Renoir, Rockwell, Calder, and Lichtenstein are Stars of Bonhams May Art Auctions

New York – In May, Bonhams will present four Fine Art auctions which feature some of the most important artists of the 19th and 20th centuries including Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Man Ray, Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Calder, and Norman Rockwell. A monumental portfolio, Der Krieg (The War), by Otto Dix will highlight the Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples sale at the beginning of the month. Then the Impressionist & Modern Art auction will feature Roses, a fresh-to-market painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir; this sale will be followed the next day by Post-War & Contemporary Art headlined by breakout star Jadé Fadojutimi's A Declaration of War. Closing out the month, American Art is highlighted by an exemplary Norman Rockwell painting that is fresh-to-market and in its original condition.

Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples
May 9

Der Krieg (The War), 1924, by Otto Dix (1891-1969), one of the great anti-war artworks, is the star lot of the Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples sale on May 9. Estimated at $300,000 – 500,000, the monumental portfolio documents the horrific realities of war in 51 unflinching graphic images. A German painter and printmaker, Dix served as an artillery gunner on the Eastern Front of World War I and experienced first-hand the terrible suffering which he rendered in meticulous and horrifying detail only six years later.

Additionally, the sale will feature a 1985 print, Moonscape, by Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), an American pop artist, estimated at $100,000 – 125,000. One of his most painterly works and a foray into Abstract Expressionism, Moonscape is the most complicated print in Lichtenstein's Landscapes series, requiring 36 runs through the press.

Impressionist & Modern Art
May 17

On May 17, Impressionist & Modern Art will feature a still-life painting circa 1915 by one of the most important artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a key figure of the Impressionist movement, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919). Estimated at $500,000 – 700,000 and titled Roses, this exceptional, fresh-to-market work has been in the same private collection prior to 1940 and displays Renoir's mastery of color with its harmonious palette and sophisticated use of oil paint. The sale will also feature a unique, three-dimensional assemblage by Man Ray (1890-1976). Reliure (Bookbinding), 1953, estimated at $400,000 – 600,000, is composed of a painted papier mâché mask, fabric, leather, and wood to bring reality versus representation into sharp relief and crystallize a multiplicity of complex themes that run through Man Ray's oeuvre, as well as the Dadaist and Surrealist canons.

A monumental and rare painting by Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), Judith et Holopherne, is an additional highlight of the sale. Painted from 1948 to 1949 on three large-scale wooden panels, Judith et Holopherne illustrates the well-known biblical scene of the moment when Judith has just cut the neck of Holofernes. The work, estimated at $100,000 – 150,000, has exceptional provenance, hailing from the private collection of Severin Wunderman, a Cocteau enthusiast who was the creator of the Jean Cocteau Museum in Menton, France, a museum that contains almost 1000 graphic works by the artist.

Post-War & Contemporary Art
May 18

Post-War & Contemporary Art on May 18 will be highlighted by Jadé Fadojutimi's (b. 1993) A Declaration of War, 2018, estimated at $500,000 – 700,000. One of the breakout sensations of recent seasons, Fadojutimi's style is unique and powerful where color and gesture rule supreme and the present work is a stellar example that boasts the best of those qualities. The sale is further led by top-lot Cantilever, an elegant stabile, from one of the most renowned artists of the 20th century, Alexander Calder (1898-1976), estimated at $1,500,000 – 2,500,000.

Also of note is a painting, Three Candied Apples, 1961, by Wayne Thiebaud (1920-2021), estimated at $800,000 - $1,200,000. One of the most well-known American Pop artists, Thiebaud's oeuvre is defined by colorful still-life paintings of edible treats and everyday objects. The sale will also feature four works by Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), an American artist known for working in a wide range of mediums. Presented in the sale is a large-scale silkscreen work from 1985, estimated at $100,000 – 150,000, that was acquired directly from the artist and held ever since by Trisha Brown, an American choreographer and long-time collaborator of Rauschenberg.

American Art
May 25

A newly re-discovered painting, Me and My Pal: Fishing Raft, 1954, by the most beloved illustrator in American History, Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), comes to auction for the first time at the American Art sale on May 25. Rockwell created this painting, estimated at $500,000 – 700,000, for the extremely popular Brown & Bigelow's Four Seasons Postcard Calendar. This work reflects Rockwell's iconic oeuvre which focused on depicting 20th century American culture with particular interest in families and small-town life.

Additionally, the sale will feature A Man of a Certain Probity and Worth, Immortal and Natural, 1936 by Newell Convers Wyeth (1882-1945), estimated at $200,000 – 300,000. Best known for his illustrations of The Last of the Mohicans and Treasure Island, Wyeth demonstrates in this painting his ability to convey complete narrative scenes and his prowess as a painter of landscapes and human characters. Also of note is a Robert Riggs' (1896-1970) large-scale painting titled Lady Wrestlers, 1950 and estimated at $50,000 – 70,000. Riggs is best remembered for his extraordinary depictions of prizefighting in America as is showcased by this work which depicts two animated female wrestlers in the middle of a match with a dynamic crowd of onlookers.


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