Harold Porcher’s Five Key Artists in the December 3 Modern & Post-War Art Sale

Our Director of Modern & Post-War Art, Harold Porcher, shares his top picks from the December 3 sale—the house’s first auction in the category.

Irene Rice Pereira

Irene Rice Pereira worked as an instructor at New York’s experimental school, The Design Laboratory. Her students were encouraged to experiment with diverse materials in fabricating art. This collage (pictured above), comprised of mixed papers and materials, is a testament to the instructor practicing what she preached. The subject of this work, as was the case for much of her 1930s paintings and drawings, is abstraction celebrating technology and imbued with her transcendental concepts.

David Hare

Beginning his career as a photographer, David Hare was brought on by Julien Levi Gallery in 1940, the year Hare established his New York photography studio. Levi Gallery was the primary gallery for exhibiting the works of surrealist art. Through the gallery, David Hare met and developed a close working relationship with many of the great surrealist painters. 

Hare shifted to sculpture working in an array of materials. Figure in the Windows, 1955, is a fine example of the artist’s surrealist influence, yet it also has bold expressive elements aligning him with Abstract Expressionist sculptors like Ibram Lassaw, and Seymour Lipton.

Allan Kaprow

Recognized as one of the founders of performance art, Allan Kaprow saw in the vast depth of field in the works of Jackson Pollock as an open invitation to allow the artist’s creation to spill off of the walls, into the room, out the door, and eventually into the rolling fields of fellow artist George Segal’s farmland home.

This early painting by Kaprow (pictured above) shows the influence of his instructor, Hans Hofmann, with expressive brush strokes and a push/pull juxtaposition of color. Allan Kaprow was a co-founder of Hansa Gallery in New York City. 

H.C. Westermann

The biting commentary in H.C. Westermann’s cartoon influenced drawings was also applied to his more formal sculpture. Westermann learned the practical skill of woodworking as well as studying art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Adept as a craftsman, Westermann carved and joined wood into somewhat surreal forms that drew from formal and folk art influences. The influence of Westermann’s unique, and against the grain approach to art-making can be seen in the works of the Chicago Imagists, many of whom also attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Join Us: Artists That Went Against the Grain with Scholar Antonia Pocock

A Conversation with Scholar Antonia Pocock – Monday November 30, 2020, at 7PM ET

Register via Zoom

Robert Therrien

Blue Crib, 1980, crafted in a composite of solid wood, and finished with distressed encaustic paint, is a sculpture by American artist Robert Therrien. Works from this period of Therrien’s career focus on simplified universal forms. Blue Crib was exhibited at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, in 2016 and showed alongside shapes of chapels, keyholes, and snowmen. All presented in monochrome simplified solid shapes, similar to Blue Crib.

Do you have a work by a Modern or Post-War artist we should take a look at?

Learn about how to consign to an auction, and send us a note about your item.