An iconic Picasso masterpiece – Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) – leads Christie’s curated evening sale in New York on May 11. Guiding at $140 million it promises to be a sensation on the global art market. Christie’s describe it as one of his most famous masterpieces together with Les demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937).
It is the culmination of a series started after the death of Matisse in November 1954. Picasso painted 15 variations on Delacroix’s Les Femmes d’Alger between December 1954 and February 1955, designated as versions A to O. “With its packed composition, play on cubism and perspective, its violent colours and its brilliant synthesis of Picasso’s lifelong obsessions it is a milestone in Picasso’s oeuvre and one of his most famous masterpieces” said Olivier Camu, Christie’s deputy chairman, impressionist and modern art.
The theme of the curated Looking Forward to the Past auction – an addition to the May calendar – is how artists used inspiration from the past to create something entirely innovative and new. The 25 lot sale will feature work by masters from Monet to Kippenberger and focusses on the growing trend of cross category collecting among Christie’s most powerful clients. There will be paintings, drawings and sculpture by Mondrian, Schiele, Duchamp,Magritte, Dubuffet, Rothko, Calder and John Currin among others.
UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR $179,365,000 TO BECOME THE MOST VALUABLE WORK OF ART EVER SOLD AT AUCTION