The one hundred and sixty two lot American and European Art sale with a range of represented artists offers a nice collecting opportunity.
The sale is led by an early Bernard Buffet work, La Tour Eiffel, 1955, which is a strong example of his atmospheric work from the 50s. In this work, Buffet depicts one of the world’s most recognizable monuments. By including La Grand Roue, a Ferris wheel long torn down in 1920, he imbues the painting with a sense of nostalgia and melancholy. The painting has an estimate of $200,000 – 300,000.
Another leading painting by a French artist is Jean Beraud’s Le Pont de Bercy ($200,000 – 300,000). Beraud, known for his talent in depicting everyday scenes of 19th century Parisian life, chooses here to show Bercy, a separate commune from Paris until 1860. In this painting, one can see the influence of both his fellow Impressionist artists and the Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock tradition, especially in the empty space and strong diagonal lines.
Three exceptional ink and wash works by Thomas Hart Benton lead the American session. The first is a dynamic sketch of a Holly Roller gathering from Benton’s time in Appalachia. Movie Set ($25,000 – 30,000) and Burning of Chicago ($25,000 – 30,000) are sketches Benton completed while hired by Life magazine to document the movie business in Hollywood. He would later turn these and other sketches into a major composite oil painting entitled Hollywood, 1937-38. This composite is currently in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO.