1964 Manoucher Yektai Oil Painting

Value (2015) | $45,000 Retail$50,000 Retail
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APPRAISER:
You brought a fascinating painting into the Roadshow today. And I believe it's by Manoucher Yektai. What do you know about the artist?

GUEST:
I don't know much about the artist at all. It was just a painting that was hanging in my grandmother's living room. My grandmother passed away in 1998.

APPRAISER:
Right.

GUEST:
So the house was left to me and my sister. I just took it off the wall to paint the walls and stuff, and I happened to notice that the price tag was still on the back of the painting. And it was from 1964, and it cost $2,500 back then, so that was pretty pricy in 1964. So I kind of... me being a bachelor, you know, I kind of stored it away, because I didn't want it to get damaged or destroyed or anything, you know, watching a football game or anything like that.

APPRAISER:
Ah, well, I think that was a good plan. And was your grandmother a collector, did she collect other things, or...?

GUEST:
I don't know if you could say she was a collector. She has a lot of paintings, big paintings.

APPRAISER:
Mm-hmm, mh-hmm. There's a couple more that are, like, bigger than this that I couldn't fit in my car. APPRASIER: Oh, wow.

GUEST:
This is one I could fit in my mom's car, because I couldn't fit it in my car.

APPRAISER:
I was very excited to see this when you brought it today.

GUEST:
Oh, thank you.

APPRAISER:
And the artist is fairly rare. He was Iranian, and he was born in 1922—

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
--And is still alive.

GUEST:
Yeah, I read that, yeah.

APPRAISER:
He, of course, began his study in Iran at the University of Tehran, and then he spent some time in Paris. And he's greatly influenced there by Matisse and Cézanne. And so colors like you see in this painting, I think, are very much reminiscent of what he was learning in France. And then by 1947 he comes to New York and begins his study at the Art Students League, where a lot of young artists were studying. And early on he was recognized for his skill in painting. He was already beginning to show at Grace Borgenicht Gallery, which was a prominent gallery in New York at the time. And he was showing along with Joan Mitchell and Milton Avery, and by the '50s he's… showing with de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
So he was really among good company. The critics of the time considered him one of... or at least associated with the New York School, which included Pollack and de Kooning and others, and that he was one of the abstract expressionists. He, however, felt that he was not totally abstract expressionist, that he was interested in both abstraction and realism. And so he would incorporate realistic elements in many of his paintings. So, for example, in the early '50s, a lot of them have still life components. Sometimes they're figurative. And in our case, we have a landscape.

GUEST:
Landscape.

APPRAISER:
So that is the combination of the realism and the abstraction. In terms of the painting itself, he, of course, was very interested in texture. And you can see the wonderful impasto that we have on this painting. It's absolutely incredible. When you have heavy impasto, often that can be somewhat dangerous, because it can lend itself for the paint chipping. So that's not unusual for a painting of this age. And as you mentioned, it was done in 1964. So it's been around a long time. It's in its original condition. It's not lined or anything, so it's really in basic good shape. Now, have you ever had it valued, or do you have an idea of what you think the value is?

GUEST:
I have no idea.

APPRAISER:
If this painting today were being sold in a gallery, and if it were cleaned, because it's very dirty, and repaired in terms of the paint losses, I think that the gallery would sell it in the neighborhood of $65,000.

GUEST:
Wh-what?

APPRAISER:
$65,000.

GUEST:
Oh, you... wow.

APPRAISER:
Very exciting.

GUEST:
So can I... can the gallery clean it up?

APPRAISER:
Yeah, a gallery normally would help, you know, take care of that. And if this were sold as is, so in other words, a collector wants to buy it ready to hang, but if it were sold as is with none of these restorations taking place,it probably would be more in the $45,000 to $50,000 range.

GUEST:
Oh, wow... Oh, wow. So, yeah. Something told me to put it up, yeah, put it away, and...

APPRAISER:
You did the right thing.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
You did the right thing.

GUEST:
Oh, man.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Debra Force Fine Art, Inc.
Debra Force Fine Art, Inc.
New York, NY
Appraised value (2015)
$45,000 Retail$50,000 Retail
Event
Cleveland, OH (July 11, 2015)
Material
Oil

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