LYNBROOK, NY – One large oil on Masonite painting by Indo-American artist Francis Newton Souza (1924-2002) has climbed to $ 235,000, and three works by Russian artist Mihail Chemiakin (born 1943) – one painting and two sculptures – combined to bring in $ 44,800 at an auction held May 17 by Weiss Auctions, online and in the company’s Lynbrook Gallery at 74 Merrick Road.
Souza’s painting was by far the first lot in the auction. Title Head in a landscape, the work was impressive at 35 inches by 47 ½ inches. It was also quite fresh on the market, which made the important estate much more appealing to collectors who were eager to make an offer.
Francis Newton Souza was raised by his seamstress mother in India and attended an art school in Mumbai, but was expelled in 1942 for supporting the Quit India movement. Five years later, he helped found the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, to encourage young Indian artists to become part of the international avant-garde movement. He moved to London, England, in 1949.
There his work was exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Souza’s style was rooted in expressionism but was influenced by art brut and neo-romanticism. His subjects were often female nudes and Christian images, but also included still lifes and landscapes. Souza lived and worked in New York from 1967 until shortly before his death, when he returned home to India.
The auction saw over 500 lots auctioned and brought in approximately $ 600,000 including the buyer’s premium. “Both the Internet and telephone auctions were very large and about 75 people attended in person,” said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions. “The sale included estate jewelry, bronzes, a mid-century modern table by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne, porcelain and more.”
Original works of art dominated the list of today’s best lots, however. Chemiakin’s three pieces included a signed and dated 50 inch by 50 inch oil on canvas (1990) and an excellent example of his work ($ 18,700); a 29-inch-high bronze sculpture from his St. Petersburg Carnival series, signed # 2 of 8 ($ 10,500); and a sterling silver sculpture titled Peter the great perched on a titled marble pedestal, measuring 37 inches high and with mounted plaques bearing his signature ($ 15,600).
Mihail Chemiakin (whose name is also spelled Mikhail Shemyakin) is a Russian painter, theater decorator, sculptor and publisher, and a controversial representative of the maverick artistic tradition of Saint PETERSBOURG. Chemiakin works in a wide range of media and subjects, as shown in the 2010 two-volume book on his art, Mihail Chemiakin (Azbooka Publishing, Saint Petersburg).
Here are additional highlights from the auction. Internet auctions were provided by Proxibid, Invaluable.com and Auctionzip.com. All prices listed here include a buyer’s premium.
Color lithograph and silkscreen on Arches paper by the famous American painter, sculptor and graphic designer Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008), titled People for the American Way (1991), signed lower left, dated and numbered (“44/75”), and housed in a large and heavy frame 49 inches by 61 inches, for $ 24,600. This was a new world auction record for a draw in this series.
A beautiful and monumental hand-painted royal Vienna porcelain plaque depicting a religious scene, with an artist’s signature on the lower right that appears to read “E. Sihade”, changed hands for $ 8,525. The image area was 16 ½ inches by 21 ¼ inches, with a beehive mark inked on the reverse side.
A magnificent oil on canvas by C. Hjalmar “Cappy” Amundsen (Me./NY/Mass, 1911-2001), depicting whalers off the coast in a vivid and colorful marine rendering, fetched $ 6,000. The work, housed in a frame measuring 42 ½ inches by 31 inches, was signed by the artist lower left.
Philip Weiss Auctions has three big sales forecast for June. The first, scheduled for Monday, June 11, will be an on-site auction, to be held at the New York County Public Administrator’s warehouse at 250 Church Street in Manhattan, starting at noon. The proposed real estate equipment will include furniture, paintings, engravings, works of art, porcelain, pottery, bronzes, carpets, household junk, electronics, instruments of music, lamps, clocks, collectibles and more.
Then, on Wednesday June 20, at the Lynbrook Gallery, there will be a sale dedicated to toys, trains, batteries, miniatures, dolls, toy soldiers, stamped steel and more, showcased by part 1 of the Kalas Collection but also to include other selections from the Jerry and Nina Green collection of American and European trains and toys, the first part of George Dominguez’s huge toy collection, more of Pennsylvania’s “Matchbox Hoard” and a doll collection newly arrived.
The next day, Thursday June 21, also in the Lynbrook Gallery, Weiss Auctions will be hosting a sale filled with sporting goods, comics, comics, animation and historical material. Featured, baseball gear from Christy Walsh’s personal secretary; old sports posters, documents and ephemera; the white shirt worn by JFK during his inauguration as president; original comics from the Joe Kubert estate; 1950s paper and paperback covers; comic books; and Disney gear.