Lot 44: Paul Plante

Barridoff Galleries

October 28, 2016
Portland, ME, US

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Description: Paul Plante Am. 1943-2016 Lent 1987 Signed "Paul A. Plante" b.r; titled and dated as above l.l. 15 oil pastels (6 x 6 in. each), single frame 6 x 6 in. 15.2 x 15.2 cm
Artist or Maker: Paul Plante
Condition Report: Good condition, good appearance, no apparent restoration
Literature: 15 oil pastels (6 x 6 in. each), single frame
Provenance: Provenance: The Estate Collection of Father Paul Plante to be sold for the benefit of the Portland, Maine Diocese. Extensive information about the collector and the collection is available in the virtual catalogue on the home page www.barridoff.com.
Notes: 44??89, 197???200, and 222???250 The collection of Father Paul Plante to benefit the Portland Diocese Father Paul Plante was unique. His collection of works of art was extensive. His interest was in both the exquisite quality of the work he collected and in supporting those artists whose work inspired him. Some are universally known, others to one degree or another, locally. It has been written and said that Plante led two careers; but, they are intellectually, joyously inseparable. Plante himself was a highly regarded artist and his life and work related in significant ways to the artists and work he collected. He found animals, especially birds, a consistently fascinating and exquisite subject - not surprisingly also true of one of the most widely known artists whose work he collected: Hunt Slonem, who is currently represented by Marlborough Gallery in New York. That Slonem's whimsical birds and other animals?are touched?with elements of Abstract Expressionism is clearly demonstrated in this sale as it is in work by Plante found in storage dating from the early 1960?s.?Slonem?s?loft with?seventy-five odd pet birds is widely known and?celebrated,?at once seriously and humorously.?He attended?the?Skowhegan?School?of?Painting and Sculpture here in Maine. Plante's extensive collection of pottery by Brother Thomas Bezanson, famously known as Brother Thomas, represented by twelve lots in this sale, were both purchases and gifts from one artist of faith to another. The Brother Thomas Fund was established under the auspices of the Boston Foundation upon the artist's death. Since 2007, proceeds from the sale of his work have gone into this Fund and in October 2009, the first eight Brother Thomas Fellowships were awarded to struggling, mid-career Boston artists in the amount of $?15,000 each. When Father Paul Plante asked Barridoff Galleries to sell his collection of 20th and 21st Century American artists a few weeks before his death after an extended battle with cancer in June of this year, we were deeply moved and singularly ?honored. With his blessing and that of the Roman Catholic Church of ?Portland, we hope we have honored his trust. Two from the Maine Arts Journal, May 18, 2016 Reprinted by permission by Paul Plante Two from the Maine Arts Journal, May 18, 2016 Reprinted by permission by Paul Plante I?d like to think that when we are touched, affected by a work of art, it is because the mystery, the spirit of the artist, has come through in his or her art. Don't we always wonder what it is in a work of art that is so wonderful, so moving? My response is that the art has put us in touch with an aspect of the mystery of a specific human being. And since we are all unique -- and in my spirituality, all created in the image of God -- since God is infinite, there are infinite aspects of the mystery of God in each one of us. The artist is able to allow this mystery to be shared in a work of art. It's no wonder that we can't really tell what it is that makes the difference between true art and some kind of matter-of-fact expression of skill. This brings me to reflect on the fact that many people have referred to my art as spiritual. People know that I am a priest and attempt to be the best possible person and Catholic. But my work has very rarely been an expression of my religion, such as icons might be. People sense the spirituality in plums and birds and tropical fish. I imagine many artists have depicted such subjects without the spiritual dimension. I have to humbly admit that I have never purposely tried to spiritualize my work. It is what it is. However, if someone sees a spiritual dimension to my work, I rejoice, because I believe firmly that one's encounter with a work of art is also an encounter with the soul of the artist. Since integrity is the goal of my spiritual life, I rejoice that the ?spirit? that enlightens me has a place in my artwork. Just as I want my personal and private life to match my public behavior, I also want to be the same spiritual person as a priest as well as an artist. A time of prayer precedes most of my activities. When I write a homily, I have previously read the Scripture, prayed and reflected and then, hopefully guided by the Holy Spirit, written a homily that reflects who I am, as well as the influence I want to have on those who will hear it. I am careful, however, not to claim that all that I do is the doing of the Spirit. The Spirit is way beyond my art production. My human limitations actually keep the Spirit from being totally transparent. I realize, as my life comes to an end, that I could have been more open to the Spirit and thus have been a better person, a better priest, and a better artist. May the Spirit forgive me and accept my humble apology. In a very real and honest sense, all I can do is thank those who have seen my work and affirmed me by detecting my spiritual side. I hope this is who I've been for many people. aul Plante and the Soul of Art in Maine by Edgar Allen Beem Maine Arts Journal, Muses, Summer 2016? ?Father Paul Plante, a Sanford native, was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1971. In 1987, he earned his BFA in painting at Portland School of Art and he was a fixture on the Maine art scene from then until he passed away on July 1 of this year. With his passing, now is the time to reflect upon Father Paul's contribution to Maine art. Fifteen and twenty years ago, I saw Father Paul's elegant little pastel close-ups of birds' eyes, fish eyes, plums and apples in exhibitions at the Farnsworth Art Museum and Colby College Museum of Art. I visited him when he was the pastor of Saint John the Baptist Church in Winslow in 2001, at which time he was methodically and meditatively producing close to 1,000 small oil pastels paintings a year.? That very day, I purchased a little painting of a redwinged blackbird eye, the depths of which still amaze me. The tiny white spot that is the focal point provides an entrance into the mysterious soul of this otherwise most common of avian beings. A great many people on the Maine art scene own one of Father Paul's pastels. They are beautiful, plentiful and affordable. Cynthia Hyde and Jim Kinnealey, who show Plante at their Caldbeck Gallery in Rockland, own a Plante painting of a Florida anhinga eye.? "A dedicated artist and an avid collector," the couple wrote shortly before Father Paul's death, "our dear friend, Father Paul Plante, has a keen and loving eye that finds the holiness of spirit in nature."? Former Farnsworth director Chris Crosman has a Plante bluebird hanging in the entry of his Thomaston home. Chris writes that his Plante bluebird "eyes us daily in our comings and goings?and makes me smile.?I believe that was the core message of his art - to make people smile - and as many of us as possible by selling these at the ridiculously low price of $?100 each.?He was the spiritual heir to?medieval manuscript illuminators,?albeit telling?a simple?story about seeing and looking more closely at life - and all?lives more alike than different. In his essay, Father Paul states that "my work has very rarely been an expression of my religion," but I would argue it has always been an expression of his spirituality. Religion is an organized body of beliefs, but spirituality is that primal sense that we are all connected to something much larger than our selves. There is a mindfulness about the way Paul Plante has paid such careful and sustained attention to color, form and pattern, taking in nature through the eye and translating it into culture with the hand. His art is a form of transubstantiation. It is the essence of creation. It is the work of the soul.
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$500,000+: 19.0%
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$50,000+ $5,000
Contract Information: Barridoff Galleries acts as an agent for its consignors and the contract for sale is between the consignor and the buyer. Barridoff Galleries may reject any bid for any reason. Items may be subject to a reserve, and Barridoff Galleries may reject any bid below the reserve. The auctioneer may bid on behalf of the consignor or of Barridoff Galleries. Barridoff Galleries reserves the right to withdraw any property at any time before its actual sale. The buyer will be the highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer. Barridoff Galleries has the authority to decide any disputes over the auction process in its sole discretion, and its decision shall be final and binding. As a convenience to clients who cannot aend a sale in person, Absentee/Telephone bid forms are found at the back of this catalog. Barridoff Galleries is not responsible for errors and omissions in connection with telephone, Internet, or other absentee bidding.
Payment: We accept cash, personal check, money order and bank transfer. We do not accept credit cards or paypal.
Shipping Information: Barridoff does not handle the shipment of any items. All shipping requests are handled through a local shipping agent whose contact information will be provided to all winning bidders. Goods will not be shipped until payment has cleared.
Buyer's Premium: Barridoff Galleries charges the buyer a premium to be added to the hammer price on each item purchased. This premium is equal to 25% of the hammer price up to and including $500,000.00, plus 20% of the hammer price over $500,000.00.
Taxes on your purchase: All purchases are subject to Maine sales tax unless the buyer possesses a sales tax exemption number either from or acceptable to Maine Revenue Services and presents to Barridoff Galleries at or before the auction a valid signed certificate from the Services stating that Barridoff Galleries does not have to withhold Maine sales tax on the purchase. Maine sales tax is applicable to the full purchase price as determined by the hammer price plus premium.
Condition Statement: Statements in the catalog and any other information provided by Barridoff Galleries and any of its employees are opinions; Barridoff Galleries and the consignors are not responsible for errors and omissions therein. Barridoff Galleries makes no representation or warranty with respect to and is not responsible for the description, quality, condition, or authenticity of any items sold, and makes no warranty as to merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All items are sold "AS IS." Prospective bidders should inspect the property before bidding to determine its condition, size, and whether or not is has been repaired or restored. No representation or warranty is made as to copyright of any property or whether the buyer acquires any reproduction rights of the property.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Please note that whenever possible, the specific medium of all photographic images in this sale is listed in the various catalogue entries. Whether they are listed as "photographs", or more specifically as "gelatin silver prints", 'photogravures", etc..., the medium is the original.
When mounted, the catalogue entry includes that information. However, lots 76 and 77 are catalogued as mounted but are not. They are listed correctly with all the condition reports. If a lot was mounted, it was most likely always mounted and was intended to be mounted.

A statement of condition as found here on Artfact.com for any lot that includes only the four words "Good condition, good appearance" and no further explanation of a lot's condition, indicates a preliminary examination only by the staff of Barridoff Galleries. In such a case in particular, although also highly recommended for any lot, the prospective bidder should ask for a more extensive examination, examine the painting him or herself, or have a professional restorer do so on his or her behalf.

All oils in the sale must be assumed to have some craquelure. Craquelure will be mentioned if it seems, in our opinion, to be extensive, separated, or obtrusive, especially for its date. Loss of intensity or color in watercolors will be mentioned only if it seems, in our opinion, to be significant or obtrusive. Almost every watercolor has some loss of intensity from aging and direct or indirect light over time. We qualify those pictures we feel to be in mint condition with the term "mint or nearly mint", "pristine or nearly pristine", "little or no restoration", "little or no restoration, probably none", or the like, in order to avoid problems arising from differences of opinion and interpretation. We use "restoration" to mean inpaint or overpaint, and treat lining and thinness (or overcleaning/loss of paint surface) as issues separate from restoration. "Very minor scattered restoration" means it seems to us almost not worth mentioning; "minor scattered restoration" means a bit more. "Scattered restoration" alone may mean anything from several scattered spots to many scattered spots, but none of these is usually or particularly meaningful or bothersome. Unless very serious, we usually don't include thinness of surface paint in most condition reports because, again, it is often a matter of opinion and taste. The problem would have to be very obvious to the naked eye to be included. We do not mention minor ghosts of a crease or line on the surface caused by a stretcher unless it is in some way atypical or impacts significantly on the surface. If an image is painted directly on Masonite, board, canvasboard or the like, it is not considered lined and therefore nothing about its being lined is mentioned in condition reports. Barridoff Galleries tries to distinguish between works painted directly on such supports and those canvases that are laid down on such supports, but does not guarantee the type of support or lining. Although we will answer as best we can any questions in regard to the surface, if the buyer has questions about it, he or she is cautioned to examine the work under consideration in person or have an expert look at it for him/her. If a condition report includes no mention of lining, the subject artwork is probably not lined or is painted directly on a hard surface such as a panel. No one representing Barridoff Galleries is a qualified expert in regard to condition or restoration. While we do our best to provide an accurate description of condition no matter the medium, our description is in no way to be understood as a guarantee. Again, bidders are herein advised to examine any item in the sale prior to bidding in person and/or to have a qualified restorer of his/her own choosing do so for them. The Conditions of Sale found on the inside front cover and on page 4 of the catalogue also preclude any statements made in any other fashion and in any regard. Condition reports are in no way to be considered a guarantee of any kind. Our expertise in regard to condition is limited. This is particularly true of works on paper (including photographs), sculpture, and, most particularly of all, Old Masters. Those very few, if any, paintings whose condition reports may be more extensive and technical, are done by or with the help of a professional restorer. However, this disclaimer applies to all condition reports.
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