PROPERTY OF HERMAN KRAWITZ
Boaz Vaadia (Israeli/American, b. 1951)
Solomon, c. 1985
Signed with artist monogram “VB” bluestone
H. 13 in.; W. 4 in.; D. 8 1⁄4 in.
With a wooden stand custom built by artist.
Wooden stand dimensions: H. 43 1⁄2 in.; W. 8 1⁄2 in.; D. 4 1⁄2 in.
LOT SOLD: $17,500
Made for his first exhibition of “Layered Works” held in 1986, this unique sculpture was later cast by Vaadia in an edition of seven bronzes with two artist’s proofs based on this prototype.
Purchased by Herman and Rhoda Krawitz at Boaz Vaadia’s solo exhibition, O.K. Harris Works of Art, New York, NY, 1986.
Boaz Vaadia (Israeli/American, b. 1951) incorporates material from the New York City environment, slate, shingle, bluestone and boulders, to create figural sculptures with universal features. His materials, particularly the blue stone and slate formed from layers of compressed sediment, are carved to expose each stratified layer. Relying on the weight of the stone, Vaadia’s figures connect with nature to harness powers inherent in their materials. Each sculpture evokes an existential meditation on the progress of civilization and our human relationship with the environment. Vaadia’s statement says, “Man came from the earth and in death returns to it. I see stone as the bone structure of the earth.”
While each sculpture is named, there is a humanistic “everyman” quality to Vaadia’s figural works. Biblical names are traditionally used in Israeli culture and Vaadia initially named many of his sculptures after his friends. He then began to draw his titles from the names in the Old Testament. These names in combination with the universal features and recognizable industrial materials used in the sculptures make the works approachable and familiar, further supported by their prominent installation in many major public spaces.
THE COLLECTION OF HERMAN KRAWITZ
Herman Krawitz and his wife Rhoda became acquainted with many artists working in New York throughout the 1950s and 1960s. They were early patrons of the artists Robert Indiana, Arman and Boaz Vaadia. Notably, Herman Krawitz and Robert Indiana worked together on the 1976 New York production of the opera “The Mother of Us All,” by Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson. Indiana designed the opera ephemera and Krawitz headed the musical production team and worked on the editorial committee. Indiana had already received attention for his paintings LOVE, EAT and ART. In 1976, during the production of “The Mother of Us All” he published his iconic LOVE series in an edition of 2,275. Indiana personally dedicated one of these prints to his friends, the Krawitz. Keno Auctions is pleased to offer this limited edition signed print (lot 1).
French artist, Arman begin his artistic career in the 1950s responding to Dada and surrealism. He created a series of Poubelle or “trash bin” installations which were composed of scattered waste items displayed in an acrylic case. When Arman arrived in New York, Andy Warhol and Pop Art dominated the art scene. Arman responded by creating works in a series that combined principles of Dada with the emerging Pop Art aesthetic. “Paint Tubes” (lot 3), combines the use of an ordinary object and a favorite pop-art media, silkscreen. In 1977 he created the visually arresting gouache on paper, “Hammers” (lot 4), again using an ordinary object as the primary motif and exploring its aesthetic qualities through repetition and variations in color. He inscribed this unique work to his friend Rhoda Krawitz.
In 1986 the Krawitz’ purchased two works by Israeli-American artist Boaz Vaadia at one of his first New York City exhibitions. Vaadia incorporates refuse material from the area surrounding his SoHo studio such as slate, shingles, boulders and bluestone to create figural sculptures with universal features. His materials, particularly the blue stone and slate formed from layers of compressed sediment, are carved to expose each stratified layer. Relying on the weight of the stone, Vaadia’s figures connect with nature to harness powers inherent in their materials. Each sculpture evokes an existential meditation on the progress of civilization and mankind’s relationship with the environment. Vaadia’s works are prominently installed in major private and public spaces around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. In 2004 two of Vaadia’s life-size sculptures, Asaf and Yo’ah, were prominently placed in front of the Time Warner Center’s South Tower in New York.
Keno Auctions is pleased to offer two seminal sculptures by Boaz Vaadia from the Krawitz’s collection. Among Vaadia’s earliest sculptures, Oded (lot 5) and Solomon (lot 2) each retain their original artist-made wooden stands. Recently, when Vaadia asked Herman why he purchased both of these works from the 1986 exhibition, he confided to the artist that he and his wife Rhoda each had their favorite and in order to “keep the peace” the only solution was to buy both!
Condition: Glue has become brittle between the stones in several places. Sections of the knees are no longer physically bonded to the rest of the sculpture.