NEW YORK, NY.- Sothebys
announced that they will present Shaping a Legacy: Sculpture from the Finn Family Collection in their Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 16 May 2017.
Over the course of more than 50 years, David and Laura Finn together have amassed a diverse and esteemed collection of modern sculpture. Through their collecting, they developed not only a staunch patronage but also enduring friendships with many artists particularly Henry Moore. Mr. Finn photographed and published Moore's sculptures over a number of decades, playing a vital role in expanding the artists audience internationally. Moore hand-selected Seated Woman (estimate $4/6 million) for the couple during a visit to his studio.
The Evening Sale will offer a selection of five sculptures from the Finns collection, with works by Moore, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Germaine Richier and Marino Marini together estimated in excess of $17 million. This group is united further by the fact that each piece was conceived in the late 1950s, during the period of turmoil and uncertainty following World War II.
Highlights from the collection will be shown in Hong Kong from 21-24 April, before returning to New York for public exhibition beginning 5 May.
Jeremiah Evarts, Senior International Specialist in Sothebys Impressionist & Modern Art Department commented: "The Finn Collection represents a rare confluence of artistic insight and passionate collecting. David Finn is one of the most celebrated sculpture photographers of his time, immortalizing the work of many of the artists represented in his and Lauras collection through sensitive and groundbreaking photography. The pieces that we are privileged to present this May are united in their expression of a post-war Existentialist sentiment, and together tell a compelling story of post-war Modernist sculpture in Europe. In a market that is increasingly seeking out exceptional examples of 20th-century sculpture, these works represent a rare chance to capture prime pieces with exceptional provenance.
In addition to co-founding one of the largest and most renowned public relations agencies, Ruder Finn, in 1948, Mr. Finn is an accomplished sculpture photographer whose work has been critical to the appreciation of many great 20th century artists, including Marino Marini and Henry Moore. Once described as a photographer of genius, Mr. Finns prolific photography and extensive art publications brought the work of these European artists center stage and into countless American households. Among many others, this is showcased in Henry Moore Sculpture and Environment, his landmark book depicting hundreds of the sculptors figures around the world.
Alberto Giacometti, Buste de Diego. Conceived circa 1957. Height: 24 ½ in.; 62.2 cm. Estimate $10/15 million
Works from the Finn Collection are led by Alberto Giacomettis Buste de Diego, one of the artists most formally-radical and visually-engaging sculptures. Measuring just over two feet in height, the works significant size contributes to its robust personification of the Existentialist movement during the contentious years of the Cold War. The sculpture presents the strong profile and rich, textural surface, which distinguished the artists best work.
The majority of Giacomettis works from this time were designed and molded from the artists memory. The bust depicts one of Giacomettis most frequent inspirations: his younger brother Diego, with whom he shared physical traits, manifesting into the autobiographical narrative reflected in this signed work. The figures expressive features are emboldened through Giacomettis hands-on matiere petrie, or kneaded method, which is reflected in a number of characteristics: the tactile indentations and folds depicted in Diegos jacket, captivating eyes, an accentuated nose, and parted lipsa telling attribute capturing the anticipation of a moment yet to arrive.
Henry Moore, Seated Woman. Conceived in 1956-1957. Height: 63 in.; 160 cm. Estimate $4/6 million
Seated Woman, one of Henry Moores best-known works, captures one of the artists abiding passions and the primary subject of his art: the human figure. The striking bronze sculpture belongs to a series of monumental female figures created in the 1950s that occupy a key position in the artists career.
Often interpreted as a pregnant figure based on the artists commentary, Seated Woman is a symbol of fertility and reinforces the common theme of motherhood that informed much of Moores work, with inextricable ties to his own childhood and subsequent parenthood. Produced first in plaster, then later cast in bronze, the marks on the monumental sculptures surface tell the story of its creation, through Moores use of spatulas and palette knives to manipulate layers of material, and the application of chisels, sandpaper and cheese graters to create a rich, textured exterior. The present work marked a bold new approach in Moores work created post-1950, with seated forms playing a predominant role in his creative output for the remainder of the decade.
Jean Arp, Torse de Pyrénées. Conceived in 1959. Height: 40 in.; 101.6cm. Estimate $1.5 /2.5 million
Jean Arps bronze sculpture Torse de Pyrénées is among the artists most distinct and striking works in bronze. Acquired from the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York, the piece captures the heart of Arps artistic triumph in its organic beauty, uncontrived or encumbered by formality. The curves exhibited in the works elegant and elongated form mirror those of the female torso; its irregular shape evokes the natural, poetic and mysterious elements found in everyday forms, such as the human anatomy. The sculpture is a striking example of the unique and transcendent beauty that came to be expected of the artist at the peak of his career, and the way in which Arp invited viewers to adapt his interpretations to their own expectations of the artists work.
Germaine Richier, Don Quichotte. Conceived in 1950-51. Height: 80 in.; 203.2 cm. Estimate $1.5/$2.5 million
One of two sculptures inspired by the Spanish novel of a similar name, Germaine Richiers bronze sculpture, Don Quichotte serves as both a prime example of the artists most desirable subject and a highly-regarded favorite of her oeuvre. Like many of the other artists included in the Finn collection, Richiers sizeable work explores the human form through a marked technical adventurousness, combining imposing size and robust texture. Once in the personal collection of Austrian entrepreneur and founder of Marlborough Fine Art, Frank Lloyd, the figure stands over six feet in height and bears resemblance to Alberto Giacomettis existential masterpieces.
Marino Marini, Guerriero. Conceived in 1956-57. Length: 67 in; 170.2 cm. Estimate $700,000/$1 million
Unlike most equestrian images represented in Western art depicting cavalrymen and generals celebrating their victories, Marino Marinis Guerriero interprets these figures with immense creativity and expressive force. The sculptures of riders and horses created by Marini post-WWII were conceived amidst a period of significant political transformation, as evidenced in Guerrieros jagged lines, aggressive asymmetry, scarred bronze surface and distorted limbs, each characteristic evoking a pervasive sentiment of uncertainty and ensuing trepidation during The Cold War. The present work was included in the artists larger Warrior series, which explores the psychological effects of mechanized warfare at the time, but also forecasts a gruesome future that has yet to be realized.
Like Henry Moore, Marini was also close friends with David and Laura Finn. And much like Seated Woman, Marini handpicked Guerriero for the couple during a visit to the artists studio.