Robert de Niro Sr.’s Faceless Reclining Nude
Robert de Niro Sr. (1922-1993), Faceless Reclining Nude, 1962. Oil on paper. Estimate: $2,500-3,500. This work and those below will be offered in our Interiors sale on 28-29 July at Christie’s in New York
The father of actor Robert De Niro, abstract expressionist painter Robert De Niro Sr., became known for vibrant compositions that featured still lifes, landscape, and the human form. ‘With Robert De Niro Sr.’s use of bold colours, the viewer focuses on the pure and honest form of the figure before them,’ comments specialist Emily Gladstone.
De Niro Sr.’s career is studded with some of art’s most well-known names: having studied with artists Hans Hofmann and Josef Albers, he held his first solo show in 1945 at Peggy Guggenheim’s New York gallery, later exhibiting with Charles Egan, who represented abstract expressionists including Willem de Kooning.
Alessandro Albrizzi’s desk
Alessandro Albrizzi, Laminated wood trestle desk, late 20th century. Estimate: $2,000-3,000
‘Alessandro Albrizzi pays homage to classic campaign furniture with this delightfully modern desk,’ comments Christie’s specialist Bliss Summers.
Born in Venice, Albrizzi drew on classical conventions of design to produce pieces that transcended the styles of his period to become timeless, handcrafting materials including acrylic, glass, stainless steel, aluminium and wood. ‘Bursting onto the design scene in the 1960s, he created pieces with lasting style — pieces that applied this extensive knowledge of traditional design to imaginative modern projects,’ says Summers.
Wolf Kahn’s Dark Middle
Wolf Kahn (b.1927), Dark Middle, 2006. Oil on canvas. Estimate: $15,000-20,000
Wolf Kahn claims to have started drawing at the age four, beginning private art lessons — organised by his grandmother — at the age of 11. The outbreak of World War Two had forced the rest of the artist’s family to relocate to the United States; when Kahn joined them at the age of 13, he was drawing every day.
Studying under renowned abstract expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, Kahn went on to produce oil and pastel landscapes that merged realism with aspects of Colorfield Painting. ‘The calming hues of this Wolf Kahn painting allow you to lose yourself in the abstract forest landscape,’ says specialist Emily Gladstone.
T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings’s Klismos chairs
Set of five birch and leather Klismos chairs, designed by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, circa 1937. Estimate: $1,000-1,500
Recognisable for its sweeping legs and curved back, the Klismos was a type of ancient Greek chair, visible as a prop in painted scenes and bas-reliefs from the 5th century BCE onwards.
‘World-renowned architect and designer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings was well known for the classically influenced interiors he created for society’s elite,’ comments specialist Bliss Summers. ‘The Klismos line of furniture, a project he began working on after his move to Greece, embodies the sleek classical look synonymous with his work.’
A pair of Chinese pottery models of recumbent boars. Six dynasties period/early Tang Dynasty 6th/7th century. Estimate: $3,000-5,000
Those with a couch-potato complex might consider purchasing these recumbent boars — the perfect foil for a summer pause in productivity.
The twelfth animal in the Chinese calendar, the boar traditionally represents the wealth of the forest. ‘This pair of early Tang Dynasty potter models is a delight. The gently rounded bodies allude to great fortune and abundance, while their recumbent stance is both charming and devotional,’ offers specialist Victoria Tudor.
French Cameo glass egg-shaped vase. Estimate: $800-1,200
Dating from 30BC, when it was popular in ancient Rome, Cameo is a glass decorating technique that sees layers of materials etched or eroded away with hydrofluoric acid, leaving intricate, gradated designs.
‘Every detail tells part of the story in this beautifully crafted Daum Frères base,’ explains Victoria Tudor. ‘The glass, reminiscent of dawn’s vibrant colours, is moulded as an egg with a jagged mouth, perhaps indicative of a cracked shell. To the reverse, a banner reads ‘Je chante clair’ or ‘I sing clearly.’
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