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Modern masters and a rediscovered Futurist drawing lead Bonhams sale in New York
Franz Marc, Pferd und Rind. Gouache on paper, 4 3/4 x 6 in. (12 x 15.1cm). Estimate: $200,000-300,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.
NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams presents Gino Severini’s Futurist masterpiece “Train de Blessés” (est. $150,000-200,000), an extremely rare drawing from a pivotal moment in art. Unseen for more than 50 years, its reappearance coincides with the Futurist retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Severini’s work on paper combines the energy and dynamism of Futurism with the Cubist ideas of his friend Picasso. Drawings of this size and complexity rarely appear at auction.  It is being sold to benefit a New York foundation. Bonhams is the third largest international fine art auction house.

Another highlight in the May 6 sale is Franz Marc’s jewel-like watercolor Pferd und Rind (est. $200,000-300,000). Painted in 1913, it clearly shows the German artist searching for an abstract vocabulary to present his spiritual philosophy. Marc’s influence on later abstract artists in Europe, Russia and America is incalculable. Marc died tragically in 1916 in the trenches of World War I. This work on paper was sold by his widow to support herself after the war: the majority of his sketchbooks are now in the German National Museum in Nuremberg. The work was bought in the 1950s by Matthew and Erna Futter as they sought to rebuild the art collection in America, the work is being sold by their heirs.  Three other works on paper from the Matthew and Erna Futter Collection are also presented in this sale including a nude study by Oscar Kokochka.

Leading the sale is Giorgio de Chirico’s powerful “Ettore e Andromaca” (est. $300,000-500,000). This beautifully preserved work was formerly in the collection of the New York hotel mogul Edward R. Lewis. The painting presents the artist’s trademark mannequin figures pinioned in a vast piazza, representing the disorienting atmosphere of Europe in the early 20th century, lost and navigating the dehumanizing currents of the modern world. It has not been seen since the late 1950s.

The sale also presents masterpieces by Mexican artists, including Diego Rivera's “El Amigo de Frida” (estimate $250,000-350,000). Depicting a friend of Rivera's wife, the painter Frida Kahlo, Rivera painted the portrait in 1931. It was an important period in Rivera’s career, during which he garnered wide acclaim for his murals at the Detroit Institute of Art. Also notable is Alfredo Ramos Martinez's signed “Mujer con frutas,” in tempera and India ink on colored canvas board (est. $200,000-300,000). 

"We are pleased to present these seminal works-- each unique and rare in their own right," said Tanya Wells, Director of Impressionist and Modern Art for Bonhams. "The private collectors of the early and mid-20th Century represented in this sale are remarkable for their vision and steadfast belief in the art they acquired."

The sale also includes Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture “Maquette for Curved Mother and Child” from the collection of Stephen Bogart, formerly in the collection of his mother, Lauren Bacall (est. $150,000-200,000).

Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art sale will take place on May 6 in New York. The sale will preview at Bonhams May 2-6.

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