Impressionist and Modern Art: 10 Works Under $10k

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Spanning the late 19th through the mid-20th century, the Impressionist & Modern Art sale in New York offers an opportunity to bring home works by important artists at accessible price points. Names like Tamara de Lempicka. Marino Marini and Henry Moore are all represented with estimates below $10,000. Click ahead for a closer look at ten works that will be offered on 8 June that can be added to your collection without breaking the bank.

Impressionist & Modern Art
8 June 2017 | New York

Impressionist and Modern Art: 10 Works Under $10k

  • Jan Toorop, Zeeuws Landschap Met Visser, 1962. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    Jan Toorop was born in 1858 on a small island near Sumatra where his father worked for the Dutch East India Company. Initially educated on Java, where his family lived until he was 9 years old, his art was in many ways influenced by his exposure to the eastern aesthetic, not unlike Gauguin in Tahiti. In the 1880s he lived in Brussels, where he joined the group Les Vingts, centred around James Ensor, and married an Englishwoman with the memorable name of Annie Hall. From the 1890s Toorop lived in Zeeland, where he worked regularly with Piet Mondrian.

    Zeeuws landschap met visser is a beautiful example of Toorop's work, melding both the influences of Impressionism and quiet symbolism in a small, intimate format. Again, not unlike Gauguin and the Symbolist painters, who often depicted people from the different French regions in their traditional local dress – think of Van Gogh’s Arlesienne, or Emile Bernard’s Breton Women with Umbrellas (both at the Musée d’Orsay) – Jan Toorop’s Zeeuws landschap met visser shows Dutch peasants in traditional costume enjoying a moment of repose. 

  • Eugene Berman, The Decapitated Muses III. Estimate $6,000–8,000.
    At the outbreak of the Bolshevik Revolution, Eugene Berman fled his native Russia and settled in Paris where he studied at the Académie Ranson under Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. Despite the influence of these two Nabi painters, Berman turned toward Surrealism and Neo-Romanticism, inspired by the architectural styles of the Italian Baroque. After moving to New York, Berman began to exhibit with Julian Levy’s gallery in New York, which showcased many leading Surrealist artists including Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dalî, Man Ray and Frida Kahlo. It was at this time that Berman began to paint in the style depicted in The Decapitated Muses III: romanticised landscapes with classical figures with a sense of humour and a healthy dose of the surreal. Berman also worked on covers for magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, and he regularly designed sets for ballet and the Metropolitan Opera. The different outlets for his work allowed Berman to reach a varied audience, and the appeal of his special mixture of traditional and avant-garde kept him exhibiting, designing and painting, creating well through the 1960s. Berman was married to actress Ona Munson who is best known for playing Belle Watling in the film Gone with the Wind. Berman passed away in Rome in 1972. High Drama: Eugene Berman and the Legacy of the Melancholic Sublime, a retrospective of Berman’s work, was held at the McNay Art Museum in 2005.

  • Jules Pascin, Hermine. Estimate $2,000–4,000.
    This strong ink portrait depicts Hermine David, Jules Pascin's wife, who was a very talented artist in her own right with a particular gift for miniatures and printmaking. David and Pascin met in 1907 in Paris when they moved into the burgeoning arts scene now known as the Ecole de Paris. They married in 1918 after moving to New York City where they stayed until 1923, during which time Hermine exhibited her own artwork regularly. Throughout their relationship, Pascin depicted Hermine in paintings and drawings with an almost obsessive frequency. However, as much as she served as model and inspiration for her husband, Hermine continued to avidly pursue her own artistic career. She exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, the Salon des Indépendants, and the Galerie Weil. Even after their separation in 1920, David enjoyed the continued support and encouragement of her estranged husband, as well as a close friendship with his partner Lucy Krohg, until Pascin's untimely death in 1930. Pascin left his estate to be divided between the two women, and Hermine ultimately allowed Lucy more say in its management. The inscription on the present work "Hermine – dessin de Pascin au pinceau" is in Lucy's hand, evidence of this amicable arrangement. Hermine David received the Legion d'Honneur in 1932, and continued to work until her death in 1970.

  • Sigismund Ivanowski, Window Shoppers. Estimate $5,000–7,000.
    Sigismund Ivanowski was a Ukrainian-born painter and illustrator who emigrated to America in 1902. A prize-winning student at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts, he also studied in London under James Abbott McNeil Whistler, before coming to the U.S., where he became a member of the Society of Illustrators. President Theodore Roosevelt had his portrait painted by Ivanowksi, and from 1906 to 1914 he painted a series of actresses in character for Century magazine. 

    The subject matter of the present work celebrates some of the important cultural themes of the Gilded Age: the growth of a consumerist culture and the advent of department stores (Macy's moved into its current, Beaux-Arts style building on the corner of 34th street in Manhattan in 1902), as well as ready-to-wear fashions such as the woman’s shirtwaist dress, and indeed the general joie de vivre that went with rapid industrialisation and the associated enhanced quality of life. 

  • Henry Moore, Doll Head. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    Though many of Henry Moore’s best-known works are the monumental sculptures which can be seen in front of Midtown New York office buildings, on college campuses and in government squares, his smaller-scale pieces were of equal importance for the artist: ‘I don’t make my maquettes and models for that purpose of trying to show to somebody else what the big one was going to be like. No… the size is any size that I like. I can make it any size in my imagination that I want it to be.’ (Erich Steingraber (ed.), Henry Moore, Maquetten: Interview mit Henry Moore, Munich, 1978, p.56). As Anne Wagner points out aptly in her paper Scale in Sculpture: The Sixties and Henry Moore (in The Tate Papers, Spring, 2011), scale and size are not the same thing. Size is quantifiable, scale is often less easy to describe and in many ways can also by subjective: the way the different elements of an artwork relate to one another can imbue the whole with a power and presence which far outstrip its height in inches. Doll Head , perhaps inspired by a poignant found object such as an abandoned doll’s head, has the latter type of scale. It makes the viewer reflect as it draws the eye towards it and into it; it is at once intimate and quietly powerful.

  • Tamara de Lempicka, Femme Assise, Cubiste. Estimate $4,000–6,000.
    Tamara de Lempicka is an icon of the Art Deco style and she is having a well-deserved moment in the art world right now. Her life in many ways epitomised the drama and glamour of the 1920s. A child of great privilege, and used to luxury, she was only 16 years old when she married the handsome but penniless Tadeusz Lempicki in 1919 in Saint Petersburg. Within a year he had been arrested by the Bolsheviks and Tamara used her charm and looks to get him freed; she eventually succeeded, and the couple fled to Paris. At this time she began to study art, and she concentrated on painting portraits of the leading literary, artistic, scientific and industrial figures of the France and Europe, as well as many of the exiled Eastern European nobility, refugees like her. Her personality and ease in affluent surroundings, as well as her distinctive artistic style so well in tune with the feeling of the times made her very popular. After she moved to the U.S. with her second husband, Baron Raoul Kuffner, they settled in California, and her vivid chiar’oscuro portraiture made her the darling of the Hollywood set, who loved the brooding, often highly sexual, dramatic way she used dark pigments, strong, confident lines,  and bright, bold colors. While in many ways the stark Art Deco aesthetic can appear harsh, square, and masculine, Lempicka proved that it could be sexy, voluptuous, feminine – and mastered by a woman. The four works on paper on offer in our June 8 sale are a great opportunity to own works by this absolutely iconic 20th century female artist.

    View Additional Lots: 63 & 73

  • Camille Bombois, La Ferme: Effet De Soleil. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    Camille Bombois was an entirely self-taught artist, who worked as a night labourer, in order to paint during the day. Though many of his paintings before World War I, inspired by the Old Masters, were not popular, after the war, his crisp, clear and bright depictions of circus scenes and landscapes began to attract attention at his Montmartre sidewalk displays. He exhibited his works for the first time at the Galerie des Quatre Chemins in 1927. His first solo show was in 1944 at the Galerie Pétridès in Paris. When his work was supported by Perls galleries in New York in the 1940s, many of New York City’s wealthy art patrons were drawn to his vivid but starkly simple depictions.

    Though he is often compared to the Douanier Henri Rousseau and other Naif French painters, Bombois’ work stands on its own. The way he plays with horizon, scale and colour belies his true mastery of the perspective which one senses he has intentionally skewed for effect. Indeed, in order to paint in such a conscientiously primitive way, an artist must have an extremely well-honed sense of how to paint, and how to draw. Thus Bombois’ art may be deceptive. His chosen subject matter, often of solitary figures or landscapes, are devoid of any human influence at all. Bombois’ painting may be simplified, but it is never simplistic.

    Additional work by the artist: Lot 90, Pecheurs au bord d'un lac.


  • H. Claude Pissarro, Retour De Pèche Au Havre. Estimate $8,000–12,000.
    Retour De Pèche Au Havre is a clear homage to H. Claude Pissarro's grandfather Camille, reprising the latter's 1903 composition The Jetty at Le Havre, Morning Sun, High Tide (The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee) but with H. Claude's own, more modern touch. Though born into a family of artistic legacy, H. Claude's rigorous training at the Ecole du Louvre and the prestigious Ecole Nationale Supérieure, combined with his receptivity to the more avant-garde trends of his contemporaries, led him to a successful career as both a painter and an instructor. His international reputation led the Eisenhower White House to commission an official portrait of the president from him in 1959.

  • Fred Deux, Créatures Surréalistes. Estimate $4,000–6,000.
    An electrician by training, Fred Deux joined the French Resistance during World War II. After the Liberation, his taste for excitement was too strong to return to the peaceable life of an electrician and so he joined the French Colonial forces in Morocco. He returned to France in 1948, and settled in Marseille where he worked at a bookstore. It was here that he became enthralled with the writings of André Breton and other surrealists. His own early works from this period, usually made with bicycle paint, demonstrate the strong influence of Paul Klee. In the early 50s Fred Deux moved to Paris where he met and socialised with the Paris Surrealist set. In 1958 he published La Gana, a largely autobiographical work, under the nom de plume Jean Douassot, followed by a memoir in 1962. The 60s saw the creation of his larger pen and crayon works done over a background of watercolour of which Créatures Surréalistes is a prime example. His passion both for graphic art and literature led to the creation of several livres uniques, which included both his writings and original works on paper.

  • Marino Marini, Studio Per Pomone. Estimate $6,000–8,000.
    Marino Marini is known as much for his sculpture as for his works on paper. One of the foremost Italian artists of the 20th century, he was closely associated at various times to De Pisis, Campigli, and De Chirico, as well as Alberto Giacometti, Richier, and Wotruba. Marini had several themes which he revisited and explored over the course of his creation: the equestrian theme of the horse and rider, the Pomona or nude, and circus figures. The choice of the title for the nudes, Pomona, is deeply invested with the ancient Italian and Etruscan iconography, which influenced Marini throughout his career. Pomona, a wood-nymph in Roman mythology, was the patron of fruit-bearing trees during the harvest. As such, Marini’s depiction of her, both in two dimensions and three, refers back to this fecundity indirectly by the type of silhouette his Pomonas usually display: somewhere between the overt fertility of the Venus of Willendorf, and Balthus’ Nude in Front of Mantel with its unselfconscious, nearly naïve seductiveness. Studio Per Pomone , a study for a Pomona is an example of the close relationship between Marini’s flat and sculptural works. He always insisted his works on paper were not intentionally studies for sculptures; rather, they allowed him to develop and work through his favored themes in a different way.


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