Joan Miró’s rare work L’Echelle de l’évasion – “The Ladder of Escape? – leads Christie’s landmark Art of the Surreal sale in London on February 6.
Joan Miró’s rare work L’Echelle de l’évasion – “The Ladder of Escape” – leads Christie’s landmark Art of the Surreal sale in London on February 6. Painted in December 1939 whilst living in Normandy during the months of the so-called “phoney war” when France awaited a German invasion L’Echelle de l’évasion is the culmination of a series of new works marking Miró’s flight from the grim realities of Europe at that time. The “Ladder of Escape” was an important motif for Miró from the early 1920′s. It served as a potent metaphor for the artist’s escape from reality into the world of his art. L’Echelle de l’évasion is one of two works of this title. Making its first appearance on the market in almost 60 years it is estimated at £5-8 million. The other, a gouache from January 1940, is at MoMA in New York.
The auction presents significant work by leading names of the Surrealist movement, from René Magritte and Max Ernst to Paul Delvaux and Óscar Domínguez. Estimates range from £30,000 to £8 million, with a pre-sale estimate of £30,880,000 to £46,870,000, a 50% increase on last year’s pre-sale low estimate. This reflects the quality of the work on offer and the dynamic growth in market demand for Surrealism. Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s said: “This pioneering movement of 20th century art now commands the attention of the global art market, with Christie’s auctions attracting new collectors each year from around the world and from other collecting areas, notably Contemporary art.”
Christie’s pre-sale estimates for Impressionist, Modern & Surrealist works offered in the February auctions range from a low of £115,216,300 to a high of £171,250,000.
Paul Delvaux (1897-1994) Les nymphes des eaux (£3-5 million) courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013.
Joan Miró (1893-1983) Femme (Femme debout) (£3-5 million) courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013. UPDATE: THIS MADE £6,313,250
Óscar Domínguez (1906-1957) Machne à coudre électro-sexuelle (£1.3-1.8 million) courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013. UPDATE: THIS MADE £2,113,250
René Magritte (1898-1967) Tous les jours (£1.8-2.5 million) courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013. UPDATE: THIS MADE £1,721,250