Realist Works by American Printmakers Shine Alongside European Masters

Lot-159-Winslow-Homer copy.jpgNew York— On Tuesday, March 8, Swann Galleries will offer 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings, featuring works by recognizable European masters and prominent American printmakers.

            The sale is headlined by Winslow Homer’s serene Fly Fishing, Saranac Lake, 1889. Fly Fishing was made in the same year Homer abandoned etching, making it likely his last etching, as well as his most experimental. The print is estimated at $80,000 to $120,000.

            Homer was inspired to create fine prints by James A. M. Whistler’s “Etching Revival,” and this sale features some of those Whistler works as well, including Nocturne: Palaces, etching and drypoint, 1879-80, a scarce etching that typifies the artist’s painterly technique of inking and wiping to make unique impressions. Whistler’s Quiet Canal, etching and drypoint, 1879-80, from his second set of Venice etchings, is also included. Nocturne: Palaces is estimated at $70,000 to $100,000, and Quiet Canal at $30,000 to $50,000.

            Works by other American printmakers include Martin Lewis’s 1930 drypoint and sand-ground Shadow Dance ($30,000 to $50,000). The market for prints by Lewis has seen an upswing in recent years, and last November Swann set a record for the artist when a print sold for $72,500. Edward Hopper began making etchings and drypoints with the help of Lewis; Hopper’s Night Shadows, etching, 1921 is also in the sale ($25,000 to $35,000). Several pieces by Regionalist artist Grant Wood are in the sale, including Sultry Night, a 1939 lithograph, and the only nude to be represented by a regionalist artist ($15,000 to $20,000). Other Regionalists represented include Thomas Hart Benton, who captures motion and drama with The Race, lithograph, 1942 ($15,000 to $20,000), while the Social realists are represented by Reginald Marsh, whose Tattoo­-Shave-Haircut, etching, 1932, depicts a scene beneath the El on the Bowery ($20,000 to $30,000).

            Featured prominent European artists include Henri Matisse’s La Danse, a color aquatint, 1935-1936, based on Matisse’s maquette for an early iteration of a mural commissioned by Albert C. Barnes in 1930 ($60,000 to $90,000).  Pablo Picasso’s Buste au corsage à carreaux, a 1957 lithograph, and Jeunesse, a lithograph from 1950, are estimated at $40,000 to $60,000 and $30,000 to $50,000. These and several other Picasso prints are featured alongside Picasso ceramics, including Bearded Man’s Wife, a partially glazed terre de faïence turned pitcher, 1953 ($20,000 to $30,000). Georges Seurat’s only known lithograph, Torse d’homme, vu de dos, is an intimate image likely made by transferring one of his crayon drawings onto a lithographic stone ($20,000 to $30,000).

            Bright works from Joan Miró, including Le Matador, color etching, drypoint, aquatint and carborundum, 1969, add pops of color to the sale ($30,000 to $50,000). Color and line play delicately in Wassily Kandinsky’s Lithographie Blau, color lithograph, 1922, contrasting with the bold and whimsical use of color in Marc Chagall’s color lithograph, Mounting the Ebony Horse, 1948 (both $15,000 to $20,000 each). Salvador Dalí’s The Mythology, a complete set of 16 drypoints with aquatint, 1960-64, shows the artist’s unique eye applied to classical subject matter ($30,000 to $50,000).

The auction will be held Tuesday, March 8, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The auction preview will be open to the public throughout Amory Week, with the exhibition open Thursday and Friday, March 3 & 4 from 10 am to 6 pm; Saturday, March 5 from noon to 5 pm; and Monday, March 7 from 10 am to 6 pm.; and by appointment.

An illustrated auction catalogue will be available for $40 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Todd Weyman at 212-254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at tweyman@swanngalleries.com.

Image: Lot 159: Winslow Homer, Fly Fishing, Saranac Lake, etching, 1889. Estimate $80,000 to $120,000

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