80th Anniversary Charity Art Auction to Benefit the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

80th Anniversary Charity Art Auction to Benefit the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 63. Untitled.

Tom Otterness


Lot Closed

February 8, 10:02 PM GMT


1,000 - 3,000 USD

Lot Details


Tom Otterness

b 1952 Wichita, Kansas


Executed in 1997.

Painted plaster

Overall: 1 x 9 x 5in; Figure 1: 9 x 3 in diameter; Fig 2: 8.5 x 3 in diameter; Base: 1 x 9 x 5 in

Please note that while this auction is hosted on Sothebys.com, it is being administered by the Norton Museum of Art (the “Norton”), and all post-sale matters (inclusive of invoicing and property pickup/shipment) will be handled by the Norton. As such, Sotheby’s will share the contact details for the winning bidders with the Norton so that they may be in touch directly post-sale.

Courtesy of Rita Krauss Fine Art

Since the 1970s, Tom Otterness has been populating public spaces with his impish human and animal sculptures, through which he gently lampoons American society.Otterness came to New York City in 1970 to study at the Arts Students League, and in 1973 took part in the Whitney Independent Study Program. In 1977 he became a member of Collaborative Projects, a pioneering community of independent artists, and took a leading role in organizing the Collab’s 1980 Times Square Show, which was called “the first avant-garde art show of the ‘80s” by the Village Voice. Otterness is one of a handful of contemporary artists invited to design a balloon for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, for which he devised a tumbling Humpty-Dumpty in 2005.

He is best known for his public sculptures, including his Playground on 630 West 42nd St. in New York. Another famous piece Life Underground (2004), inside the 14th Street-Eighth Avenue Station in New York, depicts small bronze figures engaged in various tasks. “It’s a simple language; it’s a cartoon language; it’s smiley, button faces,” the artist said. “People aren’t thrown off by a language they don’t understand.”

Works by Otterness are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Eli Broad Family Foundation, the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum, the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, the Norton Museum of Art, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and others.