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Press Release - November 9, 2020
Significant Works from Sol LeWitt and Carl Andre Seize Spotlight in Modern & Contemporary Art EventHeritage Auctions is offering personal collection of Carnegie Museum of Art board member Robert J. Dodds III
Robert J. Dodds III, a trusts and estates lawyer and renowned collector, was a leader in the fine art community in western Pennsylvania. Thanks in part to his personal gifts, as well as those from his family's charitable trust and from his law partners, the CMOA's collection added important works by Carl Andre, Mel Bochner, Lothar Baumgarten, Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Bruce Nauman and William Wegman, among others.
"Part of what makes Robert Dodds's collection so fascinating is that so many of his higher-value lots are installations, situational works,” Heritage Auctions Vice President of Modern & Contemporary Art Leon Benrimon said. "For me, that's an interesting idea, because these become items that are lived with, rather than hung on the wall only to sometimes be moved to new locations. These are important pieces because they can become the central focus of an entire room. They become part of your home, rather than something you add to your home.”
Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing #506Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #506 (estimate: $100,000-150,000), first executed in 1986 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London is one of the top lots from the Dodds collection. LeWitt came up with the concept of what the installation should look like, and the winning bidder purchases a signed certificate and diagram of the piece. Once the work is purchased, the artist's studio will recreate the work on the new owner's wall.
Carl Andre's Merrymount, 1992 (estimate: $100,000-150,000) resembles a cement walk path or sidewalk protruding from an illogical barrier, and seemingly has no logical ends. The viewer's mind assumes that such a symmetrical structure with parallel lines – in this case between the man-made blocks of Quincy granite – must be heading somewhere, but that is not the case with this lot, a curiosity magnified by the scale of this work. A former rail worker, Andre created a diverse array of artwork, but themes that carried throughout all of them were his use of time, space and replication.
Gilbert and George Lavatory, 1996 (estimate: $100,000-150,000) is a prime example of the photo-based works of artist duo Gilbert and George – in this case, nine images assembled in a three-by-three grid to create a larger image, nearly eight feet wide. It combines sexual and scatological images of a gay couple, and appeared at Stockholm's Magasin Konsthall in 1997, billed as their most extensive show to date with some 49 works.
Richard Long's Red Stone Circle, 1995 (estimate: $60,000-80,000) is one of a number of works for which the artist is known. He created circles in various materials including stones, leaves and soil, and at different locations that range from his back yard to the Andes Mountains and the Sahara Desert.
Mel Bochner's Triangular and Square: Numbers (or Points), 1973 (estimate: $10,000-15,000) explores shape numerically, with dots set in columns and horizontal rows to create triangles and squares in steadily increasing size. The artist is known for his use of numbers and text in art – or as the art itself – in a systemized method of expression.
"There are countless ways in which Robert Dodds's collection is so intriguing. To me, one of the most appealing aspects of his collection is the fact that he was not interested in art as an investment. Art was something he loved – he even named his dog 'Bochner' – and his passion is reflected throughout the extraordinary lots he acquired over the years.”
Other highlights of the Dodds collection include, but are not limited to:
Paul Thek Avoid Caesar and Stylistic Decisions (two works), 1979 (estimate: $12,000-15,000)
Elger Esser Gravina, 1998 (estimate: $12,000-15,000)
Barry Le Va Drawing Interruptions: Blocked Structures #6 (Combined in 2 Perspectives), 1981-82 (estimate: $8,000-12,000)
Sarah Charlesworth Levitating Woman, 1993 (estimate: $8,000-12,000)
For images and information about all lots in the auction, visit HA.com/8019.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
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Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist
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