Paris – Christie’s is pleased to present the important collection of Dagny and Jan Runnqvist at Christie’s Paris this autumn. Patrons of the Geneva Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO), and owners of the Galerie Bonnier, Jan and Dagny Runnqvist’s unwavering loyalty to their friends and community has illuminated the Geneva art scene for over half a century. Renowned for their elegance and taste, this inseparable couple has spent years gathering a strong selection of works which Christie’s will offer at auction in three separate sales this season: in a single-owner sale on 26 October, and as part of the contemporary art sales on 4 and 5 December 2013. Estimated at €4 million, this collection comprises over 280 lots, ranging from paintings, sculptures, lithographs and drawings to a selection of letters, all produced by the New Realists; such as Jean Tinguely, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein, Arman, Martial Raysse, as well as works by major artists from the second half of the 20th century, including Lucio Fontana, Jean Fautrier, Jean-Pierre Pincemin and Alain Jacquet.

Christian Bernard, Director of MAMCO described the couple during his speech at the Committee of Friends of MAMCO, March 29th 2012: “[Dagny and Jan Runnqvist] had an inner beauty, such an elegance, a facility to be discreetly present. Nothing ostentatious, with constant generous attention” […].  

In 1961, two childhood friends from Stockholm, Joakim Bonnier and Jan Runnqvist, came together to create the Galerie Bonniers, a European modern art gallery in Geneva. Their first exhibition was a successful event dedicated to Fernand Léger, the highlight of which was purchased by renowned collector Gunter Sachs.  This marked the beginning of half a century of exhibitions, along with numerous collaborations with artists from Geneva’s cultural scene.  

 Following Joakim Bonnier’s death in 1972, Jan Runnqvist took over the gallery. Together with his wife Dagny, they were able to embody the eclectic spirit of the Bonnier Gallery, and maintain its reputation through their participation in international art fairs.

 The present collection reflects the affinity and friendships that were forged over the years. Discerning collectors will appreciate works by the New Realists as Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle as well as Yves Klein, Martial Raysse, Arman and Daniel Spoerri – alongside other artists, as diverse as Jean Fautrier, Lucio Fontana, Meret Oppenheim, Jean-Pierre Pincemin and Alain Jacquet. Works by Swedish artists cherished and represented by Jan and Dagny Runnqvist will also be offered, includinig those by Arne Tengblad, Marie-Louise Ekman, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd and Albert Johansson.

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