Claire Falkenstein

At the Fresno Art Museum

The present sculpture was acquired from the Fresno Art Museum during an exhibition of the artist's work in 1997. The exhibition—Claire Falkenstein: Looking Within, A Point of Departure: Collected Works 1927 to 1997—was held to commemorate Falkenstein's receipt of the Distinguished Woman Artist Award which was presented by the museum to outstanding female artists based in the Fresno region and beyond. Sadly, it marked the last exhibition of the artist's work while she was living, Falkenstein died a month after it closed at the age of 89. 

Announcement for Claire Falkenstein Looking Within, A Point Of Departure: Collected Works 1927 to 1997 at the Fresno Art Museum

Lot includes a copy of the exhibition catalog, announcement and a lattice ladies pin designed by the artist and purchased from the museum gift shop. 

Claire Falkenstein 1908–1997

As an artist of singular innovation and energy, Claire Falkenstein explored a range of mediums but became known for her expansive wire structures that often included found glass and wood. Born in 1908 in Coos Bay, Oregon, Falkenstein grew up in Berkeley, California and attended the University of California in 1930, studying sculpture, philosophy and anthropology. She continued her studies in sculpture at Mills College in Oakland and while there, studied under the avant-garde artist Alexander Archipenko.

Falkenstein's first major body of work emerged in the early 1940s, with her Set Structures, which her made of wooden elements that could be disassembled. In 1947, she began teaching at the California School of Fine Arts and in 1950 she re-located to Paris; this move would prove pivotal to Falkenstein's work, as she encountered influential artists of the European avant-garde, as well as Peggy Guggenheim, who would become a major supporter of Falkenstein's work. During this time, jewelry became a main focus for Falkenstein; Working out of a tiny studio and with not much money, Falkenstein created works inspired by the free-form abstraction popular among Paris’ vanguard with castoff and nontraditional materials. A significant breakthrough for Falkenstein came in 1961, when Guggenheim commissioned her to design the gates at the Palazzo Venier de Leoni in Venice—a work regarded as one of the finest of her prodigious career and one that illustrates Falkenstein’s inimitable ability to create forms that exist beyond the physical space they inhabit.

Falkenstein eventually returned to the United States in 1963, settling in Venice, California, where she lived until her death in 1997. She created enduring large-scale public works during this time, most notably, the doors, gates and windows at the St. Basil Catholic Church in Los Angeles. At the later end of her life, she had turned her focus to painting. Her works are held in such prestigious collections as the Pompidou Centre, Paris, the Tate, London and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Auction Results Claire Falkenstein

CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Untitled (Point as Set) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Untitled (Point as Set)

estimate: $30,000–50,000
result: $77,500
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Vibration | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Vibration

estimate: $50,000–70,000
result: $56,250
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Point As a Set | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Point As a Set

estimate: $30,000–40,000
result: $54,000
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled

estimate: $40,000–50,000
result: $45,600
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $32,500
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Large Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Large Fusion)

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $31,860
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Large Sphere) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Large Sphere)

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $30,000
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $27,140
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $26,250
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $24,000
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Sun Structure | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Sun Structure

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $22,500
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion Screen) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion Screen)

estimate: $20,000–30,000
result: $21,600
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $12,000–15,000
result: $18,750
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Rotation | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Rotation

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $18,000
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Vibration | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Vibration

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $18,000
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $2,000–3,000
result: $16,800
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $16,800
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $16,800
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $7,000–9,000
result: $16,250
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $15,600
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $13,200
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Untitled (from the Fire Series) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Untitled (from the Fire Series)

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $12,500
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $15,000–20,000
result: $12,000
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN, Untitled (Fusion) | wright20.com

Claire Falkenstein

Untitled (Fusion)

estimate: $3,000–5,000
result: $10,795