Don’t Miss These Exciting American Artworks, Including Two Gems by Elizabeth Catlett, Hitting the Auction Block This Month

Clars Auction Gallery is offering works by Catlett, Roy Lichtenstein, and Sam Francis in a two-day auction this month.

Elizabeth Catlett's Woman Fixing Her Hair will be offered in Clars Auction Gallery's May 23 online sale.

The Bay Area auction house Clars Auction Gallery is a favorite of dealers and collectors in the know. Since its opening in 1972, the business has honed its expertise in fine art, antiques, jewelry, and decorative art. Famed for its detailed catalogue notes—resources viewed by tens of thousands of collectors and dealers—the auction hosts two-day auctions every month where roughly 2,000 works hit the block.

This May’s upcoming sale has a few gems of American art, which we think are worth checking out. See our top picks below.


Sam Francis, Untitled (1969)
Estimate $20,000–40,000

Sam Francis, Untitled (1969). Estimate $20,000–40,000.

Sam Francis, Untitled (1969). Estimate $20,000–40,000.

This vibrant 1969 work by Bay Area native Sam Francis belongs to the artist’s “Toyko” series. Francis lived and worked in Japan for extended periods of time and was heavily influenced by the art and traditions of the culture. He often incorporated concepts of ma—a way of setting mood and place through negative and open spaces into his art. This work will also be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné on Francis’s works on paper by the Sam Francis Foundation.


Elizabeth Catlett’s Woman Fixing Her Hair (Estimate $40,000–60,000)
and Untitled (Faces) (Estimate $30,000–50,000)


Elizabeth Catlett’s Woman Fixing Her Hair (left) is estimated at $40,000–60,000 and Untitled (Faces) (right) is estimated at $30,000–50,000.

Elizabeth Catlett’s Woman Fixing Her Hair (left) is estimated at $40,000–60,000 and Untitled (Faces) (right) is estimated at $30,000–50,000.

Not one but two important sculptures by pioneering African American Modernist Elizabeth Catlett are heading to the auction block on May 23. Influenced by both Cubism and Primitivism, Catlett explored social-realist subject matter relating to race and feminism in her sculpture, paintings, and prints. Woman Fixing Her Hair and Untitled (Faces) are two bronze sculptures that exemplify her talent for combining abstract and figurative traditions. 


Roy Lichtenstein’s Crying Girl (1963)
Estimate $20,000–40,000

Roy Lichtenstein’s Crying Girl (1963). Estimate $20,000–40,000.

Roy Lichtenstein, Crying Girl (1963). Estimate $20,000–40,000.

Roy Lichtenstein’s Crying Girl is among the artist’s most iconic images. It is believed to have been inspired by the popular “Secret Heart” comic strip, which depicts the romantic lives of the “modern American woman.” Lichenstein’s wry sensibility winks at the superficial melodrama of the narratives. Clars Auction is offering a 1963 edition of the offset lithograph published by Leo Castelli Graphics.

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