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    Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

    Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection sold for $21.2 million to lead Sotheby’s auction of Impressionist and Modern art in New York last night.  The sale, which saw exceptional prices for sculpture, brought in $173.8 million. There was a new record for Max Ernst whose Surrealist bronze from the Motherwell collection made $16 million. New auction records were also established for Diego Giacometti ($6.3 million), Jean Arp ($4.9 million) and Germaine Richier ($3 million).  The Impressionist sale was led by a Monet view of the pond at Giverny which made $16 million.

    Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, commented: “Collectors are ready to look in every corner of the marketplace  for the best of the best, be it sculpture, Impressionism, Modern or avant-garde works. When you offer something so rare, that hasn’t been seen at auction before, and is represented in the greatest museums, it ticks all the boxes. And today’s collectors are ready to go the extra mile to secure those special pieces – the excitement we saw around the Malevich and the Ernst reflects that. Taken together with our outstanding results achieved in London this past March, our flagship sales of Impressionist & Modern Art are up nearly 50% year to date – a statement on both the strength of the market and our performance for our clients.”

    Kazimir Malevich Suprematist Composition with Plane in Projection made $21.1 million

    Max Ernst Le Roi Jouant Avec La Reine (sold for $15.9 million)

    Claude Monet Le Bassin aux nymphéas ($15.9 million)

    Diego Giacometti Bibliothèque De L’île Saint-Louis (sold for $6.3 million)


    Thursday, February 9th, 2017

    Max Ernst (1891-1976) – Le Chaste Joseph

    A special exhibition of loaned works by Surrealist Max Ernst (1891-1976) will go on public view at Sotheby’s in London from February 13 to March 2.  The exhibition coincides with Sotheby’s Surrealist art evening auction on March 1.  The eleven works showcase a dynamic period in the Paris art scene from 1921-28 when Ernest was the foremost surreal artist in the city.  They are on display in London for the first time in almost three decades.

    Ernst’s fascination with nature – and in particular, birds and forests – will be brought into the spotlight with this exhibition. The paintings have remained in private hands since they were painted.

    Samuel Valette, Sotheby’s Senior Specialist in Impressionist & Modern Art, commented: “We are honoured to have been loaned a selection of Max Ernst’s greatest works to present a public exhibition that places a much-deserved spotlight on the artist who was at the very forefront of the Surrealist movement’s aesthetic innovation. Presented in a specially created gallery display to evoke Ernst’s magical yet dark account of the first time he entered a forest, this small but gem-like show will envelop visitors in Ernst’s mastery of the natural and the fantastic. It provides a greater understanding of the artist himself and his profound influence on many of the greatest artists who followed him.”

    With over half of these works still in their original constructed frames designed by Ernst himself, the paintings present an incomparable insight into the most innovative period of the artist’s career. The jewel of the exhibition is Le Chaste Joseph, loosely based on an account in the Old Testament – one of the greatest masterpieces by Max Ernst in private hands.


    Saturday, February 6th, 2016
    Max Ernst - The Stolen Mirror - was the top lot of the week at Christie's.

    Max Ernst – The Stolen Mirror – was the top lot of the week at Christie’s.

    RESULTS from the February auctions of Impressionist, Modern and Surreal art offer an assured start to 2016 according to  Christie’s.  The sales in London this week brought in £117.8 million.  The top lot of the week was The Stolen Mirror by Max Ernst which made £7.6 million.

    Christie’s report that demand continues across price levels, styles, media and periods. There were buyers from 35 countries across five continents for the week of sales.  There were new and established buyers at all price levels at King St. and South Kensington.  The Impressionist & Modern Art and Picasso Ceramics Sale realised the highest ever total for a various owner sale in the category at South Kensington.  No less than 46% of lots were either sold or directly underbid online.


    Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
    MAX ERNST (1891-1976) The Stolen Mirror

    MAX ERNST (1891-1976) The Stolen Mirror

    THE Stolen Mirror by Max Ernst was the top lot at Christie’s sales of Impressionist and Modern Art and The Art of the Surreal in London last night.  With registered bidders from 35 countries across five continents the sales realized £95.9 million.  There was strong participation from Asia, America and Europe.  The Stolen Mirror, a museum quality work, sold for £7.6 million.  A total of 27 works of art sold for over £1 million and there were artists records for George Scholz and Peter Rose Pulham and a record for a work on paper by Salvador Dali.

    Jay Vincze, International Director and Head of The Impressionist and Modern Art Department, Christie’s London, and Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s commented afterwards: “We are pleased with the total realised this evening and with the high sell-through rate by value, accompanied by the solid sell-through rate by lot. We had strong interest across price levels and periods, from Paul Cezanne’s 1882 work ‘Ferme en Normandie, été (Hattenville)’, through to Joan Miró’s 1968 ‘Femme et oiseaux dans la unit .”

    (See posts on for January 31 and January 13, 2016).


    Friday, January 15th, 2016

    The Stolen Mirror a technical tour-de-force by Max Ernst leads Christie’s sale of the Art of the Surreal in London on February 2.   One of the artist’s finest works the dream like landscape painted in 1941 is estimated at £7-10 million.  The auction comprises 42 lots by 16 different artists.  Among them are Pablo Picasso, Wilfredo Lam, René Magritte, Joan Miró and Salvador Dali. Here is a taste:

    MAX ERNST (1891-1976) The Stolen Mirror (£7-10 million). © Christie’s Images Limited 2015

    MAX ERNST (1891-1976) The Stolen Mirror (£7-10 million).
    © Christie’s Images Limited 2015

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Arlequin signed ‘Picasso 26’ (£1.5-2.5 million). © Christie’s Images Limited 2015

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Arlequin
    signed ‘Picasso 26’ (£1.5-2.5 million). © Christie’s Images Limited 2015