Monday, May 22, 2017

Sotheby’s Latin America: Modern Art 25 May


  Sotheby’s announced their Evening Sales of Latin America: Modern Art and Latin America: Contemporary Art on 25 May in New York. Leading the Modern Art auction are Rufino Tamayo’s iconic The Bird Charmer (Encantador de pájaros) (estimate $3/5 million) and Diego Rivera’s arresting masterpiece, Retrato de la Actriz Matilde Palou (estimate $2/3 million). Both works appear in the market during a time of renewed interest in Mexican Modernism, with recent exhibitions at both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art in the US, the Grand Palais in Paris, and at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.


Further highlights include an outstanding Surrealist sequence, topped by Remedios Varo’s The Troubadour (El Trovador) (estimate $1/1.5 million), Wifredo Lam’s Portrait de Madame Nena Azpiazu (estimate $400/600,000) and Leonora Carrington’s Untitled (The White Goddess) (estimate $700/900,000). Exceptional modern sculptures on offer this May include Agustín Cárdenas’s Dogon (estimate $125/175,000) and several works by Fernando Botero, including the monumental Donna Seduta (estimate $700/900,000).

Masterworks of 20th century abstraction lead the Evening Sale of Latin American Contemporary Art, with Gego’s 1969 masterpiece Columna Reticulárea (estimate $1/1.5 million), Joaquín Torres-García’s elegant and recently re-discovered Sin Título (estimate $200/250,000), and Jesús Rafael Soto’s Construcción en Blanco (estimate $500/700,000) rounding out the sale’s compelling narrative of kinetic works. Additionally, in a sign of the growing prominence of Latin American artists on the global stage, Sotheby’s marquee Contemporary Art Evening Sale includes works by Brazilian artists Sergio Camargo and Mira Schendel.

A champion of modernism, Rufino Tamayo’s fervent apolitical approach to his work is among the artist’s defining attributes. Unlike his contemporaries, Tamayo shirked political activism and moved to New York at the peak of the Mexican Muralist Movement, knowing that his unpopular opinion would stifle his artistic progression in his homeland.




New York afforded Tamayo the artistic freedom to create some of his most iconic works, including The Bird Charmer (1945). The painting was exhibited during the artist’s fourth individual show at the famed Valentine Gallery in 1946, where it was acquired by distinguished collectors, John and Dominique de Menil. The title suggests Tamayo’s optimism following the War years, which is magnified by the subject joyfully playing an instrument, as birds fly in undefined infinity above.





In stark contrast to Tamayo’s apolitical work, Diego Rivera’s Retrato de la Actriz Matilde Palou is an emblematic representation of the artist’s steadfast “Mexicanidad”. Regarded as a one of Rivera’s finest portraits to have appeared at auction, the monumental work depicts the Mexican Golden Age film star in a relaxed pose, dressed in an elaborate costume flush with unmistakable Mexican symbolism. The portrait last appeared at auction in 1988 at Sotheby’s, and was exhibited for the first time in nearly 30 years this March at Sotheby’s Los Angeles.

Rivera’s striking portrait captures the young starlet at the height of her fame, painted in the same year as the release of her most celebrated film, Luis Buñuel’s Susana. Her relaxed pose and undulating form exemplify Rivera’s use of a manneristic style in his late portraits to lend a languid, glamorous air to the sitter. The artist imagines Palou in an elaborate Mexican costume; the tiers of her dress are emblazoned with the nation’s flag and coat of arms, while Aztec-inspired jewelry adorns her ears, wrists and left hand—all aesthetic affirmations of proud ‘mexicanidad’. Standing at 80 x 48 1/8 inches, the work is an arresting and confrontational example of Rivera’s masterful skill, and a beguiling celebration of Mexican identity.



The sale’s Surrealist sequence is led by The Troubadour (El Trovador), a canonical example of Remedios Varo’s complex visual lexicon. Executed in 1959, the work is a poetic display of Varo’s remarkable creativity and the matrix of influences that serve as the foundation and iconography for her paintings, such as medieval history, Greek mythology, scientific reason, music and nature. In the present work, Varo situates a troubadour within a siren-esque boat surrounded by a striking dense forest and swarming birds—echoing the epic length of the Orinoco River, one of the largest river systems in the world, and its rich wildlife.

The work, filled with the awe and mysteries of the natural world, comes to Sotheby’s from The Estate of Henry Willard Lende, Jr. As an engineer, philanthropist and land steward, Mr. Lende found endless fascination in the natural world — a life-long passion made manifest in his enduring legacy: the 644-acre natural habitat laboratory known as the Cibolo Preserve.

Located just east of Boerne in Kendall County, Texas, the Cibolo Preserve is a unique cross-section of history and nature dedicated to research and education. Celebrated for its extraordinary natural beauty, among various other traits, the Preserve is an active area of study for scientists from the University of Texas at San Antonio, along with other respected institutions. The sale of The Troubadour serves to ensure the continuity of the Cibolo Preserve and maintain Mr. Lende’s promise to this remarkable landscape.



Painted in 1941, Wifredo Lam’s Portrait de Madame Nena Azpiazu emerged as the artist returned to his native Cuba, after 18 years abroad. His homecoming would mark one of the most prodigious turning points in his career as he rediscovered and reclaimed his Afro-Cuban identity and roots. The sale comes just months after the critically acclaimed exhibition of Lam’s work at Tate Modern.

Maria Luisa (Nena) Azpiazu, who frequented social circles of cultural giants such as Picasso, Igor Stravinsky, and Ernest Hemingway, commissioned the work from Lam in 1941, after which it remained in her collection for 50 years.



Leonora Carrington’s Untitled (The White Goddess) is an exemplary work showcasing the complexity of the artist’s unique visual vocabulary informed by her Celtic heritage. Executed circa 1958 in Mexico, the painting is situated within a pivotal period of productivity for Carrington and depicts a white spiritual figure wading in a spring, surrounded by a troupe of animals within a forest setting. Carrington’s polytheistic worldview is fully conceived in this magical realm, exploring the morphing of reality with centuries-old fairytales and folklore. In true Surrealist fashion, Carrington denies the viewer vital clues on the work’s meaning, instead leaving subtle suggestions and hints.



Seraphim (White, Yellow, and Green), Claudio Bravo’s exquisite oil on canvas, unveils the artist's life-long devotion to mundane materials capable of transforming their shapes through human manipulation. Painted in 1999, the present work exemplifies Bravo’s technical mastery of trompe-l'oeil effects and exudes a marvelous virtuosity unmatched in twentieth-century Latin American paintings.

Sotheby’s American Art 23 May

Oscar Bluemner, Violet Tones, signed Florianus (lower right); also signed, titled, dated and inscribed 28 1/2 x 38 1/2 Tempera - Varnish Painting/on Paper/1934 Record #370/"Violet Tones"/Oscar F. Bluemner/102 Plain St. S. Braintree/Mass on the reverse, casein on Fabriano paper mounted on board by the artist, 28 ½ by 38 ½ inches (72.4 by 97.8 cm). Estimate $2/3 million. Photo: Sotheby's.



QUINTESSENTIAL NORMAN ROCKWELL



Two Plumbers from 1951 is Norman Rockwell at his best. Created at the height of his career, the painting brilliantly demonstrates the artist’s talent for depicting everyday life with a dose of humor. To produce the current work, Rockwell employed two of his studio assistants – Don Winslow and Gene Pelham – as models, posing them in front of a dresser owned by his wife, Mary. By combining real-life models, who were often friends and neighbors of the artist, and photography, Rockwell was able to meticulously account for each and every detail, which is in part what brings his paintings to life. In his own words: “Now my pictures grew out of the world around me, the everyday life of my neighbors. I don’t fake it anymore”. Sold at Sotheby’s New York in 1996, and having remained in the same private collection since, Two Plumbers returns to the market this season with a pre-sale estimate of $5/7 million.

JOHN SINGER SARGENT’S PORTRAIT OF HIS GODSON




John Alfred Parsons Millet is an exceptional example of John Singer Sargent’s celebrated portraiture, which earned him international renown by the 1880s (estimate $2.5/3.5 million). Depicting his godson, a member of the Millet family, who were patrons of the artist, the painting was a gift from the artist to the sitter’s mother, and is inscribed to my friend Mrs. Millet. Included widely in major exhibitions, including in London, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo, the work has been off the market since 1980.

REGIONALISM




Acquired by the present owner in 1971, Church by the Barrens, Indian Harbor, Maine is a bold example from Marsden Hartley’s mature period, during which the landscape and people of the artist’s home state of Maine became the primary focus of his work (estimate $800,000/1.2 million). Here he captures the splendid effects of the Maine sunset, imparting an undeniably romantic view of his home and revealing the deep inspiration he gleaned from it. This important period of Hartley’s career is also the focus of the exhibition Marsden Hartley’s Maine, currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.



Thomas Hart Benton based Across the Curve of the Road on a sketch he executed during a trip he took through the South in 1938 to immerse himself in the culture of rural America. Belonging to a distinguished Southern collection – along with nine other works in the sale including strong examples by Andrew Wyeth and Charles Ephraim Burchfield – Across the Curve of the Road, expresses the clear dynamism with which Benton captured the unique yet familiar quality of the southern landscape (estimate $1/1.5 million).



Oscar Bluemner, Violet Tones, signed Florianus (lower right); also signed, titled, dated and inscribed 28 1/2 x 38 1/2 Tempera - Varnish Painting/on Paper/1934 Record #370/"Violet Tones"/Oscar F. Bluemner/102 Plain St. S. Braintree/Mass on the reverse, casein on Fabriano paper mounted on board by the artist, 28 ½ by 38 ½ inches (72.4 by 97.8 cm). Estimate $2/3 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

Violet Tones is a rare work by Oscar Bluemner from the 1934 (estimate $2/3 million). A dynamic interpretation of a darkened street in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Violet Tones highlights Bluemner’s command of color and form. His meticulous arrangement of hues, rooted in color theory, and subtle repetition of forms bring forth tremendous visual impact. Violet Tones was included in an important exhibition of Bluemner’s work organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art from 2005 to 2006.

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE, MARSDEN HARTLEY & THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST





Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired by imagery of the American Southwest for much of her career. Painted in 1941, Turkey Feathers and Indian Pot demonstrates the appeal that the indigenous culture of the region held for the artist, in addition to its stark and expansive landscape (estimate $1/1.5 million). O’Keeffe’s disregard for traditional scale and spatial depth here results in a modern interpretation of still-life, and displays the synthesis of realism and abstraction that has become her signature aesthetic.




New Mexico also served as a point of inspiration for Marsden Hartley, who once wrote that New Mexico is “the perfect place to regain one’s body and soul”. Landscape, New Mexico is one of his most dramatic depictions of the region (estimate $800,000/1.2 million). This 1923 work belongs to Hartley’s deeply significant New Mexico Recollections series, a group of approximately two dozen works painted in Berlin that embodies the artist’s respect for and embrace of the American landscape as subject matter.

ROCKWELL KENT’S LEADING IMAGE



Six months after establishing an auction record for the artist with Gray Day, Sotheby’s presents its highly important pendant, Blue Day, Greenland (estimate $400/600,000). Painted during the artist’s third and final trip to Greenland, Blue Day, Greenland was illustrated on the cover of Kent’s autobiography – a statement of its importance within the artist’s oeuvre. Exhibited widely across the United States, and in Russia, the painting has been held in a private collection since its purchase at Sotheby’s in 2003.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Genius of Martin Johnson Heade



Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia 
June 3 through September 10, 2017


Dramatic landscapes, exotic subjects and vibrant colors all characterize the work of the once forgotten artist Martin Johnson Heade. Now recognized as one of the most important American painters of the 19th century, Heade devoted equal time to landscape, marine and still-life subjects, but is best known for his studies of tropical birds and flowers.

The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present the exhibition “The Genius of Martin Johnson Heade” from June 3 through September 10, 2017. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the exhibition shows Heade’s creative range of work, from an early folk portrait to a late magnolia still life. The Georgia Museum of Art does not have any works by Heade in its permanent collection.

Born in 1819 in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, Heade first studied art with the folk artist Edward Hicks. From his rural beginnings, in a town where his family ran the general store, he traveled to Rome, Chicago, New York City, Brazil, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Colombia and Panama. His close friend, the artist Frederick Edwin Church, inspired his trips to South and Central America, but



Martin Johnson Heade, Orchids and Hummingbird, 1875-83.  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M.  and M.  Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865.
Martin Johnson Heade, Orchids and Hummingbird, 1875-83. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865.


Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
Passion Flowers and Hummingbirds
about 1870–83
Oil on canvas
39.37 x 54.93 cm (15 1/2 x 21 5/8 in.)
Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Lower left: M J Heade

Heade’s close-up views of tropical flora and fauna differed from Church’s dramatic landscapes painted there.



Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
Approaching Storm: Beach near Newport
about 1861–62
Oil on canvas

Inscriptions: Lower left: M. J. Heade 186[?]
71.12 x 148.27 cm (28 x 58 3/8 in.)
Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865



When Heade painted landscapes, he often focused on New England’s salt marshes and seascapes.

Late in his life, he wrote, of his travels south, “A few years after my first appearance in this breathtaking world [1863], I was attacked by the all-absorbing hummingbird craze, and it has never left me since.” His goal was to document the birds in an illustrated publication, much like John James Audubon’s “Birds of America,” but he never managed to do so, although he painted more than 40 images for the project.

“This exhibition offers the museum the opportunity to closely examine Heade’s lush use of color and his meticulous attention to detail,” said Sarah Kate Gillespie, the museum’s curator of American art, “from his New England beaches to his South American hummingbirds and orchids.”

She added, “this exhibition also contextualizes Heade’s work amongst that of his contemporaries, allowing us to exhibit important artists we don’t have represented in our permanent collection, such as Asher B. Durand and Fitz Henry Lane. The conversations among these works and artists highlight Heade’s skill and accomplishment.”

Unlike many of these contemporaries, Heade was marginalized by the New York art world. For example, he was never offered membership in the National Academy of Design.



Washington Allston (American, 1779–1843) Rising of a Thunderstorm at Sea
1804
Oil on canvas
97.15 x 129.54 cm (38 1/4 x 51 in.)
Everett Fund 

 
 
 
Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
Dawn
1862
Oil on canvas
31.11 x 61.59 cm (12 1/4 x 24 1/4 in.)
Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Lower right: M. J. Heade-62 

Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
Salt Marshes,
about 1866–76
Oil on canvas
39.37 x 76.83 cm (15 1/2 x 30 1/4 in.)
Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Lower left: M.J. Heade






Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
South American River
1868
Oil on canvas
66.04 x 57.47 cm (26 x 22 5/8 in.)
Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Lower left: M J Heade 68. 





Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
Sunset on Long Beach
about 1867
Oil on canvas
25.72 x 55.88 cm (10 1/8 x 22 in.)
Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Lower right: M J Heade



Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
Magnolia Grandiflora
about 1885–95
Oil on canvas
38.42 x 61.28 cm (15 1/8 x 24 1/8 in.)
Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Lower left center: M.J. Heade



Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900)
Cayambe
1858
Oil on canvas
30.48 x 45.72 cm (12 x 18 in.)
Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Center left: F. Church/58



Albert Bierstadt (American (born in Germany), 1830–1902)
Lake Tahoe, California
1867
Oil on canvas
55.56 x 76.2 cm (21 7/8 x 30 in.)
Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Lower left: ABierstadt/67 [AB in monogram]



Fitz Henry Lane (American, 1804–1865)
Fresh Water Cove from Dolliver's Neck, Gloucester
early 1850s
Gloucester, Massachusetts, America
Oil on canvas
61.28 x 91.76 cm (24 1/8 x 36 1/8 in.)
Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865



Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)
The Stranded Boat
1863
Oil on canvas
58.1 x 93.66 cm (22 7/8 x 36 7/8 in.)
Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865

Inscriptions: Lower right: M J. Heade/1863
14. 64.430
 



Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)  
Lake George
1862
Oil on canvas
66.04 x 125.41 cm (26 x 49 3/8 in.)
Bequest of Maxim Karolik

Inscriptions: Lower right: M J Heade/62.

David Hockney Retrospective


Tate Britain 
February 2017 - 29 May 2017
 
See images here

Centre Pompidou 
June 21 to Oct. 23 2017

Metropolitan Museum of New York
November 2017 to February 2018

David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967.  Acrylic on canvas, support: 2425 x 2439 x 30 mm Purchased 1981© David Hockney 2010
David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967. Acrylic on canvas, support: 2425 x 2439 x 30 mm Purchased 1981© David Hockney 2010

In collaboration with London’s Tate Britain and the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris will present the most comprehensive retrospective ever devoted to the work of David Hockney, from June 21 to Oct. 23. The retrospective closes at the Tate later this month on May 29 and will be at the Met from November 2017 to February 2018.

The exhibition celebrates the artist’s 80th birthday, retracing his entire career through more than 160 works (paintings, photographs, engravings, video installations, drawings and printed works), including his most iconic paintings (swimming pools, double portraits and monumental landscapes) and some of his most recent creations. It focuses in particular on Hockney’s interest in modern technologies for the production and reproduction of visual images.

Moved by a constant concern to ensure a wide circulation for his work, he has successively taken up the camera, the fax machine, the computer, the printer, and most recently the iPad. For him, artistic creation is an act of sharing. Edited by Didier Ottinger, curator of the exhibition, a 320-page catalogue with 300 illustrations will be published by the Centre Pompidou. This will include essays by Didier Ottinger, Chris Stephens, Marco Livingstone, Andrew Wilson, Ian Alteveer and Jean Frémon, and also an extensive chronology.

The exhibition opens with paintings of Hockney’s youth, produced while at art college in his native Bradford, UK. Images of an industrial England, they testify to the influence of the gritty social realism of his teachers, members of the so-called Kitchen Sink School. At the Bradford School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, Hockney discovered and assimilated the English take on Abstract Expressionism represented by Alan Davie. In Jean Dubuffet he found a style (informed by graffiti, naïve art...) that corresponded to his quest for an expressive and accessible art, and in Francis Bacon the boldness to explicitly thematise the subject of homosexuality.

His discovery of Picasso, finally, convinced him that an artist should not limit himself to a single style: he called one of his early exhibitions “Demonstrations of Versatility”. In 1964, he discovered the West Coast of the United States, where he became the painter of a sunny and hedonistic California, his Bigger Splash (1967) acquiring an iconic status. It was there, too, that he embarked on the large double portraits that celebrate the realism and perspectival vision of the photography he also assiduously engaged in.

In the United States, where he now lived, Hockney was confronted by the critical ascendancy of abstract formalism (Minimal Art, Colour Field Painting…). To the Minimalist grid, he responded by painting building facades and geometrically mowed lawns, and to “stain colour field painting” (which used dilute paint to stain the canvas itself) with a series of works on paper depicting the water of a swimming pool under different lights.

In his costumes and stage designs for opera Hockney took his distance from a photographic realism whose possibilities he now felt he had exhausted. Abandoning the classical perspective associated with the camera (“the perspective of a paralysed Cyclops”, he once said), he experimented with different ways of constructing space. Looking again at Cubism, which sought to synthetically represent the vision of a viewer who moved in relation to the subject, Hockney used a Polaroid camera to produce what he called “joiners”, representations of the subject through multiple images joined together. Systematising this “polyfocal” vision, he created Pearblossom Highway from more than a hundred photos taken from different points of view.

Searching for new principles for the pictorial representation of space, Hockney found inspiration in the Chinese scroll paintings that render the visual perceptions of a viewer in movement. Combined with the multiple viewpoints of Cubist space, this allowed him to produce Nichols Canyon, a representation of his car journey from the city of Los Angeles to his studio in the hills.

In 1997, Hockney returned to Northern England and the countryside of his childhood. His landscapes reflect his complex reconsideration of the question of space in painting. Using high-definition cameras, he also brought movement to the Cubist space of his Polaroid “joiners”, juxtaposing video screens to compose a cycle of four seasons – a subject that since the Renaissance has evoked the inexorable passage of time.

In the 1980s, Hockney began to explore the new, digital graphics tools available for the computer, producing new kinds of images. The computer was followed by the smartphone, and then the iPad, which he has used to create ever more sophisticated drawings, circulated among his friends by means of the Web.

Max Beckmann, Egon Schiele and Vincent van Gogh to Star in Christie’s London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, 27 June 2017




Max Beckmann, Bird’s Hell, Oil on canvas, 47 1/4 x 63 1/4 in. (1938, estimate on request)
Max Beckmann’s Bird’s Hell (1938, estimate on request) will lead 20th Century at Christie’s, a series of sales that take place from 17 to 30 June 2017, in the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 27 June 2017, when it will be offered at auction for the first time. One of the most powerful paintings that Beckmann created while in exile in Amsterdam it presents a searing and unforgettable vision of hell and is poised to set a world record price for the artist at auction. Begun in Amsterdam and completed in Paris at the end of 1938, this work ranks amongst the clearest and most important anti-Nazi statements that the artist ever made, mirroring the escalating violence, oppression and terror of the National Socialist regime. The painting will be on view in New York until 17 of May, Hong Kong from 25 to 29 May and London from 17 to 27 June 2017.
Painted with vigorous, almost gestural brushstrokes and bold, garish colours, Bird’s Hell envelops the viewer in a sinister underworld in which monstrous bird-like creatures are engaged in an evil ritual of torture. Presiding over the scene is a multi-breasted bird who emerges from a pink egg in the centre of the composition. To her right, a crouching black and yellow bird looms over golden coins spread before him, while behind the central figure, a group of naked women stand huddled together. Heightening the sense of hysteria is the group of figures standing within a glowing, blood red doorway to the left of the composition. Guarded by another knife-wielding bird, they return the bird-woman’s gesture, their right arms raised in unison in the same furious salute. At the front of the scene, a naked man – the symbol of innocence within this reign of terror – is shackled to a table, held down by another bird that is slashing his back in careful, horizontal lines.

Continuing the Germanic tradition of the depiction of hell, this painting echoes the gruesome allegorical scenes of




Hieronymus Bosch’s famed The Garden of Earthly Delights, while at the same time, takes aspects of Classicism and mythology to turn reality into a timeless evocation of human suffering. In this way, Bird’s Hell, like



Pablo Picasso’s Guernica 



 or Max Ernst’s Fireside Angel

 of the same period, transcends the time and the political situation in which it was made to become a universal and singular symbol of humanity.

Adrien Meyer, International Director of Impressionist & Modern Art, Christie’s New York: "Bird’s Hell was painted in 1938 in Amsterdam as a direct attack on the cruelty of the Nazi regime. A year earlier, Hitler's government had confiscated over 500 of his works from German museums, and included some of these in the notorious Degenerate Art exhibition. This emblematic picture has since been unanimously recognized as the Guernica of Expressionism. The grasping composition echoes the fantastical world of 16th century master Hieronymus Bosch. The current owner first attempted to buy this masterpiece in 1956 and succeeded thirty years later, lending it since to the most prestigious exhibitions around the world. Its upcoming sale represents a unique opportunity to acquire not only a Beckmann monument but also a true piece of history."
Jay Vincze, Head of Impressionist & Modern Art, Christie’s, London: “We are honoured to present such a seminal work by Max Beckmann at auction for the first time. Bird’s Hell stands alongside Picasso’s Guernica as one of the most politically charged paintings of its time and it is a rare opportunity to offer a work of such historical significance by Beckmann. For the artist there were two worlds, one of spiritual life and the other of political life. In this painting he is asking the viewer to decide which is more important. It is a terrifying, yet timeless history painting and a masterpiece of the artist’s oeuvre.”

Egon Schiele Einzelne Häuser (Häuser mit Bergen) (1915, estimate: £20,000,000-30,000,000) was painted in the middle of the First World War and exemplifies the artist’s visionary understanding of landscape, which he used as an allegory of human emotion.



Van Gogh’s Le Moissonneur (d’après Millet) (1889, estimate: £12,500,000-16,500,000), was painted in 1889, the same year that he left Arles and admitted himself into an asylum. The auction will take place on 27 June 2017 as part of 20th Century at Christie’s, a series of sales that take place from 17 to 30 June 2017. The works will tour to Hong Kong from 25 to 29 May 2017 and will be on view in London from 17 to 27 June 2017.

EGON SCHIELE:

Schiele created landscapes filled with melancholy, charging the natural world with a deeper spiritual meaning. The autumnal setting of Einzelne Häuser (Häuser mit Bergen) can be seen as a metaphor for mortality; the crumbling facades of the townscape and surrounding trees used as an alternate physical expression of the elemental forces of growth, death and decay. As with almost all of Schiele’s townscapes, the buildings in Einzelne Häuser (Häuser mit Bergen) appear to represent his mother’s hometown, Krumau, a medieval Bohemian town on the Moldau River, known today as Český Krumlov on the Vltava in the Czech Republic. Schiele painted Einzelne Häuser (Häuser mit Bergen) on the reverse of a fragment of an older picture known as Monk I that dates from 1913. It is believed to have formed part of one of his largest attempted projects, Bekehrung (‘Conversion’), and is linked to the two monumental allegories that he produced the same year, of which only fragments, sketches and photographic evidence are now known.

VINCENT VAN GOGH: Painted in September of 1889 Le Moissonneur (d’après Millet) is one of ten paintings that Van Gogh made after a series of drawings by Jean-François Millet entitled Les Travaux des Champs (1852), seven of which now reside in the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, with the other two in private hands. The work of Millet became a major focus for Van Gogh during this period, following the gift of a set of engravings of Millet’s Les Travaux des Champs by Jacques-Adrien Lavielle that was sent to Van Gogh from his brother Theo van Gogh the same year. Le Moissonneur (d’après Millet), employs the composition of Millet but is filled with Van Gogh’s own dramatic and intense use of colour. With his back to the viewer, bent over as he works the fields, the male figure is illuminated against the deep blue sky and golden yellow fields.

Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim Part II



Opening on February 10, 2017, on the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim features more than 170 modern objects from the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. 

Assembling many of the foundation’s most iconic works along with treasures by artists less familiar, this celebratory exhibition explores avant-garde innovations of the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries, as well as the groundbreaking activities of six pioneering arts patrons who brought to light some of the most significant artists of their day and established the Guggenheim Foundation’s identity as a forward- looking institution. Visionaries includes important works by artists such as Alexander Calder, Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Vincent van Gogh. 

More than a dozen works on paper by Picasso and Van Gogh, rarely on view to the public, will be installed in the Thannhauser Gallery, where the earliest works represented in the Guggenheim collection are typically on display. Additionally, sculptures by Edgar Degas and paintings by Pierre- Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, and Édouard Manet will be placed on the ramps for the occasion of the exhibition. In May, a fresh selection of works on paper by artists including Klee, Picasso, and Van Gogh will replace the first grouping.





Pablo Picasso(1881-1973)
Woman Ironing, Paris, 1904 La repasseuse, Paris, 1904
Oil on canvas
45 3/4 x 28 3/4 inches (116.2 x 73 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser, 1978
78.2514.41 



Pablo Picasso(1881-1973)
Accordionist, Céret, summer 1911 L’accordéoniste, Céret, summer 1911
Oil on canvas
51 1/4 x 35 1/4 inches (130.2 x 89.5 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
37.537 




Pablo Picasso(1881-1973)
Carafe, Jug and Fruit Bowl, Horta de San Juan, summer 1909 Carafon, pot et compotier, Horta de San Juan, summer 1909
Oil on canvas
28 1/4 x 25 3/8 inches (71.8 x 64.6 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
37.536 




Pablo Picasso(1881-1973)
Bottles and Glasses, Paris, winter 1911–12 Bouteilles et verres, Paris, winter 1911–12
Oil on paper, mounted on canvas
25 3/8 x 19 1/2 inches (64.4 x 49.5 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
38.539



Robert Delaunay(1885-1941)
Eiffel Tower, 1911 (dated 1910 by the artist) Tour Eiffel, 1911 (dated 1910 by the artist)
Oil on canvas
79 1/2 x 54 1/2 inches (202 x 138.4 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
37.463



Fernand Léger(1881-1955)
Nude Model in the Studio, 1912–13 Le modèle nu dans l’atelier, 1912–13
Oil on burlap
50 5/8 x 37 3/4 inches (128.6 x 95.9 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection
49.1193



Fernand Léger(1881-1955)
The Smokers, December 1911–January 1912 Les fumeurs, December 1911–January 1912
Oil on canvas
50 7/8 x 38 inches (129.2 x 96.5 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
38.521



Franz Marc(1880-1916)
Yellow Cow, 1911 Gelbe Kuh, 1911
Oil on canvas
55 3/8 x 74 1/2 inches (140.7 x 189.2 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection
49.1210 




Franz Marc(1880-1916)
Stables, 1913 Stallungen, 1913
Oil on canvas
29 x 62 inches (73.6 x 157.5 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection
46.1037
Remarks: Acquired through Karl Nierendorf


Robert Delaunay(1885-1941)
Window on the City No. 3, 1911–12 La fenêtre sur la ville no. 3, 1911–12
Oil on canvas
44 3/4 x 51 1/2 inches (113.7 x 130.8 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection
47.878.R 




Robert Delaunay(1885-1941)
Simultaneous Windows (2nd Motif, 1st Part), 1912 Les fenêtres simultanées [2e motif, 1re partie], 1912
Oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 18 1/4 inches (55.2 x 46.3 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
41.464 






Pierre Bonnard(1867-1947)
Dining Room on the Garden, 1934–35 Grande salle à manger sur le jardin, 1934–35
Oil on canvas
50 x 53 1/4 inches (126.8 x 135.3 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
38.432 




Vasily Kandinsky(1866-1944)
Composition 8, July 1923 Komposition 8, July 1923
Oil on canvas
55 1/8 x 79 1/8 inches (140 x 201 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
37.262



Ernst Ludwig Kirchner(1880-1938)
Dancers, 1906 Tänzerinnen, 1906
Ink on paper
17 5/8 x 13 3/4 inches (44.8 x 34.9 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Estate of Karl Nierendorf, By purchase
48.1172.438
Remarks: FULL RUN



Oskar Kokoschka(1886-1980)
Knight Errant, 1915 Der irrende Ritter, 1915
Oil on canvas
35 1/4 x 70 7/8 inches (89.5 x 180 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Estate of Karl Nierendorf, By purchase

Édouard Manet(1832-1883)
Portrait of Countess Albazzi, 1880 Portrait de la comtesse Albazzi, 1880
Pastel on primed canvas
22 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches (56.5 x 46.5 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, Bequest, Hilde Thannhauser, 1991
91.3909 



Georges Seurat(1859-1891)
Peasant with Hoe, 1882 Paysan à la houe, 1882
Oil on canvas
18 1/4 x 22 1/8 inches (46.3 x 56.1 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection, By gift
41.716



Claude Monet(1840-1926)
The Palazzo Ducale, Seen from San Giorgio Maggiore, 1908 Le Palais Ducal vu de Saint-Georges Majeur, 1908
Oil on canvas
25 9/16 x 39 9/16 inches (65 x 100.5 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, Bequest, Hilde Thannhauser, 1991
91.3910

Vincent van Gogh(1853-1890)
The Road to Tarascon, late July–early August 1888 La route de Tarascon, late July–early August 1888 Reed pen and ink over graphite on paper
9 9/16 x 12 9/16 inches (24.3 x 31.9 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser, 1978
78.2514.22 



Vincent van Gogh(1853-1890)
Boats at Saintes-Maries, late July–early August 1888 Bateaux à Saintes Maries, late July–early August 1888 Reed pen and ink over graphite on paper
9 9/16 x 12 9/16 inches (24.3 x 31.9 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser, 1978
78.2514.21








Pablo Picasso(1881-1973)
Le Moulin de la Galette, Paris, autumn 1900
Oil on canvas
34 3/4 x 45 1/2 inches (88.2 x 115.5 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, Gift, Justin K. Thannhauser, 1978
78.2514.34



Max Ernst
The Antipope, December 1941–March 1942
Oil on canvas, 160.8 x 127.1 cm
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation,
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 1976
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris



Paul Delvaux
The Break of Day (L’aurore), July 1937
Oil on canvas, 120 x 150.5cm
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation,
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 1976
© 2017 Foundation Paul Delvaux, Sint-Idesbald—ARS/SABAM Belgium



Jackson Pollock
Alchemy, 1947
Oil, aluminum, alkyd enamel paint with sand, pebbles, fibers, and broken wooden sticks on canvas, 114.6 x 221.3 cm
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation,
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, 1976
© 2017 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York