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Strong Results From Art & Design Auction

RESULTS FROM KANSAS CITY MODERN + POST WAR + CONTEMPORARY AUCTION

By Circle Auction | June 2021

We are pleased to report that Circle Auction’s Post-War & Contemporary Art + Modern Design auction was a rousing success. Items were collected from a Fortune 500 corporate collection, another Kansas City area company’s collection, and a variety of collectors in the Kansas City area and beyond. The insatiable appetite for 20th and 21st century art and design was on full display, with 99% of lots offered sold, and 53% of lots exceeding the high estimate. Collectively, the final sales price was 21% above the high pre-auction estimate.

A new auction record was set on Andy Warhol’s serigraph Pete Rose (1985), which sold with a $32,000 hammer price. The work, signed by both the artist and the subject, had been estimated at $15,000-20,000. Circle Auction was honored to be one of the first auction houses in North America to offer an original work by Lebanese artist Willy Aractingi; the untitled 1986 oil sold for $19,000. A colorful Dale Chihuly Venetian vase (1990), from a series inspired by the historic Italian art glass tradition, sold for $12,500.

Andy Warhol’s serigraph Pete Rose (1985), sold for $32,000

One of the most notable groupings in the auction was a collection of eight paintings by noted Kansas City artist Wilbur Niewald. The strongest result among these was a 1976 still life, Three Geraniums with Onions, a highly characteristic work that was previously exhibited in Niewald’s Forty Year Retrospective, 1951-1991 at the Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery, which sold for $8750. The auction was filled with works by notable Kansas City associated artists including Lou Marak, James Woodfill, Janet Kuemmerlein, Ken Ferguson, Warren Rosser, Janet Turner, Dean Mitchell, Dale Eldred, Arthur Kraft, Rita Blitt, and more.

Wilbur Niewald ‘Three Geraniums’ Oil Painting sold for $8,750

One of the most notable groupings in the auction was a collection of eight paintings by noted Kansas City artist Wilbur Niewald. The strongest result among these was a 1976 still life, Three Geraniums with Onions, a highly characteristic work that was previously exhibited in Niewald’s Forty Year Retrospective, 1951-1991 at the Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery, which sold for $8750. The auction was filled with works by notable Kansas City associated artists including Lou Marak, James Woodfill, Janet Kuemmerlein, Ken Ferguson, Warren Rosser, Janet Turner, Dean Mitchell, Dale Eldred, Arthur Kraft, Rita Blitt, and more.

Among the most popular items were a variety of works from the estate of Wilfred Arnold, a true renaissance man whose talents and achievements included a career in biochemistry, a celebrated book on Vincent Van Gogh, and a creativity and artistry that spanned a variety of media. Every one of the ten lots offered that he created sold above the high estimate, from one-of-a-kind furniture to mobiles and more. The success of these lots stands as a testament to the incredible taste and design sensibility of their creator.

ORIGINAL MID CENTURY ART AND DESIGN PIECES BY WILFRED ARNOLD

The auction was not limited to fine arts: the modern design pieces also featured excellent results. Two Eames sofas sold for $3200 and $3100 respectively, a set of four Saarinen Tulip chairs sold for $3200, a pair of Warren Platner chairs sold for $3100, a pair of Frank Lloyd Wright Taliesen chairs sold for $2300, and a pair of Angel Pazmino lounge chairs with side tables sold for $2100, all of which were above the high estimate. Other furniture pieces by Eames, Milo Baughman, Edward Wormley, and Hans Juergens, all estimated below $1000 and all sold for $1000 and more. Two sets of Jen Quistgaard stainless flatware also exceeded expectations, with results of $1000 and $1900.

Among the other numerous highlights from the auction were a Joan Miro etching sold for $3000, a Robert Motherwell lithograph sold for $2000, a William Scott lithograph sold for $3000, a William Wegman lithograph sold for $3300, four Henry Ransom oils sold between $1000 and $2400, three Salvador Dali works sold between $850 and $2000.

We were glad for the results, as it confirmed our high esteem of the items we were so eager to offer. Thank you to every consignor and bidder who participated. All of us at Circle Auction are enthusiastically looking forward to putting together new and exciting auctions with contemporary and modern themes in the future. View the full auction results here.

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