Around The London Auction Rooms Impressionism To Contemporary Spring 2017




Adam Clayton Bassist in the Rock band U2 has put a rare Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing up for auction at Christie’s. The self-portrait goes under the hammer next month, after residing for 25 years in his private collection. The pop star bought the artwork in 1990 when they were recording their album Achtung Baby in New York. “There was a group of them,” Clayton said in a statement. “There was Basquiat, there was Haring, and obviously Warhol was the granddaddy of the whole movement. The idea that these young painters without any gallery experience could make their mark on the streets of New York—could go to the hippest night clubs, could mix with musical culture, was very exciting to me. It was where I came from—I always thought music and art went hand in hand together.”

“I always thought music and art went hand in hand together.” – Adam Clayton Bassist U2

Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled (1982) Christie’s London. Estimated to sell for between £1 million—£1.5 million ($1.2 million—$1.8 million) at the Post-War and Contemporary Art evening auction on March 7, the large-scale drawing is rendered in Basquiat’s trademark visual language. Untitled (1982), Basquiat depicts the artist as a frail stick figure, with a tear in his eye. The work reflects the artist’s psyche at a time when his career was taking off and he was struggling to rationalise the dichotomy between art world fame and being a black man in 1980s America. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) will be on view as part of a global tour to Shanghai (February 8), Beijing (February 11-13), New York (February 24-26), and London (from 3 March) ahead of the auction at Christie’s King Street location in London.

Basquiat Untitled Drawing Collection Adam Clayton U2

Basquiat Untitled Drawing Collection Adam Clayton U2 Christie’s

SOTHEBY’S Impressionist and Modern Sale 1 March

Gustav Klimt, Bauerngarten, 1907 is to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s London carrying an estimate of $45m on 1 March. While Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912) belonging to the Producer/Presenter Oprah Winfrey has been sold privately for $150 million, in a deal brokered by Larry Gagosian selling to a Chinese collector.

Klimt’s landscape work isn’t as iconic as his two portraits of Adele Bloch-Bauer—the other was purchased by collector Ronald Lauder in 2015 for $135 million, making it the most expensive private art transaction of all time at that point. (Both Bloch-Bauer portraits are currently on view at Lauder’s Neue Galerie in New York, and will stay up through September 2017.) And his landscapes aren’t as well known as his work that makes use of gold leaf.

The work was first exhibited at the Kunstschau in Vienna a year after it was completed and then sold to the National Gallery in Prague two years later. The institution deaccessioned it in 1968, and then it appeared on the block in 1994, when the current consignor acquired it at Christie’s in London for $5.8 million. Sotheby’s came to the much higher figure of $45 million for its estimate based on the previous sales of Klimt landscapes, Newman said.

The London sales begin February 28 with the Impressionist and modern art evening Sale at Christie’s, which includes works such as Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare (La Maison) (1892), which is estimated to sell for $12 million to $18 million.

The Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 28 February will launch 20th-Century at Christie’s, a season of sales that take place in London from 28 February to 10 March 2017. The auction will present 51 lots from the birth of Impressionism through to some of the most important and ground-breaking movements of the 20th century, and will feature two esteemed European collections, The Personal Collection of Barbara Lambrecht and Le Corbusier: Important Works from the Heidi Weber Museum Collection, forming a focal point for the sale.

A major highlight is Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare (La Maison) (1892, estimate: £12,000,000-18,000,000), one of the most richly coloured of his Tahitian landscapes, painted on his first visit to the island. Further exceptional works include Henri Matisse’s Jeune fille aux anémones sur fond violet (1944, estimate: £5,000,000-7,000,000), part of a series of interior scenes that the artist created whilst living in Vence in the South of France, a monumental portrait of two figures by Pablo Picasso titled Joueur de flûte et femme nue (1970, estimate: £6,500,000-8,500,000), Canotage á Bougival (circa 1881, estimate: £3,700,000-4,700,000), a landscape by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, formerly in the collection of Albert C. Barnes, painted at a transitional moment in his career and Auguste Rodin’s timeless expression of passionate love Le baiser (conceived circa 1882, estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000). The Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper sale takes place on 1 March and is followed by the Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale, also on 1 March at King Street with Impressionist & Modern Art taking place at Christie’s South Kensington on 3 March. The online-only sale Picasso Ceramics will run alongside the live auctions from 24 February to 7 March 2017. Prices range from £500-18,000,000 across the season, providing opportunities for collectors at every level. Highlights will be on view in Shanghai on 8 February and Beijing from 11 to 13 February with all works to be exhibited in London from 23 to 28 February 2017.

 HIGHLIGHTS 

The spectacular Gauguin Tahitian landscape, Te Fare (La Maison) was created in 1892, the year that Paul Gauguin painted some of his greatest masterpieces. A large hibiscus tree dominates the composition, its rich emerald green leaves and just visible orange blossoms obscuring the purple-roofed house situated behind it. This wooden hut could, it has been suggested, be the artist’s own rented home in Mataiea. A quiet, enigmatic narrative seems to veil the scene, imbuing the composition with a deeper, psychological dimension, a reflection of Gauguin’s Symbolist involvement. In Te Fare (La Maison) Gauguin has increasingly simplified and monumentalised the landscape, transcending reality by turning the natural world into a mystic vision of colour, line, and form.
PICASSO: Joueur de flûte et femme nue depicts a voluptuous female nude, being softly serenaded by a bearded, flute-player seated next to her. The couple’s interlocking limbs, and the sensual, spontaneous style of the painting all serve to infuse the composition with a heady sense of eroticism, a feature that characterises much of Picasso’s late work. The unmistakable, hieratic profile of the seated nude in Joueur de flûte et femme nue is that of Jacqueline Roque, Picasso’s great love, wife, and final muse, who first appeared in his work in 1954.
RENOIR: Renoir is likely to have painted Canotage á Bougival in the spring of 1881, soon after returning from a two-month trip to Algeria, his first ever voyage outside of France. During his travels, the artist had devoted himself fully to landscape painting, revelling in the dense and luxuriant foliage of palm and banana trees. Seeking to maintain the creative energy that the Algerian vistas had inspired in him, he continued to paint landscapes that bear witness to one of the central tenets of Impressionism: the plein-air master standing outdoors. Canotage á Bougival was acquired in 1920 by one of the most important collectors of the 20th Century: Dr. Albert C. Barnes. Barnes’s collection of modern art remains among the greatest of its kind, and features many works by Renoir, whom Barnes admired above all other painters.
MATISSE: Depicting a young artist, Annelies Nelck, Jeune fille aux anémones sur fond violet is the first of three portraits by Matisse that features this model. Of these three works, the present oil is the only one to remain in private hands; the other two reside in the Musée Matisse, Nice, and the Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii. Wearing a red and orange Romanian blouse – one of Matisse’s adored collection of lavish dresses and ornate costumes that he often depicted his sitters in – Nelck is surrounded by blossoming flowers against a soft, mauve background, bringing Matisse’s lifelong preoccupations with colour and line to a triumphant conclusion.

RODIN: First conceived circa 1882, Le baiser is one of the most iconic sculptures of Rodin’s entire oeuvre, renowned for its poetic depiction of two young lovers caught in a passionate embrace. Rodin’s work dramatically portrays the intense desire that has swept through these two figures, causing their bodies to intertwine in an almost spiral formation, as they succumb to their lustful impulses. Slightly larger than life size, the original marble version was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1898.

THE PERSONAL COLLECTION OF BARBARA LAMBRECHT SOLD TO BENEFIT THE RUBENS PRIZE COLLECTION IN THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SIEGEN 

With the sale of her personal collection, Barbara Lambrecht continues her profound and longstanding philanthropic engagement. Her personal collection was carefully assembled over four decades and two distinct conceptual strands can be identified: classic early Impressionism and the daring colour of the Fauves. Two important oils by Berthe Morisot will be presented alongside Claude Monet’s Les Bords de la Seine au Petit-Gennevilliers (1874, estimate: £2,000,000-3,000,000), Deux anges by Kees van Dongen (1907-09, estimate: £400,000-600,000) and Pablo Picasso’s Portrait de Lluis Alemany (1899-1900, estimate: £300,000-500,000).

LE CORBUSIER: IMPORTANT WORKS FROM THE HEIDI WEBER MUSEUM COLLECTION

Three oil paintings from the Heidi Weber Museum Collection, including Nature morte et figure (completed in 1944, estimate: £1,500,000-2,500,000), trace Le Corbusier’s career from the 1920s to the 1940s and will be offered alongside four works on paper. From the elegant, rigidly structured Purist compositions of the late 1910s and early 1920s, to the exuberant multi-hued compositions of his later years, the astonishing diversity that characterises Le Corbusier’s oeuvre can be seen in the selection of works that feature in the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening and Works on Paper Sales.

The sixteenth edition of The Art of the Surreal sale will take place at Christie’s on 28 February, following the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale and will include 35 lots that chart the history of Dada and Surrealism. Together the two auctions launch 20th Century at Christie’s, a series of sales that take place from 28 February to 10 March 2017. Highlights include René Magritte’s La corde sensible (1960, estimate: £14,000,000-18,000,000), one of the largest oils he created, alongside his painting Le domaine d’Arnheim (1938, estimate: £6,500,000-8,500,000). A group of seven works by Max Ernst include Portrait érotique voilé (1933 and circa 1950, estimate: £1,500,000-2,500-000), offered by the artist’s family, and Les deux oiseaux (1925, estimate: £100,000-150,000) from the Personal Collection of Barbara Lambrecht, sold to benefit the Rubens Prize Collection in the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen. The works will be exhibited in London from 23 to 28 February 2017.

Christie’s announces highlights from its the Art of The Surreal sale

René Magritte’s La corde sensible, a composition unique in his oeuvre, exemplifies the artist’s lifelong quest to reveal and revel in the mystery that he perceived to exist within the real world. Magritte originally presented it as a gift to his wife, Georgette. Later owned by Ronald Winston, the son of the world-renowned jeweller, Harry Winston, the painting has remained in the same private collection since 1990. Situated under a blue sky, amidst a verdant green landscape with a mountain range in the distance, an enormous crystal glass stands incongruously in the middle of the valley. Hovering just above it is a cloud, the weightless form meeting the solid glass creating a compelling contrast between lightness and weight, transparency and opacity, atmosphere and earth.

Le domaine d’Arnheim is René Magritte’s first realisation in oil of one of his most enduring pictorial motifs, the magisterial eagle-shaped mountain. The epic scale and romantic grandeur of this painting’s mountain imagery is echoed on a window ledge in the foreground of the painting where a small, almost minimal, still-life rests in the form of a pair of bird eggs. The present work formed part of the collection assembled by the great English patron and collector of surrealist art, Edward James.
The group of seven works by Max Ernst, offered from a number of prestigious collections, includes Les deux oiseaux, one of a major series of object-paintings on the theme of imprisoned birds that Ernst made in 1925. The delicacy of the birds’ forms is presented in sharp contrast to the heavy texture of the sandpaper ground, imprisoning bars and the strong cork boundary of the artist’s picture-frame. Savage Moon (1926, estimate: £250,000-350,000) is one of a series of moonlit landscape paintings that Ernst made the following year, in 1926. Depicting a mystic moon casting its ethereal light over the surface of the sea, it is one of the very first paintings that he ever made using the new technique of grattage, a method of scraping random patterns in oil paint. Out of the apparent geometric simplicity of the forms, a matrix of abstract pattern and colour has been created. Portrait érotique voilé is offered by the artist’s family, it was first created in 1933 and later reworked by the artist into a new, more regal and grandiose version around 1950. Centred upon the depiction of an imperious bird-headed female figure sporting a revolutionary bonnet de la Liberté and seated on a crimson throne, this final version was unseen in public until the major retrospective of Ernst’s work held at the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Dusseldorf in 1991. The group also includes a very rare Dada collage from 1920 titled 2 holoëder sulfate silicate picastrate u. zwillinge nach meiner wahl mit stäbchen (Two Holohedra sulfates, silicates, picastrates and twins after my choice with chopsticks) (estimate: £250,000-350,000), Produit de France (1935, estimate: £80,000-120,000), Das Rästel im Stil von Giorgio de Chirico (1934, estimate: £30,000-50,000), and a striking ‘décalcomanie’ Untitled (1941, estimate: £200,000-300,000).

One of the first works he created upon arriving in the USA, Yves Tanguy’s La lumière, la solitude (1940, estimate: £500,000-700,000) is a comparatively large, highly worked, jewel-like painting, distinctive for the rich rainbow colours of its background. With its constellation of automatic, intuitively arrived-at, forms in the foreground, it hovers on the borderline between realist landscape and abstract fantasy. One of the best compositions the market has seen for years this painting was hidden in a private European collection for decades until now.

Magnéto anglaise (1921-22, estimate: £400,000-600,000) is one of a much-celebrated series of ironic, ‘abstract’ works that Francis Picabia made for his solo show at the Galerie Dalmau in Barcelona, in November 1922. It was first bought from the artist by the celebrated collector and Parisian fashion designer Jaques Doucet and later formed part of the English collection of E.J. Power for 20 years. Picabia’s ‘mechanomorphic’ abstractions appeared to challenge and lampoon the whole idea of modernist aesthetics, the contemporary art market and the mechanical workings of human sexual attraction and interaction. Rich in imagery and enigmatic in its meaning, Statices (1929, estimate: £1,300,000-1,800,000) is a captivating example of Picabia’s celebrated Transparency paintings, a series of works named for their depiction of multiple images, layered atop one another in an effect similar to multiple-exposure photography. Completing this group is Phimparey (circa 1941-42, estimate: £200,000-300,000), a painting that demonstrates a move towards pop art in its reproduction of a popular magazine image.

Two works are being offered by The Art Institute of Chicago. Paul Delvaux’s Le village des sirènes, created in 1942, one of the best years in Delvaux’s oeuvre, at the very height of the German occupation of Belgium, portrays an otherworldly scene, in which a group of elegantly dressed women sits along a gently curving street with mermaids swimming beyond. The silence conveyed offers a startling contrast to the chaos of the war that was raging in Europe at this time while the disconcerting and anachronistic architectural juxtapositions and disquieting atmosphere reveal a strong affinity with the art of Giorgio de Chirico. Part of the collection since 1954, Giorgio de Chirico’s Guerrieri e filosofi (circa 1928, estimate: £300,000-500,000) is one of a series of gladiatorial paintings that appeared regularly in de Chirico’s oeuvre during the late 1920s and early 1930s. De Chirico stated that many of his Gladiatori from this period were intended as a satire on the art world who had turned against him.

Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist & Modern Art, Christie’s: “The sale presents 16 of the leading Dada and Surreal artists in a carefully curated group of paintings and Surrealist objects from some of the most celebrated collections in the world. René Magritte’s magnificent oil La corde sensible, painted in 1960, is an exquisite composition that eludes meaning or logical explanation and is poised to achieve a significant record for the artist. It is arguably the most striking and important Magritte work we have offered at auction since 2002. It is also a privilege to be offering on behalf of the Art Institute of Chicago two great paintings by Paul Delvaux and Giorgio de Chirico. Together with the Max Ernsts from the collections of the artist’s family and the great German philanthropist and collector Barbara Lambrecht, the provenance of the works of art in this edition of The Art of the Surreal is unrivalled.”

Further artists representing the range of the movement include Jean (Hans) Arp, Alexander Calder, whose sculpture The bat (1966, estimate: £400,000-600,000) shows how Surrealism continued to influence artists throughout the second part of the 20th century, Salvador Dalí, who collaborated with Edward James on the striking bright red Mae West Lips Sofa (1938, estimate: £400,000-600,000), sold by the Edward James Foundation, Óscar Domínguez, André Masson, Joan Miró, Man Ray and Antoni Tàpies.

Peter Doig’s “Cobourg 3 + 1 More” to star in Christies Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction

LONDON.- Christie‘s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction will present Peter Doig’s Cobourg 3 + 1 More (1994, estimate: £8,000,000-12,000,000), which stands among the great icons of Doig’s early oeuvre. A visionary apparition rendered on a majestic scale, Cobourg 3 + 1 More conjures a distant, half-remembered reality beneath a shimmering membrane of scattered pigment. Recently awarded the Art Icon Award at London’s Whitechapel Gallery, Peter Doig placed himself in the Canadian landscape of his youth next to his brother. Acquired in 1994 by German insurance company Provinzial Rheinland Cobourg 3 + 1 More comes to auction for the first time in its history and will be exhibited at Christie’s New York from 24 to 26 February and at Christie’s King Street from 3 March as part of the 20th-Century series of sales ahead of the auction on 7 March 2017 in London. Provinzial Rheinland will use the proceeds of the sale to uphold a long-standing tradition of engagement with the arts and culture in the Rhine region whilst also continuing to acquire the works of young contemporary artists, a focus of the corporate collection from its inception.

Dr Walter Tesarczyk, Chairman Provinzial Rheinland: “It is with a heavy heart that we part with Peter Doig‘s Cobourg 3 + 1 More. However, this sale presents us with the opportunity to maintain our support for arts and culture in the Rhine region and also enables us to secure and expand our collection of 250 works by 80 international artists. Many of these works are displayed in our Düsseldorf headquarters, giving more than 2000 employees free and unfettered access to contemporary art.“

Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, EMERI: “Back in 1994 when the tendency was for cool conceptual art, Provinzial Rheinland displayed a brave collecting vision by recognising that Peter Doig was developing a new approach to painting which gave new life and energy to the medium. Standing in front of this work one is taken to a different world and through the whiteout gradually we see a memory of his childhood home landscape and begin to pick out the silhouettes of Doig himself and his brother. Up close the thick texture of snow and staccato brushmarks create a tapestry of paint, the like of which nobody had seen before.”

Cobourg 3 + 1 More was painted in London in 1994 – a pivotal year that saw the production of some of Doig’s most celebrated canvases including Ski Jacket (Tate, London) and Pond Life, both included in his Turner Prize exhibition that year, as well as Blotter (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). Marking the culmination of the artist’s meditations on the snow-filled landscapes of his Canadian youth, Doig depicts four figures – including flickering traces of him and his brother – standing on the shore of a frozen lake in Cobourg, where he grew up. As the blizzard subsumes their forms, foreground and background dissolve into a near-cinematic expanse of painterly abstraction, dramatising the slippages of reverie, daydream and memory. A centrepiece of Doig’s major touring retrospectives at Tate, London (2008) and the Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2015), the work represents a tour de force of the diverse influences that nourished his early painterly aesthetic, filtering, splicing and recombining the languages of Jackson Pollock, Gerhard Richter, Claude Monet, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Pierre Bonnard and Pieter Bruegel.

As Peter Doig has said: “We’ve all experienced the sensation of light dropping and producing strange natural effects, and I think in a way I am using these natural phenomena and amplifying them through the materiality of paint and the activity of painting … When I was making the “snow” paintings I was looking a lot at Monet, where there is this incredibly extreme, apparently exaggerated use of colour.“ The painting bears witness to Doig‘s fascination with Claude Monet’s study of winter light: spellbound visions of frozen beauty, punctuated by revolutionary prismatic effects. At the same time, Cobourg 3 + 1 More demonstrates the depth of Doig’s engagement with the legacy of abstraction. Beneath the Pollock-esque furore of action painting that covers the surface, Doig crafts an architectonic structure reminiscent of Barnett Newman’s ‘zip’ paintings: a decisive influence on the artist during his formative years. Against the three horizontal planar divisions of the canvas – a structure that runs like a golden thread throughout Doig’s practice – a forest of vertical lines springs up on the horizon, splintering the canvas into infinite shards. In counterpoint with this underlying geometry, Doig’s reverberant chromatic strata echo the quivering colour fields of Mark Rothko, unfurling and mingling across the canvas as if on a single continuum.

 


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