Camille Goemans

Magritte first met Camille Goemans in 1923, the poet being a member of the Correspondance group. Goemans moved to Paris prior to Magritte’s own arrival, and opened a gallery there under his own name. Owing to this connection, the artist would participate in several important group exhibitions in Paris, like L’exposition surréaliste in 1928, and La peinture au défi in 1930. In spring 1928, Goemans and Nougé founded the review Distances, to which Magritte contributed some drawings. Then, in March 1929, appeared Le Sens propre, a series of tracts by Magritte and Goemans, finely illustrating the special link between text and image. During the war, Camille Goemans helps Lou Cosyn, his companion, to open a gallery in Brussels and, from 1942, would become Magritte’s main dealer before the painter’s meeting with the American Alexandre Iolas.
Phillips de Pury Announces the Sale of Mrs. Harry N. Abrams' Estate

NEW YORK, NY.- Nina Abrams died a few days short of her 98th birthday in February 2008, at her Putnam Valley, New York, home. She was married to Harry N. Abrams for 46 years. Harry, the art book publisher who started Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in 1949, was the first in the United States to specialize in the creation and distribution of art books. Harry died in 1979 at which time Nina began to sell or gift the major pieces to institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago. She donated the proceeds to many causes including: The Natural Resources Defense Council, Southern Poverty Law Center, Population Connection, Channel Thirteen, Long Island University, Rhode Island School of Design, the World Land Trust and the Hudson Highlands Land Trust. Not surprisingly she left the bulk of her own estate, including the proceeds of this sale, to these and other charities. Nina retained works with which she and her husband had felt the strongest emotional ties. Several lots are inscribed by artists: ‘To Harry and Nina’. The fact that she was included in such dedications says everything about her involvement in the collection. Harry often acknowledged Nina’s wisdom and support and theirs was a long and fruitful partnership dedicated to art. As he said during a 1972 interview: ‘We love pictures, we love art and we love to live with art all around us. This has been our lifestyle.’

Works in this sale were purchased from a veritable who’s who of galleries from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s: Leo Castelli, Richard Feigen, Sidney Janis, Graham, Robert Elkon, Pace, Iolas, Green, Braziller, Lee Nordness, Multiples Inc., Kasmin, Ltd., Allan Stone, Stable Gallery, Fishbach, Martha Jackson, Marlborough Gallery, Associated American Artists, Brook Street Gallery in London, F.A.R. Gallery at 746 Madison Ave, Zabriskie, Kraushaar, James Goodman, ACA, Landau-Alan and Tanglewood Press.

In the introduction to The Harry N. Abrams Family Collection, exhibition at The Jewish Museum, in 1966, Sam Hunter declared: “The Abrams collection is unusual because it has passed through three quite distinct phases, with the profile of each remaining intact within it. Thirty years ago Harry Abrams began to acquire painters of the American social scene as well as the paintings of many individual artists whose work fit no special category. While his tastes were directed towards an art of humanist values, he also responded to new explorations. Then, twenty years ago he found himself attracted to the twentieth-century French masters, Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Rouault, Modigliani and others. Finally, in the sixties, vanguard American art became the dominating focus of his interests, and in this area his collection has become preeminent, both by reason of its wide representation of almost all the prevailing esthetic tendencies, and for its superior, and in many cases supreme, examples of individual artists.”

The contents of this sale contain artists from the three phases of collecting discussed by Sam Hunter in the above quote from 1966:

Highlights in this phase include:

Raphael Soyer, Portrait of Nina Abrams, circa 1940, oil on canvas estimated at: $1,800 -2,500; Milton Avery, Still Life (Pink Lamp), oil on board, estimated at $40,000-60,000; Marsden Hartley, Pink Flowers,1942-43, oil on canvas, estimated at $15,000-25,000.

Further highlights include: Fifteen works by Ukrainian/American avant-garde artist, David Burliuk, who was one of the first artists Harry started to collect heavily. Burliuk was considered ‘the father of Russian Futurism’, he was an early member of Der Blaue Reiter and showed at their first exhibition Erste Ausstellung der Redaktion Der Blaue Reiter which opened at the Heinrich Thannhauser's Moderne Galerie in Munich, in early 1912 and comprised 43 works by 14 artists; estimates range from $2,000 to $80,000 dollars. A number of significant artists that will be represented under this section in the sale include: Lawrence Lebduska, Chaim Gross, James Rosenberg, Jennings Tofel, Louis Michel Eilshemius, Ben Shahn, Abraham Walkowitz, Isabel Bishop and Haywood Rivers.

Highlights include:

Jules Pascin, Jeune Femme au Plat de Fruits, 1928, oil on canvas, estimated at $100,000-150,000; Nude Reading, graphite and pastel on canvas, estimated at $60,000-80,000 and two other works on paper by Pascin.

Henry Moore, Two Standing Figures, 1951, ink, watercolor, charcoal and pastel on paper, estimated at $30,000-40,000. There will also be lithographs by Moore in the sale, including a unique trial proof.

Alberto Giacometti, Self Portrait, 1956, sepia ink on paper, estimated at: $20,000- 30,000 and is illustrated in Y. Bonnefoy, Alberto Giacometti: A Biography of His Work, Paris, 1991, p. 488.

Moise Kisling, Portrait of a Young Woman, 1934, oil on canvas, estimated between $30,000-40,000.

Pablo Picasso, Groupe de trois femmes, 1922-23, etching, edition of 100, estimated at $10,000-15,000. This work is amongst other graphic works of art by Picasso.

Highlights in this section include:

Robert Indiana, LOVE, 1966, oil on canvas, estimated at $300,000-500,000.

Andy Warhol, Mike and Bob Abrams, 1962: a portrait of Harry and Nina’s sons. The acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas is estimated at $200,000-300,000; Liz, 1964 estimated between: $20,000-30,000; Portraits of the Artists, from Ten from Leo Castelli portfolio, one hundred screenprints, on polystyrene boxes in ten colors, 1967, 20 x 20 in. (50.8 x 50.8 cm), estimated between $20,000-30,000; Self-Portrait, 1966, offset lithograph on silver coated paper, 22 x 20 1/2 in. (55.9 x 52.1 cm), estimated at $8,000-12,000.

Other European masters that are featured in the sale include: Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Lynn Chadwick, Salvador Dali and Camille Bombois.

Tom Wesselmann, Nude, 1970, estimated at $8,000-12,000. Other works by Wesselmann that will feature in the sale include: Reclining Nude, 1970, estimated between $30,000-40,000 and Still Life with Flowers and Fruit, 1969, estimated at $20,000-30,000. Both works are inscribed to Harry.

Arman, Bach 2 Violin Concerto, 1963, estimated at $100,000-150,000 and additional works such as Violin Table Service, 1973, estimated between $10,000-15,000 (comprising 12 9-piece place settings and 8 serving pieces in gold-plated silver, in a sliced violin case in lucite); Paint Box, 1970 multiple, estimated at $7,000-9,000 along with other works.

Roy Lichtenstein, Shipboard Girl, 1965, estimated at $20,000-30,000. Further works by Lichtenstein include: Crying Girl, 1963, an offset lithograph in colors, estimated at $20,000-30,000 inscribed to Harry Abrams; Brushstrokes, 1967, screenprint in colors, 21 3/4 x 29 3/4 in. (55.2 x 75.6 cm), estimated between $8,000-12,000. These works will be sold under the hammer amongst other multiples by the artist.

Lucas Samaras, Untitled (Double Target/Pins), 1963, mixed media, estimated at $20,000-30,000.

John Wesley, Paradise Lamp, 1967, estimated at $20,000-30,000. Paradise Lamp will be sold alongside gouache drawings: 3 Clean Old Ladies and Black Bow, both from 1966 and purchased in 1967 from the Robert Elkon Gallery; they are estimated at $20,000-30,000 each.

Alexander Calder, Untitled, 1964, estimated at $40,000-60,000. Additional works include Le Cheval II, 1964, bronze, edition of 50, 4 3/4 x 4 1/2 x 8 in. (12.1 x 11.4 x 20.3 cm), estimated between $20,000-30,000; Nest with Red Sun, 1961, gouache on paper, 15 x 21 3/4 in. (38.1 x 55.2 cm), estimated at $20,000-30,000, with extensive exhibition history.

Three works on paper by Saul Steinberg: Painting What He Knows, 21 x 14 1/2 in. (53.3 x 36.8 cm), estimate: $12,000-18,000; Kumming, 1972, 29 1/2 x 40 1/2 in. (74.9 x 102.9 cm), estimated at $25,000-35,000; Table Series Artist, 20 x 26 in.
(50.8 x 66 cm), estimated between $20,000-30,000 and Six Drawing Series Tables, 1970, the complete set of six lithographs with collage, published by Abrams Original Editions, estimated at $3,000-5,000 dollars.

Larry Rivers will be represented by: Self Portrait, 1952, a graphite and pastel on paper, 13 x 10 3/4 in. (33 x 27.3 cm), estimated at $8,000-12,000 and Face for a Lipstick Ad, 1968, charcoal, tape, magazine and metal bracket collage on paper, 11 3/8 x 13 1/2 x 3 5/8 in. (28.9 x 34.3 x 9.2 cm), estimated between $5,000 7,000 purchased at Marlborough Gallery in 1970.

Other examples of artists in this section of the sale include: Christo, Red Grooms, Robert Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb, Ellsworth Kelly, Claes Oldenburg, Marisol, Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, Alfred Jensen, Ram Kumar and Jim Dine.

Also included in the sale are ephemera and group lots of decorative works of art. Estimates at $1000 and below will be sold with no reserve.

New York | Nina Abrams | Harry N. Abrams | Phillips de Pury |

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February 28, 2010

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Andy Warhol: The Last Decade at the Modern in Fort Worth

by Teresa Gubbins

FORT WORTH — Everyone knows Andy Warhol for his '60s silk-screens of Marilyn Monroe and Campbell's soup. But in the 10 years before he died in 1987, he went through a prolific spell of painting, and that’s documented in Andy Warhol: The Last Decade, which opened last week at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

The exhibit first premiered at the Milwaukee Art Museum last October; after it leaves Fort Worth in May, it'll go to Brooklyn. It contains 53 pieces, mostly self portraits, plus a series of paintings Warhol did that are based on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.

Some pieces in the exhibit are the Andy we know, such as the black-and-white version of the Campbell’s soup can and the 25-foot-long horizontal montage of celebrity portrait photographs. But the remainder of the works are newer abstract paintings and collaborations with young New York artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Museum patrons check out Andy Warhol's "Flowers"According to curator Joseph Ketner, Warhol was inspired to begin painting anew after attending the 1977 opening of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He began his "Oxidation" paintings where he experimented with the effects of urine on metal; in order words, he pissed on his paintings.

He started the Last Supper series for Alexandre Iolas, a dealer whose gallery was located across from Santa maria delle Grazie, where da Vinci's original resides.

Some ascribe religious significance to Warhol’s painting of the Last Supper, saying that he was facing his own mortality and confronting his Catholicism, while others don’t find the Last Supper series any more religious than his pop pieces.

Either way, it's a treat to see such huge paintings hanging on a wall. One of the Last Supper paintings consists of two duplications of the original, side-by-side, and it seems to go on forever. The Modern does a skillful job of mounting the entire exhibit. (Alas, they forbid photo-taking; the photos here were snapped on the sly.) Nearly all of the works can be seen here, which is the installation in Milwaukee. If those photos are correct, it seems like Milwaukee hung the show more symmetrically. For example, in Milwaukee, the two Rorschach Test paintings hang side by side. But at the Modern, they’re opposite each other, across a long salon. If you gaze up at one, then turn around -- boo, you’re facing the other. It's a neat "gotcha."

Andy Warhol's "Self-Portrait (Strangulation)"Right at the entrance you’re greeted with a slice of Warholian wit: There’s an L-shaped salon covered with "Andy Warhol wallpaper", with a grid-like pattern of his head and shoulders. Other paintings are then hung on top of the wallpaper, including Self-Portrait (Strangulation), a polyptych with 10 images of Andy’s head and a pair of hands wrapped around his neck. The juxtaposition of the Strangulation self-portrait on top of the self-portrait wallpaper is enough to bring a smile.

As part of the exhibit, a TV broadcasts Warhol's cable-TV interview shows Andy Warhol's TV and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes, where he drones on and on about trivial things with his interview subjects or else shoots pretty people. A note on the wall explains that he was being deliberately anti-intellectual, but I had the same reaction this person had: It made me think we have Warhol to blame for the empty-headed state of TV today.