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Sculpture Highlights in the 20th Century, Modern & Contemporary Fine Arts Sale

Spanning the 20th Century, highlights in the three-dimensional medium of sculpture include works in bronze, steel, papier maché, terra cotta and carved stone from American and European modern and contemporary artists. Of particular interest is Valeska Soares’ model for Vanishing Point.

Brooklyn-based Brazilian artist Valeska Soares’ sculpture and installation work use sensory and conceptual techniques to create environments and experiences that are inviting, and also disturbing. She trained in modernist architecture and uses materials associated with building construction, such as steel and mirror, to make her art. In this work, Soares combines heavy, reflective metal with the ethereal scent of perfume to create an evocative experience for the viewer while displaying her interest in the physicality of the construction. This work is a model after her large-scale installation piece from 1998 titled Vanishing Point which arranged stainless steel tanks filled with water and perfume on the floor of a room. The scent we have used in this work is called Chord, handmade by Hudson, NY perfumers 2 Note. It combines Bergamot, Grapefruit and Petitgrain for a fresh, clean scent that speaks to Soares’ interest in what she calls the ‘ideal space’ of the garden.

Eastern-European sculptor Moissey Kogan was also interested in the ‘ideal’, in the form of the female figure and its representation of grace. Kogan studied in Hungary, Germany and Paris, where he met sculptors Rodin and Maillol and was much influenced by their work and subject matter. His Kneeling Woman is a rare example of Kogan’s freestanding sculptural work in bronze. He preferred to work with less costly materials like terracotta and gypsum.  Kogan was a versatile artist whose  works on paper explore the same ‘fragile grace’ of the female form in a different medium. He exhibited often at the Salon d’Automne in Paris and was represented by renowned gallerist Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Kogan was Jewish and his concern for his safety in Europe at the outbreak of WWII was not unfounded. He was taken to Auschwitz in 1942 but it was not until the 1960s that his death in the concentration camp became known.

Polish-American sculptor Eli Nadelman was making sculptures of the female figure during this same period across the Atlantic in his Westchester, NY studio. Nadelman moved from Paris to New York at the outbreak of WWI, becoming an American citizen in 1927. His work reflects his study of the Cubists in Paris as well as his keen interest in folk art. He and his wife, heiress Viola Flannery, amassed an enormous collection of folk art and built the Museum of Folk Arts in Riverdale, NY.  Nadelman’s work in his early period was influenced by Cubism and became central to the development of early 20th century modern sculpture in America. The lots of figures offered in this sale come from the artist’s studio through family members.

French poet, filmmaker and artist Jean Cocteau worked in many mediums, including sculpture and editioned works in terracotta. Cocteau was a central member of the European avant-garde, aligned with the Dadaists and Surrealists, as well as with writers marcel Proust and André Gide. He collaborated with many artists including Picasso, Modigliani, Leon Bakst, and composers Erik Satie, Francis Poulenc and Maurice Ravel. La Dame étonée is an example of his fine sense of humor and his Surrealist style.

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