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Fresh to the market works lead Christie's Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper and Day Sales
Henri Manguin, Etude inversée, Nu sous les arbres, Villa Demière, oil on canvas, Estimate: $400,000-600,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s will present its Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper Sale and Day Sale on May 9 in New York. The sales are comprised of paintings, drawings, sculptures and works on paper from the leading Impressionist and Modern masters such as Alberto Giacometti, Paul Klee, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele and many more. Fresh to the market works from distinguished collections are offered throughout the two sales including highlights from the collections of Andy Williams, Mona Ackerman and an Important Private European Collection. Both sales will offer bidders the perfect opportunity to enter the market, or further strengthen their own collections.

Executed in 1970, Femme is a large-scale and fully worked composition executed when Joan Miró (1893-1983) was utilizing the joint influences of Abstract Expressionist American art and Japanese calligraphy in his own uniquely poetic, instinctive and gestural style of painting (estimate: $400,000-600,000). Femme demonstrates how under these influences, Miró’s forms became more expansive while the poetic nature and integrity of Miró's pictorial vocabulary remained essentially the same. This bold work depicts the iconic figure of a woman rendered using smooth flowing calligraphic lines while the palette, reduced to the essentials of red, yellow, green and blue, augmented by black and white, reflects the reductive color vocabulary Miró had used since the 1940s.

A late work by Paul Klee (1879-1940), Spielendes Kind, was created in 1938, during the final years of the artist’s life when he produced an enormous body of work despite being bedridden and contending with a terminal illness (estimate: $250,000-350,000). Spielendes Kind displays the succinct graphic elements that constitute the signature formal vocabulary of Klee's late style. The composition of rudimentary graphic elements demonstrate the extent to which his work had moved towards an increasingly abstract, universalized and minimalist means of expression. The child's playful pose balanced on a mauve-colored ball is composed from the most basic signs devised for the human figure.

Works from the collection of noted philanthropist Dr. Mona Ackermann include an engaging portrait of Impressionist scholar John Rewald by Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) from 1960 (estimate: $300,000-500,000) and a charming 1918 image by Egon Schiele (1890-1918), of Anton Peschka, Jr., the artist’s 4-year old nephew (estimate: $300,000-500,000).

Seven works from the Collection of Andy Williams, the beloved king of crooners, will be offered on May 9 throughout both sales. Featured in the Works on Paper Sale are Le Bain (estimate: $180,000-250,000) and Nu Couché (estimate: $200,000-300,000), both created by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) in 1968.

Highlighting the Day Sale is Etude inversée, Nu sous les arbres, Villa Demière, which was painted in the summer of 1905 by Henri Manguin (1874-1949), who was a founder and early exponent of the Fauve movement along with Henri Matisse, André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Albert Marquet and Charles Camoin (estimate: $400,000-600,000). Following his move to Saint-Tropez in 1905, Manguin became fascinated with the color and intense light along the southern coast of France and began to experiment with brilliant colored canvases. Five of his works were exhibited that year at the Paris Salon d’Automne. Etude inversée depicts the artist’s beloved wife, Jeanne, reclining under a tree at their home, which overlooked the port of Saint-Tropez. The intimate painting exquisitely captures the artist’s complete devotion to the Fauvist style as well as his personal preference for clear delineated contours, evident both in the subtle curve of Jeanne’s figure and the twisting tree branches behind her.

Painted in 1888, Emile Bernard’s (1868-1941) Cueilleuses de pommes à Pont-Aven epitomizes the artist’s work from the period (estimate: $300,000-500,000). Despite being just twenty years old, he and his classmate had developed the radical new pictorial style of Cloisonism, which was derived from both Japanese woodblock print-making and the medieval technique of firing colored glass in a metal framework that outlined the design. Vincent Van Gogh, who had known Bernard and was impressed with the new style, recommended that he meet with Paul Gauguin. Though skeptical at first, Gauguin became enthusiastic about these new artistic developments and goals, and the two men actively shared ideas. Cueilleuses de pommes à Pont-Aven was one of the works that Bernard executed following his discussions with Gauguin earlier that year and is remarkably similar in style to Gauguin’s works of the same period, most notably the famed La vision après le sermon. Cueilleuses de pommes à Pont-Aven is offered from an Important Private European Collection, which also includes Soutine’s Le petit pâtissier, the lead painting of the Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale on 8 May.

Pasiphaë (estimate: $220,000-280,000) was executed in 1937 by Andre Masson (1896-1987) and is viewed by many as the artist’s equivalent to Pablo Picasso’s Guernica. The work combines elements from mythology and Masson’s personal life to serve as a social commentary on current events. As a veteran of World War I, Masson was particularly sensitive to the 1936 siege of Toledo, which lasted several months and became one of the main focuses of the Spanish Civil War. The work couples the symbolism of Greek mythology with Spanish national identity in order to voice the artist’s anguish over the turmoil. Pasiphaë is the central figure in the scene, representing life, while the bull, which is inextricably linked to Spanish identity, is a potent symbol of violence and death. The result is one of the most powerful figurative works in Masson’s oeuvre.

Among the modern sculpture highlights in the sale is a quintessential work by Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966) entitled Evocation d'une forme humaine lunaire spectrale (estimate: $300,000-500,000). Formed of cast cement, the sculpture was conceived in 1950, roughly twenty years after the artist had disengaged from the surrealist movement and had devoted himself to variations of the human form in sculpture in the round. As the title suggests, the current example is evocative of a human torso, as well as a mysterious lunar landscape, with the undulations creating an interesting play of light and shadow.

Also among the modern sculptures in the Day Sale is a bronze, Head, by Henry Moore (1898-1986) offered from the Andy Williams collection (estimate: $400,000-600,000). The biomorphic head was conceived in 1984 and comprises both smooth and rough surfaces. The strong profile and hole for the eye are centered above the shoulders and give the whole a firm geometry.

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