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First Keno auction devoted solely to fine art set for June 12

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Written by Auction House PR   
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 14:33

George Henry Hall (American, 1825-1913), ‘A Plea For Peace,’ 1861, oil on board, 18 3/4 x 15 inches. Estimate: $25,000-$45,000. Image courtesy Keno Auctions.

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, June 12 an exciting selection of 74 important American and European paintings from the 16th through 20th centuries will be offered at Keno Auctions' Manhattan office at 127 E. 69th St (between Park and Lexington avenues). The sale will begin at 10 a.m. EDT and will be the first distinct fine art sale for the auction house. will provide Internet live bidding.

A public exhibition preceding the sale will be held June 8-12.

Lots presented in the June sale include some superb old master paintings, American paintings, 19th century paintings, Latin American paintings, European paintings, and postwar art from private collections that are fresh to the market and estimated to create an exciting buzz in the industry.

A fine range of work from such renowned artists as Milton Avery, Charles Demuth, Thomas Doughty, George Henry Hall, Hamilton Hamilton, David Johnson, John LaFarge, Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Roberto Antonio (Echaurren) Matta, Jean Francois Raffaelli, Jean Paul Riopelle, Charles Marion Russell, William Trost Richards and Esteban Vicente will be offered.

One of the works offered has not been seen for more than 100 years.

“We are privileged to present for sale Morning, Fishing Boats at Anchor (est. $40,000-$80,000) by Hendrik Willem Mesdag (Dutch, 1831-1915) for which the proceeds of the sale are to benefit the Historic Park McCullough Association. The painting was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. John G. McCullough directly from the artist at the turn of the 20th century. Mesdag was the leader of the Hague School and this is a classic example of his work. This painting contains all the vital factors that the current art market treasures, namely outstanding quality, impressive size, excellent untouched original condition, freshness to the market and an important and distinguished provenance,” said Leigh Keno, president of the eponymous auction house.

A fine selection of early American works include David Johnson’s brilliant Sunset on the Unadilla, 1856, (est. $50,000-$80,000) and from a Southern collector, a William Trost Richards, from his rare 1866 Mount Desert Island, Maine (est. $40,000-$100,000) period. An important work by George Henry Hall, dated 1861, addresses the artist’s pacifist stance on the Civil War. A rare Luminist work, the breathtaking Sierras, (est. $20,000-$40,000) by Hamilton Hamilton, is arguably the artist’s best work to come to auction.

Two early Charles M. Russell works bring new light to the artist’s career, showing him as an effective history painter, in the depiction of The Burning of the Tonquin (est. $20,000-$40,000), and conversely as a painter of fantasy in the Wood Nymph with Rabbit (est. $15,000-$25,000).

The aesthetic movement is represented by two lovely John LaFarge works on paper, in original condition. A Jean Francois Raffaelli of a shoreline is characteristic of the artist’s mature style—lighter in color, but a broad brush, and small but strong energetic figure.

A distinguished Michigan estate is offering two early 20th century paintings by Ashcan artists George Luks—of street people huddled together—and Jerome Meyers of a playful Carousel (est. $12,000-$18,000); a freshly colored Charles Demuth watercolor of three figures at the beach, and a magic realist work by Aaron Bohrod Mother Earth (est. $6,000-$8,000) that addresses ecological issues as early as the 1960s.

Rounding out the sale are a number of fresh to the market 20th century pictures from an important California collector, including an noteworthy contemporary work Topologie de Illusion, 1990 (est. $50,000-$100,000); a large scale vivid, abstract painting by renowned Latin American artist Roberto Matta, which is sure to attract an international audience, and the up-and-comer Esteban Vicente’s On Space, (est. $30,000-$60,000) and a charming Milton Avery watercolor and gouache on black paper painted in 1930 entitled Beach Photographer (est. $20,000-$40,000).

Jean Paul Riopelle’s Folâtre (est. $80,000-$120,000) has all the energy affiliated with the postwar modernists. He created works of heavy impasto as well as the use of a palette knife; this work Folâtre is emblematic of what scholars and collectors consider his best period.

“I am thrilled to be conducting Keno Auction’s first stand-alone paintings sale, especially because it is the first sale we are going to be conducting at our headquarters,” said owner Leigh Keno. “We’ve achieved great results in the fine art area in our last several auctions and collectors have asked us to expand our offerings. We are accomplishing this with these wonderful pictures, most of which have not been in the marketplace for 20 years.”

Exhibition Previews will be Friday, June 8, 10 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m; Sunday, June 10, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Monday, June 11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Customers may purchase or view catalogs online at Catalogs may also be purchased by calling 212-734-2381.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to


George Henry Hall (American, 1825-1913), ‘A Plea For Peace,’ 1861, oil on board, 18 3/4 x 15 inches. Estimate: $25,000-$45,000. Image courtesy Keno Auctions.

Hamilton Hamilton (American, 1847-1928), ‘Sierras,’ 1873, oil on canvas, 18 x 29 7/8 inches. Estimate: $20,000-$40,000. Image courtesy Keno Auctions.

David Johnson (American, 1827-1908), ‘Sunset On the Unadilla River,’ 1856, oil on canvas, 19 x 28 1/8 inches. Estimate: $50,000-$80,000. Image courtesy Keno Auctions.

Roberto Antonio (Echaurren) Matta (Chilean, 1911-2002), ‘Topologie de Illusion,’ 1990, 78 x 84 inches. Estimate: $50,000-$100,000. Image courtesy Keno Auctions.

Charles Russell (American, 1864-1926), ‘The Burning of the Tonquin,’ oil on canvas, 6 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches. Estimate:  $20,000-$40,000. Image courtesy Keno Auctions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 11:59

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