A Private Collection of Contemporary American Art

Over the last several years, we’ve sold nearly a score of paintings by Greensboro-born, Durham-based artist, John Beerman (b. 1958), whose lustrous landscapes are commanding ever-broader admiration and esteem in the national market. Four Beermans are part of the Private Collection of Contemporary American Art included in the upcoming Important Spring Auction on March 3.

“These are of note,” says Lauren Sanford, Leland Little’s Director of Prints and Multiples, “because three of the Beermans are monotypes. That means he used a printmaking method, but unlike most prints there's no edition; Beerman only created one of each. This of course adds to the excitement regarding these lots because they're unique examples of his work. They also happen to be some of the prettiest Beermans I've ever seen.” Sanford points particularly to Lot 111 (Untitled, 1993): “It’s unusual for him to do waterscapes,” Sanford says, and this one is especially vibrant. “Looking at it is just pure happiness.”

We’re proud to hold the auction sale record for a Beerman painting, as well as for two other artists in this Private Collection: Herb Jackson (b. 1945) and Raymond Chorneau (b. 1952), both North Carolinians. Indeed, twenty of the twenty-eight pieces in the collection are by North Carolinians, extending our long and fruitful association with our state’s very best artists. For both consignors and buyers, Sanford notes, “We’re a great place for North Carolina art.”

Outside our state, the sale includes a screenprint by the great Josef Albers (1888-1976), SP V from SP (1967), and Sanford calls attention to a large and arresting painting by one of Albers’s protégés, the once obscure but posthumously resurgent painter Gil Cuatrecasas (1935-2004), which is part of the Private Collection of Contemporary American Art. Associated with the Washington Color Field cohort of the 1960s, Cuatrecasas retreated from the art world and worked mostly unexhibited and unknown for the rest of his life. After his death from cancer, the artist’s brother discovered about four hundred canvases in a Washington, D.C. storage building. Until this month, no Cuatrecasas work has ever appeared at auction. The moment is thus an exciting second debut of sorts for the painter, whose work was recently shown at the 2018 LA Art Show and will be the subject of a major retrospective at American University Museum in 2020. The Cuatrecasas in our sale is a distinct example of the artist’s work: a vivid, large-scale canvas with paint applied not by brushstroke, which he generally eschewed, but by the brushless folding technique known as tachisme employed by Helen Frankenthaler and other Color Field painters.

Explore these stunning works of art, and discover more, in our Important Spring Auction.