Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saul Steinberg's Fish Factory

Saul Steinberg's landscapes can be startling creations. Napeague, the Fish Factory from 1969 is a composition full of rich watercolor technique in three horizontal sections.  Here the top and bottom sections are overlaid with ink stamps of standing men and official-looking insignia, with some fanciful inscriptions as well.



Saul Steinberg, Napeague, The Fish Factory, 1969




Saul Steinberg, Napeague, The Fish Factory, 1969

Note:  My last post on Saul Steinberg is here.
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Dorothy McKay's Life Boat Drill

This cartoon by Dorothy McKay may not be a classic, but it is surely worth more than the $50 (plus $25 for shipping) that it fetched last month on eBay. Why aren't people more eager to own original artwork by cartoonists who publish in The New Yorker? 


This cartoon, sold on eBay as a drawing from The New Yorker, almost certainly did not appear in that publication. As cartoonist Michael Maslin points out on his Ink Spill blog here, "...although the listing says it’s a New Yorker drawing, it does not appear in the magazine’s database." EBay sellers and others can sometimes be too ready to assert that a New Yorker artist's work was published in the magazine without being able to confirm it. The seller's given date for this work, 1960, would seem to be two or three decades late as well.

Dorothy McKay, "You would choose a time like this for your boat drill!"

Dorothy McKay, "You would choose a time like this for your boat drill!" caption

Dorothy McKay, "You would choose a time like this for your boat drill!"

Dorothy McKay, eBay winning bid

Dorothy McKay, eBay item description


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Friday, March 30, 2012

Andy Warhol's Jews of the Twentieth Century

Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century was published in 1980. Sotheby's offered the complete set of the ten screen prints by Andy Warhol on March 29.

Andy Warhol, The Marx Brothers, 8 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980

The Marx Brothers in "A Night in Casablanca" (1946)
Warhol's Source Photo


Andy Warhol, Louis Brandeis, 2 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980


Andy Warhol, Sarah Bernhardt, 1 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980

Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein, 4 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980

There are six other Warhol portraits in this series not shown in the Sotheby's catalogue:



Andy Warhol, Martin Buber, 3 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980


Andy Warhol, Sigmund Freud, 5 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980



Andy Warhol, George Gershwin, 6 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980

Andy Warhol, Franz Kafka, 7 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980


Andy Warhol, Golda Meir, 9 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980

Andy Warhol, Gertrude Stein, 10 of 10 from Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century, 1980





Note:  Barely two days ago I discussed Andy Warhol's The Scream (After Munch) here.

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Albert Goodwin's Ponte Alle Grazie

Albert Goodwin's watercolor of Florence's serene Ponte Alle Grazie is a sobering reminder of a beautiful lost bridge, which it seems once nearly rivaled the nearby Ponte Vecchio. The bridge was destroyed by the retreating German army in 1944. A new if far less distinctive bridge was completed in 1953.


ALBERT GOODWIN, RWS (1845-1932)

THE PONTE ALLE GRAZIE BEFORE ITS DEMOLITION, FLORENCE


http://www.chrisbeetles.com/gallery/picture.php?pic=75272
The modern Ponte Alle Grazie
Albert Goodwin, RWS, The Ponte Alle Grazie Before its Demolition, Florence, 1883


Note:  My previous post concerning two watercolors by Albert Goodwin from the collection of comedian John Cleese can be found here.


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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mao by Miguel Covarrubias

Miguel Covarrubias's Portrait of Mao Tse-Tung is expected to sell for about $300,000 in Hong Kong on April 2, about twice what the oil painting fetched in 2006 in Singapore. No doubt the art collectors in Hong Kong living under authoritarian Chinese Communist rule will bid aggressively on this piece, eager to express their gratitude to Mao for their current inability to vote or to have a direct say in their future. Or perhaps they can simply appreciate Mr. Covarrubias's iconic image of Mao for the fine portrait it is, making a clear distinction between the artwork and its subject's awful political legacy.


Miguel Covarrubias, Portrait of Mao Tse-Tung

Added April 2, 2012


Miguel Covarrubias, Portrait of Mao Tse-Tung, 2006 sale

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Andy Warhol's The Scream (After Munch)

This uniquely-colored screen print by Andy Warhol comes to the market shortly after the announcement that one of four original versions of Edward Munch's The Scream is going to be sold at Sotheby's New York in May for a price that could well exceed $80,000,000. Given that exceptional estimated price for an acknowledged masterwork, one could come to view the 150,000 - 200,000 GBP estimate on this derivative yet highly expressive Warhol print as a bargain indeed.

Andy Warhol, The Scream (After Munch), 1984


Sales result added March 29, 2012


Andy Warhol, The Scream (After Munch), 1984

April 21, 2012 Update:  Here's another fine version by Andy Warhol:

Image added April 21, 2012


Edvard Munch's 1895 lithograph is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
The Scream, 1895
Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863–1944)
Lithograph
image: 14 1/16 x 9 5/16 in. (35.7 x 23.6 cm); sheet: 20 1/4 x 15 5/8 in. (51.4 x 39.7 cm)
Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982 (1984.1203.1)
NOT ON VIEW   Last Updated April 13, 2012




Note:  My blog post on Edvard Munch's Madonna can be found here.

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Arzach

Jean Giraud (1938-2012), a.k.a. Moebius, is the legendary French comic artist who created, among other things, Arzach and The Airtight Garage of Jerry Cornelius. Just following his death on March 10, this large demonstration sketch of Arzach was offered for sale on eBay. New to the market, it achieved a strong price.

Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, Arzach

Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, Arzach detail


Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, detail of signature


Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, Arzach with a dollar bill to show scale

Arzach eBay winning bid

Arzach eBay item description

Jean Giraud, a.k.a. Moebius, Arzach full size

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

John Taylor's Punch Cartoonists

Cartoonist John W. Taylor kept an autograph album dedicated exclusively to Punch cartoonists. He collected drawings by 27 of them, circa 1952-1953. This extraordinary album sold for 8,000 GBP on February 13, 2010 at International Autograph Auctions, Ltd. Here are two drawings from the album and the auction house's entire description of lot 415.

Ernest H. Shepard

Ronald Searle, February 1952


PUNCH CARTOONISTS: A remarkable oblong 8vo autograph album containing 27 original pen and ink drawings and cartoons by various Punch cartoonists, comprising (in order of appearance within the album), Kenneth Bird (1887-1965, English Cartoonist, known as Fougasse) a small original colour pencil sketch of an artist with a learner L plate on the back of his coat, signed Kenneth Bird, Fougasse in ink immediately above the drawing; Russell Brockbank (1913-1979, Canadian-born Cartoonist) an original pen and ink sketch of a man running at speed along a pavement, signed with his name alone above the drawing; Ernest H. Shepard (1879-1976, English Artist & Book Illustrator) a fine, rare original pen and ink sketch depicting the towering figure of Mr. Punch standing opposite Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet who both appear a little nervous before the anarchic Punch who is dressed in a jester's motley, signed by Shepard with his name alone above the drawing; George Sprod (1919-2003, Australian Cartoonist) an original black pen and ink cartoon depicting a tourist in London asking a tall policeman for assistance with his guide book, neatly laid down to the page of the album and signed and inscribed beneath, 'To John Taylor, with best wishes, Sprod'; Mervyn Wilson (1905-1959, Comic Artist) an original black pen and ink cartoon depicting a mother sewing a patch on her young son's trousers while he lies across her knees, drawn on a 12mo card and dated 1953. Neatly laid down to the page of the album which is signed by Wilson at the head; Harold Hailstone ( - , English Cartoonist and Artist, brother of Bernard) a good original pen and ink drawing depicting an old man standing at the foot of some steps to a Public House, beckoning two younger men who run across to the pub from the other side of the street, signed Hailstone at the centre of the drawing; Joshua Armitage (1913-1998, English Illustrator, known as Ionicus) a good original colour pen and ink sketch of the head of Mr. Punch in profile. Signed Jos. Armitage (Ionicus) at the base; John Taylor ( - , Artist, and compiler of this album) a black pen and ink drawing, possibly a self caricature, of a man's head in profile, smoking a cigarette. Signed with his initials JWT immediately beneath the drawing and again signed with his full signature at the head of the page; William Sillince (1906-1974, British Artist) an original black pen and ink drawing depicting a woman pausing to listen to a small bird singing from a tree while walking in the countryside, her small dog appearing a little disgruntled at her side. Signed ('W. A. Sillince') in fountain pen ink at the head of the drawing; Rowland Emett (1906-1990, English Cartoonist) an original pen and ink drawing depicting three men in the sea engaged in typically silly pursuits, entitled Porter's Half-Holiday. Signed in bold black ink at the head of the drawing, 'For John F. Taylor, from Rowland Emett'. Neatly laid down to the page of the album, which is again signed by Emmet and annotated in Taylor's hand 'Original drawing from Far Twittering'; Bernard Hollowood (1910-1981, English Writer and Cartoonist) a simple original pen and ink drawing of a cricket bat bearing the words John F. Taylor - Specially Selected - One of the best and date 1953. Signed by Hollowood with his name alone at the head of the page; Ronald Searle (1920- , English Artist and Cartoonist) an excellent original black pen and ink sketch depicting an elderly upper class gentleman standing in a three quarter length pose and holding a large lit cigar in one hand. Signed by Searle at the head of the page and inscribed in his hand at the base of the drawing; Norman
Mansbridge
(1911-1993, English Cartoonist) an original black pen and ink sketch of a man standing in a full length pose on the deck of a ship. Smoking a pipe, he holds his cap in one hand and waves farewell. Signed by Mansbridge at the head of the page and dated 1953 at the base; David Langdon (1914- , English Cartoonist) an original black pen and ink cartoon depicting a young man running away from a window which he has just smashed with a cricket ball. Signed by Langdon with his name alone at the head of the page; Leslie Starke (1905-1974, British Cartoonist) an original black pen and ink sketch depicting a vicar in a head and shoulders pose smoking a pipe, the rings of smoke creating halos above his head. Signed ('Starke') at the base of the drawing and again signed with his full signature at the head of the page; Douglas England (1891-1971, English Cartoonist) an original black pen and ink sketch of an upper class gentleman dressed in an evening suit, signed to the lower white border with his full signature. Neatly laid down to the page, again signed Douglas at the head, and with a loosely inserted A.L.S. from England to John Taylor, sending the drawing; George Hickson ( - , Cartoonist, known as Hickey) an original colour pen and ink drawing of an elderly lady seated in a full length pose knitting a long scarf bearing the words 'To John with best wishes from', the drawing with an affixed signature of Hickson at the base, dated 1953. Neatly laid down to the page, again signed Hickey at the head; Harry Hewitt ( - , Illustrator) a small original pen and ink drawing of batsman Golobrai Sipahimalani Ramchand in an action pose at the crease. Slightly irregularly trimmed and neatly laid down to the page which is signed by Hewitt at the head. Also annotated by Taylor 'Published in Punch 4.VI.52'; Arnold Wiles ( - , English Illustrator and Cartoonist) an original pen and ink cartoon of an unshaven man walking in a full length pose with a sandwich board reading 'To John F. Taylor with best wishes from A F Wiles', the signature incorporated within the cartoon. Neatly laid down to the page; Kenneth Mahood (1930- , Irish Cartoonist) a good original colour pen and ink cartoon of a vicar in a rather glum mood aiming a revolver towards the halo above his head. Signed in full at the base of the cartoon. Neatly laid down to the page; Michael ffolkes (1925-1988, British Illustrator and Cartoonist) an excellent original colour pen and ink drawing of an artist of eccentric appearance, with a long arm, painting a fish onto canvas. Signed at the base 'Best wishes from ff' and again signed 'Michael ffolkes' at the head of the page; William Scully (1910-2002, English Cartoonist) an original pen and ink drawing of a man, most likely a self caricature, seated in a full length pose at a desk. He holds a pen in one hand as he writes in the notebook before him. Neatly laid down to the page which is signed by Scully at the head; Leslie Illingworth (1902-1979, British Cartoonist) a fine original colour pen and ink portrait drawing of Winston Churchill, smoking a cigar, on a 12mo card. Signed and inscribed 'To John, Illingworth'and dated 1950. Neatly cornermounted to the page, which is also signed Illingworth at the head; Ronald Niebour (1903-1972, British Cartoonist, known as Neb) an original pen and ink caricature of a balding man with a large nose and spectacles wearing a shirt with high starched collars, on a 12mo card. Signed and inscribed at the head, 'To John from Neb'. Neatly cornermounted to the page; Wally Fawkes (1924- , British Cartoonist and Jazz musician, known as Trog) a good original pen and ink drawing of Flook in a bouncy full length pose.
Signed and inscribed at the base of the drawing, 'To John Taylor, with very best wishes from Trog'. Neatly laid down to the page; David Low (1891-1963, New Zealand Political Cartoonist) a good original pen and ink portrait caricature of a man with a goatee beard and hat, on a small 8vo card. Signed ('Low') at the base. Loosely inserted in the album; H. M. Bateman (1887-1970, British Artist and Cartoonist) an original pen and ink cartoon of a balding man standing in a full length pose, the empty pockets of his trousers outturned, and with an envelope lying at his feet, featuring the caption 'The little more, how much it is (That Ha'penny stamp!)'. Signed at the base of the cartoon. Loosely inserted in the album. The album also includes signatures, without drawings or cartoons, of Peter L. Agnew, Humphrey Ellis (Literary Editor of Punch) and a T.L.S. from Leslie Illingworth, signed with initials L. G. I., one page, 8vo, London, 7th June 1951, to John Taylor, on the printed stationery of the Daily Mail, inviting him to address a Toby Club dinner on the 19th June, (where many of the contents of this album were acquired), in part, 'Talk to us as the prettiest and most fork-tongued housewife would talk to the butcher; as Loyola would talk to Luther; as honest Churchill would talk to Stalin if he met him in the lavatories of Harrow. Be as ruthless as you like. Don't single us out because of our several or three ways of outlining our thoughts; treat us as a team and may the Devil's Grandfather lend power to your elbow.', stapled to the first page of the album, also including a loosely inserted A.L.S., Leslie G. I., from Illingworth, two pages, 4to, London, n.d. ('Monday', annotated in pencil 10th July 1951), to John Taylor, on the printed stationery of the Daily Mail. Writing following the Toby Club dinner, Illingworth states, in part, 'I have been wanting to tell you the reactions of your victims to your blistering attacks on their pitiful efforts to be like the New Yorker. Well to start with they all loved you....Your short speech had bones in it which they are still gnawing and growling over....Kenneth Bird himself I am certain will be influenced inwardly not a bit. His mind is unassailably certain on all topics and very often he is right too....But Peter Agnew is a different kettle of fish and your words didn't fall on stoney (sic) ground. Now my own fear and that of a few other Tobies is that it may be that we have lost a fan by exhibiting ourselves to him with all our nervous tics and frayed trousers. There was no doubt about who was the best man present. You and Peter Agnew tied for 1st place, the rest nowhere.' A truly exceptional and extremely rare album featuring original drawings by some of England's finest cartoonists of the period. About VG


Autograph Auction
Radisson Edwardian Hotel Heathrow
13 February 2010



Note:  A recent blog post on E. H. Shepard can be found  here  and--what do you know?--one on Ronald Searle can be found  here. 


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