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  • Posts Tagged ‘Christie’s New York’


    Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

    Fernand Leger – Contraste de forms, oil on burlap, Painted in 1913

    One of the most important canvasses by Fernand Léger to be offered at auction comes up at Christie’s in New York on November 13.  Contraste de forms, an oil on burlap painted in 1913,  was originally acquired from Léger at the end of 1913 by his dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.

    It was bought in 1956 from Galerie Rosengart in Lucerne by Ludmilla and Hans Arnhold, an international banker and art collector. Mr. Arnhold later bequeathed the painting to their daughter and son-in law, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen. Mr. Kellen was longtime CEO of  investment banking firm, Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, Inc. (now First Eagle Holdings, Inc.).  He and his wife were passionate collectors and distinguished philanthropists.

    The Kellens were deeply captivated by Léger and his work, often visiting the Musée National Fernand-Léger in Biot, France, with their children and eventually their grandchildren. Contraste de formes was a highlight of their collection and enriched their New York home for over 40 years. This is the first time it has appeared at auction. Proceeds will go towards the foundation’s philanthropic mission.

    Conor Jordan, deputy chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, remarked: “This is pure painting seen in its most exciting form, bursting with visual and intellectual ideas. The Kellen Foundation’s Contraste de formes, among the greatest Léger’s still in private hands, has a startling intensity. Executed just months before the First World War, Contraste de formes with its groundbreaking abstract conception and its thrillingly preserved physical state, is without question a major work of Modern Art. Standing at the threshold of 20th century art, this picture marks a departure from the purely figurative, leading the way for abstract art.”


    Monday, April 17th, 2017

    The only single-owner collection of works by the Venetian architect and designer Carlo Scarpa ever at auction comes up at Christie’s in New York on May 4.  Carlo Scarpa: Visions in Glass 1926-1962, A Private European Collection encompasses around 90 pieces of Italian art glass. The collection provides an overview of the pioneering styles Scarpa created for M.V.M. Cappellin and subsequently Venini. In his collaboration with the two glassmakers and in particular with Venini, Scarpa developed a modern vocabulary for the century-old techniques of glass making and paved the way for the resurgence of the island of Murano as a centre of glass with a modern outlook. Trained as an architect Scarpa developed a range of new surface treatments and techniques, while being inspired by ancient Roman glass as well as Chinese works of art. Here is a small selection:

    UPDATE:  The sale realised $2.4 million, it was 80% sold by lot and 92% by value and many lots more than doubled initial estimates.

    Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) A Summerso Vase c1934-36 ($30,000-40,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE $40,000

    A Murrine Opache dish c1940 ($100,000-150,000)  UPDATE: THIS MADE $235,500

    A Tessuto Battuto vase designed 1938-40 ($20,000-30,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE $40,000

    A rare Murrine Romane vase c1936 ($40,000-60,000).  UPDATE: THIS MADE $175,000


    Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

    A blockbuster line-up of Impressionist and Modern art highlights will come up at Christie’s in New York in November.  They will be sold in a  combined cross-category week of major fine art sales from November 9-13.  Over 500 works of Impressionist and Modern Art by the most celebrated artists of the era will be offered beginning with The Artist’s Muse: A Curated Evening Sale on November 9, 

    The sale week will be led by Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché from 1917-1918, a masterpiece of the Modern era. Poised to set a new auction record for the artist, it is among the star lots of a special cross-category sale of 20th century art curated along the theme of the artist’s muse. (All images courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2015).

    Rene Magritte - Le miroir universel ($3-5 million)

    Rene Magritte – Le miroir universel ($3-5 million)  UPDATE: THIS MADE $6,661,000

    (See post on for September 3, 2015)

    Alberto Giacometti - James Lord ($22-30 mllion)

    Alberto Giacometti – James Lord ($22-30 mllion)  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £$20,885,000

    Paul Cezanne - Pommes sur un ligne ($7-10 million)

    Paul Cezanne – Pommes sur un ligne ($7-10 million)  UPDATE: THIS MADE $9,125,000