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    Henri Matisse’s Back IV (Nu de Dos, 4eme état), a monumental bronze from the most celebrated and ambitious sculptural series of the artist’s career, will lead the Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on November 3. Matisse’s Back series of four life-sized relief sculptures is featured in major museums collections around the world, including the Tate Gallery in London, MOMA in New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

    The upcoming sale marks the first time that any of these colossal bronzes has appeared at auction.  Christie’s expects Back IV, the final, definitive statement in this sequence of progressively abstracted female figures, to fetch $25,000,000-35,000,000.  Of the twelve bronze casts that were made of this culminating relief, the work to be offered is one of only two examples remaining in private hands. As the most starkly refined and highly architectural of the Back reliefs, Back IV divides the female form into three nearly symmetrical zones, with the woman’s head, hair and spine fused into a startlingly stripped-down columnar figure at center of the work.

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