1978 Peter Halley Gouache on Paper

Value (2013) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
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APPRAISER:
Thank you for bringing in this wonderful breath of fresh art. What could you tell me about this Peter Halley work on paper?

GUEST:
I got it when I lived in New Orleans and he was finishing up his graduate studies at UNO. He was having his graduate show at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans and I went in to see the work, which I loved because I'm an artist and I felt there was an affinity between what I was doing and what he was doing. And so I saw this piece and I thought, "Oh, I'd love to have it," you know. And I called him and I said, "Could we trade a work of art?" And he said, "No." He said, "I'm moving back east, I'm moving to New York, I don't want to take stuff, but I'll sell it to you for $150." So I bought the piece and I took it home, and I told my husband that we had traded work, which of course later on when he saw the check he found out actually that it hadn't been a trade-- that I had paid for it-- and he wasn't real happy, but I think I've always been glad I got it.

APPRAISER:
Well, I think it's a little white lie that paid off very beautifully for you. It's a wonderful example of Peter Halley's early work. It was painted in 1978, and as you mentioned, he was getting his MFA at the University of New Orleans, and his first solo show was at the Contemporary Art Center there. He was born in New York City and is really considered an East Coast, New York abstractionist. But he did come to study to the South and spent a few years here. He's teaching now at Yale.

GUEST:
Oh, wow.

APPRAISER:
And exhibits in New York City. What's interesting about Halley's work is that he became a very important geometric abstract artist. His work is included in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Oh, yes. He was included in the Whitney Biennial.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
He went on to great success. In fact, some of his pieces, some of his oil paintings can sell for as much as half a million dollars.

GUEST:
No kidding.

APPRAISER:
Yes, absolutely. You had a very good eye early on. And so did he and does he.

GUEST:
Did you see the title?

APPRAISER:
Femme Couché.

GUEST:
I think this is a... You think that's an abstract woman?

APPRAISER:
I think it's a very abstract and a wonderful idea of a reclining figure.

GUEST:
Yeah, uh-huh, that's what I thought, too.

APPRAISER:
And "femme couché" means "reclining woman." It's a lovely example of his early work on paper. And I see that the piece is signed on the back.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And also you have the original bill of sale that he gave you from 1978. And you know, certainly keep all of that material with the piece. It's always a little difficult to place the value of an early piece when an artist has a long and successful career. For auction, I would estimate this piece between $10,000 and $15,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Yes.

GUEST:
That's amazing.

APPRAISER:
Good eye.

GUEST:
Yeah, well, thank you. That's wonderful. I love it. I look at it every day.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Colleene Fesko Works of Art
Boston, MA
Appraised value (2013)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Event
Baton Rouge, LA (July 27, 2013)
Form
Painting
Material
Gouache, Paper

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