Christie's announces the 20th Century Art Evening Sale is now online for browsing
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Christie's announces the 20th Century Art Evening Sale is now online for browsing
Pablo Picasso, Femme nue couchée au collier (Marie-Thérèse), 1932. Estimate:£9,000,000-15,000,000. Image: © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

LONDON.- The 20th Century Art Evening Sale will take place on 23 March 2021, a key auction within Christie’s series of livestream sales that will see collectors convene in London via our livestreamed salerooms in Hong Kong and New York. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Warrior (1982, estimate: HK$240,000-320,000) will launch the evening and is poised to become the most expensive Western artwork ever offered in Asia. Directly following this, the 20th Century Art Evening Sale will be highlighted by two portraits by Pablo Picasso that represent two very distinct periods of Picasso's oeuvre: Femme nue couchée au collier (Marie-Thérèse) (1932, estimate: £9,000,000-15,000,000) and Femme assise dans un fauteuil noir (Jacqueline) (1962, estimate: £6,000,000-9,000,000). 20th Century Modern Masters from a Private French Collection includes works by Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier and Fernand Léger. This exceptional group offers a view into the crucial dialogues that connected avant-garde artists working in Europe and America throughout the 20th Century. Three further works from the Deutsche Bank Collections will also be presented, by Ernst Barlach, Lyonel Feininger, and Oskar Kokoshka.

The 20th Century Art Evening Sale situates contemporary artists alongside those that shaped the trajectory of art in the 20th century. German art is a particular focus, with artists ranging from Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to Gerhard Richter and from Albert Oehlen to Daniel Richter.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s portrait The Like Above All Lovers (2013, estimate: £400,000-600,000) depicts an imagined scene, standing in contrast to Amoako Boafo’s bold Self-Portrait (2016, estimate: £60,000-80,000). Seen alongside paintings by Joy Labinjo and Claire Tabouret, these works provide insight into contemporary figurative painting.

Tessa Lord and Keith Gill, Co-Heads of Sale, 20th Century Art Evening Sale, Christie’s: “Christie’s Global series of 20th Century Art Sales will bring collectors from our salerooms in Hong Kong and New York, via livestream, to the heart of the London season. The sale is defined by European masters and the very best of contemporary artists. Building a picture of the movements of a particular region or country is also a focal point, particularly as we see how pioneering artists in Germany inspired future generations who continue to innovate, reimagining the legacies that have gone before them. Outstanding collections include a group of eight exceptional works from a private collection in France that reflect the full breadth of our sale season, with works included across both Evening Sales on 23 March. Further works offered from The Deutsche Bank Collection highlight German modernism. Fontana is represented by Concetto Spaziale which has been in the same collection since 1965, and unseen in public since then, while Pierre Soulages' Peinture 202 x 159 cm, 3 juillet 1965 is offered from a collection it has remained in since 1968. We look forward to convening our global client base for this series of exceptional sales.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Warrior
Painted in 1982 at the height of his artistic power, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Warrior (estimate: HK$240,000,000-320,000,000, illustrated above, left) is a commanding and authoritative portrait that amply demonstrates why the artist is regarded as one of the most important painters of the last half century.

Painted in the final year of his life, Self-Portrait (1988, estimate: £3,500,000-5,500,000) is a vivid climax to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s meteoric career. The artist’s black silhouette emerges from a stark white backdrop, his eyes and grin gleam laser-red; flashes of green and gold lend him a regal underglow, like the gilded image of a saint.

The Power of Colour: Picasso Masterpieces from an important Private Collection
Painted on 18 June 1932, Femme nue couchée au collier (Marie-Thérèse) (estimate: £9,000,000-15,000,000, illustrated, top, left) is one of the colourful, love-filled paeans that Pablo Picasso painted of Marie-Thérèse Walter in the first half of this seminal year. Painted some 30 years later, Femme assise dans un fauteuil noir (Jacqueline) (1962, estimate: £6,000,000-9,000,000, illustrated, above, right) depicts his wife Jacqueline. Both of these vibrant portraits represent significant stylistic moments in Picasso’s career.

Francis Bacon
Held in the same private collection for nearly four decades, Sand Dune (estimate on request, illustrated top right), is a rare masterwork from Francis Bacon’s distinguished body of landscape paintings. Executed in 1981, during one of his most extraordinary creative periods, it is the first of two works to take the sand dune as its subject: the second, dating from 1983, resides in the Fondation Beyeler. The painting was recently included in the Centre Pompidou’s exhibition, ‘Bacon. En toutes lettres’, which took place from September 2019 to January 2020.

20th Century Modern Masters from a Private French Collection
Executed in 1913, Fernand Léger’s Deux femmes couchées (estimate: £1,200,000-1,800,000) belongs to a groundbreaking series of paintings and works on paper, the ‘Contrastes de formes’, that the artist created between 1912 and 1914, in which he dramatically broke with artistic convention. Submarine Christmas Tree (1947, estimate: £4,000,000-6,000,000) is an elegant, expansive mobile that brings together two of Alexander Calder’s great passions: the ocean and the cosmos. Paysage du Pas-de-Calais III (estimate: £2,500,000-3,500,000) is one of three monumental paintings of the same title that Jean Dubuffet painted in August 1963. The whimsical Le vase de barbe (1959, estimate: £2,000,000-3,000,000) is an outstanding work, rare for its impressive scale, from Dubuffet’s celebrated earlier series of Barbes. In Pièges (1946, estimate: £1,000,000-1,500,000), an exceptional large-scale work by Jean Fautrier, the artist has compounded the surface with layers of luminous oil paint and paper pasted onto canvas.

German Art: From Kirchner to Richter
Painted during the summer of 1919, Drei Hütten am Hügel, Rote Hütten (estimate: £500,000-700,000, illustrated above, left) illustrates the profound renewal that occurred in Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s work following the end of the First World War, as he emerged from a period of intense illness and personal crisis. Verlängerte Strasse der Freiwilligen (Lengthened street of volunteers) (1987, estimate: £800,000-1,200,000) exemplifies the anarchic vigour of Albert Oehlen’s early work. It belongs to a small number of paintings from this period in which Oehlen appropriated snippets of text from disparate sources, clashing the quotations with exuberant paintwork. Standing among the largest and most exquisite examples of Gerhard Richter’s oils on paper, Ohne Titel (1989, estimate: £1,000,000-1,500,000, illustrated above, right) is a rare large-scale work dating from the height of the artist’s abstract practice. A surreal, enigmatic vision stretching three metres in width, Panne (2000, estimate £500,000-700,000) is a monumental example of Neo Rauch’s visionary practice. Formerly held in the Rachofsky Collection, it was shown at the Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht as part of the prestigious Vincent Award, which the artist won in 2002. Daniel Richter’s Reflect (2008, estimate: £400,000-600,000) is a monumental explosion of colour, form and elusive symbolism. Rendered in the glowing, psychedelic palette that came to define the artist’s oeuvre during the 2000s, it presents a sprawling crowd of ghostly spectators, standing in awestruck rapture beneath a brooding, leaden sky.

The Deutsche Bank Collection
Since October 2020, and over the next two years, Christie’s will present a selection of around 200 works from The Deutsche Bank Collection sold to benefit the bank’s future contemporary art purchases. Lyonel Feininger’s Kirche über Stadt (1927, estimate: £1,200,000-1,800,000, illustrated below, left), Oskar Kokoshka’s Exodus (Col de Sfa bei Biskra) (1928, estimate: £350,000-550,000) and Ernst Barlach’s Schwangeres Mädchen (1924, estimate: £350,000-550,000) are presented as a focused grouping within the 20th Century Art Evening Sale. The Deutsche Bank holds an art collection of 55,000 works with a main focus on works on paper and photographs by contemporary artists as defined in the collection’s concept back in 1980. The works offered for sale were purchased before the collecting concept was in place.

Contemporary Painters
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s The Like Above All Lovers (2013, estimate: £400,000-600,000, illustrated above, right), a seminal painting, was unveiled as part of the artist’s 2013 Turner Prize exhibition in Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland. No Wahala (2019, estimate: £30,000-40,000) is a vibrant large-scale example of Joy Labinjo’s distinctive figurative practice. Against a pink backdrop bedecked with abstract plant forms, three figures, a man and two boys, stare out of the canvas. Issy Wood’s Over Armour (non-linear, non-violent) (2019, estimate: £100,000-150,000) is a bewitching trompe l’oeil. Meticulously painted on a rich, luxuriant swathe of velvet, it sits somewhere between object and artwork: a depiction of a puffer jacket that seems to come to life in tactile, three-dimensional splendour. This is the first time that Woods’ work has been included at auction. A monumental canvas over three metres across, The Last Day (2016, estimate: £150,000-200,000) is a captivating example of Claire Tabouret’s distinctive, emotionally-charged figurative practice.

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