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 (Untitled, 2007, Acrylic on canvas, Triptych 64 x 229”)

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.

Nina Chanel Abney (African-American, b 1982) painting "Brothers in Blood"

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.

Eddie Martinez (American, b 1977) painting "Voluptuoso Plant"

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.”

Andrew Schoultz (American, b 1975) "War in Motion While Systems Intensify, In Chaos We Become", 2008

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 ind