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Richard Pousette-Dart (American, 1916-1992), Cathedral, Sold for $362,500

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Published: 3 November 2013

Pousette-Dart Fetches $362,500 at Freeman’s Modern & Contemporary Art Auction

From the Impressionists and Surrealists, to Abstract Expressionists and Pop Artists, Freeman’s achieved top prices for the lions of 20th century art, including Dalí, Calder, and Park on November 3, 2013. The 201 lot sale drew competitive bidding from the room, phones, and online before achieving $1.9 million and 107% by value—underscoring Freeman’s as a leading auctioneer of Modern & Contemporary works. Richard Pousette-Dart’s “Cathedral” brought $362,500 as the top lot of the day, more than doubling its estimate.

“We were confident going into the sale since most of the lots had bids registered on their behalf. Due to the depth in bidding, many prices soared well past their auction estimates,” said Anne Henry, Department Head of Modern & Contemporary Art.

“Cathedral” was executed in 1944 during a time of dynamic growth for Richard Pousette-Dart. The painting features a heavily layered canvas bursting with colorful forms and shapes that can be seen in the early works of fellow New York artists Gorky and Pollock. Architectural elements of a cathedral such as the spire and circular stained glass windows are defined within the work by insistent outlines and vibrating colors. In November 1963, “Cathedral” was part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exhibition “Philadelphia Collects the 20th Century.” The painting was owned by a distinguished Philadelphia collector and was acquired directly from the artist. In the November 2012 Modern & Contemporary Art auction, Freeman’s sold an untitled work from the artist’s “Strata” series for $302,500.                                                        

Highlights from Freeman’s November 3, 2013 Modern & Contemporary Art Auction

  • Lot 85 Richard Pousette-Dart, (American, 1916- 1992), “Cathedral” sold for $362,500
  • Lot 78  David Park, (American, 1911-1960), "Untitled" brought $116,500
  • Lot 42  Salvador Dalí, (Spanish, 1904-1989), “Boceto para el Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio” (Design for the Poster of Don Juan Tenorio) sold for $110,500
  • Lot 7   Gustave Loiseau, (French, 1865-1935), “Rochers de St. Lunaire” sold for  $104,500
  • Lot 117  Alexander Calder, (American, 1898-1976), “Balloons and Cattails” brought $92,500

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