Several pieces by American-born sculptor and print-maker Elizabeth Cartlett (1915-2012), who is known for her politically charged artworks, are to auction in New York on February 14 - a green marble bust sculpture entitled Sister among them.
Sister was acquired directly from the artist in 1972, after it featured in Cartlett's exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem the same year. Estimated to be worth between $75,000 and $100,000, Sister is an expressionist sculpture, featuring the bust of a woman, wrought from green marble, looking askance.
Cartlett's prints are also to star at the African-American Fine Art sale, with Sharecropper (1952) estimated at $25,000, and a rare complete set of 14 lino cuts known collectively as I Am the Black Woman (1989) expected to bring $70,000 to $100,000.
Works by Cartlett have previously put in strong performances at auction, with the terra cotta sculpture Head of a Young Woman bringing $40,000 in October 2006. The record price for a work by the artist currently stands at $288,000 and is held by the 1968 sculpture Homage to My Young Black Sisters, which sold in October 2008.
During her lifetime, Cartlett made an important contribution to the African American fine art scene, as well as the art world at large. Cartlett died on April 2, 2012 - a sad fact that may positively influence the prices her works achieve at auction.
February is primed to be an exciting month for those with their gaze fixed on the art world, as Christie's stage its first online only auction in conjunction with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
For more information on the investment potential of the art market, see the Paul Fraser Collectibles free guide to investing in art and photography.
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