Check Out These 6 Tops Lots From Showplace’s Upcoming Important Fine Art and Design Sale, Including a Sought-After Fornasetti Secretary

Showplace's Important Fine Art and Design auction takes place October 22.

Emily Mason, Plated Residue (1984). Est. $8,000–$12,000. Courtesy of Showplace.

On October 22, New York’s Showplace will stage its Fall Important Fine Art and Design sale. Comprising 145 lots, the auction features a bevy of artworks and design pieces drawn from estates and private collections in the New York metropolitan area. Art historically influential artists from Alfred Henry Maurer to Louise Nevelson have work represented in the sale, and furnishings from iconic designers like Piero Fornasetti take center stage. Also offered is a dazzling selection of jewelry from brands such as Cartier and Rolex, and decorative arts from houses like Tiffany and Grueby, making the Important Fine Art and Design one not to be missed.

At the forefront of the event is a distinct presence of American art, such as Emily Mason’s oil on paper Plated Residue (1984), further contextualized by the inclusion of three works by her husband and fellow artist Wolf Kahn. Below are six more eye-catching lots from the forthcoming sale, which you can browse along with over 100 more with Showplace.

Piero Fornasetti and Gio Ponti
Demi-Secretaire (ca. 1990s)
Estimate: $8,000–$12,000

Piero Fornasetti and Gio Ponti, Demi-secretaire (ca. 1990s). Courtesy of Showplace.

Italian artist and designer Piero Fornasetti worked prodigiously across furniture design, décor, painting, and printing. The present demi-secretaire was originally designed around 1950, a collaboration with Italian architect and industrial designer Gio Ponti, and executed in the 1990s. Featuring drawings in the style of 18th-century artist and architect Giovanni Piranesi, the motifs highlight Fornasetti’s proclivity for synthesizing the modern and the historical. The sale also includes several other pieces by Fornasetti, including “Musicale” guitar chairs and a “Pompeiana” decorated nightstand.

Michael Coffey
“Menage a Trois” Vanity and Stool (n.d.)
Estimate: $10,000–$20,000

Michael Coffey, “Menage a Trois” Vanity and Stool (n.d.). Courtesy of Showplace.

With more than 40 years of experience, master woodworker Michael Coffey is recognized for his lithe and sculptural designs inspired by European Art Nouveau and 20th-century craftsman studio furniture. He began his career working at Directional Furniture, gaining experience from the wide variety of bespoke furniture he made while there for private clients, before ultimately founding what is today known as the New England School of Architectural Woodworking. The wall-mounted vanity and stool set included in the sale are made from Mozambique wood, and are exemplary of his smooth, organic line style.

George Morrison
Heal (1957)
Estimate: $6,000–$8,000

George Morrison, Heal (1957). Courtesy of Showplace.

Ojibwe abstract painter and sculptor George Morrison was originally from Minnesota, and his work is largely associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement. In his lifetime, he showed with such contemporaries as Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Jackson Pollock. From 1970 through 1983, he taught both studio art and Native American studies at the University of Minnesota, and the influence of Indigenous visual culture, nature, and landscape is prominent in his oeuvre. He was posthumously the first Native American to have their work featured in the New York School collection at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Running Fence (1976)
Estimate: $40,000–$60,000

Christo, Running Fence (1976). Courtesy of Showplace.

Christo Vladimirov Javacheff is perhaps best known as one half of the artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude with Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon. The pair had a practice primarily focused on environmental art and site-specific land art. These large-scale projects sometimes took years to plan and execute, necessitating meticulous renderings and documentation. From 1976, the mixed-media blueprint drawing here portrays the significant installation of 24 miles of white nylon fence across Sonoma and Marin Counties in California.

Alfred Henry Maurer
Fauve Landscape (n.d.)
Estimate: $12,000–$18,000

Alfred Henry Maurer, Fauve Landscape (n.d.). Courtesy of Showplace.

Part of a pair of Fauve mountain landscapes included in the sale by American painter Alfred Henry Maurer, this landscape is indicative of the turn-of-the-century milieu the artist was working in. Part of the American avant-garde, though Maurer did not achieve great success in his lifetime, his work now is considered a hallmark of early 20th-century Modernism. His aptitude for pictorial space and depth can at least in part be attributed to his training in lithography, as he worked for some time in his father’s lithographic studio as a young man.

Henri Lebasque
Deux Femmes (n.d.)
Estimate: $15,000–$25,000

Henri Lebasque, Deux Femmes (n.d.). Courtesy of Showplace.

French Post-Impressionist painter Henri Lebasque studied under Léon Bonnat and worked as an assistant for Ferdinand Humbert for the creation of the Panthéon murals in Paris. Early in his career, he became acquainted with Camille Pissarro and Auguste Renoir, whose work greatly influenced his own practice. Fully immersed in the French avant-garde art scene at the turn of the 20th century, Lebasque benefitted from further interactions with artists such as Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. His painterly style and distinct use of color, as can be seen in Deux Femmes, highlight the significance of Lebasque’s work and practice.

Showplace New York’s Important Fine Art and Design sale will take place October 22, 2023, at 12 p.m. EDT.

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