Modern art dazzles in Cleveland

Lot 4 Julio Le Parc (Argentinian, B. 1928) Luminous column, 1963

A rare, antique light sculpture by Argentinian artist Julio Le Parc is the first lot in the Modern and Contemporary Art auction at Gray’s Auctioneers in Cleveland, OH

The experimentation with light, as well as the physical involvement and visual stimulation of the viewer, have been crucial throughout Le Parc’s career.

— Serpentine Gallery, London

CLEVELAND, OHIO, USA, February 16, 2022 / — What is Art? It is the artist’s attempt to capture light, to translate the elusive energy of form and color that our eyes perceive, into physical form. Light has obsessed humans throughout millennia, and while scientists have discovered the wave and particle nature of light, artists, like magicians, have always demonstrated the effects of light. In the mid-twentieth century, art and science came together in the work of light and space artists like Julio Le Parc (Argentinian, b.1928). Le Parc connects light to space and movement by creating elegant kinetic art structures.

None is more so than his Light column from 1963, which is Gray’s top March 9 batch Modern and Contemporary Art Auction, estimated between $80,000 and $120,000. Le Parc’s seemingly innocuous lucite honeycomb comes to life when the power is turned on, creating multicolored spheres that twirl and dance in a joyous, mesmerizing rhythm. Colonne-luminuese is no stranger to Cleveland. It has been exhibited twice at the Cleveland Museum of Art and was in the personal collection of Henry Hawley III, the CMA’s prominent curator of decorative arts from 1960 to 2002.

All art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. The spectator is the last part of the creative act. Art must be seen and Gray’s is proud to partner with the Cleveland Foundation in the auction of 26 works from the Foundation’s collection. Another highlight of the March 9 auction is Tony Smith’s (American, 1912-1980) bright orange Plexiglas model for Last, his last monumental steel sculpture he created for the Ohio State Building in downtown Cleveland. The bright orange of Smith’s sculpture stands out against the dark grays of architect Fred Toguchi’s “oddly shaped building”. The last example of Smith’s architectonic sculpture, Last was built with funds that included a grant from the Cleveland Foundation. Last captures the vibrant energy of the city, a feeling that the model successfully emulates, itself mounted on a triangular, black, shelf-like plinth.

With 50 lots of modern and contemporary art up for auction, Gray’s draws attention to the broad democracy of Cleveland’s art community. From the “Free to All” Cleveland Museum of Art to the Cleveland Foundation’s advocacy of local, national and international art, Gray’s is proud to be part of continuing Cleveland’s reputation for excellence in the industry. Excellence that is rooted in delegating the ultimate creative act to the people who watch it, or in this case, buy it. While some artists are coming to auction for the first time, others like Le Parc, Smith and the female modernist painter Dorothy Hood (American, 1919 – 2000) whose oil on canvas Untitled should take off.

Gray’s is open for an in-person preview where all lots will be on display, through March 9 by appointment; Please contact the auction house for details. The auction begins March 9 at 10:00 a.m. EST with live bidding available at Bids are also accepted by telephone and by absentee. The fully illustrated catalog is now online at

Founded in 2006 by Deborah J. Gray and Serena Harragin, Gray’s Auctioneers are Northern Ohio’s premier licensed auctioneers for fine art, antiques, decorative art, fine jewelry and antique rugs. A boutique auction house with over three decades of experience, Gray’s specialists have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the full value of their collections at auction. Gray’s auctioneers are licensed and insured. Learn more about

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