On Saturday, Jan. 21, Clark’s Fine Art of Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles), Calif., will conduct its first auction of 2012 – a 270-lot auction of premier modern and contemporary artworks from three significant collections, plus additional select consignments. Two of the featured collections are from the estates of Hollywood luminaries who played key roles in the production of TV and film classics known the world over. The third collection consists of contemporary works of art donated by supporters to the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center, a Los Angeles nonprofit that will benefit from its portion of the auction proceeds.
One of the sale’s key collections was amassed by Harold Berkowitz, a prominent entertainment lawyer whose A-list clients included Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Jack Lemmon and even the canine superstar Rin Tin Tin. Maintaining offices in Beverly Hills and Paris to accommodate his international clientele, Berkowitz had a hand in the deals behind the Pink Panther movie series and 1975 horror-thriller Jaws, as well as many of television’s most enduring shows, including Lassie, Flipper, The Donna Reed Show and All in the Family.
“Mr. Berkowitz, who passed away in 2010, lived in Malibu and collected contemporary and modern art that suited the décor of his home. His refined taste is reflected in the artworks he personally chose for his collection,” said Clark Cierlak, owner of Clark’s Fine Art.
The second major art collection in the sale comes from the estate of Hollywood director Jerrold “Jerry” Bernstein (1930-1979), whose TV credits included The Flying Nun, Gidget, Nanny and the Professor, I Dream of Jeannie, and scores of other popular shows.
“Like Mr. Berkowitz, Jerry Bernstein favored contemporary and modern art. He also liked and, to a lesser extent, collected African art. His art collection has remained in the family for the past 32 years. We are honored to be presenting it at auction,” said Cierlak.
The contemporary art collection consigned by the Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center blends perfectly into the trifecta of auction headliners. It is comprised of quality contemporary artworks that were gifts from generous supporters.
“The Silverlake center has been a respected institution within the Los Angeles Jewish community for more than 60 years and provides early childhood education and social programs for people of all backgrounds who have an interest in Jewish culture,” said Cierlak. “Over the years some very nice artworks have been donated to the center. There are paintings with previous appraisal values of $30,000 to $40,000 that we will auction with estimates of $4,000 to $5,000 each.”
One of the sale’s top highlights is a 1988 Monique Frydman (American, b. 1943-) pigment, color pastel and oil painting on canvas titled Jaune Majeur III. The 86 x 76 inch work is artist-signed and dated on verso, and comes with provenance from Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris. It is estimated at $12,000-$18,000.
Another fine American work is Alex Brown’s (b. 1966-) oil on canvas titled Presence Chamber. The 68 x 60 inch painting – titled, signed and dated “1998” on verso – renders a three-dimensional op art effect. With an appraised value of $37,000, it is cataloged with a $6,000-$9,000 estimate.
A wonderful cast-bronze sculpture titled Colloquio was created in 1962 by Italian sculptor Alfio Castelli (b. 1917-). The signed 60 x 40 x 48 inch depiction of two angular figures in a perpendicular arrangement was previously in the collection of the late David E. Bright and is estimated at $20,000-$40,000. Cierlak noted that David Bright was “a renowned collector who bequeathed 23 paintings to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where a wing was named after him. There are also 11 works from his estate at the Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA.”
Standing Nude Woman, a 70-inch-tall welded metal sculpture by Californian Gene Logan (1922-1999), comes with provenance from the Ankrum Gallery, which opened in 1960 and for decades was a favorite haunt for art collectors in LA. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000.
Alida Margolis (American, b. 1975) created the oval oil on canvas titled We Love You All. Signed and dated on verso, the 64½ x 106 inch painting has an appraised value of $20,000. It will be offered at Clark’s on Jan. 21 with an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.
Norwegian artist Haavard Homstvedt’s (b. 1976-) acrylic-on-linen wrapped over panel work titled Nudes (Double Step) measures 64 x 48 inches and was previously appraised at $35,000. Some sharp-eyed collector could take away a bargain if it sells within its estimate range of $4,000-$6,000.
Two signed multicolor acrylic columns by Yugoslavian artist Velizar Vasa (b. 1933-) will be offered individually in consecutive lots. Each incorporates a spectrum of colors – blue, green, yellow and purple – and measures 101 inches tall, inclusive of stand. The presale estimate on each column is $4,000-$6,000.
Clark’s Fine Art welcomes all forms of bidding for its Jan. 21 auction, including live at the gallery, absentee, by phone, or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. The gallery is located at 14931 Califa St., Space A, Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles), CA 91411. The auction will begin at noon Pacific Time. Preview 10 am. to 5 pm. Monday, Jan. 16 through Friday, Jan. 20, and from 10 am. till noon on auction day.
For additional information on any lot in the sale, call or email. View the fully illustrated catalog online or visit Clark’s website.