Rudolf Staffel - Contemporary Studio Artworks from the Estate of Jack R. Bershad New York Wednesday, June 8, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Literature

    Paula Winokur and Robert Winokur, "The Light of Rudolf Staffel," Craft Horizons, April 1977, cover for a similar example

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rudolf Staffel began his artistic career as a painter, studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and later with Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann. Inspired by a trip to Mexico where he saw pre-Columbian ceramics, Staffel decided to begin working with clay. Though his early work was often figurative, his style changed in the late 1950s when he began to work in porcelain. Creating vessels in porcelain allowed Staffel to explore not only with the physical materials at hand but also the immaterial qualities of light. Describing his fascination with light, he said, “Even when I was a painter, I was always interested in light…Something about light coming through glass, wax, or snow. I wanted to achieve a passage of light.” The present works, which belong to his most well-known and acclaimed “Light Gatherer” series, are perfect expressions of this preoccupation. The present offering also demonstrates two different processes: lot 32 is an example of one vessel that was wheel-thrown, and lot 33 consists of two hand-built works in which he constructed his forms by layering patches of porcelain in a manner not altogether different than an Abstract Expressionist painting. Rudolf Staffel’s work belongs to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.

Contemporary Studio Artworks from the Estate of Jack R. Bershad

32

"Light Gatherer"

1980s
Unglazed porcelain with cobalt oxide, wheel-thrown and incised.
8 5/8 in. (21.9 cm) high
Underside incised Rudolf Staffel.

Estimate
$3,000 - 4,000 

Sold for $2,772

Contact Specialist

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212-940-1268

Contemporary Studio Artworks from the Estate of Jack R. Bershad

New York Auction 8 June 2022