Friday, March 6, 2015

Fernand Léger at Auction

Sotheby's 2016


Fernand Léger Eléments mécaniques (1919) Estimate: £3,000,000-5,000,000 

Created shortly after the end of the First World War, Eléments mécaniques is a celebration of technological progress in anage of rapid industrialisation. The piece also marks a return to the simple purity of abstraction and bright palette, which Léger had abandoned whilst serving in the French army. He transforms the composition with a fragmentation of the objects and space to reflect the frenetic simultaneity of modern life. 

Sotheby's 2013: Fernand Léger Élément mécanique, 1920. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 8,677,000 USD

Sotheby's 2015 Fernand Léger LES HOMMES DANS LA VILLE. 1919  LOT SOLD. 5,626,000 USD

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on Tuesday 2 February 2016

Dating from one of the most important periods of Fernand Léger’s (1881-1955) career, Le moteur was painted in May 1918, just months after the artist had resumed painting following his discharge from the army (estimate: £4-6 million). Taking as its subject a gleaming, multipartite, modern engine, Le moteur is one of the first of a group of visionary works that marks the beginning of Léger’s renowned ‘mechanical period’, which would come to define his art of the years following the First World War. Keen to embrace modernity in all its varied forms, Léger deified the machine during this period, using a fragmented, dynamic pictorial vocabulary with which to depict it. With its riotous explosion of bold colour, frenzied interlocking and overlapping forms and jubilant patterns and texture, Le moteur is a glorious example of this series of works: a vibrant emblem of the industrialised and modernised post-war era that so enthralled the artist.
 Christie’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art November 5 2014

Fernand Léger’s Les constructeurs avec arbre, (estimate: $16-22 million), is an important example from the artist’s rarely offered and highly coveted Constructors series. Known as the “painter of the machine age”, Léger was captivated by themes of construction and engineering, using them in his work as a symbol of man’s creative power in an industrialized modern world. In the years 1949-1950, he painted Les constructeurs avec arbre, using it as the model for the what would become the final acclaimed painting in this series, Les constructeurs à l’aloès.
  • The Constructor series is Léger's homage to the salt-of-the-earth working man, both as a class within French society and in the industrialized world generally, and as a more universal symbol of homo faber — man the maker and builder.
  • The emphasis that Léger devoted to the configuration of the four workmen in this study resulted in this picture becoming the most strongly characterized of the large compositions in this series.
  • At the upper left, one of the four construction workers perched on the girders of this building-in-progress is applying his muscular physique to the job. Two other men exchange greetings, and the fourth, perhaps a member of the architectural team that designed this structure, gazes dreamily away from the scene. This figure is thought to be Léger’s portrayal of himself as a young man.
SOTHEBY'S Impressionist and Modern Art February 4, 2003  

By Fernand Léger (1881-1955), is Sujet mécanique,  from 1920 -a work which depicts the streamline shape and smooth precision of an undetermined mechanical object. Property of a Private European collector, the oil on canvas is estimated to fetch £800,000-1,200,000. 

Sotheby's 2013 

From the NY Times:

Madonna sells Fernand Leger painting for $7.2 million

A Fernand Léger painting owned by pop star Madonna sold for $7.2 million at a New York auction Tuesday. Madonna had put the painting up for sale to benefit her charitable group, the Ray of Light Foundation.

The sale, which was part of a larger Sotheby's auction of Impressionist and Modern art, exceeded expectations. The auction house had originally estimated that the work would go for between $5 million and $7 million.

"Trois Femmes à la Table Rouge" was created around 1921 and is a quasi-cubist depiction of three women sitting around a red table...

Sotheby's said Madonna acquired the painting in 1990 from the Helen and William Mazer Foundation. The New York Times reported last month that the pop star had paid $3.4 million for the painting at a Sotheby's sale.

The pop star said in a statement earlier this year that she will "donate all the proceeds [from the Léger sale] to support girls' educational projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries where female education is rare or nonexistent."

Sotheby’s 2008

FERNAND LÉGER (1881-1955) 
Painted in 1954, oil on canvas 
Est: £350,000-450,000 / €490,000-630,000  

The visual and psychological interplay of opposing forms and aesthetics underpinned Léger's most dynamic works during the 1950s, powerfully exemplified in Un Arbre sur un fond rouge. Treating the patches of colour independently of the linear elements, Léger subverted the conventions of pictorial representation. Reflecting his social tendencies and desire for artto be accessible to the masses, Léger's undermining of standard conventions rejected the traditional methods of appreciating a work of art demanding instead a revised set of rules, governed by instinct and visualisation in place of education and class.

Sotheby's 2015

Fernand Léger
LOT SOLD. 905,000 GBP 

Fernand Léger
Estimate 50,00070,000 GBP

Sotheby's 2014

Fernand Léger
LOT SOLD. 6,325,000 USD 

Fernand Léger
LOT SOLD. 3,973,000 USD

Fernand Léger
LOT SOLD. 941,000 USD

Fernand Léger
Estimate 400,000600,000 GBP

Fernand Léger
LOT SOLD. 81,250 USD

Fernand Léger
Estimate 500,000700,000 USD

Fernand Léger
LOT SOLD. 50,000 USD

Christie’s 2015

Christie’s 2014 


Christie’s 2013 

Christie’s 2012 

Fernand Léger (1881-1955)
Gaz de France



Christie’s 2011


Christie’s 2010





Christie’s 2009

 Christie’s 2008 



Christie’s 2007

Fernand Léger (1881-1955)
Un disque dans la ville



Projet de décoration pour Rockefeller Center

Christie’s 2006

 Christie’s 2005

Christie’s 2004