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    Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

    Antony Gormley – A Case for an Angel 1 (1989)

    Antony Gormley’s A Case for an Angel I (1989) will be a highlight at Christie’s Frieze Week auctions.  Estimated at £5,000,000-7,000,000) the work is poised to set an auction record for the artist.   A Case for an Angel I is a magnetic and imposing presence, resplendent with an 8.5-metre wingspan.

    Katharine Arnold, who heads the sale at Christie’s, said: “Antony Gormley has pioneered a poignant type of sculpture reflecting upon the balance of human aspirations versus our physical limitations. A Case for an Angel I (1989) is the original articulation of this concept, configured in the 1:1 size of the artist’s body and with an 8.5-metre wingspan, the sculpture creates a vast optical horizon. We expect the sculpture, which prefigured the artist’s landmark sculpture the Angel of the North at Gateshead, to perform at the highest levels.”

    British artists will form a focal point of Christie’s Frieze Week Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction on October 6.  The sale will feature masterworks by major figures, including Peter Doig, Hurvin Anderson and Jenny Saville.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £5,296,250


    Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

    Mark Rothko Untitled (Orange and Yellow)
    1969 (£4-6 million) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017

    Masterworks from the collection of Antoni Tapies, one of the most famous Post-War artists of his generation, will come up at Christie’s this autumn. Featuring artists including Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso and Mark Rothko, these works will star in the Post-War and Contemporary Art evening auction on October 6,  Up Close on October 3 and the forthcoming Impressionist and Modern Art auctions in February 2018.

    The personal collection of Antoni Tapies includes some of the most important figures of the twentieth century avant-garde and offers a unique insight into the powerful bond that existed between the artist and the paintings and sculptures he encountered over the course of his lifetime.  Born in Barcelona in 1923, Antoni Tapies grew up as the violence of the Civil War was being inscribed on the ancient walls of his city. From destruction, he forged one of the greatest bodies of abstract work of the twentieth century. He first came to prominence in the late 1940’s, a scholarship to Paris in 1950-51 led to a meeting with Pablo Picasso. Tapies deliberately chose commonplace materials to infuse with new significance. In 1984, he created the Ta?pies Foundation. Antoni Tapies died in 2012. Here are some examples from his collection:

    Alberto Giacometti
    Homme (Apollon)
    Bronze with golden brown patina
    Conceived in 1929, this bronze version cast circa 1948–56 in an edition of six (£800,000-1.2 million)© Christie’s Images Limited 2017

    Pablo Picasso Le coq saigné (‘The bled cock’)
    1947-8 (£2.2-2.8 million) © Christie’s Images Limited 2017


    Saturday, September 9th, 2017

    Objects and artworks from the personal collection of Claude Monet will come up at Christie’s in Hong Kong on November 26.  Early works by Monet that trace his artistic development range from sketches to pastels and some of the first examples of the artist working in series. These are presented alongside pieces from his own collection by artists and friends including Édouard Manet, Eugène Boudin, Auguste Rodin, Paul Signac and others. Through Japanese prints, personal items and photographs of the artist the sale offers a glimpse into the private world of Claude Monet.

    In addition to being the first sale dedicated to Impressionism in Asia the auction will be transmitted to Christie’s Parisian auction room to enable European based clients to attend and participate. Titled Dear Monsieur Monet, the collection, preserved by Rolande Verneiges, an unrecognised yet protected daughter of Claude Monet’s son Michel, presents an intimate and family driven insight into one of art history’s most beloved artists. Hidden from the rest of the world, these works have only been seen in catalogue reproductions.

    CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) Falaises des Petites-Dalles ($2-3 million)

    AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)
    Salomé ($50,000-80,000)

    Two women, from the series Six Jewel Rivers ($3,000-5,000)

    CIRCA 1880, MAKER’S MARK ILLEGIBLE ($300-500)


    Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

    Francis Bacon – Head with Raised Arm

    Francis Bacon’s Head with Raised Arm will be a highlight of Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Art evening auction on October 6 during Frieze week.  The 1955 painting estimated at  £7,000,000 – £10,000,000 will be unveiled for the first time in over half a century. Last exhibited in 1962 at the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Turin, the work was acquired by the present owners the following year, and has remained hidden from public view ever since.

    The location of this papal portrait was listed as ‘unknown’ in the most recent version of the catalogue raisonné published last year by Martin Harrison. Riddled with quiet introspection and human tension, it belongs to a group of nine surviving paintings depicting the then-incumbent, Pope Pius XII. With four held in museum collections, and a further on permanent loan, Bacon’s portraits of the living Pope are among his most profound.

    It will be on view from September 8 at, Christie’s Rockefeller Center, New York; from September 18 at Christie’s Hong Kong and in London from September 30. 


    Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

    MAN RAY (1890–1976)
    Rayograph, 1928 ($150,000-250,000)

    More than 400 photographs from the Museum of Modern Art in New York are to be sold at Christie’s to benefit the acquisitions fund for the Department of Photography.Works offered include iconic photographs by many of the most well-known names from the early 20th century to the post-war period, including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Man Ray, Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Walker Evans. The selection is led by two unique Rayograph works by Man Ray from 1923 and 1928 which are to be offered on October 10.

    The sale will start with four highlights on October 10.  A subsequent series of online auctions will be held in October, December and in January and April 2018.  The online sales are curated to encompass important themes including Pictorialism into Modernism, Women in Photography and several sales on individual photographers. Highlights will be previewed during exhibitions in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York starting in September 2017. Cataloguing and complete details of the sales will be available on in September.

    Darius Himes, International Head of Photographs, Christie’s said: “Christie’s is honored to offer for sale a selection of photographs from The Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1940, the Museum became the first in the country to form a Department of Photography. Many of the artists represented in this series of live and online auctions will be deeply familiar to any student of photography, and are beloved on an international scale. These auctions represent a unique opportunity to support the Museum and own a piece of photographic history.”


    Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

    Beyond Boundaries: Avant-Garde Masterworks from a European Collection will come up at Christie’s during the second half of 2017 in New York, Geneva, and Paris. The collection is expected to achieve around $30,000,000 and comprises around 180 works from five categories: Impressionist and Modern Art, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Magnificent Jewels, African Art and Design. The Modern and Post-War works of art were assembled with the guidance of renowned advisor Alain Tarica, who also advised Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé as well as Hubertus and Renate Wald for their collections.  This collection is led by Wassily Kandinsky’s Improvisation mit Pferden (Studie für Improvisation 20) which is estimated between $10,000,000 and 15,000,000, and executed in 1911, the year Kandinsky realised the first abstract painting in history.

    Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s said: “This collection is without doubt one of the greatest moments of the autumn season. Not only because this group of around 180 works, comprising design, modern art, jewellery and some African sculptures is of the highest quality and refinement, but also because this collection has a soul, a unique spirit. It is obvious that every object has been chosen with passion and with an extraordinary liberty by this couple of collectors. The result is a beautiful testimony for dialogue between arts and styles”.

    The images above displays, from left to right,  Wassily Kandinsky – Improvisation mit Pferden; Yves Klein – Monogold: Hemba Figure – Democratic Republic of Congo and Marc Newsom – Pod of Drawers.


    Sunday, July 16th, 2017

    Samuel Frederick Brocas (Dublin 1792-1847)
    The General Post Office and Nelson’s Pillar, Sackville Street, with the Dublin Lying-in Hospital beyond

    There was a new auction record for Irish artist Samuel Frederick Brocas at Christie’s classic week sales. A pen and ink and watercolour of the GPO and Nelson’s Pillar, Sackville Street, with the Dublin Lying-in hospital beyond sold for £20,000.

    The General Post Office on Sackville Street, modern day O’Connell Street, is perhaps the most iconic of Dublin’s buildings, serving as the headquarters of the Irish Republicans during the Easter Rising of 1916. The adjacent Nelson’s Pillar survived the Rising but was destroyed by Republicans in 1966. The rotunda of the Dublin Lying-in Hospital, today the Rotunda Gate Theatre, is visible, as is the spire of the St George’s church.


    Friday, July 7th, 2017

    FRANCESCO GUARDI (Venice 1712–1793), The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi.

    A painting by Francesco Guardi handed down through generations of the Guinness family made £26.2 million at Christie’s Classic Week Old Masters evening sale in London last night. The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi achieved the highest price paid for an Old Master this year. It  is one of the celebrated pair of views of the Grand Canal at the Rialto, which are widely regarded as the most accomplished works of Guardi’s early maturity. Ambitious in scale and startlingly innovative both in design and pictorial mood, this work stands among the masterpieces of eighteenth-century European art. The picture is prominently signed and exceptionally well preserved, having been offered for sale only once in its history.

    The sale totalled £43,848,250.  The evening sale achieved 75% by lot and 78% by value and saw registered bidders from 23 countries, across 4 continents.

    Henry Pettifer, Head of Christie’s Old Master Paintings EMERI said: “’The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi’ by Francesco Guardi is the most expensive Old Master painting since the sale of Rubens’s ‘Lot and his Daughters’ this time last year. It continues the momentum in the Old Masters field at Christie’s and proves once again the global appetite for the very best works of art.”

    (See post on for April 5, 2017)


    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.


    Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

    The Rockefeller Winston emerald

    There was a world auction record per carat at Christie’s in New York last night when The Rockefeller Emerald sold for $5,511,500.  This amounted to $305,000 per carat.  The octagonal step-cut emerald is approximately 18.04 carats.

    It was sold to jeweller Harry Winston. CFO Robert Scott was bidding in Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza saleroom with instructions from Harry Winston CEO Nayla Hayek to “bring this magnificent gem home at any price.” Following the sale, Nayla Hayek commented “Harry Winston is immensely proud to own the finest emerald in the world which once belonged to one of America’s most important dynasties.”

    The sale of magnificent jewels totalled $26.1 million and was 83% sold by lot and 89% by value. There was strong results for jewels from Louis Comfort Tiffany once part of The Garden Museum Collection in Japan.