Powerful selection of Post War and Contemporary American Masters and Color Field master works to sell May 2 at  Heritage Auctions in New York 

Willem de Kooning (1904-1997). East Hampton II, 1968. Oil on paper laid on canvas. 41-3/4 x 30 inches (106 x 76.2 cm)

NEW YORK – East Hampton II, 1968 – Willem de Kooning’s 1968 masterpiece is expected to sell for $600,000-$800,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Modern & Contemporary Art auction May 2 in New York. Special day and evening sales will offer fresh-to-market Post War American Masters and Color Field sculpture and paintings, including Tantric, 1977, by Hellen Frankenthaller (est. $500,000-$700,000). The auction begins at 1 p.m. EST at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion, 2 East 79th Street (at 5th Ave), New York.

“We are incredibly excited to offer an expanded selection of fresh—to— market Modern, Post War and Contemporary works in New York.This sale really solidifies our position as the leaders in the middle market, giving collectors and consignors the unique opportunity to see great works, often over looked, in an elevated evening and day sale settings,” said Leon Benrimon, Director of Modern & Contemporary Art in New York.

European masterpieces at Heritage Auctions

The day opens with a museum-quality selection of European masterpieces, such as Untitled (Composition lyrique), 1922, the iconic watercolor by Wassily Kandinsky (est. $400,000-$600,000) – a major turning point in his development of an abstract pictorial language, namely his adoption of strong geometric forms.  Le peintre à la palette, 1983, by Marc Chagall (est. $200,000-$300,000) and Composition, 1925, by Fernand Léger (est. $150,000 – $250,000) highlight and extensive group by defining Modern artists.

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). Untitled (Composition lyrique), 1922. Watercolor and India ink on paper. 12-3/8 x 14-3/4 …
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). Untitled (Composition lyrique), 1922. Watercolor and India ink on paper. 12-3/8 x 14-3/4 …

The day continues with the Evening Session – a celebration of fresh-to-auction Post War and Contemporary American Masters highlighted by Robert Rauschenberg’s Untitled, 1985, at public action for the first time (est. $300,000-$500,000), and Bather, 1961, an important painting by Milton Avery, a late work for which the artist was admired for his nuanced use of color (est. $300,000-$500,000), also on the market for the first time. Andy Warhol’s infamous portrait of Ethel Scull, 1963, one of the artists’ first portraits, and his first collector commission, marking a turning point in his career and the art market (est. $200,000-$300,000).

Several important works from the estate of Anita Reiner (as previously released) will be offered throughout the day: Ice Bucket by Jeff Koons (est. $300,000-$500,000), recently exhibited in the Whitney Museum retrospective, is among four artworks hand-selected from Reiner’s Estate.

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of approximately $900 million, and over 950,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com. 

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