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    NEW WORLD RECORD FOR MAX BECKMANN AT CHRISTIE’S

    Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

    Max Beckmann, Hölle der Vögel (Birds’ Hell) c CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

    Max Beckmann’s Hölle der Vögel (Birds’ Hell) (1937-38) achieved a new world record price for the artist of £36,005,000 at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on June 27.  The work continues the Germanic tradition of using gruesome allegorical scenes at the same time as taking aspects of Classicism and mythology to turn reality into a timeless evocation of human suffering.

    In this sense, the painting transcends the time and political situation in which it was created to become a universal symbol of humanity like Pablo Picasso’s Guernica of the same period. Begun in Amsterdam in 1937 and completed in Paris at the end of 1938 it ranks amongst the clearest and most important anti-Nazi statements that the artist ever made.

    The sale totalled £149.5 million.  Three lots made over £20 million, the Beckmann, Picasso’s Femme ecrivant (Marie-Therese) which made £34.8 million and Van Gogh’s Le moissonneur (d’apres Millet) which made £24.2 million.

    RUGS GET SHEPPARDS OFF TO A GOOD START AT COOLATTIN

    Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

    THIS CHELABERD EAGLE KAZAK CAUCASIAN RUG MADE 8,500 AT HAMMER

    Persian and Irish rugs and runners got Sheppards two day country house collections sale at Coolattin House, Co. Wicklow off to a good start today.  The first lot, a bespoke Gavin Morton and G.K. Roberstson 21st century Donegal design carport made 3,900.  Lot two, a Kazak rug made 8,500 and lot three, a bespoke C.F.A. Voysey Donegal design carpet made 3,700. A North West Persian Heriz carpet made 3,800 and a large Turkish Isparta carpet on gold ground sold for 8,000. Later in the morning a 19th century ormolu and pietra dura clock garniture sold for 6,500 and a nude attributed to Roderic O’Conor estimated at 2,000-3,000 sold for 7,500.

    Later in the auction a 19th century satinwood and marquetry Carlton House desk sold for 18,500, a pair of Dublin Edwardian wing back armchairs made 14,000, a pair of Japanese Imari urns made 17,500 and a pair of 19th century kingwood and parquetry commodes made  13,500.  The sale continues today.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for June 25, 2017)

    AN ALBERS TO BENEFIT CORK’S GLUCKSMAN GALLERY

    Monday, June 26th, 2017

    Josef Albers – Colour Study for Homage to the Square

    A colour study for Homage to the Square by Josef Albers (1888-1976) to be sold to benefit Cork’s Lewis Glucksman Gallery comes up at Sotheby’s contemporary art day auction in London on June 29.   Made in 1976 the oil on paper is estimated at £80,000-120,000. It is to be included in the catalogue raisonne currently being prepared by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, who donated the work.

    A statement from the Bethany, Connecticut based foundation said:   The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation is delighted to sell this powerful Homage to the Square on behalf of the Glucksman Gallery. We feel that this particular oil on paper represents the bold experimentation and true dedication to human seeing, and the thrills of courageous art,  consistently achieved at this superb museum at University College Cork, Ireland. The small, innovative staff of the Glucksman, diligent and tenacious people of vision, embody the values the Alberses held most dear.

    THE £120,875 STRAWBERRY AND NIGHT OF FALLING RECORDS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

    Lucian Freud Strawberries – oil on copper

    The record for Kandinsky was broken twice in one night, there was a new record for Miro and Lucian Freud’s actual size strawberries made £120,875 per strawberry at a sterling night at Sotheby’s in London last night.  Three works made over £20 million for the first time in any London auction. The Actual Size and Impressionist and Modern evening sales brought in a combined total of £148.9 million. Kandinsky’s Murnau – Landschaft kit grunem Haus made a new record for the artist of £21 million followed just six lots later by Bild kit weissen Linien which sold for £33 million. Femme et oiseau by Joan Miro from his Constellation series sold for £24.6 million. A unique cast by Giacometti made £17.9 million. A small group of strawberries by Lucian Freud made £1.2 million.

    Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department & Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said: “To have three landmarks in the development of 20th Century art by Kandinsky, Miró and Giacometti come to the market in a single sale tonight was momentous. These key works stand as turning points in the history of art, and tonight auction history was made when the record for Kandinsky broken not just once but twice and an unprecedented three works sold over £20m in a single London Evening Sale. The strength at the very highest level of the market was echoed across price points – and sizes. Collectors were out in force, participating from a record number of locations around the globe, with the level of Asian buyers as numerous as those from the US, underscoring the enduring importance of London as a key driver of the global art market.”

    Joan Miró’s Femme et oiseaux

    Helena Newman finds bids during the sale of Wassily Kandinsky’s Bild mit weissen Linien for £33 million.

    AN ONLINE SALE OF AFFORDABLE IRISH ART

    Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

    An online sale of affordable Irish art runs at Morgan O’Driscoll until June 26.

    GRETTA O’BRIEN – SUMMER REFLECTION (600-800)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 550 AT HAMMER

    The catalogue, which is online, lists 330 lots. Here is a small selection:

    LOUIS LE BROCQUY (1916-2012 )Head of Strindberg 17/100 (600-900)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,600 AT HAMMER

    BRIAN BALLARD (B.1943) Irises in a Blue Jug (900-1,200) UPDATE: THIS MADE 1,100 AT HAMMER

    Liam Belton – Vessels with Eggs (2008) litho 27/50 (300-500)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 240 AT HAMMER

    SARAH GLENNIE TO BECOME DIRECTOR OF NCAD

    Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

    Sarah Glennie

    Sarah Glennie is to leave the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) to take up a new position of Director of the NCAD (National College of Art and Design).  Glennie took up the post of Director of IMMA in 2012 and has overseen exhibitions by artists including Nan Goldin, Lucian Freud, Etel Adnan, Stan Douglas, Karla Black, Hito Steyerl and Helio Oiticia. She will begin her new directorship in January 2018.

    Irish Culture Minister Heather Humphreys thanked Glennie for years of service and said: “IMMA is in a very strong place as a result of her directorship, with significantly increased visitor numbers, greater opportunities for Irish artists, a strong international reputation.”

    Sarah Glennie said: “While I am very sad to be leaving IMMA I am excited by the great opportunity to contribute further to the development of creativity in Ireland as the director of such a significant institution as NCAD which is in a unique position to inspire and nurture creative talent in Ireland”. The search for a new director at the IMMA will begin in the coming weeks.

    A LARGE ASSEMBLY OF VERMEERS AT IRELAND’S NATIONAL GALLERY

    Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

    Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting at the newly refurbished National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin until September 17 includes as many as ten works by the artist. This represents almost one third of the surviving oeuvre of Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675).  It is the third highest number of works by the artist ever assembled in the world.

    The National Gallery of Ireland’s Vermeer, Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid, c.1670, which is regarded as one of the artist’s finest works, will be shown alongside other exquisite works including Woman with a Balance, c.1663–4 (National Gallery of Art, Washington); Woman with a Pearl Necklace, 1663-4 (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin); The Astronomer, 1668 (Musée du Louvre, Paris) and The Geographer, 1669 (Städel Museum, Frankfurt-am-Main). Paintings of daily life by contemporaries of Vermeer, including Gerrit Dou, Gerard ter Borch, Jan Steen, Gabriel Metsu, Pieter de Hooch and Frans van Mieris, will also feature.  The show brings together some 60 paintings from around the world.

    It is organised by the National Gallery of Ireland in collaboration with the Musée du Louvre, Paris, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington. An illustrated catalogue (published by Yale University Press) will accompany the exhibition.

    Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675)
    Woman Writing a Letter with Her Maid, c.1670
    Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

    Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) Woman with a Balance, c. 1663–4
    Widener Collection. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

     

    SELF PORTRAIT BY ANDY WARHOL AT SOTHEBY’S IN LONDON

    Monday, June 19th, 2017

    Andy Warhol – Self Portrait (1963-64).

    A work from Andy Warhol’s first series of self-portraits comes up at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art evening auction in London on June 28. In the early 1960s the Pop art pioneer achieved renown for his candid portrayals of luminaries including Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor.

    Self-Portrait, 1963-64, represents the moment that Warhol stepped out from behind the camera and into the glare of its flashbulb – and the moment that Warhol the icon was born. This was a turning point that reverberated throughout his oeuvre. Created when Warhol was 35 years old, Self-Portrait will be offered at auction for the first time, 30 years after the artist’s death in 1987.

    Self-Portrait was created using images taken in a New York photo-booth. The use of such unconventional source material was, at this time, fiercely innovative, and added to the aura of technical invention that already surrounded this artist, who had pioneered the use of silkscreen printing in art only a couple of years previously. The work is estimated at £5-7 million.

    AN ONLINE AUCTION OF IRISH ART AT MORGAN O’DRISCOLL

    Thursday, June 15th, 2017

    Erskine Nicol RSA ARA (1825-1904) Kept In (6,000-8,000)  UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    A total of 242 lots including 24 pieces of sculpture are included in Morgan O’Driscoll’s current online auction of Irish art.  It runs until June 19. The catalogue is online.  Here is a small selection:

    Patrick Collins RHA (1911-1994) The Prisoners (3,000-5,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200 AT HAMMER

    Louis Le Brocquy HRHA (1916-2012) Paris (1948) (4,000-6,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 4,200 AT HAMMER

    Melanie Le Brocquy HRHA (b.1919) Child and Mother Walking (1998)  UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,000 AT HAMMER (3,000-5,000)

    PAUL HENRY’S VIEW OF FERRITER’S COVE IN CO. KERRY

    Monday, June 12th, 2017

     

    Paul Henry’s view of Ferriter’s cove in Co. Kerry. (£120,000-180,000)

    Paul Henry’s painting of Ferriter’s Cove on the Dingle Peninsula is a leading lot at Bonhams sale of British and Irish art in London on June 14. Though mostly associated with landscapes of Connemara and Mayo the artist who is arguably our most influential landscape painter of the 20th century was inspired by Kerry and the remoter regions along Ireland’s Atlantic seaboard.

    Long before the fantastic and unusual topography of the area attracted the attention of the Star Wars producers Paul Henry brought his artists eye to Ferriter’s Cove, situated a few miles east of  Ballyferriter, in 1933. “It is lovely” he wrote to James Healy in America, who acted as agent for him.  “Wherever one turns there is material for dozens of pictures”.
    He likened it to Cape Cod and felt that if he spent a lifetime there he would never exhaust all the possible subjects.  Paul Henry went back again the following autumn and the drawings and paintings he made there were completed later at his studio north of Dublin. The visit produced enough work for his spring show Recent Paintings of Kerry and Connemara at the Combridge Gallery in Dublin in May 1935.
    The painting, which was exhibited in Toronto in 1936 and has been in a corporate collection in the UK since 1938, is estimated at £120,000-180,000.