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Press Release - April 11, 2019
En Plein Air Landscape Artist José Arpa y Parea Among Featured Talent in Heritage Auctions’ Texas Art AuctionSale also features composition sketch for mural celebrating city of Houston, city's namesake
Arpa's Flagstaff, Arizona, circa 1925 (estimate: $60,000-80,000) is one of his signature landscapes of the American Southwest. A strong proponent of painting en plein air – leaving the confinement of a studio in favor of immersion in the landscape being painted – Arpa excelled at playing with different aspects of light, as in this painting, in which the sun glances off higher land, with lower areas in the background shielded with shade. The painting is signed and titled lower right: "Flagstaff Ariz. / J. Arpa" and inscribed on the stretcher: "Canyon Flagstaff".
Other works in the sale by Arpa include Atascosa Bluebonnets, circa 1925 (estimate: $50,000-70,000), Grand Canyon, Arizona, circa 1925 (estimate: $40,000-60,000) and Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon, circa 1925 (estimate: $30,000-50,000).
A 1934 Mural study of Sam Houston by renowned muralist John McQuarrie (estimate: $10,000-15,000) was created during a resurrection of muralists in the mid-1930s. President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" included four major art programs – the Public Works of Art Project, the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture, the Treasury Relief Art Project and the Works Progress (later Projects) Administration's Federal Art Project – that focused extensively on mural painting. A sculptor and muralist based in San Francisco, McQuarrie painted murals in Union Pacific, Central Pacific and Southern Pacific railroad depots in California cities, including Sacramento, San Jose, Palo Alto and Salinas; Mesa, Arizona, and throughout the Southwest. In 1934, he was commissioned by Southern Pacific to paint a 17-by-16-foot mural for Houston's now-demolished Grand Central Depot. All that remains of the monument to the city of Houston and its namesake, Sam Houston, is this compositional sketch, which shows construction in the fledgling city in the foreground, in front of clouds that form the shapes of skyscrapers, railroads and shipyards.
Velox Benjamin Ward's Proud Stetson Owner (estimate: $5,000-7,000) was received by the consignor directly from Ward, a self-taught painter who didn't even begin painting until he was 59 years old, and even then only did so at the request of his family. Like many great artists, Ward relied heavily on early memories when painting; in his case, that meant recollections of growing up in rural East Texas during the early part of the 20th century. But unlike many other artists, he refused to fall back on romanticized versions of his memories, striving instead to fill his paintings with realistic images.
Other top lots in the auction will include, but are not limited to:
· Velox Benjamin Ward Log Cabin, 1960 (estimate: $3,000-5,000)
· Velox Benjamin Ward Too Late, 1961 (estimate: $3,000-5,000)
For images and more information about the lots in Heritage Auctions' Texas Art Auction, visit ha.com/5405.
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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