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Christie's announces highlights included in the 20th Century London to Paris sale series
David Hockney, Portrait of Sir David Webster. Estimate: GBP 11,000,000 - GBP 18,000,000 (USD 14,322,000 - USD 23,436,000). © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

PARIS.- Christie’s will offer 41 monumental sculptures form the fantastic collection of the art dealer Paul Haim in a dedicated auction. Since his death in 2006, Dominique, Haim’s daughter, has been overseeing the collection. All of these works were housed in La Petite Escalère, a secret garden nestling along the Adour, a short distance from Bayonne and Biarritz. “But the road I prefer, and which I often voluntarily take pleasure in, is the one that follows the right bank of the Adour; it Is an old towpath, dotted with farms and beautiful houses. I undoubtedly love it for its naturalness, this mix of nobility and familiarity that is typical of the Southwest” reports Roland Barthes, French philosopher who grew up in the area and lived opposite Paul Haim. Rarely open to the public, this garden hidden in lush vegetation was only open to a privileged few. Artists, friends and members of the association of the friends of La Petite Escalère have all made it possible to keep this place alive for many years.

Pierre Martin-Vivier, Vice President of Christie’s, head of the sale: “It is an honour for Christie’s to be entrusted with this collection of sculptures that trace the extraordinary journey of Paul Haim who, together with Jeanette Leroy, made this garden a place as wonderful as it was unexpected. The sale’s exhibition, hosted at Kering’s headquarters in the former Laennec hospital, is set to be the back-to-school event and we would like to especially thank our shareholder for making this possible.”

Paris Avant-garde
As part of the 20th Century London to Paris sale series hosted on 22 October, Christie’s France will present Paris Avant-garde. Throughout the 20th century, Paris attracted artists from around the globe to contribute to the development of new artistic ideas. Within this context grew many of the fundamental artistic movements of the 20th century, from Fauvism, Cubism and Surrealism through to the beginnings of Lyrical Abstraction and New Realism. Our sale will present carefully-selected works from the leading names of these movements, many of which will appear on the market for the first time. The Sale will comprise around 30 lots for a global estimate of approximately 20 million euros.

Antoine Lebouteiller and Paul Nyzam, Co-heads of Paris Avant-garde : “We are proud to present a carefully selected group of works of art for this fifth edition of Christie’s Paris Avant-garde sale. This edition will promise some great actions as international collectors in London, Paris and online will be able to acquire sensational works of art of the 20th century.

Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction
The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction will be led by David Hockney’s Portrait of Sir David Webster (1971), an exquisite tribute to Sir David Webster, the former General Administrator of the Royal Opera House and a defining influence. The painting is being offered by the Royal Opera House with an estimate of £11-18 million. Proceeds from the sale will contribute towards vital funding required by the world-renowned arts venue to alleviate the financial impact of coronavirus, the most serious crisis the organisation has had to face. This will allow the Royal Opera House not just to survive but to thrive in its future programming. Peter Doig’s Boiler House (1993, estimate in the region of £13 million), a masterwork from his seminal series of Concrete Cabins, is a further highlight, which was included in Doig’s landmark 2008 retrospective at Tate Britain. Marina Abramović’s The Life (estimate: £400,000-800,000) is the first work of its kind to be offered at auction. It is a revolutionary fusion of art and technology, premiered at London’s Serpentine Gallery in February 2019, that allows viewers to have an intimate digital encounter with Marina Abramović herself via a wearable spatial computing device. At the core of the auction, is a strong representation of British post-war artists, including two works by Francis Bacon, a remarkable 1964 painting by Auerbach and a meticulous work on paper by Lucian Freud. Contemporary painting is represented by a trio of artists who each explore figuration: Daniel Richter, Titus Kaphar and Stephen Shearer.

Katharine Arnold, Co-Head, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Europe: “Following the successes of the 20th Century Evening Sale in New York on 6 October, we are thrilled to present a series of sales that establish a dialogue between the culturally vibrant cities of London and Paris, bringing the collecting communities together in one evening. The works presented throughout these auctions is testament to the diversity of artists practising throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Alongside the pioneers of modernism such as Pierre Soulages and Lucio Fontana, we also focus on artists currently pushing the boundaries, from Peter Doig’s psychologically charged compositions to Marina Abramović’s technologically pioneering performance The Life. As a long-established British institution, Christie’s is also incredibly proud to be offering David Hockney’s magnificent Portrait of Sir David Webster to support the future of the Royal Opera House, which is a great national treasure.”

Thinking Italian Art and Design
Thinking Italian Art and Design draws together the finest examples from these two intimately connected categories, to showcase the rich and beautiful dialogues that flourished within 20th century Italian visual culture. Pino Pascali’s Contraerea (1965, estimate: £2,500,000-3,500,000) and Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Forma (1957, estimate: £2,500,000-3,500,000) are presented alongside Carlo Mollino’s dining suite (1946, estimate: £1,200,000-1,800,000) created for Ada and Cesare Minola’s apartment, on the uppermost floors of a 1920s residential building on via Perrone, Turin. Contraerea, as with other works from the series, sees Pino Pascali use cast-off plastic, iron and aluminium parts to create a replica of a military weapon: here, an anti-aircraft gun, painted dark green. Created between 1957 and 1958, the series that Concetto Spaziale, Forma belongs to represents Lucio Fontana’s first major free-standing Spatialist sculptures: three of the eight are held in institutions – the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, the Silkeborg Kunstmuseum and the Fondazione Lucio Fontana – and a group of them featured in the artist’s solo exhibition at the 1958 Venice Biennale. From the pioneering Futurists to the classicism of the Novecento and the optimistic experimentation of the post-war period up to Arte Povera, the auction celebrates the diversity of this extraordinary epoch, revealing the eclecticism, rigour and creativity that unites Italian design with the wider artistic avant-garde.

Mariolina Bassetti, Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Continental Europe: “Christie’s has been dedicated to providing an international platform that focuses on the incredible artists and designers working in Italy during the 20th century for 20 years. To demonstrate the synergy between the artists and designers that so dynamically diversified the visual vocabulary in Italy at this time, we have created a new sale concept that situates the works of Pino Pascali and Lucio Fontana alongside Gio Ponti and Carlo Mollino. We are thrilled to offer a selection of masterpieces as part of our series of sales on 22 October, which are dedicated to showcasing the diversity of European artists from the 20th century onwards.”

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