NEW YORK, NY.- Christies
Prints & Multiples sale on April 28 in New York will feature a wonderful selection of works from private collections, many of which will appear for the first time at auction. Rich in quality, the sale presents collectors with opportunities to acquire historically important and rare works such as Wassily Kandinsky and Fraz Marcs seminal 1912 Almanach der Blaue Reiter, in addition to prints by young artists including Julie Mehretu and Dana Schutz.
A rare deluxe edition of Wassily Kandinsky and Fraz Marcs seminal almanac produced in 1912, Almanach der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider Almanac) is a rare appearance on the market (estimate: $40,000-70,000). The celebrated almanac is comprised of two colorful, early woodcuts by Wassily Kandinsky as well as musical scores by Schönberg and Webern. Der Blaue Reiter - founded by Kandinsky and Franz Marc in 1911 - sought to express spiritual truths through Modern Art. Published by Reinhard Piper, Almanach der Blaue Reiter is highly sought after by both print collectors and bibliophiles. Although it was intended as a yearly publication chronicling the development of Expressionist art forms, this was the only volume published.
A selection of important lithographs by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec include several sought after works such as, Miss Loíe Fuller, May Milton, Jane Avril, and Reine de Joie. These masterworks depict Toulouse-Lautrecs quintessential subjects of famous singers and dancers from Paris's Montmartre district.
The principal highlight among this group is Toulouse-Lautrecs lithograph in colors with gold powder from 1893, entitled Miss Loíe Fuller (estimate: $80,000-120,000). In this iconic lithograph, the artist depicts songstress Miss Loie Fuller onstage as she performs her famous "Serpentine Dance" in which she employed colored lights and billowing silk skirts to achieve an ethereal effect. The artist envisioned her dazzling performance from the audiences perspective, thereby heightening the sense of spectacle.
A rare etching by Edward Hopper, House by a River, 1919, is offered for the first time at auction (estimate: $50,000-70,000). All of the known 10 impressions reside within institutions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Whitney, MoMA, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Harvards Fogg Art Museum. This striking image of a New England coast is a fine example of Hoppers ability to impart a powerful composition with an economy of means.
Pablo Picasso is well represented in the sale, from an early cubist drypoint, Nature Morte au Compotier, 1909 (estimate: $10,000-15,000), to an aquatint and engraving, Faune dévoilant une femme from la Suite Vollard, 1936 (estimate: $60,000-80,000).
Another key work is Picassos Portrait de Jacqueline Accoudée from 1959 (estimate: $45,000-75,000). The linocut is an exquisite depiction of the artists second wife, Jacqueline Roque, whom he frequently portrayed. Jacquelines striking image is composed of bold lines that marry classical form with modern perspective, demonstrating the artists unique distinction as a modern master who revered the classical tradition.
Works by Marc Chagall range from an example from one of his earliest series, a plate from Daphnis and Chloé (estimate: $8,000-12,000), to a work from his later, larger lithograph series, entitled Dans le Ciel de lOpera (estimate: $30,000-50,000). Among the 30 works in the sale by Joan Miró is the complete set of 3 books - Anti-platon, La Lumière de la lame, and Saccades - each containing etchings and aquatints, with a luxurious presentation binding (estimate: $25,000-35,000), and a large etching, aquatint and carborundum in colors, with powerful imagery, La Béluga (estimate: $12,000-18,000).
Maurice Brazil Prendergast was one of the most prolific artists to create monotypes, and the sale includes a rare example to come to auction, Circus Scene with Horse (estimate: $20,000-30,000). This impression is the second pull from the plate, and the first impression is in the collection of the Terra Foundation of American Art. Other rare works in the sale include German Expressionist lithographs such as Egon Schieles Secession 49, 1918 (estimate: $30,000-40,000), and Oskar Schlemmers Konzenrische Gruppe, 1922 (estimate: $4,000-6,000).
Among the roll call of artists included in the Post-War and Contemporary session of the sale is a screenprint by Chuck Close, John, 1998 (estimate: $20,000-30,000), and several bright David Hockney works including Lithograph of Water made of think and thin lines and two light blue washes (estimate: $15,000-25,000). A selection of works by Jasper Johns portrays themes he worked on in both print and paint mediums - and is led by a large and complex screenprint, Usuyuki (estimate: $50,000-70,000).
The Contemporary section features two major up and coming female artists: Julie Mehretu and Dana Schutz. Mehretus Rogue Ascension, 2002 is created by printing in different intensities of black on semi transparent paper (estimate: $4,000-6,000). Schutz masterfully combines woodcut and lithography to achieve a compositional style reminiscent of German Expressionism. In One Eyed Girl, the artist portrays a beautiful yet unsettling image of a young woman whose disfigured face is a tapestry of colorful shards (estimate: $3,000-5,000).