George Hetzel On The Market

It would be interesting to see whether the rising status of Scalp Level, especially its leader George Hetzel can hold their values well in the current art market.

On Feb 6-8, 2009, Dargate Auction is going to offer a small study of Forest Interior which exemplifies Hetzel’s style and skill. According to the catalog, the painting was exhibited at the Johnstown Flood Museum “Masterworks of George Hetzel” exhibition in 1999. (Interesting it was the flood that stopped the annual excursion of Scalp Level painters from Pittsburgh.) The painting was oil on board and was about 10″ X 14 1/4″. It was purchased from Dargate Auction Gallery March 3, 1998.

About two years ago, James D. Julia auctioned a similar one (vertical orientation) for 11,000 dollars at the hammer price. This one is estimated between $8,000 and $12,000.Maybe the overall economy is not favoring the auction performance. But when the “Scalp Level Revisited” exhibition will end at the same weekend at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, where will those collectors go then?

About Hui

Wang Hui lived from 1632 – 1717 and followed in the footprints of his great grandfathers, grandfather, father and uncles and learned painting at a very early age. He was later taught by two contemporary masters, Zhang Ke and Wang Shimin, who taught him to work in the tradition of copying famous Chinese paintings. This is most likely the reason why critics claim that his work is conservative and reflects the Yuan and Song traditions. One critic claimed that “his landscape paintings reflect his nostalgic attachment to classical Chinese aesthetics. Along with the other Wangs, Wang Hui helped to perpetuate the tradition of copying the ancient masters rather than creating original work.


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