Thursday 23 October 2014

Blue-Chip Artists for Discerning Collectors in "Works on Paper" Christie’s Day

CAMILLE PISSARRO: L’Anse des Pilotes et
le Brise-Lames Est, Le Havre (1903),
Estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000
Thursday 23rd of October 2014 - Christie’s announce yesterday  highlights of its upcoming Impressionist and Modern Art Day and Works on Paper auctions at Rockefeller Center on November 6.  A combined total of 407 works will be offered across Christie’s Day, Works on Paper, and Picasso Ceramics sales to complement Christie’s flagship Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on November 5 (see related release), creating even greater opportunities for both new and established clients to collect blue-chip works by the masters of the era. Paintings, sculptures, watercolors and drawings by some of the most acclaimed artists of the late 19th through early 20th century will be featured in the sales, including Fernand Léger, Maurice de Vlaminck, Amedeo Modigliani, Marc Chagall, and Paul Cézanne, among others. All of the works will be on view to the public at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries this fall, starting October 24 for Picasso Ceramics and November 1 for the Day and Works on Paper sales.

Day Sale Highlights, November 6, 2 pm

  • Camille Pissarro: The sale is led by Camille Pissarro’s L’Anse des Pilotes et le Brise-Lames Est, Le Havre, 1903 (shown on first page, center; estimate: $1,000,000 – 1,500,000). Painted from the vantage point of his room at the Hôtel Continental,  Pissarro’s Le Havre paintings from this period showed the artist still fuelled by the thirst to innovate at age 73. These works have often been the objects of praise, showing as they do Pissarro’s ability to reinvent himself and his art even in the last year of his life.
  • Maurice de Vlaminck: Bouquet de fleurs, a dazzling still-life painted at the peak of Fauve experimentation between the Salon d’Automne in 1905 and the Salon des Independents in 1906, fairly bursts off the canvas like fireworks, with its pure hues taken directly from the tube (shown on first page, right; $700,000-1,000,000).
  • Pablo Picasso: Tête, an emotionally charged, bifurcated oil portrait of the artist’s wife Olga, painted in 1929, (pictured above, left; $600,000-900,000), is as much a portrait of their fractured marriage as of Olga, when contrasted with contemporaneous images of his younger muse, Marie Thérèse Walter frolicking on the beach.
  • Fernand Léger: Paysage fond orange, from 1953, manifests the artist’s late style (pictured above, right; $700,000-1,000,000). It is the culmination of a series of landscapes he worked on that year, each juxtaposing organic and mechanical elements in varying degrees.

Works on Paper Highlights, November 6, 10 am
  • Amedeo Modigliani: This large-scale (21” x 17”) drawing of a Cariatide from 1913 was executed when the artist was concentrating on his sculpture, rendering sculptural forms with a few simple ovoid lines in Modigliani’s signature style (shown on first page, left; $120,000-180,000).
  • Paul Cézanne: Page de croquis (recto); La partie de campagne (verso). This sheet, with drawings on one side and a watercolor study for La partie de campagne on the other, was executed circa 1875, and originally owned by the artist’s son, whose likeness is one of the sketches (page 2, recto shown at left, verso at right,; $100,000-150,000). For nearly 60 years, this work has been in the collection of Rosalynd C. Pflaum, a noted author, philanthropist, collector and scholar of French history and culture. Her curated collection of works on paper includes the most acclaimed of French artists.
  • Marc Chagall: Vase de fleurs dans la fenetre, a brightly hued gouache of an enormous bouquet painted in 1935-36, has belonged to the actress Joan Fontaine from circa 1945 (page 2, pictured far right; $400,000-600,000).
  • Juan Gris: La Guitare, (1913) is one of about 50 works on paper and prints by the major figures of the Cubist movement from the Melamed Family Collection (pictured page 2, far left; $400,000-600,000). The violin and guitar are persistent features of Gris’ still-life compositions from that period, and the present work is a rare example of a drawing from this era, as the artist usually destroyed his preparatory works.
  • Joan Miró: Pour Romeo et Juliette was created by the artist in May 1926 for Prince Alexandre Shervashidze, the set painter who assisted with bringing to life Miró’s designs for the ballet’s production by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (pictured right; $350,000-550,000). The work is inscribed by the artist with a dedication to his collaborator and captures Juliet’s tragedy in a minimum of simple shapes, lines and colors. It was later owned by Serge Lifar, one of the principal dancers in the production.

In addition, Christie’s will hold Picasso Ceramics, its second New York online-only sale dedicated to ceramics produced by the leading artist of the 20th century, exclusively at, in conjunction with Impressionist & Modern Art week in New York and following the outstanding success of Impressions in Clay: Picasso Ceramics featuring Property from the Estate of Edgar M. Bronfman. The sale presents a strong selection of statement pieces of excellent quality, with estimates ranging from $1,200 to $80,000, and includes the full set of 8 plates, Service scènes de corrida, the coveted white earthenware sculpture Footballeur, and the particularly rare variant of Tête de chèvre de profil. Many highlights come from important private collections, including The Bergman Collection. All works in the sale will be on view at Rockefeller Center from October 24 –November 6.

It is noted that Christie’s holds the record for any ceramic work by Pablo Picasso sold at auction: Grand vase aux femmes voilées, a prototype ceramic work created in 1950, stamped no. 1, and having remained within the artist’s family until the 1980s, was sold at Christie’s London in June 2013 for US$1,534,557 (GBP £980,275), against a presale estimate of US$391,358 - 547,902 (GBP £250,000 - 350,000). At Christie’s May online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics featuring Property from the Estate of Edgar M. Bronfman, an 8-piece Service Corrida sold for $245,000 against a presale estimate of $70,000 – 90,000 – making it the 2nd highest price achieved for a work featured in an e-commerce sale at Christie’s.

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