig Segal, and Ilana Goor. A highlight of this category is the 1968 painting by Joseph Zaritsky (1891–1985). Originally from Ukraine, Zaritzky is credited for developing a uniquely Israeli style of abstract art and cofounding the Ofakim Hadashim group.
A leading figure within the Abstract Expressionist movement, and an early adopter of Action painting, Franz Kline (1910–1962) is considered one of the most important 20th-century artists. His highly recognizable style, which is illustrated in the present lot, is comprised of gestural, monochromatic paint or ink strokes, making the hand of the artist apparent while simultaneously foregrounding the essence of abstraction. Ultimately, his work went on to be considered one of the progenitors of Minimalism—an important bridge from highly detailed and stylized abstractions to more austere aesthetic inclinations seen later in the 20th century.
Post-Impressionist figurative painter Albert Andre (1869–1954) was close friends with Pierre-Auguste Renoir, whom he met at the 1984 Salon des Indépendants. Renoir provided the younger Andre with guidance and support and introduced him to fellow contemporary Claude Monet. Inspired by the Impressionists as well as burgeoning modernism in Europe, Andre exhibited widely and became a stalwart of French painting by the turn of the 20th century.
American folk artist Clementine Hunter (1886/87–1988) hailed from a Louisiana Creole family and gained acclaim for her depictions of Black Southern life in the early 20th century. The self-taught artist did not begin showing or selling her work until she was in her 50s but nevertheless went on to become a prolific artist, with estimates that she produced well over 5,000 works in her lifetime. By the end of her career, her paintings were immensely popular, and she was the first Black artist to have a solo exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art.