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From Atlan to Zúñiga

From Atlan to Zúñiga

Discover Rago’s November 8 + 9 Art Auctions

1 November 2019

Rago’s November 8 + 9 Fine Art Auctions present nearly 650 lots of paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs and works on paper by artists including Willem de Kooning, Jean Michel Atlan, Francisco Zúñiga, John Sennhauser, George William Sotter and more.

Below, we take a closer look at a selection of work on offer in Post War + Contemporary Art on November 8 and American + European Art and November 9.

Highlights from the Allan Stone Collection include (clockwise from top left): Lot 188 by Marisol Escoba; Lot 190 by Joseph Cornell; Lot 184 by Willem de Kooning; and Lot 189 by Franz Josef Kline.

Rago is pleased to present a fine group of works from the collection of art dealer and early supporter of abstract expressionism, Allan Stone. Highlights in this session include a Joseph Cornell construction from 1954 titled Grand Hotel-Hotel Taglioni, an early gouache by Willem de Kooning, a series of drawings by Franz Kline, and a mixed media work by Marisol Escoba based on Andrea Mantegna’s Dead Christ.

Lot 18 - Jean Michel Atlan; Untitled

Born in Algeria, Jean-Michel Atlan made his way to Paris in 1930 to study philosophy at the Sorobonne University. In 1942, during the German occupation, he was arrested for being Jewish and for his political activism. He pleaded insanity and survived the war in an asylum.

In the post-WWII era, Atlan became a member of the important European avant-garde movement, CoBrA, and his Montparnasse studio became the Paris meeting place for the group.

This painting was purchased in Paris by a prominent Philadelphia family with international involvements in modern and contemporary art. Recently, they donated a portion of their collection to the Woodmere Art Museum. Recognizing that this painting falls well outside of Woodmere’s regionally-based mission, the museum determined is best to sell the work to benefit its acquisition fund.

(Left to right): Lot 653 – George L. K. Morris; Untitled, Lot 8 - George L. K. Morris; Fantasy #1: Lot 7 - Agony in the Garden

George L. K. Morris was an early and outspoken advocate of abstract art. He studied under Fernand Léger and Amedée Ozenfant in Paris and by the time he returned to America his art was firmly planted in abstraction. Morris was a founding member of American Abstract Artists group. His work is praised for its juxtaposition of primitive and cubist forms.

(Left to right) Lot 712 - Francisco Zúñiga; Untitled, Lot 715 - Armando Amaya; Mujer del Mercado

Francisco Zúñiga and Armando Amaya are two of Mexico’s most renowned sculptors. Armando Amaya studied under Zúñiga while at the National School of Painting and Sculpture in Mexico City.

Zúñiga’s sculptures blend the primitive and the classical, resulting in a unique and recognizable style. Amaya’s sculptures exalt the female form and strongly embrace the Mexican modernist tradition.

Lot 665 - John Sennhauser, Untitled

John Sennhauser’s interest in abstract art was cultivated during his time as a student at Cooper Union in the early 1930s. By the end of the decade he had developed the non-objective painting style for which he is best known. This untitled work from 1939 comes from one of the artist’s most fruitful and sought-after periods.

Lot 511 - George William Sotter; Titans of Space

Rago’s session of American + European Art on November 9 features a fine selection of works by artists from the New Hope School including paintings by Harry Leith-Ross, Kenneth Nunamaker, Morgan Colt, and Edward Redfield. Particularly noteworthy is a large and important cloud composition by George Sotter, fresh-to-market after being held privately by the same family for decades.

(Left to right) Lot 594 - Otis Kaye; Hang the Wash, Lot 598 - Otis Kaye; Stick it in a Pipe and Smoke it

Though he lacked formal training as an artist, Otis Kaye is known as a master of trompe l’oeil (photo realistic)painting. His interest in depicting American currency can be traced to the stock market crash of 1929, an event which was financially and personally devastating to the artist. Kaye sold very few paintings during his lifetime; likely the result of the Federal Government’s restrictions on painting currency.