Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sotheby’s November 14 2016 Impressionist & Modern Art in New York: Munch, Picsso, Van Gogh, Lempicka, Diego Rivera

Edvard Munch’s stunning Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge) will lead Sotheby’s has announced that November 2016 auctions of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York.

Munch painted Girls on the Bridge in 1902, during an emotionally-turbulent yet highly-productive period of his life. The lyrical work ranks as one of the most powerful paintings of his career, and has twice set a new world auction record for the artist at Sotheby’s.

Girls on the Bridge will come to auction on 14 November with an estimate in excess of $50 million.
Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, commented:
“Edvard Munch’s importance to the full breadth of 20th century art cannot be overstated. From the Expressionists to Fauvism and Pop Art, his oeuvre is increasingly prized for its lasting influence on the art of recent times. Munch pioneered the art of the self: recent museum shows pairing his work with that of artists ranging from Vincent van Gogh to Robert Mapplethorpe, Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol – among many others – have illustrated that his genius burns brighter today than ever. Our team has been privileged to present some of the artist’s most exceptional works at auction, each of which has caused great excitement in the market, and Girls on the Bridge is no exception.” 

Sotheby’s has been the stage for two decades of market-defining moments for the work of Edvard Munch, beginning with the 1996 sale of the present painting for a then-record $7.7 million. In 2006, Sotheby’s London held a historic sale of eight works by Munch from the collection of his patron Thomas Olsen, which together achieved nearly $30 million and established a new record when  

Summer Day sold for $10.8 million. 

Sotheby’s broke the artist’s record twice in 2008: first (and again) with Girls on the Bridge (sold for $30.8 million), followed just six months later by Vampire (sold for $38.2 million). In 2012, Sotheby’s had the great privilege of auctioning one of four versions of 

Munch’s iconic The Scream, which brought a world auction record price for any work of art: $119.9 million. 

The rich symbolism of Girls on the Bridge relates to Munch’s Frieze of Life, which takes the stages of a young woman's development from puberty to maturity as one of its themes. Girls on the Bridge continues Munch's exploration of the themes of both sexual awakening and mortality. The image of a cluster of young women, huddled in a secretive mass between two points of land, resonates with explosive tension. 

The present work has formed an integral part of several famed collections. It was first brought to the United States by Norton Simon in the 1960s. Wendell and Dorothy Cherry acquired Girls on the
Bridge from Norton Simon in 1980, adding to an extraordinary collection that included seminal works by Degas, Klimt, Modigliani, Sargent, Soutine and Picasso. Wendell Cherry passed away in 1991 and Girls on the Bridge remained with his widow Dorothy until 1996, when it was sold at Sotheby’s New York. 

Additional works offered at the auction are led by Pablo Picasso’s Le Peintre et son modèle, with an estimate of $12/18 million. Painted in 1963 and measuring more than five feet across,the painting exemplifies the dynamic force of the artist’s late work on a magnificent scale. Here Picasso depicts the powerful relationship between artist and model, one of the greatest recurring motifs of his late career. In this striking example, the male figure – a recognizable amalgamation of self-portraits – paints a female nude reminiscent of the female subjects of Rubens and Ingres. Le Peintre et son modèle is entirely fresh to the market, having descended through the Oestreich family since it was acquired in 1968 from Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris. 



Estimate: 2,000,0003,000,000

Bursting with vivid hues of red, orange and yellow, Nature morte: vase aux glaïeuls exemplifies the genius of Van Gogh during one of the most transformative periods of his career (estimate $5/7 million). When the artist first arrived in Paris in 1886, he had never seen an Impressionist picture, as works by Monet, Degas, Pissarro and the other Impressionists were not exhibited in the Netherlands until 1888. Teeming with newfound coloration, Nature morte: vase aux glaïeuls is one of the earliest examples of the vibrant floral still-lifes that would come to define Van Gogh’s work. Early ownership of the painting includes Théodore Duret, the renowned French journalist and art critic, and Paul Cassirer, the German art dealer who played a significant role in the promotion of the French Impressionist & Post-Impressionist artists.

Tamara de Lempicka's sexy, bold and ultra-stylized Portrait de Guido Sommi illustrates the sleek aesthetic of the Roaring Twenties, and is a rare depiction of a male subject within the artist’s career (estimate $4/6 million). The work comes to auction this November from the collection of Kenneth Paul Block, one of the most influential fashion illustrators of the 20th century, and Morton Ribyat, a noted textile designer who ran the design departments at two major firms. As the chief features artist for Women’s Wear Daily, Mr. Block was well-known for his sophisticated drawings of the latest styles and the women who wore them. For decades he drew the collections of major American and European designers – from Norell, Halston and Galanos, to Balenciaga, Chanel and Saint Laurent.

The Evening Sale will offer a number of works by artists fundamental to the birth of abstract art in the early-20th century, including László Moholy-Nagy, František Kupka and Wassily Kandinsky. The selection features two works by Moholy-Nagy that were most recently on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, as part of the acclaimed retrospective Moholy-Nagy, Future Present

Conceived in 1922 and executed in1923, EM 1 Telephonbild is a masterwork of 20th-century conceptual art (estimate $3/4 million). In the early 1920s, Moholy-Nagy fervently sought a new mode of expression that would place him at the forefront of the avant-garde. In addition to Duchamp and the readymade, Moholy-Nagy turned to the ideal of the engineer-artist and joined in the Constructivist and Productivist belief that easel painting was dead. In its place, industrial technologies could make prototypes of art that would later be produced for the masses. Despite his interest in this avant-garde means of production, the Telephonbild enamel series was Moholy-Nagy’s only painting executed solely by machine.

Presented this season as part of the Impressionist & Modern Art sales is iconic Mexican artist Diego Rivera’s Sans titre (composition cubiste), painted circa 1916 (estimate $500/700,000). As a young artist, Rivera traveled to Europe to continue his artistic training. He lived in Paris for over a decade, where he was immersed in the world of other young artists who had gathered from all over the globe. Rivera’s cubist works from this period – of which Sans titre is a prime example – are often compared to those of Pablo Picasso, with whom he formed a strong friendship after meeting in 1914.