by Rosetta Stone
It’s never dull around artnet Auctions. A striking computer-painting by Richard Prince, Last Week (1999), sold for $324,500 (with premium) from last month’s Word Art sale. Now, artnet’s Modern Art Sale, Jan. 28-Feb. 9, 2010, features over 50 works by 40 of the world’s most sought-after artists.
The star lot is certainly a charming, 18-inch-tall bronze by Edgar Degas of the dancer, standing on one leg and adjusting her ballet slipper, titled Danseuse regardant la plante de son pied droit (estimate: $275,000-$375,000). Cast in 1995 at the Valsuani Foundry in France, the bronze is a unique foundry proof from the lifetime plaster, and is not part of the 1998 Valsuani edition.
Another highlight is an ink drawing by Henri Matisse commissioned in 1936 by CBS executive William Paley of his wife. Titled Portrait of Mrs. Paley, the drawing -- a study for a portrait that was never completed, and one notable for the seductive look in the lady’s eyes -- is estimated at $225,000-$325,000.
Other treasures include an unusually good example of Marcel Duchamp’s La boîte verte (The Green Box) (est. $55,000-$75,000), Joseph Cornell’s 1950 glass-box construction Blue Sand Box (est. $125,000-$160,000) and Man Ray’s 1938 Parasol, Antibes, a vintage black-and-white photo of a dramatically abstract composition that recalls his 1916 painting, The Rope Dancer Accompanies Herself with Her Shadows.
Elsewhere on artnet, as chronicled in our monthly Events calendar, member galleries have scheduled a feverishly active February. At the Black Cube Gallery near the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the irrepressible Spanish artist Agrygary (b. 1941) is presenting his "Teddies and Mugs," brightly colored, almost childlike images of stuffed toy animals labeled with various positive attributes like "health," "success" and "money."
As long as we’re in the letter "A," let’s have a few more. This month Àngels Barcelona is presenting a fascinating-sounding show titled "Landscape. Landscape?" In Berlin, Anna Leonhardt is showing her intense paintings of the deep forest at Galerie Leo.Coppi, while Amelie von Wulffen, celebrated for her expressionistic works on paper that "explore collective memory," is at Galerie Crone. The show is called "Bitte keine heiβe Asche einfüllen," or "Please do not fill with hot ash," no doubt a bit of concrete poetry selected for its metaphorical import.
In New York, Alexandre Gallery is presenting a survey of sculptures by Anne Arnold (b. 1925), her first show in more than 20 years. Out west, California artist Charles Arnoldi is opening an exhibition of his paintings at Buschlen Mowatt Galleries in Vancouver just in time for the Winter Olympics. And at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, the celebrated musician and art patron Herb Alpert (b. 1936) is unveiling his "Black Totem" series, a group of black-patinated bronze sculptures inspired by the totems of the Pacific Northwest Indians.
Other openings in February include a show of photographs of burdock leaves by New Yorker staff writer Janet Malcolm, which were published in a book from Yale University Press in 2008. The show goes on view at Davis & Langdale Company, Inc on New York’s Upper East Side. In Paris, Galerie Lelong has just unveiled "Swing, Brother, Swing," a show of oil paintings of jazz bands by Konrad Klapheck (b. 1935) that have an allegorical dimension as well as reflecting his love for the music. And in Vienna, Galerie Ernst Hilger debuts a series of new paintings by Mel Ramos titled Hollywood -- nudes posing with the letters of the eponymous sign, of course.
In London, the estimable White Cube gallery presents "Factum," South African video artist Candice Breitz’ new series of in-depth video portraits of twins. The Catto Gallery in Hampstead, founded in 1986, has up a group of soulful, deeply colored still lifes by the British artist Sue Fitzgerald, who splits her painting time between Kent and the south of France. Faggionato Fine Art on Albemarle Street is presenting the first U.K. exhibition by the Italian artist Luca Pancrazzi, celebrated for his large-scale monochrome renderings of everyday objects.
A little later in February, KAWS, the Street Artist otherwise known as Brian Donnelly, who was named one of the "most creative people 2009" by Fast Company magazine, is having his first show in Madrid at Galeria Javier Lopez. In New York, Knoedler & Company is presenting an unusual exhibition of works by the eternal favorite Milton Avery, who is generally thought of as a painter of idyllic beach scenes. This time around it’s "Industrial Revelations," featuring Avery’s watercolors and paintings of the New York waterfront ca. 1930s. And out at Haines Gallery in San Francisco, the Chinese artist Xing Danwen presents photos from her "Personal Diary" series chronicling the rise of the new Chinese avant-garde in Beijing’s East Village artist community.