Lost O’Keeffe Finds $225,150

A recently rediscovered work by Georgia O’Keeffe, Alligator Pear in White Dish, sold for $225,150 at Skinner Auctions recently, well above its estimate high of $150,000

Included in her Catalogue Raisonne, Volume II, and evidenced by a photograph her husband Alfred Stieglitz took, the painting had been considered lost since the mid-1950s when it was last known to have been purchased by a Cape Cod collector. The work is representative of O’Keeffe’s early work, describing “nature in her simplest appearance” and is indicative of O’Keeffe’s artistic relationship with modernist painter Arthur Dove.

Another anticipated gem of the January 29th sale and veiled from public view since the sixties was an Arnaldo Pomodoro sculpture, Rotante primo sezionale.  From the collection of Melvin B. Nessel of Boston, MA, founder of the Fenton Show Corporation of Cambridge, the present work is one of two artist proofs outside the edition of two. This three-dimensional sphere was somewhat of a transitional piece for Pomodoro; the disintegration of form is more geometrical than in the other works.  This work estimated at the high end at $150,000 brought $468,000, a  price Skinner called very strong for the only artist proof of this title offered thus far.

One more featured treasure is a long-hidden away Yves Tanguy, Sans Titre. From the estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (née Braman) Grasso, the piece is illustrative of Tanguy’s early American work, similar to the art he produced in Europe, but with a more saturated palette.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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