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Christie's to offer works by six artists from an important private collection
Alexander Calder, Big Red Disc (1970, estimate: £1,500,000 - 2,500,000). © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

LONDON.- As part of Christie’s 20th/21st Century: London Evening Sale, a group of six artists from an Important Private Collection will be presented: Alexander Calder, Theo van Doesburg, Alberto Giacometti, Julio González, Joan Miró and Bridget Riley. The 20th/21st Century: London Evening Sale on 30 June brings together iconic works by artists who defined the diverse and influential movements that shaped the 20th century, situating them alongside those working throughout the last 20 years who have continued to radicalise artistic practice in the 21st century. The London to Paris Livestreamed Evening Sale Series, incorporating Christie’s salerooms in Hong Kong and New York, will encompass the 20th/21st Century: London Evening Sale, 20th/21st Century: Collection Francis Gross, and the 20th/21st Century: Paris vente du soir.

The selection of works offered as part of an Important Private Collection will be led by Alberto Giacometti’s masterpiece Homme qui chavire (1951, estimate: £12,000,000 - 18,000,000). A second work by Giacometti, Tête au long cou (1965, estimate: £1,300,000 - 1,800,000), appears to be modelled on his brother Diego. Bridget Riley’s Zing 2 (1971, estimate: £1,800,000 - 2,200,000) is one of her celebrated experimental, formal paintings and Alexander Calder’s, Big Red Disc (1970, estimate: £1,500,000 - 2,500,000) is a large-scale sculpture. Julio González’s Homme gothique (1937, estimate: £400,000 - 600,000) a gothic inspired sculpture, Theo van Doesburg’s Contra-composition IV (1924, estimate: £850,000 - 1,250,000) a seminal work by the artist and Joan Miró’s Oiseau mare de sang sur la plaine (1931, estimate: £400,000 - 600,000) complete the group.

Keith Gill, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art London and Katharine Arnold, Co-Head, Post-War and Contemporary Art Europe: “This exceptional collection brings together pioneering artists of the 20th century and is testament to the discerning eye whose vision and passion shaped a dynamic collection. Led by a very rare sculpture by Giacometti and a masterful 1970s Bridget Riley, the works have seldom been seen publicly since they were created and we are honoured to present the group as a highlight of our 20th/21st Century Evening Sale here in London.”

Alberto Giacometti’s Homme qui chavire is one of the greatest of Giacometti's now iconic sculptural type of elongated, attenuated figures that emerged after the end of the Second World War. Perhaps no other work in Alberto Giacometti’s oeuvre embodies in such powerful terms the fragility and solitude of the human experience. Conceived in 1950 and cast a year later, Homme qui chavire depicts a man in the split second before he either succumbs to gravity’s pull and falls to the ground, or conversely, rises to ascend upwards. Tête au long cou (1965, estimate: £1,300,000 - 1,800,000) appears to take as its subject the artist’s most important and enduring model, his younger brother, Diego. Although working from a live model, Giacometti was not seeking to translate any form of physiognomic exactitude in his sculpture. Instead, he sought not only to create a psychological interpretation of the model who sat in front of him, but also to capture the experience of regarding a figure within space.

Theo van Doesburg’s Contra-composition IV (1924, estimate: £850,000 - 1,250,000) is a key work within Theo van Doesburg’s oeuvre. It Illustrates the growing complexity of the artist’s iconic, purist style of painting at this time, but also the essential link between architecture and art that underpinned his creative vision.

Bridget Riley’s Zing 2 (1971, estimate: £1,800,000 - 2,200,000) occupies an important position in Bridget Riley’s practice and has been held as part of this private collection since 1971. Last seen publicly shortly after its creation, it captures a moment of chromatic and formal experimentation within the celebrated body of stripe paintings that came to define her oeuvre between 1967 and 1974.

Alexander Calder’s Big Red Disc (1970, estimate: £1,500,000 - 2,500,000) was last exhibited in 1973, and acquired by the present owner just two years later. Big Red Disc, spanning over two metres in diameter, consists of 12 individual sheets of painted metal, suspended from wire loops in a perpetual dance of colour and form.

Julio González’s Homme gothique (1937, estimate: £400,000 - 600,000) soars upwards with the same power as the Gothic art that inspired it. Conceived in iron at the highpoint of the artist’s creativity, this powerful portrayal of a male figure serves as a synthesis of many of the central themes and ideals of the ‘new art’ that González had, literally, forged in his small studio in Arcueil, in the south of Paris.

In January of 1931, Joan Miró returned to Paris after a prolonged stay in Spain. It was there, in his studio at 3 rue François Mouthon, that Miró threw himself into painting again after a hiatus of several years. Created between January and June of 1931, this small but pivotal group of paintings – to which Oiseau mare de sang sur la plaine (1931, estimate: £400,000 - 600,000) belongs – would prove crucial to his development.

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