Tanja's Culture


Recommendations for Sotheby's Contemporary Curate Auction

Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated auction in New York features a who’s who of established contemporary artists including Gerhard Richter, Robert Motherwell and Alexander Calder.

By Chadwick Ciocci

Below are our recommendations for your collection.

Alexander Calder

Dots Along the Blue

Estimate: $40,000 – 60,000

Alexander Calder is best known for his sculptures, but he was a fantastic and iconic painter as well. This piece includes several iconic Calder motifs – such as squiggles and geometric shapes – and it also incorporates his iconic colors, but the vibrancy of this piece is its most special quality.  

We recommend acquiring this piece up to $65,000.

Alexander Calder


Estimate: $30,000 – 40,000

Whereas as some pieces should be acquired because they are quintessential to the style or brand of an artist, other works should be acquired for precisely the opposite: because they are so unique and avant-garde within the artist’s oeuvre. Such is the case with Calder’s depiction of three French flags. It is not immediately “Calder”, which makes it all the more attractive.

We recommend acquiring this piece near the low estimate of $30,000.

Robert Motherwell


Estimate: $150,000 – 250,000

Music and poetry are common motifs in Robert Motherwell’s work, but they aren’t typically expressed with such clarity and obviousness. The sheet of music being broken is typical of Motherwell’s interpretation of expressionism, and yet the piece overall doesn’t quite feel like a Motherwell. This is, once again, our main attraction to it.

We recommend acquiring this piece near the mid point of the estimate.

Adolph Gottlieb


Estimate: $30,000 – 40,000

As members of the same movement, Calder, Miro and Gottlieb shared and used many of the same images, styles, colors, etc. Naturally some motifs are more associated with one artist than another, but we cannot help thinking this work by Gottlieb combines elements of so many of our favorite artists: Alexander Calder, Joan Miro and Robert Motherwell, to name a few. In this way, Gottlieb has created a piece that really seems to summarize and pay tribute to not only his friends and colleagues but also the American abstract expressionist movement as a whole.

We recommend acquiring this work up to $60,000.

Robert Motherwell

Open Study No. 4

Estimate: $250,000 – 350,000

This is a stunning piece by Robert Motherwell, and an exquisite example of his work. We are also bullish on Motherwell from an investment standpoint; his time is coming soon, if it is not upon us.

We recommend acquiring this piece up to $500,000. 

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