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  • Posts Tagged ‘Christie’s’

    GRETA GARBO’S EDUCATED EYE FOR A PAINTING

    Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

    Robert Delaunay
    La femme à l’ombrelle ou La Parisienne, Courtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

    Art from the Collection of Greta Garbo will come up at Christie’s evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York on May 15.  Among the collection are prime examples from artists including Jan Alexej Von Jawlensky, Chaim Soutine and Robert Delaunay. In the history of cinema, few individuals remain as enigmatic and iconic as the actress Greta Garbo. “Of all the stars who have ever fired the imaginations of audiences,” film historian Ephraim Katz wrote, “none has quite projected a magnetism and a mystique equal to [hers].”

    Derek Reisfield, Greta Garbo’s great nephew, remarked: “Greta Garbo had a real love of art and paintings, and she was very passionate about certain artists and pictures. She was particularly enamored with these three canvases, which offer a particularly modern representation of women, especially for their time. This was a concept that that really resonated with her. Another factor that drove her collecting tastes was color. She was absolutely entranced by the vibrancy of the Delaunay. It was the central focal point of her living room in New York, and all of the furniture that she chose to surround the canvas played into its incredible colors. In essence, when we talk about Garbo we call her the first ‘modern woman,’ and I think that these three works speak to both her fundamental strength and striking aesthetic.”

    Alexej Von Jawlensky
    Das blasse Mädchen mit Grauen Zöpfen Courtesy CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2017

    Garbo successfully evaded the Hollywood publicity machine. From her earliest years in film to her death in 1990 she granted few interviews,  declined to sign autographs and avoided public functions like the Academy Awards. After retiring from cinema at 35 she transitioned to a life dedicated to fine art, scholarship and friendships. From the 1940’s she began to assemble a collection of paintings, sculpture, works on paper and decorative art. Among her friends were the Barnes Foundation visionary founder Albert Barnes and Alfred Barr, first director of the Museum of Modern Art.

    The evening sale of Impressionist and Modern art will encompass three canvases that exemplify Garbo’s sophisticated taste and proclivity for dazzling color. These works include Robert Delaunay’s La femme à l’ombrelle ou La Parisienne, 1913 ($4-7million), Chaïm Soutine’s Femme à la poupée, 1923-1924 ($3.5-4.5million) and Alexej von Jawlensky’s Das blasse Mädchen mit Grauen Zopfen, 1916 ($1-1.5million). Garbo’s grandniece, Gray Reisfield Horan, recalled her aunt’s profound love for the collection. “What are they talking about?” she would ask visitors about the pictures. “What do they say to each other?”

    In many ways, the collection both reflected and rebutted Garbo’s illustrious career: suffused with undeniable visual power, its boldness of color stood in contrast with the argent mystique of early Hollywood. “Color,” Horan recalled of her aunt’s acquisitions, “was always the essential component…. The works meshed and flowed in a wondrous explosion of enveloping hues…. Nothing was black and white.” Garbo herself, mesmerized by Delaunay’s vibrant La femme à l’ombrelle, would often remark of the canvas, “It makes a dour Swede happy.” If Garbo managed to enchant audiences via movement and gaze, so did the artists in her collection similarly capture the viewer through their pioneering use of brushwork and palette. “Color,” she enthused, “is just the starting point. There is so much more.”

    ANATOLIAN MARBLE IDOL FROM 3RD MILLENNIUM B.C.

    Friday, March 24th, 2017

    The Guennol Stargazer.

    The Guennol Stargazer is the top lot at Christie’s Exceptional sale in New York on April 28.   One of the finest and largest preserved Anatolian marble female idols of Kiliya type it dates from the Chalcolithic Period, c3000-2200 B.C.  It has a distinguished exhibition history and has been on loan at The Metropolitan Museum of Art at various periods from 1966 to 2007. It is from a private New York collection.

    “The Antiquities department is thrilled to be offering the Guennol Stargazer in the Exceptional Sale, an iconic work of art and one universally recognized as the finest Kiliya idol in existence. This extremely rare work, though dating to the 3rd millennium B.C., is widely appreciated across collecting categories, and was a source of inspiration for 20th century masters for its sleek and modern appeal,”  G. Max Bernheimer, International Head of Antiquities remarked.

    Stargazer” is the colloquial title derived from the slightly tilted-back angle at which the large head rests on the thin neck on the nine inch high figure. This creates the whimsical impression of a celestial stare. Only about 15 nearly complete idols survive. Fragmentary examples, particularly heads, abound. Most of the complete examples have been broken across the neck, as the present figure, suggesting that the sculptures were ritually “killed” at the time of burial. It was part of the Guennol collection formed by Alastair Bradley Martin and his wife Edith, the first modern owners.  Guennol is the Welsh word for Martin.  The last marble example of the Kiliya type at auction, The Schuster Stargazer, sold at Christie’s in New York in 2005 for $1.8 million.

    TWOMBLY’S LEDA TO HIGHLIGHT CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK CONTEMPORARY SALE

    Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

    Cy Twombly’s Leda and the Swan, 1962 will  highlight the May 17 Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale at Christie’s in New York. One of two large format masterpieces to emerge from this unbridled subject, Leda and the Swan’s heroic sister painting of the same title is among the most popular works on view within the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This unequivocal tour de force has been in a private collection for over 25 years. It has not been seen publicly in that time and has never been at auction before.  It is estimated at $35-55 million.

    Koji Inoue, International Director, Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s remarked: “Hidden from public view for over 25 years, we are thrilled to present one of Cy Twombly’s absolute masterpieces in Leda and the Swan, 1962. This is a remarkable painting that has been pursued by collectors for decades. Impregnated with paint passionately and poetically applied with the hand, brush and stick, Leda and the Swan, is one of the most vital canvases created during this transformative period in the artist’s career. Given its tremendous importance within the context of both Twombly’s oeuvre, and the canon of Post-War art, we are honored to have the opportunity to offer this work to the market after nearly thirty clandestine years. This is also a particularly exciting time for the Twombly market, given its overlap with the Centre Pompidou’s groundbreaking retrospective of the artist’s expansive career.”

    POST WAR AND CONTEMPORARY ART BRINGS IN £96.3 MILLION AT CHRISTIE’S

    Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

    Peter Doig’s Cobourg 3 + 1 More

    The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction at Christie’s in London totalled £96,384,000. The top price of the evening was for Peter Doig’s Cobourg 3 + 1 More, which saw determined bidding in the saleroom and on the phone and sold for £12,709,000. Mark Rothko’s No. 1 (1949) made £10,693,000. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Self Portrait, from the collection of U2’s Adam Clayton made £2,225,000. The appeal of contemporary European masters was demonstrated by Jean Dubuffet’s painting Être et poraître (To Be and to Seem) which made £10,021,000.

    Edmond Francey, Head of Department, Post-War and Contemporary Art, London said: “The exceptional sell-through rates of 95% by lot and 98% by value demonstrate that Christie’s is able to anticipate and meet the demands of the market today. The prices achieved for American artists demonstrate that they are a significant force and London is an international platform, with top prices achieved for Carl Andre, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol. Jean Dubuffet was another major highlight selling above estimate. The evening opened with record prices at auction for Wolfgang Tillmans, currently the subject of a celebrated retrospective at Tate Modern, quickly followed by records for Cecily Brown, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Henry Taylor, Albert Oehlen, Carol Rama and Günther Uecker.”

    The total to date for 20th Century at Christie’s series of sales is £258,313,636.
    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for February 10, 2017).

    THE COLLECTION OF HUBERT DE GIVENCHY 100% SOLD

    Monday, March 6th, 2017

    Diego Giaconette (1902-1985) – Table aux deux oiseau et coupelle vers 1978 sold for 962,500

    The Giacomettis of Hubert de Givenchy auction at Christie’s in Paris today achieved a total of 32,748,500 with 100% of the lots sold above their pre-sale estimate. The top price of the evening was Diego Giacometti’s octogonal table aux caryatides et atlantes, executed circa 1980 which made 4,162,500 (estimate: €600,000-800,000) establishing a new auction record for the artist.

    Active international biddings demonstrated the continued demand for exceptional pieces with prestigious provenance. Hubert de Givenchy’s long collaboration and friendship with Diego Giacometti started in the 1960’s when Givenchy met him for the first time thanks to Gustav Zumsteg, the director of the fabric company Abraham.

    FLYING START TO 20TH CENTURY SALES AT CHRISTIE’S

    Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

    René Magritte – La corde sensible

    A combined total of £136,874,598 was realised at the Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale and Art of the Surreal  which launched 20th Century at Christie’s in London last night. The top lot was Paul Gauguin’s Te Fare (La maison) which made £20,325,000. René Magritte’s La corde sensible set a new world record at auction for the artist of £14,441,348. The evening saw an electric start with lively bidding for Portrait de Lluis Alemany, a work dating from the very beginning of Picasso’s career (£773,000), and continued with Berthe Morisot’s Femme en noir or Avant le théâtre which achieved £2,045,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £600,000-800,000 and Femme et enfant au balcon also by Morisot, which more than doubled its high estimate to realise £4,085,000.

    The nine further works from the personal collection of Barbara Lambrecht, including paintings by Kees van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Félix Vallotton, each sold above estimate with the group totalling £15,945,000 to date. All proceeds are to benefit the Rubens Prize Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen.  There was sell through rates of 92% by lot and 96% by value and registered bidders from 39 countries across five continents demonstrate continued global interest from buyers with notable bidding from Asia.

    DAHL’S BACON AT CHRISTIE’S IN NEW YORK

    Friday, February 24th, 2017

    Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer, 1963 will be a highlight at Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary evening sale in New York  on May 17.  It was formerly in the collection of author Roald Dahl, a friend of Bacon’s, and it has never been auctioned before.  Dahl became an admirer of Bacon’s work when he first encountered it on a touring exhibition in 1958. He was unable to collected it at that time, but after enjoying success in the 1960’s he acquired four works by Bacon between 1964 and 1967.  The triptych here is one of these works.

    Painted in 1963, Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer marks the beginning of Francis Bacon’s relationship with Dyer, his greatest muse. This triptych is the very first portrait Bacon made of his lover who came to feature in many of the artist’s most arresting and sought after works. George Dyer came to appear in at least forty of Bacon’s paintings, many of which were created after his death in Paris in 1971. The convulsive beauty of this work represents the flowering of Bacon’s infatuation with Dyer, and is only one of five triptychs of Dyer that the artist painted in this intimate scale. It is estimated at $50=70 million.

    Loic Gouzer, Deputy Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Remarked: “Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer is a masterful tryptych, which was completed with the first three months of Bacon’s relationship with the most important muse of his career. These powerful portraits exemplify the dynamism and complex psychology that the artist is most revered for. And with its tremendous significance to the artist and excellent provenance, we are honored to have the opportunity to present this monumental work at auction for the first time.”  

    CARVED MARBLE LIONS TO LEAD CHRISTIE’S EXCEPTIONAL SALE

    Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

    Two Addorsed Lions by André Beauneveu

    A re-discovered carved marble group of Two Addorsed Lions by André Beauneveu (circa 1335–1402) dating from 1364–66 will lead Christie’s Exceptional Sale in London next July. Originally executed to form part of the tomb of King Charles V of France at the Abbey of St. Denis, the addorsed or placed back to back lions were brought from France in 1802 by the English aristocrat Sir Thomas Neave (1761–1848), and have remained in the same collection ever since. Known to scholars only from an engraving of the 18th century, the emergence of these lions represents a remarkable re-discovery.

    Donald Johnston, Christie’s UK, International Head of Sculpture: ‘It is extraordinarily rare to offer any medieval work of art with such a fully documented provenance. The fact that this marble group was executed by one of the most important sculptors of the period and is part of an important royal commission makes it even more remarkable. The discovery of these lions in a private English collection is wonderful news for collectors and scholars who previously thought they had been lost during the French Revolution.’

    A NOBEL PRIZE FOR SALE AT CHRISTIE’S

    Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

    The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Alfonso Garcia Robles in 1982 for his pioneering work in nuclear disarmament comes up at Christie’s in New York on April 28.  It will be included in The Exceptional Sale and is estimated at $400,000-600,oo0. Garcia Robles was the driving force behind the Treaty of Tlatelolco, opened for signing 50 years ago on February 14, 1967, and significant for keeping Latin America and the Caribbean nuclear-free to this day. The Nobel Peace Prize medal is 18 carat gold and 2.5 inches diameter.

    “We are thrilled and honored to be offering this tangible symbol of mankind’s struggle for peace,” remarks Becky MacGuire, specialist of The Exceptional Sale. “In 1962 Alfonso Garcia Robles watched the Cuban missile crisis unfold a mere 1,500 miles off Mexico, and he resolved to put an end to the horrific nuclear threat for his beloved country and the entire region. His unwavering dedication to the cause of disarmament resulted in the ground-breaking Treaty that did end that threat. The Nobel Peace Prize honoring Garcia Robles reminds us of the very best in humanity, just as great, transformative works of art do.”

    ADAM CLAYTON’S BASQUIAT AT CHRISTIE’S

    Friday, February 10th, 2017

    Jean-Michel Basquiat Untitled (1982) UPDATE: THIS MADE £2,225,000

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) from the collection of U2’s bassist Adam Clayton is to be a major highlight of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art evening auction in London on March 7. Held for over twenty-five years in Clayton’s collection, Untitled featured on the front cover of the catalogue for the exhibition Basquiat Drawings held in 1990 at The Robert Miller Gallery in New York.  A deeply poignant self-portrait, the work offers a rare insight into Basquiat’s psyche at a pivotal moment in his career: a tear drops from his eye; his arms seem to pierce his body like an arrow. Basquiat depicts himself as a martyr: a Saint Sebastian-like figure for the contemporary age.  It is estimated at £1-1.5 million.

    Adam Clayton: “There was a group of them – there was Basquiat, there was Keith Haring, and obviously Warhol was the granddaddy of the whole movement. The idea that these young painters without any gallery experience could make their mark on the streets of New York – could go to the hippest night clubs, could mix with musical culture – was very exciting to me. It was where I came from – I always thought music and art went hand in hand together.”

    Francis Outred, Chairman and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art EMERI: “On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of U2’s Joshua Tree, an album which was a thorough exploration of the band’s political and spiritual relationship with the United States, it is a rare privilege to showcase this work which Adam Clayton acquired during his first months of moving to New York.  Unlike other self-portraits by Basquiat it articulates his fragility as a figure who is coming to terms with his new position in the world and injects the deepest pathos into the narrative of his dramatic trajectory from anonymous graffiti artist to international art superstar.”