Dual Auctions Presented by Rago / Wright Auctions Showcase an Insider’s Private Collection Alongside Post-War and Contemporary Gems

Both sales are slated to take place March 13, 2024.

Elaine de Kooning, Aladar #3 (1986). Est. $40,000–$60,000. Courtesy of Rago / Wright.

This month, Rago Auctions and Art Center and Wright Auctions are co-presenting two dynamic sales, bringing a wide range of intriguing art to the fore. Both sales will be held on March 13, 2024, with the first, “Living Out Loud: The A. Aladar Marberger Collection,” taking place at 11 a.m. EST.

Marberger was an influential figure within the New York art scene of the 1970s and 1980s, working as the director of Fischbach Gallery and counting artists such as Elaine de Kooning as a close friends. Though Marberger passed away in 1988, the collection he amassed is a testament to his dedication to visual art and includes works by some of the 20th-century’s most important artists. Included among these is an oil on canvas portrait of the collector himself by Elaine de Kooning, Aladar #3 (1986). It is one of five portraits she made of Marberger, across which she explored both compositional but also thematic avenues to portray her subject, such as his resolve in his fight against AIDS—which he spent the last years of his life battling, and publicly going against the stigma that surrounded the disease.

Fairfield Porter, Wild Roses (1964). Est. $30,000–$50,000. Courtesy of Rago / Wright.

Another highlight of the collection includes a petite landscape by Fairfield Porter, Wild Roses (1964). A seminal figure within the history of American art, Porter’s career largely coincided with the rise and height of Abstract Expressionism. His vibrant yet austere compositions, as can be seen in Wild Roses, illustrate his deep interest in both nature and elements of everyday life.

Ruth Asawa, Untitled (Tied-Wire) (ca. 1975). Est. $80,000–$120,000. Courtesy of Rago / Wright.

The second of the two sales, “Post-War and Contemporary Art,” will commence at 1 p.m. the same day. This sale will feature an array of notable 20th- and 21st-century artworks—with a remarkable presence of numerous works by important women artists. Included among these is a breathtaking sculpture by Ruth Asawa, Untitled (Tied-Wire) (ca. 1975), which originates from the collection of Maria “Mitzi” Kolisch. The work exemplifies Asawa’s inclination for organic forms and shapes, evoking both in one sense tree branches originating from a single point or a microorganism.

Kiki Smith, Untitled (Blood Noise) (1993). Est. $30,000–$50,000. Courtesy of Rago / Wright.

Within the contemporary realm, the sale will also include one of Kara Walker’s iconic linocuts, Keys to the Coop (1997), as well as an intriguing 1993 work by Kiki Smith, Untitled (Blood Noise). Three separate works by Jennifer Bartlett, recognized for ability to meld elements of conceptual art with Neo-Expressionism, highlight her unique approach to composition and employment of color; March, Bermuda #W22 (1998) and March, Bermuda #W12 (1998) portray the vivid color and light of the tropical island, while her application of watercolor paint conveys a commitment to the medium itself beyond subject matter. Elsewhere, the earlier work Old House Lane #29 (1986–87) shows Bartlett’s inimitable artistic vision, showing a progressive study of a small white structure from various angles and different light.

Jennifer Bartlett, Old House Lane #29 (1986–87). Est. $30,000–$50,000. Courtesy of Rago / Wright.

Together, the two sales are not to be missed events that contain a near- comprehensive look at some of the most important artworks of the past century.

Living Out Loud: The A. Aladar Marberger Collection and Post War and Contemporary Art sales will be presented March 13, 2024.

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