Christie’s is pleased the present American Art sales on May 21, which will feature a strong selection of works from private collections, many of which have never appeared at auction. This sale season presents strength across all genres of American Art, including works by the most important artists from 19th and 20th Centuries. The American Art sale on May 21 will commence at 10 a.m. with 74 lots, followed by Visions of the West: American Paintings from the William I. Koch Collection at noon with 68 lots.
The sale is led by Two Puritans by Edward Hopper. Painted in 1945, Two Puritans, which depicts a pair of austere Cape Cod houses in South Truro, Massachusetts, and is widely thought to be an intimate and revealing double portrait of the artist and his wife, Jo, is also a testament to Hopper’s dogged dedication to realism in the face of a changing visual world that increasingly championed abstraction. Other sale highlights include Thomas Hart Benton’s Ozark Autumn, a masterwork of the artist’s signature Regionalist style depicting the picturesque landscape and inhabitants of his native Midwest (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000), Boat Going Through Inlet (estimate: $2,500,000 – 3,500,000) by American Modernist Arthur Dove, and Georgia O’Keeffe’s East River with Sun. Executed in 1926, is the first of three treatments of the East River the artist rendered in pastel and it has been in the same family since it was acquired directly from Alfred Stieglitz in 1927.
Leading the selection of 19th Century works is Frederic Church’s majestic painting, Mount Newport on Mount Desert Island (estimate: $5-7 million). Painted during important period of his early career circa 1851-53, Mount Newport on Mount Desert Island is a pristine example of Church’s luminous representations of man’s exploration in the wilderness.