East Village artists fill St. Louis auction

Rammellzee's piece, Graffiti, mixed media with spray paint on board, 7 ¾ x 49 ¾ inches is expected to fetch upwards of $10,000 at auction. (Photo courtesy Ivey-Selkirk)

Rammellzee’s piece, Graffiti, mixed media with spray paint on board, 7 ¾ x 49 ¾ inches is expected to fetch upwards of $10,000 at auction. (Photo courtesy Ivey-Selkirk)

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. — Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers is offering a collection of approximately 120 artworks from the estate of Gregg Smith of St. Louis. This auction takes place on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Ivey-Selkirk Auctioneers, located at 7447 Forsyth in St. Louis, Mo. Secure online bidding is offered through Live Auctioneers.

Gregg Smith assembled a comprehensive collection of artwork documenting one of the most innovative and exciting periods in 20th century American art. Several of the works offered in this auction were included in the New Museum’s exhibition: East Village USA, December 2004–March 2005. Highlights include works by David Wojnarowicz, Kenny Scharf, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Fekner, Keith Haring, Futura 2000, Fab 5 Freddie, Keily Jenkins, Meyer Vaisman, Martin Wong, Greer Lankton, Ford Beckman and Kjell Erik Killi Olsen; along with many lesser-known artists. The collection includes paintings, drawings, photography, prints and sculpture.

Jerry Wilkerson, American, title "Stacked Fig Newton’s, camel Cigarettes," wood & mixed media, Ht. 17 inches. Auction estimate: $1,200‐1,600. (Photo courtesy Ivey-Selkirk)

Jerry Wilkerson, American, title “Stacked Fig Newton’s, camel Cigarettes,” wood & mixed media, Ht. 17 inches. Auction estimate: $1,200‐1,600. (Photo courtesy Ivey-Selkirk)

Smith visited New York many times each year, frequenting the galleries in the East Village. He befriended many of the artists and bought art work directly from them; many others came from Gracie Mansion, Fun Gallery, Piezo Electric and Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions. Most of the collection consists of art that was executed from 1981-1987 by artists active in the East Village, New York.

A highlight of this auction includes a small photo collage by Basquiat. Written above what appears to be fragments of a mug shot is the sentence: “You won’t be so arrogant when the police arrive.” This line later becomes a memorable quote by Jeffery Wright who portrayed the artist in Julian Schnabel’s movie, “Basquiat.” Another compelling piece is a handmade paper book illustrated with watercolor drawings titled “Her Story,” by Greer Lankton. It’s a small autobiographical work that illustrates in detail the artist’s sex change operation.

The preview for this auction runs from Feb. 4-8. A catalog is available by calling 314-726-5515 or 800-728-8002, and also can be viewed online at www.iveyselkirk.com. For more information, contact Susan Kime, senior art appraiser at Ivey Selkirk, at skime@iveyselkirk.com.

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