Spanning the entire first half of the 20th century, Figuration to Abstraction: Works from a Private European Collection is a majestic tour of the progression of painting in that revolutionary and diverse 50 years. Brought together by the expert eye of their collector, this collection presents a series of works that form a remarkable timeline from the fire of the Fauves to the intuition of Joan Miró through to the wildness of Jean Dubuffet’s Art Brut (to be sold in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale), putting the raw, authentic impressions of the artist centre-stage. The collection also includes a selection of works by Pierre Bonnard, Raoul Dufy, Georges Braque and Maurice Utrillo, providing a neo-classical serenity as a counterpoint to this explosion of colour, and a sublime dreamscape by Marc Chagall.
The collection is highlighted by a masterpiece by Miró, Painting (Women, Moon Birds), featuring the signature motifs of his post-war style. Enlivened by a growing international reputation, thanks in no small part to the efforts of his dealer Pierre Matisse, Miró creates a delicate, signature response to the problem of balancing figuration and abstraction that is a key concern of Modern art and its collectors.
The collection is completed by a selection of works by post-war artists to be offered in the London Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening and Day sales on 11–12 February 2015.