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Swann Galleries to present original works by some of the greatest names in art
Maurits Escher, Day and Night, colour woodcut, 1935.Estimate $20,000 to $30,000 at Swann Auction Galleries’ 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings sale on September 19.


NEW YORK, NY.- A unique selection of original drawings by some of the biggest names in art will be up for sale at Swann Auction Galleries on September 19.

Picasso, Renoir, Dalí, Matisse, Klee and Magritte are all included, while rare etchings and lithographs by Whistler and Toulouse-Lautrec add to the mix.

Swann specialist Todd Weyman believes it one of the strongest offerings of original works of this type in recent years, especially as they are complemented by a host of leading American artists too, such as Thomas Hart Benton, Martin Lewis and Edward Hopper.

He is particularly pleased with the catalogue cover lot, a 1954 abstract watercolour and ink work by Lyonel Feininger, titled Space, which is expected to fetch $20,000 to $30,000 at the New York saleroom.

“Typical works by leading artists attract a great deal of competition from collectors, but when they are also original drawings, as many of these are, the stakes are raised even higher,” says Weyman.

Highlights include Salvador Dalí’s Elephant Spatiaux, a watercolour and ink, drawing from 1965, which has an estimate of $60,000 to $90,000; Dalí’s Paysage avec chevalier, in pen and ink, from 1958 ($30,000 to $50,000); Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Etudes de nu, in pencil ($12,000 to $18,000); René Magritte’s Poisson fumé, in pen and ink, from 1959 ($10,000 to $15,000); and Pablo Picasso’s Françoise sur fond gris, a lithograph from 1950 ($70,000 to $100,000).

“The list goes on,” says Weyman, who also gives tips on which part of the market he thinks buyers should keep an eye on next.

“One of the markets that has been overlooked in recent years is German Expressionism, which is why I am so excited about the Feininger we have in this sale, which is exceptional,” he says.

Paul Klee’s Durch Poseidon, a pen and ink work from 1940 with an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000, is another work to look out for on this basis.

"While there is a harshness to many German Expressionist graphic works, our current offerings skew toward an edgier international modernity, which is becoming more aligned to today’s taste, and so I anticipate some movement here,” says Weyman.

An artist whose fascination has spread well beyond his native Holland is Maurits Escher, whose extraordinary, impossible and surreal tessellations have captured the imagination of old and young across the globe. Here, his colour woodcut Day and Night, from 1935, is a graphic masterpiece of illusion and spectacle, featuring birds in flight over riverscapes. It is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.

“This sale really does have something for everyone,” says Weyman, “whether it is the painterly lithographs of George Bellows, the bright and colourful oil painting of the Place de la Concorde by Jean Dufy ($30,000 to $50,000) or old-style New York scenes by Edward Hopper (Night Shadows at $25,000 to $30,000) and Martin Lewis (Bedford Street Gang at $20,000 to $30,000).”

The 19th and 20th Century Prints & Drawings sale takes place at Swann Auction Galleries on September 19, with bidding available live online for those who register at least 24 hours in advance.






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