The May 21 Post War and Contemporary Art sale at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers showcased a significant single-owner session alongside many important works that spanned sculpture, paintings and works on paper. The single-owner session came from the Claudia R. Luebbers Trust. For over four decades, Mrs. Luebbers acquired works by distinguished 20th century artists including Lee Bontecou, Jackson Pollock, William Kentridge, Gilbert & George, Sol LeWitt and Nick Cave, among many others.
From her collection, top-selling lots included a 1959 untitled Lee Bontecou that sold for $350,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $200,000/300,000; Gilbert & George’s 1982 “Night Crusade,” which sold for $92,500; and the 1991 “Hare with a Telescope” by Barry Flanagan that sold for $80,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $20,000/30,000.
The Luebbers session offered many outstanding works that added to the diversity of the entire Post War and Contemporary Art sale. Outside of this session, highlights included multiple Francoise Gilot canvases. His 1981 “A Window onto the Mediterranean” sold for $116,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $10,000/15,000.
The sale featured five Victor Vasarely paintings, “ARCTU” fetching the highest bid and closing at $86,500. A series of Pablo Picasso ceramics drew numerous bidders. His 1953 “Vase deux anses Hautes” sold for $37,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $20,000/30,000.
Chicago imagists, such as members of Hairy Who, were well represented in the sale. Karl Wirsum’s 1968 “Skullpture Y” sold for $92,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $10,000/15,000. Auction records were set for other Chicago imagists with Suellen Rocca’s “Lamp Poem” selling for $22,500 (pre-sale estimate $1,000/2,000) and Barbara Rossi’s “Wee Purr” selling for $32,500 (pre-sale estimate $5,000/7,000).
The May 21 Post War and Contemporary Art sale was followed by a Fine Prints evening sale where contemporary artists fared well. The top lot was Benton Murdoch Spruance’s “Traffic Control,” which sold for $60,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $8,000/12,000. Multiple Andy Warhol and Joan Miro prints sold well and above high estimates. Wayne Thiebaud’s 1987 “Candy Apples” brought $32,500.