contemporary art and design sales this autumn will provide a feast for the senses with works by renowned artists and designers from across the world. Works of art including Marc Quinns Caryatid, estimated at £50,000 70,000, Antonio Sauras Retrato Imaginario de Felipe II estimated at £120,000-160,000 and cutting-edge items by leading designers including Alessandro Mendini and Mark Brazier-Jones will lead the Contemporary Art & Design sale in London on 11th October.
An important private collection of works on paper from the 1950s by the renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama will be among the highlights of the Contemporary Art sale in New York on 12th November 2012, as well as a magnificent work by Willem de Kooning, estimated at £190,000 320,000 ($300,000 500,000) and a striking oil painting by Pierre Soulages estimated at £320,000 440,000 ($500,000 700,000).
Both Saura and Kusama were subversive artists working against the rigidity of their countries attitude to art. While Kusama is known for breaking away from the traditional Japanese approach and the master-disciple system, Saura was working against the confines of the Spanish authorities, following the Spanish Civil War.
Sauras Retrato Imaginario de Felipe II is a stunning portrait of Spanish monarch Philip II, which shows the artist at the pinnacle of his career. Battling with the emotional turmoil of the difficult years following civil war conflict, Saura injects the emotions of the time into his painting, representing the monarch, not as a grandiose public figure, but as a man with emotions bubbling beneath the surface. His exuberant and at times aggressive painting style is often attributed to the turbulent background to his work.
Kusamas works on paper from the 1950s, which will be on view in London between Sunday 7th until Thursday 11th October at 1pm are delicate, abstracted natural forms, typical of her work during this time and unlike the bolder polka-dot designs she has been known to produce more recently. Estimated at £16,000 22,000 ($25,000 35,000) each, they show soft undulating forms, represented in materials such as pastel, gouache, ink and charcoal. Kusamas works included in New Yorks Contemporary Art sale on 12th November are all from the same private collection.
Another somewhat subversive work included in Londons sale on 11th October is Marc Quinns Caryatid, a unique sculpture showing Kate Moss doing yoga in a leotard. She is one of the artists greatest muses and he considers her to be a timeless icon for our age. In 2006 he said that "she is a contemporary version of the Sphinx and that when people look back at this time she'll be the archetypal image, just as Louise Brooks was in the 1920s. The sculpture was created in 2008 and although it was originally part of an edition of 7, this work is the only example with red painted lips.
Other highlights in the Contemporary Art & Design sale on 11thOctober in London include Vasarelys Oltar BMB, estimated at £50,000-80,000 and cutting edge design by Alessandro Mendini and Mark Brazier-Jones. One of the most striking pieces of Mendinis design is an armchair entitled Poltrona di Proust, estimated at £20,000 30,000. The piece was privately commissioned by the present owner, directly from Mendini for the stage production of Antonio Syxtys play Famiglia Horror. Mendini liked to develop an image of a surface and the shape of an object, starting from a literary point of view. After reading about and researching Prousts world he designed an armchair referencing his descriptions and the time in which he was living.
Bonhams is also offering an interesting section of Italian Post War and Contemporary Art including works by Enrico Castellani, Alighiero Boetti, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Afro amongst others.
Alan Montgomery, Senior Specialist in the Contemporary department at Bonhams commented The Contemporary Art & Design sale in London this autumn provides an eclectic and exciting selection of works. We are not only seeing stunning pieces of art by some of the greatest artists of our time, but an amazing selection of quirky and unusual items by the most forward-looking designers of our age. Kusamas works which are coming over to London for a special preview will only add to the excitement around the sale. Its a great opportunity to show collectors how contemporary art and design can not only provide a backdrop to our lives, but can truly define the way we live.