RELEASE: CHRISTIE’S IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART EVENING SALE ON NOVEMBER 7 ESTIMATED TO ACHIEVE IN EXCESS OF $250 MILLION

CURATED SALE OF 71 WORKS REFLECTS CURRENT COLLECTING TRENDS IN THE GLOBAL ART MARKET

New York


•  MASTERPIECES BY MONET, KANDINSKY, AND BRANCUSI
•  SURREALIST HIGHLIGHTS BY ARP, DELVAUX, MAGRITTE AND MIRÓ
•  CLASSIC IMPRESSIONIST SCENES BY CAILLEBOTTE, DEGAS AND PISSARRO
•  MODERN SCULPTURE BY GIACOMETTI, LIPCHITZ, PICASSO AND MOORE

AND THE STRONGEST SELECTION OF GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST WORKS TO COME TO AUCTION IN RECENT MEMORY, INCLUDING FEININGER, JAWLENSKY, AND NOLDE

New York – Christie’s New York is pleased to announce the full roster of artists and works to be featured in its upcoming Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on November 7.  In keeping with collector demand for the best examples by blue-chip artists of the era, Christie’s specialists have assembled a superb line-up of 71 works, led by a trio of rare masterpieces by Claude Monet, Wassily Kandinsky and Constantin Brancusi. The strongest collecting trends of the day are reflected in the sale, from exceptional examples of Impressionism, German Expressionism, and Surrealism to Modernist painting and sculpture. The total sale is expected to realize in excess of $250 million. 

“As we head into our major fall auctions, we continue to see an exuberant market that responds to great art and intelligent pricing. Participation in our evening sales is more global than ever, with buyers from growth markets in South America, Asia, and the Middle East now competing with clients from established collecting markets in North America and Europe,” noted Brooke Lampley, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s New York. “To answer this growing demand for the finest works from the Impressionist and Modern era, we have assembled an exciting sale that is carefully tailored to what our clients want most right now: rarity, superb quality, impeccable condition, exceptional provenance and exhibition history, and stable long-term value.”

MASTERPIECES OF IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART

Each auction season brings new record prices for the major artists of the Impressionist and Modern era, as career masterpieces and rediscoveries come on to the market, often after decades in private collections. This November, Christie’s Evening Sale is anchored by three star works: Claude Monet’s Impressionist masterpiece Nymphéas (The Water Lilies), painted at Giverny in 1905, was gifted to the not-for-profit Hackley School in New York from the estate of Ethel Strong Allen earlier this year and will be sold to benefit the school (illustrated page one; estimate: $30-50 million; see dedicated release). Wassily Kandinsky’s Expressionist tour-de-force Studie für Improvisation 8, is part of the artist’s pioneering series of 1909 and has the potential to set a new record price for any work by the artist at auction  (illustrated page one; estimate: $20-30 million, see dedicated release); and Constantin Brancusi’s sculptural masterpiece Une Muse is a pivotal work in plaster from 1912 that was among the first sculptures by the artist ever exhibited for American audiences (illustrated at left; estimate: $10-15 million; see dedicated release).

 

SURREALIST ART

Surrealist works are enjoying a surge of interest from collectors of both Modern and Contemporary art, having firmly moved beyond the realm of a niche collecting category.  For the past two years, Christie’s sales in New York and London have achieved many notable prices for Surrealist works, reflecting the current fervor for this intriguing field. This November, Christie’s is pleased to offer a magnificent group, led by Joan Miró’s Peinture (Femme, Journal, Chien) from 1925 (illustrated page one; estimate: $12-18 million). Painted with whimsical humor in a bright palette of yellow, red, black and white, the work draws the viewer into the artist’s distinctive visual world of signs and symbols, capturing with just the sparest of elements the artist’s charming vision of a pretty young woman walking her dog on the streets of Paris.  In a clever play on words, Miró inserts into the girl’s hand a folded newspaper revealing the word “jou” – which may be read as an abbreviation for the newspaper Le Journal, or more slyly as an allusion to the girl’s playful nature. Heightening this work's appeal to collectors is its superb provenance; the first owner of the painting was Raymond Queneau, a French novelist, poet, and member of the close-knit Surrealist circle in Paris in the 1920s.

CLASSIC IMPRESSIONISM

Top-quality Impressionist works by the great masters of the movement appeal to a broad base of collectors, including those from the long-established European and American markets and growing segments of collectors throughout Asia, Russia and the Middle East. This season, Christie’s is proud to feature more than a dozen Impressionist works in the Evening Sale, led by Monet’s Nymphéas and Edgar Degas’s Deux danseuses aux corsages jaunes, a full-size drawing in pastel from circa 1902 (illustrated at right; estimate: $7-10 million). The scene of a pair of dancers at rest dates from Degas’s late period, during which he became increasingly interested in capturing the sympathetic relationships between his dancer subjects, as opposed to depictions of dancing itself. The remarkable saturation of color paired with the unusual, nearly-circular structure of the composition lends a grace and dynamism to Deux danseuses that makes it one of the great master’s most coveted late works in pastel.

PIONEERS OF EXPRESSIONIST ART

The upcoming sale features one of the strongest concentrations of German Expressionist art seen at auction in recent years. Many of the major pioneers of this avant-garde movement are represented in the sale, including Heinrich Campendonk, Lyonel Feininger, Kandinsky, Emile Nolde, and Alexej Von Jawlensky.  Kandinsky’s blockbuster Studie für Improvisation 8 leads the group, along with a private collection of German Expressionist works highlighted by Feininger’s Cubist-inspired Der Raddampfer III (Side Wheeler III), four superb Nolde watercolors, and two figurative paintings by Campendonk  (see dedicated release).  From the estate of T. Lux Feininger, the youngest son of the artist, Christie’s is honored to offer Feininger’s Trompetenbläser im Dorf (Trumpeter in the village), a compelling work created in the midst of the First World War, while the American-born Feininger was living in Germany by special permission of the government (illustrated at left; estimate: $4-6 million).  Painted almost entirely in tones of orange and red, Trumpeter depicts a lone horn player blasting an alarm, as panicked villagers around him appear to flee, their limbs flailing and eyes wide with fright. The work is among the most widely exhibited of the artist’s early paintings, having been featured most recently in the 2011-2012 Feininger retrospective at the Whitney Museum in New York. The upcoming sale marks the first time the painting has ever been offered for sale; it has been kept within the Feininger family since 1915.

MODERN SCULPTURE

In recent auction seasons, modern sculpture has moved into the spotlight, with spectacular prices achieved for three-dimensional works by the great Modern masters. The upcoming sale offers a dozen sculptures by the best artists of the era, with an emphasis on perennial auction stars like Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, as well as the modern British sculptor Henry Moore, whose work is in ever-greater demand at auction since a new auction record of $30.3 million was set for his work at Christie’s London earlier this year. This season’s stand-out amongst the many superb works in bronze is Picasso’s Coq, (illustrated at right; estimate: $10-15 million), a two-foot-high depiction of a strutting rooster, preening his showy tail feathers.  Often read as a tongue-in-cheek self-portrait of the artist, who was in the throes of a clandestine affair with his young mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter at the time of its creation, Coq was conceived in 1932 at the artist's studio in Boisgeloup -- the origin of many of the most exceptional paintings and sculpture of his long career. The upcoming sale marks the first time any cast of the sculpture has ever appeared at auction; it was acquired by the current owners more than 45 years ago and has remained in the same distinguished American collection since (see dedicated release).  

Notes to Editors:

 Christie’s previously announced the following additional highlights with dedicated press releases:

  • Sixteen modernist works from a distinguished private collection are expected to achieve in excess of $35 million, led by the Brancusi masterpiece Une Muse, estimated at $10-15 million. See dedicated press release here.
  • Nine important works by Pablo Picasso, including four portraits of his muses, are expected to realize in excess of $34 million.  See the detailed press release here.
  • Giacometti’s 7-foot-tall La Jambe (The Leg) to star among top works of modern sculpture at $10-15 million. See dedicated press release here.
  • The NY press preview for this sale is Friday, November 2 at 9:30am.  To RSVP, please contact Christie’s New York press office.

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