NEW YORK, NY.- Christies
announced highlights of its Fall 2012 Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper and Day sales on November 8, following its major Evening Sale on November 7. The two sales encompass a rich variety of works from exceptional private collections, including master works by Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Klee, and Barbara Hepworth, among others. In total, Christies will offer over 300 works between the two sales, with a combined total that is expected to realize in excess of $36 millon.
David Kleiweg de Zwaan, Impressionist and Modern Specialist and Head of the Works on Paper Sale, noted, In terms of both volume and value, this sale is larger than we have seen for several seasons, and is indicative of the enduring strength of this market. We are also pleased to include many works that hail from several important estates and private collections that highlight the sale, including the Pincus Collection, the Schulhof Collection, the Collection of Mildred S. and Herbert C. Lee, and the Collection of Charles and Nomie de Limur.
Stefany Sekara Morris, Impressionist and Modern Art Specialist and Head of the Day Sale, commented: While the sale this season is strong in Modern Art, it also features remarkable paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir that have not been seen on the market for more than half a century. There are also major examples of British Modernism, a category in which Christies has recently set several records, represented here by works including a surprising and unusual sculpture by Barbara Hepworth.
Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper Sale November 8 at 10am (116 lots)
The Works on Paper sale is highlighted by Pablo Picassos Portrait de femme, 1946 (estimate: $300,000 400,000). In this large pencil portrait executed in Paris, Picasso depicts his young companion, Françoise Gilot with ample curves and flowing hair. Filled with a sense of celebration that contrasts remarkably with the artists wartime work, the drawing speaks of a new-found freedom, with Françoise, and in the world at large.
Also highlighting the sale is Paul Klees Winterbild (estimate: $200,000 300,000). Highly sensitive to the timbre of landscapes and fascinated by the forms of nature, Klee created this large, radically simplified evocation of a snowy terrain in 1930 and first exhibited it in Berlin in 1931. Bright intersecting blocks of color separate the brilliant white snow from the vast gray-blue sky, creating a unifying structure for the linear elements that comprise the landscape.
Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale November 8 at 10am & 2pm (197 lots)
Among the top lots of the Day Sale is Pierre-Auguste Renoirs Etude de nu (estimate: $600,000 800,000). Never before offered at auction, and held in the collection of one family since 1960, this sensual painting of a nymph (as Renoir called his nude female figures in landscapes) was executed in the year following the artists travels in Italy, where he affirmed his desire to make an art equal to that of painters such as Rubens and Titian. Resting languidly in the green setting as she gazes at the sky, the figure is voluptuous but not yet exaggerated, as Renoirs later nudes would be, suggesting the unambiguous manner of the post-Renaissance masters.
Renoir is also represented by Paysage près de Cagnes (estimate: $500,000 700,000). Beginning in 1903, Renoir and his family went each winter and spring to Cagnes, just west of Nice. There Renoirs art began to change toward the Classicism of the Mediterranean, and increasingly toward landscapes. Painted in the environs of Cagnes, this lush image of trees, mountains and Mediterranean rooftops tucked under the sky belongs to this period, when Renoir at last achieved major fame and official recognition.
Wassily Kandinskys Binz auf Rügen, 1901 (estimate: $400,000 600,000) is a rare early work by the artist that epitomizes his innovations in the Neo-Impressionist style and anticipates his future exploration of luminous color. Kandinsky painted the work in the open air on a picturesque island in the Baltic, using the palette knife to apply paint taken directly from the tube in thick, textured strokes, imparting an immediacy, simplicity and expressive weight of color to the rigorously constructed composition.
Four examples of Pablo Picassos renowned ceramics, including the hand painted, terracotta Jarre paysage andalou, 1957 are featured in the sale (estimate: $250,000 350,000). In 1947, fascinated by the potential that ceramics presents to combine painting, sculpture and engraving, Picasso began a partnership with the Madoura workshop in the south of France, where he was single-handedly responsible for reviving the pottery industry in Vallauris. This unique work, depicting a landscape most likely near Vallauris, is known to have been a part of the family collection of Jacqueline Roque, Picassos second wife.
Also included in this group is Grand vase aux femmes nues, 1950 (estimate: $350,000 450,000). This unique work in Picassos series of tall vases painted with nude female figures in the Classical style has the distinguished provenance of having been a gift from the artist to the great concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein. When Rubinstein saw the series and asked to buy one, he was told that the edition was sold out. A few weeks later, Picasso sent him this signed work, specially ordered outside of the edition.
Barbara Hepworths, Curved Forms (Pavan), 1956 (estimate: $400,000 600,000), is a unique work in a rare medium. Curved Forms (Pavan) was made by Hepworth in metalized plaster, with which she experimented in the mid-1950s in search of a material for sculpture that would be light, strong and easily repaired. This sculpture was specifically created for outdoor installation at the request of the American collector Tom Slick, in whose family the work has remained since 1959.