Splendorous Array of 20th / 21st Century Paintings Offered in Bunch Contemporary Art Auction
Press Release - May 25, 2020
CHADDS FORD, Pennsylvania (May 26, 2020) — Bunch Auctions’ June 30 20th & 21st Century Contemporary Art Auction in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania draws together a remarkable selection of paintings, drawings, sculpture & media art by influential contemporary artists. The 278 lot sale is comprised exclusively from two private collections, and offers an eclectic variety of American, European, and South Asian works.
The headliner of the auction, Nina Chanel Abney’s Untitled (Black Soap), comes from the noted collector of American Maximalism, Stephen Heighton. Heighton (d 2010) was the co-founding pioneer of some of New York City’s most iconic queer hotspots including Barracuda, Elmo, and Industry. He was also a prolific collector and curated several Manhattan gallery exhibitions of emerging art. His collections showcase recurrent themes of sexuality and sexism, along with the history and perceptions of race.
Nina Chanel Abney’s Untitled (Black Soap) (estimate: $150,000 - 300,000) is a colossal 19 foot triptych, and was the first Abney piece ever sold in a gallery. In a 2009 interview for Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, Stephen Heighton described it as “the most politically charged work she’s ever done. She depicts white people washing themselves with black soap to atone for their guilt over slavery.” The painting was included in the exhibition "Pink Polemic" at the Kravets Wehby Gallery, June 28-August 21, 2007. (Untitled, 2007, Acrylic on canvas, Triptych 64 x 229”)
The sale features two other Nina Chanel Abney paintings from the Heighton collection. Brothers in Blood (estimate: $30,000 - 60,000), depicts a young gang member alongside his two canine companions. He has a ‘187’ tattoo on his arm, representative of Section 187 of California’s penial code defining the crime of murder. Just So (estimate: $6,000 - 12,000), depicts an African-American woman alongside an American flag and a cross. Like many of her other works, it carries political, racial, and religious undertones.
A fine work by the Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez (b 1977), is another standout highlight of Heighton’s offerings. Voluptuoso Plant (estimate: $40,000 - 80,000) depicts a full planter of flowers, painted in Martinez’s distinct semi-abstractionist style. The piece is lively and raw, applying a bold use of color and texture by use of oil, acrylic and enamel elements. Teetering between abstraction and representation, his expressionist techniques are reminiscent of his earlier dabblings in graffiti and street art.
Another standout piece of the Heighton collection is Andrew Schoultz’s 18 panel assemblage titled War in Motion While Systems Intensify, In Chaos We Become (estimate: $30,000 - 60,000). The monumental assembly has an overall size of 10 x 28 feet. Schoultz (b 1975) often works in large-scale installations with the intention having his work viewed by the public masses. The piece is dense with political and social commentary, illustrating the confusion and turbulence of our era. The piece is thickset with chaos, rich in symbolism and sprinkled with iconography. It is heavily layered with representations of natural disaster, war, and impending destruction. Schoultz describes the work by stating, “When everything comes apart, people grab at the shards of their world and attempt to reassemble a recognizable picture.”
Important contemporary artists working in a variety of styles and media are well-represented in the Heighton collection:
American Artists: Aaron Romine, Adam Stennett, Alex Blas, Alison Ruttan, Andrew Schoultz, Andy Cross, Angela de Rosette, Barnaby Whitfield, Broit, Charles Browning, Charles Roberts, Chris Hinkle, Christopher Norris, Denise Rubin, Dorothy Lake Gables, Eddie Martinez, Erik Thor Sandberg, Iona Rozeal Brown, J. Esposito, James Everett Stanley, James Gobel, Jason Clay Lewis, Jeff Wyckoff, Jimmy Shack, John Copeland, John Salvest, Jon Elliot, Jonathan Ryan Harvey, Joseph Ayers, Julie Heffernan, Kim Dorland, Kris Knight, Laurie Hogan, Leah Tinari, Magie Serpica, Mark DiSuvero, Masin, Maureen Cavanaugh, Mike Cockrill, Nick Cortese, Nina Chanel Abney, Paul Villinski, Peter Scott, Philip Knoll, Randy Polumbo, Richard Cuerden, Ridley Howard, Robert Laughlin, Skylar Fein, Todd Hebert, Wendell Gladstone, Wes Lang, Wittman.
European Artists: After Modigliani, After Salvador Dali, (2) Alex Kanevsky, (2) Cindy Wright.
The second collection of the auction is a worldly assemblage of international art, with a particular focus on South Asian works. The collection was amassed by Albert Lawrence Borden, who traveled the world as a purchaser in the textile industry. He has lived all across the globe including Brazil, Egypt, & Hong Kong, and was a frequent visitor to Pakistan, where he garnered an impressive array of Pakistani artwork.
One exceptional piece from Borden’s collection is Dominique Salvador’s hyperrealist portrait titled Ecuador Anonymous (estimate: $2,000 - 4,000). This piece was the first in a series of portraits of Ecuadorian children. Dominique not only excels at creating a photo realistic representation, but also at capturing her subjects’ personality, spirit and soul through her imagery.
A fine work by the Congolese artist Moke (1950 - 2001) titled Taxi (estimate $2,000 - 4,000) is another exceptional offering. The painting is grounded in Moke’s fastidious observation of local life in bustling Kinshasa, depicting a lively street scene with expressive characters engaging in a neighborhood dispute.
Rounding out the auction is a fine selection of Pakistani artwork, all drawn from the Borden collection. Among the highlights are Mohammed Imran Qureshi’s miniature painting, A Lover Waiting for his Beloved (estimate: $6,000 - 12,000) along with a series of abstract form paintings by Unver Shafi Khan (b 1961).
International 20th / 21st century art is very well represented from the Borden collection, including important works by:
Pakistani Artists: A R Nagori, Abrar Ahmed, Akram Dost, Askari, Athar Jamal, Bashir Ahmed, Bimanesh Biswas, Iqbal Durrani, Iqbal Geoffrey, Jamal Shah, Laila Shahzada, Liaqet Ali, M Iqbal, M. F. Shahid Ahmed Zaki, Manoor Rahi, Mansur Aye), Mansur Saleem, Mashkoor Raza, Meerza Ali, Meezan ur Rehman, Moeen Faruqi, Mussarat Mirza, R Kumar, R M Naeem, Rooha Ghaznavi, Tasadduq Sohail, Teriq Javed, Unver Shafi Khan, Wahab Jaffer.
Asian Artists: Aya Uekawa, Iqbal Durrani, Shah Bano, Shakira Karim, Samiran Sarkar, Sharif, Samira Jahingir, Hossain, Moeen Faruqi, Atika, Bimanesh Biswas, Dao Hai Phong, George Keyt, Ismail Gulgee, Kamrul Hasan, Katarina Monier, Masud Chowdhury, Mohammed Imran Qureshi, Nilloufer Victorian & Preethi Hapuwatte, Olga Polunin, Sail Choyal, Raja Segar, Shail Choyal, Seif Wanley, Shehan Madawela, Stephan Delapree, Yehan Wang, Yufei Chen, Yunizar, Zhou Jin Hua
European Artists: Alex Stewart, Alexandre Zakharov, Chroni Kalliroy, Pieter van der Westhuizen, Vassilis Sperantzas
South American Artists: Adelio Sarro, Aldemir Martins, Beatriz Bong, Daniel Romero, 20th-21st C Mexican, Dominique Salvador, Inos Corradin
WILLIAM BUNCH AUCTIONS & APPRAISALS
ONE HILLMAN DRIVE
CHADDS FORD, PA 19317
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