From the Archives: Esteban Vicente Collage
In 2009, a client brought in a striking mixed media collage signed Esteban Vicente. Our client had purchased the piece directly from the artist in the 1950s and was interested in exploring the possibility of selling it.
Esteban Vicente Perez (1903-2001) was a Spanish-born American artist and one of the first generation of New York School abstract expressionists. The New York School was an informal, avant-garde group of painters, poets, dancers, and musicians. The painters drew inspiration from a variety of sources, including surrealism and action painting. Vicente was an active member of the New York School, participating in some of the first Abstract Expressionist exhibitions, including the Sidney Janis Gallery and Charles Egan Gallery, as well as the seminal shows at the Kootz Gallery in 1950 and the 9th Street Art Exhibition in 1951.
Vicente thoughtfully explored the interaction between color, form, and texture in his paintings and collages. His early collages showed a great spontaneity, with carefully layered pieces of cut-and-torn paper. The collage that our client brought in had a beautifully subtle use of color and a wonderfully textural look. The art of collage is a combination of intention and accident, an exciting open-ended process for the artist. Vicente is often credited as reinvigorating the art of collage, lending it the immediacy and energy of action painting.
This was a wonderful original contemporary work of art that we brought to auction for our client. At the end of the day, the Esteban Vicente collage brought $25,000.