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Impressive Modern and Contemporary Nude Sale, Presented by artnet Auctions
Edward Weston, Nude (Charis, Santa Monica), 1936. Silver Print, 9.5 x 7.5 Inches. Est. $10,000 – 12,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- artnet Auctions announces a special selection of Modern and Contemporary artworks that explore the classic subject of the nude. Representing Contemporary nude photography, painting, sculpture, design, and works on paper, the selection of artworks included in the Contemporary Nude sale offers a varied perspective on the theme, going beyond the merely provocative to explore the ways in which the nude is perceived as fantasy, as cultural commentary, and as form.

Modern masters such as Henri Matisse (1869–1954), Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), and Marc Chagall (1887-1985) are included with works on paper that feature each artist’s revolutionary approach to depicting the human figure. Matisse’s 1951 drawing Femme Nue (Est. US$18,000–24,000) is a classic example of the artist’s poetic, masterful line, while Picasso’s 1971 Tête de Femme (Est. US$120,000–160,000) is a prime example of the artist’s primitivist and cubist style. Chagall’s 1948 Autour du Nu (Est. US$50,000–70,000), is a subtly beautiful depiction of a nude couple in a calm pastoral setting and an important Modern nude artwork. George Grosz’s (German, 1893–1959) provocative watercolor from the late 1920s, Figures (Est. US$40,000–50,000), delves into the scandalous, debauched era of Weimar Berlin, while Bernard Buffet’s (1928–1999) Nu II from 1979 (Est. US$120,000–160,000) takes as its subject the vulnerability of the nude.

Works by artists such as contemporary figurative painters Mel Ramos (b.1935) and Tom Wesselmann (1931–2004) explore the female nude through the lens of consumption. Ramos’s characteristic pin-up style female nude paintings draw on recognizable images from the media, including celebrity portraits and consumable goods to produce a fantasy that both mimics and honors pop culture, as seen in his 2006 painted resin sculpture, The Pause that Refreshes (Est. US$150,000–200,000). British duo Gilbert & George (b.1943 and b.1942) appropriate commercially manufactured images to draw comparisons between varying representations of sexuality throughout history.

In the collage work Heavy Petting (Est. US$28,000–32,000), Gilbert and George compose various postcards that depict sensual imagery and objects ranging from overtly sexual ancient figurines to contemporary photomontages of a young couple seemingly in love. The collage reveals that while the concept of sex continues to vary, its relevance in society remains constant. Taking reality as a template, artists such as super-realist sculptor John DeAndrea (b.1941) celebrate the beauty found in the natural form of the human body in his life-sized painted bronze and mixed media sculpture, Lisa (Est. US$110,000–135,000), while works on paper by Modern masters Picasso (1881–1973) and Matisse (1869–1954) feature the artists’ revolutionary approach to depicting the human figure. Nude photographs, such as Ruth Bernhard’s image of a seated woman, Draped Torso (Est. US$14,000–16,000) and Horst P. Horst’s (1906–1999) Male Nude, emphasize the poetic beauty of the human form.

The Nude sale is currently live for bidding on artnet Auctions and closes on June 21, 2011.

Visit the sale on artnet Auctions:

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