Oil paintings by Lê Phổ and Claude Venard stand out at the Neue Auctions Modernisme sale, May 15

Lovely oil on canvas floral still life by Vietnamese painter Lê Phổ (1907-2001), titled Flowers (Flowers), artist signed lower right with a hallmark ($20,910).
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BEACHWOOD, Ohio – A large and beautiful custom-designed dining table by Wendell Castle (American, 1932-2018) has soared to $70,110, and vibrant still life oil paintings by Lê Phổ (Vietnamese/French, 1907-2001) and Claude Venard (French, 1913-1999) sold for $20,910 and $15,990, respectively, at Neue Auctions’ online Modernism auction held May 15.

The auction was filled with 424 lots from regional estates and longtime collectors, including selections from the late Cleveland concert promoter Mike Belkin and his wife Annie. Articles covered a wide range of mediums and categories, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, furniture, art glass, ceramics, enamels and jewelry, as well as many undiscovered finds .

The Wendell Castle Dining Table surpassed its pre-sale estimate of $30,000 to $50,000 to take top honors of the lot. It featured an oval holly-veneer top, inlaid with purple triangles and inlaid dots spelling out “The Check is in the Mail” (the title of the painting). It had a leather-covered edge with a purple understructure supporting six gold-plated brass rings.

Mr. Castle created a similar painting for his own residence titled Never complain, never justifyin 1981. He is pictured on the cover of the book Wendell Castle Furniture (Hudson Hills Press, NY, 1989). The check is in the mail (1988) was 120 inches long and 59 inches wide and was signed and dated. It comes from the Mike and Annie Belkin collection.

The still life in oil on canvas by Lê Phổ, entitled flowers (Flowers), was the artist signed lower right with a chop mark and measured 13 inches by 9 inches (view, minus frame). It exceeded its estimate by $6,000 to $9,000. Lê Phổ was born in Hanoi, but he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris (where he later taught) and took up residence in Paris from 1937 until his death.

oil on canvas Still life with table sculpture by Claude Venard, boldly executed with heavy impasto, has been signed and beautifully housed in a 28 inch by 28 inch frame. Claude Venard was a French post-cubist and still life painter. Known for working in a distinct angular style, he accentuated the chromatic qualities of his palette with thick impasto paint.

Oil on canvas Still Life with Table Sculpture by Claude Venard (French, 1913-1999), boldly executed in heavy impasto, signed lower center ($15,990).
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Modern furnishings were led by a mid-century (c.1950-1960) wing chair by Arturo Pani (Mexican, 1915-1981), upholstered in horsehair fabric with a split ridge rail and extreme scrolled wings, elevated on cabriole legs ($9,225); and one circa 1960s Odyssey coffee table by the American design team of Philip Laverne (1908-1988) and Kelvin Laverne (born 1936). The engraved, patinated, polychrome bronze and pewter coffee table went to a determined bidder for $7,380.

A standing sculpture of a nude woman by Marc Sijan (American, b.1946), titled Standing barefoot and made from polyester resin and oil paint with bodysuit, signed and dated 1990, numbered 2/5, 68 inches tall including pedestal base, fetched $7,995. Also, a bronze statue of a nude woman shown from the waist up, hands outstretched and holding a turquoise bracelet, by RC Gorman (American, 1932-2005), titled Cocheta (1980), on wooden base, was $2,829.

Several small boxes by American craftsman Kenneth Francis Bates (1904-1994) were offered, including an enamel box on gold leaf entitled Peacock Box (1930), signed and dated at the base, the tapered four-sided shape colored decorated with peacock feathers ($3,998); and Comforter of Salome (1977), an enamel box with lid, signed and dated by the artist at the base, the circular shape in translucent enamel on 24-karat gold spangles; it found a new owner for $3,690.

A large rounded cylindrical stoneware vessel by the famous Cleveland School artist Claude Conover (1907-1994), 22 inches high, signed and titled at the base, knocked down for $5,228. Additionally, Bernd Munsteiner’s jewelry featured a fancy cut tourmaline on a textured 14k yellow gold hinged bangle bracelet with a bezel-set accent diamond, marked 14k on the clasp, with the bracelet made by another manufacturer, grossed $3,198.

Standing sculpture of a nude woman by Marc Sijan (American, b.1946), titled Standing Barefoot (1990), numbered 2/5, 68 inches tall, including pedestal base ($7,995).
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There were three color woodblocks printed on Japan paper by Milton Avery (American, 1885-1965), titled Rooster, Hen and Lamb. Chicken, artist’s proof, signed lower right and dated 1954; it grossed $2,091. Additionally, a silkscreen on cream wove paper of the iconic LOVE image by Robert Indiana (American, 1928-2018), titled golden love (1973), signed and numbered (92/50) in pencil, and with a sheet size of 35 square inches, grossed $4,305.

Three of the first seven lots in the entire sale were works by Toko Shinoda (Japanese, 1913-2021). Among them, an untitled monotype on Arches paper, signed lower right ($7,380); a lithograph in silver metallic ink titled Whisper of glass, signed, titled and numbered (33/45) ($4,920); and a lithograph in silver metallic ink on paper, titled Anthology, signed, titled and numbered (34/45) ($4,612). A fourth work sold for $2,337.

Internet auctions were facilitated by Liveauctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Bidsquare.com. Telephone and correspondence offers were also accepted. Neue Auctions’ next big event will be a Summer Estates auction scheduled for Saturday, July 17 at 3 p.m. EST. In addition to internet and telephone/absenteeism auctions, there may be live auctions in the gallery, if the corona virus is under control.

Neue Auctions offers a tailored experience for sellers and buyers, with featured items fully guaranteed and verified, and combines regular online auctions with curated art exhibitions and educational opportunities. Offering consignment services for one-offs, estates and corporate collections, the firm assists clients through the complicated process of settling estates and general downsizing, working with individuals, trusts, estates , museums, banks and lawyers.

Neue Auctions continues the long-standing history and tradition of art collecting in Cleveland by bringing beautiful works of art to market for sale, encouraging current and next generations of collectors. Neue Auctions is accepting submissions for future sales. For purchases or consignment inquiries, please call 216-245-6707; or email [email protected]

Neue Auctions invites everyone to be added to its mailing list to receive notifications and information regarding all current and future sales. For more information, visit www.neueauctions.com.

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