From Wayne Thiebaud prints to exquisite European watercolors, and whimsical illustrations, The Patricia & John Roche Collection is a beautifully curated sale that was dutifully collected over decades. “It’s an honor for Freeman’s to present this collection, which reflects the elegant and expert taste of Patricia and John Roche,” Modern & Contemporary Art Specialist Dunham Townend said.
Townend shares a few special selections from the Sept. 18 auction, on view next week. What will catch your eye?
WAYNE THIEBAUD (American, b. 1920)
Pencil signed and dated '1965/1985,' annotated 'a/ Proof' and titled in the lower margin, with full margins. Watercolor over etching on Rives (the presumed edition without hand-work was 25). Although Thiebaud also explored portraiture, landscapes and still lives with great success, his images of sweet treats are usually the most celebrated and sought-after. The present work, executed in the mid-1960’s is a simply etched and brightly colored subject evoking memories of the old-fashioned general or penny candy stores, purveyors of American childhood treats since the early 19th Century.
JOHN MOORE (American, b. 1941)
Signed and dated 04 bottom left, oil on canvas.
John Moore is a careful constructor of thoughtfully built worlds. His meticulously composed paintings display a rigorous formalism, rife with geometric variation, complex perspective, subtle color combinations, and richly textured surfaces. Whether painting city scenes, interiors or post-industrial landscapes, Moore combines views that he has observed with scenes remembered or imagined. The resulting works are much more than realistic representations of the world around us, but rather present complex and often enigmatic narratives that engage and challenge the very idea of how and what we see.
JOHN LA FARGE (American, 1835-1910)
"HOLLYHOCKS: ALTERNATIVE STUDY FOR GLASS FOR HOUSE OF JOHN PIERPONT MORGAN, NEW YORK"
Inscribed 'No. 4/prepared for/J.P. Morgan' in upper, left and bottom margins respectively, watercolor over traces of pencil on paper.
Executed circa 1881.
In 1881, financier John Pierpont Morgan commissioned John La Farge to create a stainedglass window design for his house on Madison Avenue in New York. Based off of a painting the artist executed in 1863, the window would feature several stems of hollyhock staged in a single plane, similar to the style of Japanese woodblock prints, which La Farge himself collected. This watercolor is a variation study La Farge completed for Morgan's window.
MAURICE SENDAK (American, 1928-2012)
One of three ink drawings.
Signed bottom center, titled in Arabic upper center and inscribed in Arabic verso, ink on paper.
Another renowned and greatly cherished illustrator represented in the Roche Collection is Maurice Sendak. Though best remembered for his award-winning children's book Where the Wild Things Are, his artistic and literary output was prolific, and throughout his career, he produced over fifty books. Within the Roche collection are examples of drawings related to such beloved classics as Little Bear, Really Rosie, Nutshell Library, Some Swell Pup, Hector Protector and As I Went Over The Water, and Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present.
ALBERT GOODWIN, R.W.S. (British, 1845-1932)
"THE WAY TO CHIOGGIA, VENICE"
Signed and dated 1912 bottom right, titled bottom left, watercolor and gouache on heavy paper.
Born in Maidstone, Kent, Albert Goodwin was a landscape painter whose abundant output of paintings in watercolor and oil spans from the age of the Pre-Raphaelites to the 1930s. His artistic ability was recognized early on and, at the age of 15, he exhibited at the Royal Academy. In 1869, Goodwin moved to London where he was introduced to the critic John Ruskin, who shortly after made him his protégé. A few years later, Ruskin took Goodwin on a three month tour through Switzerland and Italy to produce sketches, which he would later turn into watercolors of buildings that were threatened by restoration. Like Ruskin, Goodwin's style was characterized by his objective realism, but he was more eclectic in his interpretation of landscape than his mentor.