Hindman’s Post War and Contemporary Art Auction on September 26th at 10am will feature an extraordinary selection of rare and outstanding paintings by the Hairy Who? and the Chicago Imagists. Included in this premier presentation are superb examples by Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke and Karl Wirsum.
Their work was known for grotesquerie, surrealism and complete separation from the art scene in New York art or world trends.
Jim Nutt’s Plume from 1989 is estimated at $200,000-400,000 and offers a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire an early work from his period of portraits that emerged as his preferred painting product in the 90s and has held a continued place in his practice. These stylized and detailed, fantastically imagined women were influenced by the formal constructs of Renaissance portraiture, balancing between the beautiful and grotesque and exemplifying an artist who has mastered his craft.
“I have spent my life surrounded by Chicago art and artists and have had the good fortune of bringing numerous stellar examples of Chicago Imagist material to market over the last decade here at Hindman.” says Zack Wirsum, Senior Specialist in Post War and Contemporary Art. “I can say with full confidence that this selection of paintings is among the best batches of Hairy Who? and Imagist work to come up at auction in one setting that I have ever seen. I anticipate the excitement over these works from the collecting world to be absolutely frenzied.”
One such highlight is the uncharacteristically large-scale diptych by Gladys Nilsson, Dipdick…Adam and Eve after Cranach, 1971, estimated at $20,000-30,000. This work playfully riffs on Lucas Cranach the Elder’s similarly titled Northern Renaissance masterpiece. Engaging the same energy as her more intimate watercolors but on a grander scale the work employs high key colors, dynamic patterns and whimsical interwoven bodies to reinterpret and reinvigorate a classic.
Two paintings from Karl Wirsum’s seminal Doggerel series of vibrantly electric colored and graphically edged anthropomorphic dogs will be reunited for the first time since the late 60s. With presale estimates of $40,000-60,000 and $50,000-70,000 each, Doggerel, 1966 and Doggerel III, 1967 interestingly come to market from two different collections. Originally purchased from a group exhibition at Dell Gallery in 1966 and the second Hairy Who? exhibition at the Hyde Park Art Center in 1967 respectively, the works have remained with the original buyers since. This pair of paintings illustrate Wirsum’s evolution from more open spaced akimbo psychedelic abstraction to a full frontal frenetic symmetrical figuration that became his signature approach through the rest of the 60s and beyond. Other Chicago artists of note featured prominently in the auction are Leon Golub, Richard Hunt, George Cohen and Gertrude Abercrombie.
The artist Jim Nutt was born in 1938 and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the early sixties just as Abstract Expressionism was ceding the spotlight to Pop Art. Together with other students he and his wife, the painter Gladys Nilsson, formed a group that came to be known as the Hairy Who. Allied to the Chicago Imagists, their style was a kind of surrealising Pop, with a cartoonish, eschatological gonzo character that earned them a swathe of group shows across the US and beyond from 1966 through to the early 70s.
Since the mid-90s Nutt has focused exclusively on painting female heads; the works in this current exhibition date from 2010 to 2016. They are not portraits, although the artist does admit to being a close observer of people in the street. Writing in the New Yorker, David Nolan referred to them as a kind of ‘geek classicism’. The works are of uniform size, and draw one in with a power to match a Lucas Cranach Adam and Eve. Nutt uses thinned acrylic paints. This is significant because the colour used this way has a translucency that means he has to build up many layers of paint to achieve the desired effect. He is interested not in brush strokes, the paintings are entirely without gesture, but in the impasto brought about by this layering which in turn lends the heads an extraordinary three-dimensionality
For more information about the auction please contact visit Hindman.
Two beautiful modern paintings by the late Chinese artist, Wu Guanzhong (1919-2010)are the lead items in Hindman Auctions sale of Asian Works of Art estimated at $1.4m in Chicago on Sept 24th.
One of China’s leading auction houses, Poly, set a record in 2016 for an oil painting by Wu Guanzhong of $30m and according to the influential publication Artprice, last year Wu had sales of $103m.
Estimates for the two Wu Guanzhong pictures at Hindman are $80,000.00 – $120,000.00 for the painting titled ‘Jiangnan’ and: $120,000.00 – $150,000.00 for ‘Bridge and City’.
Director of Asian Art at Hindman, Annie Wu, says of the Wu Guanzhong paintings: “In these two works we see the distinct style of this great Chinese art innovator, one image, a townscape and one that encapsulates the change that engulfed China. His work is collected because it is visually stunning and because it represents a moment in time in Chinese culture when the impact of modern French art added its own impact to that of Asia.”
‘A snake swallowing an elephant,’ is how Wu once described himself — the snake symbolising the Chinese artist in him, the elephant representing Western influence.
The Wu Guanzhong worktitledJiangnan is a framed oil on canvas work, signed and dated 1996 in Chinese. It is 40 x 50 cm in size.
Wu Guanzhong was from Yixing, a city in the Jiangnan region. Jiangnan, literally “river south (江南)”, refers to lands immediately to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, including cities like Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, Shanghai. Wu Guanzhong painted a lot of scenery of his hometown and the nearby region, which is characterized by many rivers and bridges as seen in this stunning image.
Throughout his career, Wu revisited the motif of Jiangnan to capture the region’s tranquil beauty, giving full play to his homesickness after decades of living in Beijing. Wu traveled frequently in Jiangnan in the firm belief that he would find a way to show its beauty in oil on canvas. He said of it: “I love the gloomy spring days,” and added, “Black, white and gray are the main tones of Jiangnan. It thus became the base on which my works are grounded, and also the start of my career.”
Born in 1919 in the Jiangsu province of eastern China, Wu Guanzhong is now viewed as one of the most important Chinese painters of the 20th century. He’s renowned for his landscapes, which fuse Western and Oriental artistic traditions, the result, partly, of three years’ study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris between 1947 and 1950.
Wu was born the son of a village schoolteacher. He studied initially at the National Academy of Art in Hangzhou, under Lin Fengmian, a painter often called the ‘father of Chinese modernism’.
Then he moved to Paris in 1947, where he was particularly drawn to the work of Pissaro, Cezanne and Van Gogh. Returning to China in 1950, he found himself out of step artistically, the Communist authorities favouring a Social Realist style that featured heroic workers, farmers and soldiers. And now his life mirrored the cultural change sweeping the country.
In 1966, at the start of the Cultural Revolution, Wu destroyed many of his oil paintings, for fear of what the Red Guards would make of them if they searched his house. But he was banned for seven years from painting; denounced as a ‘bourgeois formalist’; and banished from Beijing to the remote countryside to perform manual labour far from his wife and family.
Finally in the mid-1970s, Wu was allowed to return home and paint again — and over subsequent decades he became one of his country’s most revered artists. The year before his death — aged 90, in 2010 — he received two major retrospectives: one at Shanghai Art Museum, and another at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing.
For more information about the auction please contact visit Hindman.
A stunning array of dresses worn by Dame Olivia de Havilland, the 103-year-old British-American-French actress whose career from 1935 spanned the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema to the late 1980s, will be sold by auction house Hindman in Chicago on September 17th.
De Havilland is one of the top actresses of all time, with a career that includes 49 feature films. One of her most remembered roles was Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind (1939), in which she plays Scarlett O’Hara’s sister-in-law.
The September 17, 2019 Haute Couture & Luxury Fall Fashion Auction at Hindman includes an impressive collection of 400 lots of vintage clothing gathered from around the United States and Europe. This compelling group of designs features wearable early 20th century dresses, numerous examples from post-WWII American fashion designers such as Norman Norell, Adele Simpson and James Galanos, and unique haute couture creations from Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro, among others.
Headlining this auction is an exciting collection of Parisian haute couture and Hollywood designs worn by Dame Olivia de Havilland from 1954 to 1989. A majority of the items (27) are haute couture creations by Christian Dior, including ensembles made under the creative direction of Christian Dior himself, Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Bohan.
“Dame Olivia de Havilland is a timeless fashion icon and this couture is nothing short of historical,” said Timothy Long, Hindman’s director and senior specialist of luxury accessories and couture. “Olivia’s collection, along with the auction’s other offerings, must not be missed by fashion experts and enthusiasts alike.”
Three of the Dior ensembles were worn by de Havilland in her movies, such as Light in the Piazza (1962) and the iconic Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964).
A Dior coat was worn for her role in the Broadway production of A Gift of Time (1961), while other Dior designs were worn by de Havilland to the premieres of her movies, such as Proud Rebel (1958), Lady in a Cage (1964) and the 1961 special showing of Gone with the Wind (1939) in honour of the Centennial of the Commencement of the Civil War.
There are also eight evening gowns worn by de Havilland to formal events between 1977 and 1989. These events include the 1977 American Film Institute tribute to Bette Davis, for which de Havilland wore a gown designed by Hollywood costume designer Edith Head. Another dress was made by Hollywood costume designer Paul Zastupnevitch and worn in 1989 by de Havilland when she accepted the People’s Choice Award for Gone with the Wind as the favourite film of all time.
In addition to Christian Dior clothing and accessories, this collection includes six paper programmes, printed by
the House of Christian Dior, detailing the garments included in Dior’s fashion shows in Paris, which were attended by Olivia de Havilland. Each programme features hand-written notes by de Havilland, including her thoughts on each collection and scheduling details.
With these programmes are two photographic prints, provided with the clothing, of Olivia de Havilland with Christian Dior. One image is of de Havilland wearing a wedding dress, designed by Dior, for her role in The Ambassador’s Daughter (1956). The second image is of Dior seated at a table with de Havilland in a white hat.
For more information about the auction please contact visit Hindman.
The car appeared in The Avengers with Clemens’ personalised number plate ‘140 MPH’
This stylish Jaguar E-Type was supplied new to the acclaimed screenwriter and television producer Brian Clemens OBE (1931-2015) whose credits included The Avengers, The Persuaders and The Professionals. It is estimated to sell for £65,000 to £85,000 with H&H Classics on 16thOctober at Duxford, Imperial War Museum.
The car appeared on screen in The Avengers alongside John Steed and Emma Peel whilst wearing Clemens’ personal registration number ‘140 MPH’ (as seen below) making the E-Type a star in its own right.
Subject to a protracted restoration in the 1980s-1990s, it is a ‘matching numbers’ car and has just been treated to a very thorough engine overhaul by renowned marque specialist XK Engineering plus brake / suspension fettling.
One of just 1,473 RHD E-Type S1 4.2 Fixed Head Coupes made before the introduction of the so-called Series 1.5 cars.
It is offered for sale with an extensive history file including Heritage Certificate and XK Engineering bills.
The British Film Institute credits Clemens with ‘fashioning the television model of op-art and pop fiction in the world of espionage’, it also describes The Avengers ‘as a paean to the mid-1960s . . . that all but invented cult TV’. Damian Jones of H&H Classics comments: Given the cultural importance of The Avengers and Jaguar’s E-Type, it is no surprise that Clemens bought this car new and who can blame him for sneaking it on to the silver screen. For many, Jaguar’s sleek Fixed Head Coupe is just as memorable as Emma Peel’s leather catsuit or John Steed’s umbrella and bowler hat combination. An E-Type that has appeared in The Avengers is almost an overload of Sixties’ cool”.
Brian Horace Clemens OBE, the screenwriter and television producer, is possibly best known for his work on The Avengers and The Professionals. Clemens was related to Mark Twain, a fact reflected in the naming of his two sons, Samuel Joshua Twain Clemens and George Langhorne Clemens.
He started his professional life by working his way up from messenger boy at the J. Walter Thomson advertising agency. While a copywriter at this agency he wrote a thriller screenplay shot by the BBC TV as ‘Valid for Single Journey Only’ in 1955.
He wrote the pilot episode for The Avengers in 1961 and was associate producer and scriptwriter for the series from 1961 -69. He cast Diana Rigg to replace Honor Blackman and he chose Joanna Lumley as Purdey from 700 girls when casting for The New Avengers which sold to 120 countries. He had a distinguished film career writing and producing films from 1957 to 2012.
For more information about the auction please contact visit H&H Classics.
1965 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe
– Supplied new to the acclaimed screenwriter and television producer Brian Clemens OBE whose credits included The Avengers, The Persuaders and The Professionals
– Featured in The Avengers alongside John Steed and Emma Peel whilst wearing Clemens’ personal registration number ‘140 MPH’
– Subject to a protracted restoration in the 1980s-1990s, matching numbers and just treated to a very thorough engine overhaul by renowned marque specialist XK Engineering plus brake / suspension fettling
– 1 of just 1,473 RHD E-Type S1 4.2 Fixed Head Coupes made before the introduction of the so-called Series 1.5 cars
– Offered for sale with an extensive history file including Heritage Certificate and XK Engineering bills
Estimate: GBP£65,000 – GBP£85,000