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    SEAN SCULLY AT SOTHEBY’S CONTEMPORARY SALE

    Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

    The Contemporary Art day sale at Sotheby’s in London on February 12 will feature two works by Sean Scully, Pink Three (£200,000-300,000) and 8.20.89 (£50,000-70,000). UPDATE: PINK THREE WAS UNSOLD, 8.20.89 MADE £62,500.

    Sean Scully B. 1945 PINK THREE

    BIG CONTEMPORARY ART SALES IN LONDON NEXT WEEK

    Saturday, February 8th, 2020

    Hockney, Klein, Bacon, Warhol  and Basquiat are among the artists whose work will loom large at major contemporary art evening sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in London next week.At this moment of uncertainty and unease about the future there is no shortage of rich pickings for wealthy and institutional collectors. Sotheby’s has Hockney’s The Splash and one of Yves Klein’s first performance paintings, Christie’s has Andy Warhol’s Athletes.The Splash, featured on these pages two weeks ago, is the standout work at Sotheby’s evening sale of 47 works next Tuesday evening.  Estimated at £20-30 million it is the second in a series of three splash paintings that secured Hockey’s international reputation. Like Hockney’s splash Turning Figure by Francis Bacon, estimated at £6-8 million, contrasts an explosion of movement with a background that is utterly still.There is a similar estimate on Yves Klein’s Untitled Anthropometry, a work created during one of Klein’s first art performances at his Paris studio in 1960.  During the show Klein instructed nude female models coated in his patented blue IKB pigment to press their bodies against large sheets of paper.  Transforming the human figure into a living brush this work is considered rare for its grand scale and the inclusion of two full figures.  There are notable works on offer from artists like Jean Michel Basquiat, Cecily Brown, Damien Hirst, KAWS, Roy Lichtenstein, Kerry James Marshall, Grayson Perry, Gerhard Richter, Bridget Riley and others.At Christie’s on Wednesday evening a Warhol of Mohammed Ali is estimated at £3-5 million. From the collection of Richard L. Weisman Warhol’s Athletes is comprised of ten multicoloured portraits of stars like Pele, Chris Evert, O.J. Simpson and Jack Nicklaus. Ali dates to 1977.  The series is presented at Christie’s alongside Flowers from 1964 (£1-1.5 million), Warhol’s Knives (£2.5-3.5 million) and Brillo Soap Pads Box (£300,000-500,000).Jean Dubuffet’s Panorama, 1978 (£2-3 million) is an example of his theatres of memory, a reflective series created in the last decade of the artist’s life.  It is one of three works by Dubuffet in the sale. Albert Oehlen’s Mission Rohrfrei (£1.8-2.5 million) from 1996 is among the most abstract and explosive of his Remixes derived from Oehlen’s obsession with an obscure painting by John Grahama largely forgotten figure who played an important role in Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist circles in mid-century America.

    Untitled Anthropometry by Yves Klein at Sotheby’s . UPDATE: THIS MADE £6.1 MILLION
    Panorama by Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) at Christie’s . UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £2.1 MILLION

    SOTHEBY’S MAKE SALES TOTAL OF £49.9 MILLION

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

    The Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist Art sale at Sotheby’s this evening achieved a total of £49.9 million. Camille Pissarro’s Gelee blanche was the top lot of this 33 lot auction. It made £13.29 million over a top estimate of £12 million. This was the second highest auction price for a Pissarro. The painting was one of three works restituted to the heirs of Gaston Levy which together sold for £22.2 million. There were auction records for Jean Metzinger and Pyke Koch. The sale saw strong activity from Asia as well as Europe and the US. Asian collectors bid on one third of lots offered.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for February 1, January 29 and January 13, 2020)

    Pyke Koch FLORENTIJNSE TUIN (FLORENTINE GARDEN) sold for £555,000

    MONET WOULD HAVE LOVED IT HERE

    Tuesday, February 4th, 2020

    It is a pity that Claude Monet never came to Ireland. The rapidly changing light would have undoubtedly enthralled him. This depiction of Waterloo Bridge in London, which comes up at the Impressionist and Modern Art day sale at Sotheby’s on February 5, is both specific and otherworldly.

    In words that could be readily used about the Irish climate Monet wrote from London to his wife Alice: “The weather was magnificent but unsettled… I can’t begin to describe a day as wonderful as this. One marvel after another, each lasting less than five minutes, it was enough to drive one mad. No country could be more extraordinary for a painter.” Painted in 1899 the work is estimated at £400,000-600,000.

    Claude Monet – Waterloo Bridge . UPDATE: THIS MADE £819,000

    FIRST MAJOR POST BREXIT ART SALES IN LONDON

    Saturday, February 1st, 2020

    Adding piquancy to the big London February art sales, which get underway next week, is that these are the first post Brexit auctions.  These annual sales usually attract round the globe interest and large numbers of Asian and US buyers. Sothebys kicks off on February 4 with Impressionist and Modern art evening sales to include three works recently restituted to the heirs of Gaston Levy, two from the Musee d’Orsay in Paris headed by a Pointillist masterpiece by Camille Pissarro.  This work depicts a young woman and child building a fire on a cold winter morning. Christie’s will follow on February 5 with an Impressionist and Modern sale and an auction of the Art of the Surreal.

    Gaston Levy was a notable art collector living in Paris in the 1920’s and 1930’s whose holding was dispersed under the Nazi occupation. After the war the works were repatriated to the French state and two of them have recently been restituted by the French Government to Lévy’s heirs from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The third of his works, Signac’s Quai de Clichy. Temps gris, found its way into the collection of the dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, whose illicit hoard was discovered by the authorities in the Munich apartment of his son Cornelius in 2012. Through his patronage of the Pointillists, Lévy formed a lifelong friendship with Signac, holidaying with the artist and sponsoring his project to paint 107 ports in France – securing his first pick from every batch of watercolours. Over the arc of his collecting career, Lévy owned forty-four oils by the artist. The auction will offer two paintings from different points in Signac’s oeuvre – transporting the viewer from a brisk morning in a Parisian port to the exotic delights of Istanbul’s waterside.

    Christie’s is highlighted by Tamara de Lempicka’s 1932 Portrait of Marjorie Ferry and Alberto Giacometti’s Trois hommes qui marchent from 1948.  Each one is estimated at £8-12 million. Further highlights include George Grosz’s highly politicised depiction of German at the close of the First World War. Gefahrliche Strasse is being offered 100 years after it was first shown at  Galerie Neue Kunst in Munich. Paintings from this series can be found at Tate Modern in London, MoMA in New York, the Nationalgalerle in Berlin and the Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.  There are three Picasso Still Lifes and works on paper by Gino Severini, Paul Klee, Egon Schiele and Max Ernst.

    Camille Pissaro’s Gelee Blanche . UPDATE: THIS MADE £13.3 MILLION, THE SECOND HIGHEST PRICE FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION.
    George Grosz (1893-1959) Gefahrliche Strasse . UPDATE: THIS MADE £9.7 MILLION

    BERLIN PAINTING BY KIRCHNER AT SOTHEBY’S

    Wednesday, January 29th, 2020

    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Akt vor dem Spiegel (Nude at the Mirror) comes up at Sotheby’s Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist art evening sale in London on February 4 with an estimate of £3-5 million. This is a powerful example of Kirchner’s painting from the time he lived in Berlin, where he moved from Dresden in 1911 together with other Die Brücke members including Erich Heckel and Max Pechstein, setting up a studio in Berlin-Wilmersdorf. With its bold colouration and avant-garde approach to a traditional subject-matter, the work embodies the values proclaimed in Die Brücke programme, penned by Kirchner in 1906: ‘With faith in progress and in a new generation of creators and spectators we call together all youth. […] As youth, we carry the future and want to create for ourselves freedom of life and of movement against the long established older forces”.

    ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER
    AKT VOR DEM SPIEGEL (NUDE AT THE MIRROR) . UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    RODERIC O’CONOR AT SOTHEBY’S IN NEW YORK

    Monday, January 27th, 2020

    BREEZE by Roderic O’Conor will come up at Sotheby’s sale of 19th century European art in New York on January 31. The 1898 seascape is from the collection of J.E. Safra. It is estimated at $70,000-100,000.

    RODERIC O’CONOR – BREEZE . UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

    ROYAL AND NOBLE PRICES AND CLADDAGH RECORDS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

    A total of 21 Claddagh rings from the collection of the Hon Garech Browne, founder of Claddagh Records, sold for a total of £75,759 at Sotheby’s Royal and Noble sale in London today. They made various prices from £625 to £9,375 for a c1700 ring made by Thomas Meade of Kinsale or Galway. Most went over estimate and one lot, a c1820 ring estimated at £2,500-3,500 remained unsold. The top lot of the sale was an Anglo Indian ivory inlaid writing table, Vizagapatam, which made 471,000 over a top estimate of £180,000. A c1815 Irish Regency seven pedestal dining table once at Carton House with an estimate of £80,000-120,000 failed to sell. A set of eight Irish George III hall chairs from Killadoon House in Co. Kildare sold for £47,500 over a top estimate of £25,000. A caricature from Killadoon after Sir Joshua Reynolds depicting Thomas Brudenell Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury, the Hon. John Ward, Joseph Leeson, later 2nd Earl of Milltown and Joseph Henry of Straffan made £87,500 over a top estimate of £6,000.

    (See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for January 12, 2020, December 31, 2019 and December 20, 2019)

    This caricature from Killadoon House after Sir Joshue Reynolds shows Thomas Brudenell Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury, the Hon John Ward, Joseph Leeson, later 2nd Earl of Milltown and Joseph Henry of Straffan.

    ARCHIVE LETTERS OF IRISH ESTATE IN TEXAS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

    An archive of letters dealing with the estate and family of John McMullen comes up at Sotheby’s sale of Fine Manuscript and Printed America in New York on January 27. Born in Ireland McMullen was an Irish empresario or land contractor in Texas under the colonisation system used by the Mexican government. He was granted an empresario contract in 1828 to establish a colony in Texas and was co founder of the McMullen-McGloin colony which spanned a vast area of land between the Nueces and Medina rivers. The town of San Patricio was established in 1831 as part of the colony.

    The archive of approximately 42 letters signed by Jacob Waelder in San Antonio, Texas, to John McMullen (“Friend McMullen”) in Mauch Chunk (present-day Jim Thorpe), Pennsylvania, December 12, 1834 to February 22, 1869, runs to about 105 pages. McMullen was born in Ireland in 1785 and went to the US as a young man. The archive is estimated at $25,000-35,000.

    NAZI LOOTED ARTWORKS AT SOTHEBY’S

    Monday, January 13th, 2020

    Three works recently restituted to the heirs of Gaston Lévy, one of the most notable patrons and art collectors living in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, will come up at Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale in London on February 4. One is by Camille Pisarro, two by Paul Signac. Lévy’s art collection was dispersed under the Nazi occupation, and two of the works to be offered in February were lost to the ‘Einsatztab Reichsleiter Rosenberg’ (an organisation dedicated to receiving looted cultural property) in October 1940. After the war, the works were repatriated to the French state, and have recently been restituted by the French Government to Lévy’s heirs from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The third of the works to be offered – Signac’s Quai de Clichy. Temps gris – had been stored in the Lévy’s country home, the Château des Bouffards, but later found its way into the collection of the dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt, whose illicit hoard was discovered by the authorities in 2012.

    UPDATE: The three works restituted to the heirs of Gaston Levy made #22.2 million. Pissarro’s Gelee blanche made #13.3 million, Signac’s View of Istanbul made £7.6 million and his Quai de Clichy made £1.3 million.

    Paul Signac – Quai de Clichy. Temps gris UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £1.3 MILLION