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French Modern and Contemporary art peaks with splendid results of $14 million
Alberto Giacometti, Bouquet, Oil on canvas, (est: 250 000-350 000). Sold for: 703 400 € / 759 672 $ © Artcurial.

PARIS.- Artcurial’s prestigious Contemporary and Modern Art auctions organised during the Second Semester of 2016, focussed on private collections and celebrated French Artists from the 2nd market.

Under the gavel of Francis Briest, the sales totalled 12 970 400 € / 13 878 328 $, with 82 % of the lots sold. Thirteen new auction world records were made, five of which were over 500 000 € and were reached during the last five sales. A drawing by Antonin Artaud from the Jean Laymarie collection was pre-empted by the French state to be housed within the Graphic Arts department of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

The auction series began with the sale of the Contemporary Art collection belonging to Michel Fedoroff on Monday 28th November. This was followed on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th December 2016 with the traditional Impressionist & Modern and Post-War & Contemporary sales which included two exceptional collections. The first came from the Jean Claude Riedel, and contained 45 drawings on paper by the Franco-Chinese artist, Sanyu; the second gathered 20 works covering the 50 year friendship between Jean Leymarie and some of the greatest artists from the 20th century.

“Collectors and their private collections are at the heart of Artcurial’s expertise. The spectacular results for the Michel Fedoroff, Jean Leymarie and Jean-Claude Riedel collections are proof of this very same savoir-faire and demonstrate how our auction house defends cultural and artistic engagements on an international level.” --Francis Briest, President Supervisory Board & Strategy, Artcurial

Michel Fedoroff Collection
On 28th November, Artcurial launched its end of year series of prestigious auctions dedicated to Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art with the sale of the collection belonging to Michel Fedoroff. 87 % of the 114 works were sold totalling well over its initial estimation at 3 586 210 € / 3 801 383 $.

The prices reached this evening enabled Artcurial to set thirteen new world records for works sold at auction by Claude Gilli (lot 1), Gérard Deschamps (lot 42), Martin Barré (lot 58), Claude Rutault (lot 64), Blaise Drummond (lot 65), Jean Dupuy (lot 73), Bruno Peinado (lot 76), Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel (lot 82), Saâdane Afif (lot 90), Jean-Luc Moulène (lot 103), Gabor Ösz (lot 106), Philippe Ramette (lot 109) and Robert Malaval (lot 114).

A key figure on the French artistic scene, Fedoroff built strong relationships with artists over the years and even sponsored young artists to help get them off the ground before they were publically known. The close relationship he had with gallery owners also played a key role in the development of his art collection. He owned works by seven winners of the Marcel Duchamp Prize including the famous, The Big One World (lot 76) by Bruno Peinado which sold for double its estimation at 101 100 € / 106 106 $, including premium. High prices were reached for Kader Attia and Dewar & Gicquel, respectively, Moucharabieh (lot 72) and the Mason Massacre (lot 82) which sold for 80 600 € / 85 436 $ and 149 500 € / 158 470 $ marking a new world record at auction for the duo.

Jean Leymarie Collection
At 8pm on Monday 5th December 2016, Francis Briest began the auction dedicated to the sale of twenty works from the Jean Leymarie collection. 100% of the lots were sold totalling, 3 764 150 € / 4 065 282 $. The sale almost doubled its estimation and was a huge success.

Jean Leymarie was the youngest museum curator in France and made a name for himself as an art historian, writer and teacher. Friends included Alberto Giacometti, Jean Miro, Zao Wou-Ki, Marc Chagall and Alexander Calder. The French Museums paid him tribute and the Graphic Arts department of the Centre Pompidou pre-empted a drawing by Antonin Artaud (lot 10) for 117 000 € / 126 360 $.

For over fifty years, Jean Leymarie held a privileged friendship with some of the greatest artists from the 20th century and the impressive results reached for the works on sale are a tribute to this friendship.

An oil on canvas, Le bouquet by Alberto Giacometti (lot 1) reached the highest bid of the evening, 703 400 € / 759 672 $ (estimation : 250 000 – 350 000 €). The sale of La composition by Nicolas de Staël (lot 2) was also a success and reached 455 400 € / 491 832 $, double its estimation. Personnage by Joan Miró (lot 4) was sold for an impressive 529 800 € / 572 184 $.

Sanyu, a set of 45 works on paper
On Tuesday 6th December at 11am, an exceptional set of works containing 45 drawings by the Franco-Chinese artists Sanyu (1901-1966), kicked off the third day of the auction series. The sale of these ink drawings totalled 479 700 € / 518 076 $, which was well over its estimation and 70 % of the lots were sold. The brush drawings come from the personal collection belonging to Jean-Claude Riedel, the famous art dealer and the person who truly discovered the artist in the 1970s. The works created a stir amongst international collectors who represented 87% of the buyers and 80% of the sale was carried out by Asian collectors.

The watercolour and ink on coloured paper works were successful amongst bidders. L’Homme à la moustache (lot 14) headed the sale and reached an impressive 33 800 € / 36 504 $ followed by la Femme au chapeau bleu (lot 23) which sold for 33 800 € / 36 504 $ and Portrait d’une femme à la blouse blanche (lot 27),sold for 30 600 € / 33 048 $. The famous feminine nudes also captured the attention of collectors and Nu debout (lot 29) sold for 20 800 € / 22 4644 $ and Nu debout penché (lot 28) sold for 16 900 € / 18 252 $ including premium.

Impressionist & Modern
The intense day of sales continued with the major Second Semester Impressionist and Modern art sales. This section totalled 1 433 640 € / 1 548 331 $, with 62 % of the works sold. An oil on canvas, Chat gris (Chat souriant) (lot 26) by the Franco-Japanese artist, Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita was the key lot and tripled its estimation at 195 000 € / 210 600 $. The extremely rare ceramic by Georges Rouault, Pierrot (recto), Bouquet (verso) (lot 25) doubled its estimation and sold for 124 800 € / 134 784 $. The chapter dedicated to landscapes and figures from the early 20Th century was marked by the sale of La récolte des goémons à Névez by Henry Moret (lot 5), which sold for 117 000 € / 126 360 $. Finally, an impressive result was reached for the oil on canvas, Visite jaune (Visite éclair) (lot 42) by the American Dorothea Tanning at 98 800 € / 106 704 $ and the Anémones (lot 28) by Bernard Buffet, which sold for 91 000 € / 98 280 $.

Post War & Contemporary
The prestigious Post War & Contemporary chapter ended the day of sales and totalled 3 706 700 € / 4 003 236 $ with 71 % of the lots sold. Amongst the 75 lots on offer, it was the oil on canvas, Stranger n°1 (lot 43) made in 1958 by the American painter, Richard Lindner which dominated the sale and reached 802 600 € / 858 782 $. This is a new French record for a work by the artist sold at auction and the second world record. The section focussing on Asian artists attracted strong interest from international buyers. Highlights include Composition n°169 by Chu Teh-Chun, which doubled its estimation and sold for 343 800 € / 367 866 $. The strong results from this section reflect a strong market. Back of the neck (lot 50) by Jean-Michel Basquiat reached 343 800 € / 367 866 $ and a wooden sculpture by Manolo Valdés, Dama a caballo (lot 52), reached an impressive 306 600 € / 328 062 $, both going well over their initial estimations.

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