Prints & Drawings Specialists’ Picks: American Art — September 22, 2022

Todd Weyman, Director
Lot 163: Milton Avery’s Rocky Coast, 1939

At Auction September 22: Milton Avery, Rocky Coast, gouache on paper, 1939. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.

Milton Avery (1885-1965) was among the most important American modernist artists and a seminal forebear to American abstract art and the likes of Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Helen Frankenthaler. He was often referred to as the American Matisse because of his colorful and innovative landscape designs. The current gouache portrays Avery at his career-high finest, with an exquisite blend of abstraction and color, representing a harmonious modern shoreline landscape.

Sarah McMillan, Cataloguer
Lot 265: Will Barnet, Study for ‘Early Morning’

At Auction September 22: Will Barnet, Study for ‘Early Morning’, watercolor. Estimate $3,000 to $5,000.

In the early 1970s, Barnet turned to the theme of the woman and the seacoast often, using the subject as a way to explore space, shapes and color during a particular part of day. This study shows the certain emphasis he put on exploring the tones of the sky at dawn and is an insight into how he blended colors to reach his desired effect of a luminous sunrise.   

Meagan Gandolfo, Cataloguer
Lot 135: Yvonne Leduc Pryor, Shut Down, 1931

At Auction September 22: Yvonee Leduc Pryor, Shut Down, oil on canvas, 1931. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

Yvonne Pryor’s works rarely show up at auction, though we know from her directorship of the Chicago Society of Artists that she was very active and well respected as an artist in the city. Shut Down is inspired by Constructivism and Pryor’s love of mathematics. While both influences would normally render a painting devoid of emotions, Pryor’s mills exude loneliness and the direness faced by laborers during the Great Depression. We have found only one other painting by Pryor at auction in the last 30 years, sold by Swann in 2005. 

Browse the Complete Catalogue & Register to Bid: