artnet Auctions presents the American Art Sale

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artnet Auctions is pleased to feature a special sale of Fine Art by 19th and 20th century American artists, including paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptural works. Highlights include the striking painting study, Europa, by Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975), and an untitled painted tabletop stabile by Alexander Calder (1898–1976).

Europa ( Study), c.1941 by Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton Europa (study), c.1941 Oil and tempera on Masonite 8 3/4 x 11 1/8 inches Est. US$100,000–125,000

artnet Auctions presents the American Art Sale, a selection of important 19th and 20th century works comprised of over 50 paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures by American artists, such as Thomas Hart Benton, Alexander Calder, John Marin (1870–1953), Elie Nadelman (1885–1946), Allen Tucker (1866–1939), and Grant Wood (1891–1942).

Featured in the sale is Europa (study) (c.1941), an oil and tempera on Masonite by Benton, estimated from US$100,000 to US$125,000. This surrealistic study of a reclining nude—reminiscent of the master’s infamous 1938 work, Persephone, now in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO—employs a symbolism and dark tone that is rarely seen in Benton’s work. The study is thought to have been produced around the same time as the Year of Peril series—Benton’s controversial reaction to the attack on Pearl Harbor—currently on view at the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Another key work in the auction is the dynamic, kinetic stabile, Untitled (c.1943), by Modern Abstract master Calder, estimated from US$250,000 to US$350,000. The tabletop sculpture comes from Galerie Louis Carré & Cie in Paris, accompanied by referential hand-written letters from the artist to his Parisian art dealer, which serve as extensive hand-illustrated instructions for assembling the piece.

Also included is John Marin’s impressive 1936 watercolor on paper, By the Sea. A lifelong fascination with the rocky outcroppings of the Maine coast served as a focal point in Marin’s subject matter beginning in 1914. On the topic of painting the sea, Marin wrote, "In painting water, make the hand move the way the water moves." The ideals of fluidity of movement, mood, and technique that Marin eludes to translate significantly in By the Sea, making it an excellent example of Marin’s Abstract seascapes. The work comes from the Marlborough Gallery collection, and appears as entry number 36.17 in Sheldon Reich’s catalogue raisonné; the painting dates from the same year as Marin’s 1936 retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The sale also features important works by other American artists, such as Grant Wood’s first published print, Tree Planting Group (1939), estimated from US$4,000 to US$6,000, and a group of lithographs from southwestern artist Gene Kloss, focusing on the Taos Valley, ranging from US$1,500 to US$4,000.

The American Art Sale is currently live for bidding on artnet Auctions through May 31, 2012 at

For more information, please contact:

  •     Eric Winkler, Specialist, Modern and Impressionist Art, at +1-212-497-9700 ext. 144 or at EWinkler(at)artnet(dot)com
  •     Shawna Brickley, Specialist, Modern and Impressionist Art, at +1-212-497-9700 ext. 162 or at SBrickley(at)artnet(dot)com

About artnet:
With 24/7 worldwide bidding, artnet Auctions is the world’s first online auction platform to buy and sell Modern and Contemporary paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures and more. artnet has been online since 1995 and is host to approximately 2 million visitors each month. Through the artnet Price Database of all auction sales results and artnet Galleries of all leading art galleries worldwide, artnet is the leading online resource for the international art market. | |

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Eric Winkler, Shawna Brickley
1-212-497-9700 144, 162
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