Originally published by: American Fine Art Magazine, March/April 2014 issue. View original article.
Scottsdale Art Auction returns April 5, marking a decade offering the foremost classic and contemporary Western, wildlife and sporting art.
More than 350 paintings and sculpture will be presented in two sessions, the first beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The highly anticipated sale will include strong examples by historic artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Ernest L. Blumenschein, Joseph Henry Sharp, John Clymer, Leon Gaspard, and Nicolai Fechin, alongside modern masters like Howard Terpning, Martin Grelle, Ed Mell, Olaf Wieghorst, Roy Andersen, and Richard Schmid. Rounding out the sale will be works by Philip R. Goodwin, Carl Rungius, Ken Carlson, and Bob Kuhn, among others.
Based on last year’s sale of Remington’s 1901 black-and-white oil painting, The Pack-Horse Men Repelling an Attack by Indians, which achieved a record-breaking $1,035,000 for that medium, expectations are high for another en grisaille piece of the exact size and same period that will cross the auction block in April. Thirty Below and a Blizzard Raging (est. $500/700,000) is a great transitional piece for Remington as it was his first job for McClure’s magazine in 1899.
[A] noteworthy lot is Blue Bonnet Landscape by early Texas artist Jose Arpa. This important painting of Texas bluebonnets is signed and inscribed “San Antonio” by Arpa, which is unusual for an artist to include the location.
“The piece has been in a private collection, it hasn’t seen daylight in quite a while,” says Michael Frost of J.N. Bartfield Galleries in New York, a partner in the auction along with Brad Richardson of The Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Jack Morris of Morris & Whiteside Galleries in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Another noteworthy lot is Blue Bonnet Landscape (est. $30/60,000) by early Texas artist Jose Arpa. This important painting of Texas bluebonnets is signed and inscribed “San Antonio” by Arpa, which is unusual for an artist to include the location. “It’s something you don’t see that often,” Frost comments. “It’s the first one we’ve ever had in our sale, I think. Smaller ones have sold for much more than we’re estimating this one.”
Additional auction highlights include Sharp’s Indian Council (est. $150/250,000), a beautiful firelight scene depicting the quintessential subject the artist liked to paint; and Blumenschein’s Woman in Blue (est. $250/350,000), one of three paintings the artist did in the mid-1920s featuring a single Taos Indian model and one of more than 30 works included in his 1927 retrospective—perhaps the most successful solo show of his career.
Taos artist E. Martin Hennings will be represented by Portrait of Helen (est. $20/30,000). The 40-by-38-inch portrait of the artist’s wife shows her wearing a stunning necklace. The lot includes some curiosities, in particular the original piece of jewelry worn by Helen as well as original sketches. “You can see it’s his work because of the background, you can see all the flowers and golden aspens. It’s distinctly Hennings,” notes Frost.
We’ll let the audience choose which painting has the best merit to it and the winner will receive a $15,000 cash award. We thought we’d do it for the 10th year and hope to continue it in the future.
Scottsdale Art Auction has grown each year since its debut in Arizona 10 years ago. More than 500 people attend the annual sale, which is held at The Legacy Gallery’s second-floor 10,000-square-foot showroom space in Old Town Scottsdale, and last year’s receipts surpassed $11 million.
“The auction has grown more than we ever thought it would,” remarks Frost. “It seems like yesterday when we started. All the partners are good friends; we’ve never had an argument. It’s been a great ride, and we’re looking forward to the next 10 years.” In honor of its 10th anniversary, the partners have created a new Scottsdale Art Auction Award of Merit to be presented to one artist who has created a painting specifically for the 2014 sale. Frost explains, “We’ll let the audience choose which painting has the best merit to it and the winner will receive a $15,000 cash award. We thought we’d do it for the 10th year and hope to continue it in the future.”
All the artwork will be on view in the gallery two weeks prior to the auction. A cocktail preview party will be held Friday, April 4, 6 to 8 p.m. Catalogs are $40 and can be purchased by calling (480) 945-0225 or by visiting www.scottsdaleartauction.com.