New York – Christie’s announces Asian Art Week, a series of auctions, viewings, and events, from March 14-26. This season presents nine auctions featuring over 1,000 objects from all epochs and categories of Asian art spanning Chinese archaic bronzes through Japanese and Korean art to contemporary Indian painting. The week is headlined by the landmark collection of Florence and Herbert Irving, the namesakes of the Asian Art Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and celebrated philanthropists of New York. The sales are titled Lacquer • Jade • Bronze • Ink: The Irving Collection, in celebration of the materials the Irvings spent their lives studying and collecting. The week also welcomes the return of Japanese and Korean Art (March 19) to the schedule alongside the category sales for Fine Chinese Paintings (March 19), Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art (March 20), South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art (March 20), Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art (March 22), as well as a single-owner sale Power and Prestige: Important Early Chinese Ritual Bronzes from a Distinguished European Collection (March 22). All works will be presented in a public exhibition from March 14-20 at Christie’s New York. Additionally, on view will be a non-selling exhibition of Chinese painting and calligraphy from the Shuishi Xuan Collection (March 14-22), titled Zhu Qizhan (1892-1996): Following My Own Truth.
Lacquer • Jade • Bronze • Ink: The Irving Collection features over 400 treasured objects and paintings which the renowned collectors lived with in their New York City apartment, including gilt bronzes, jades, lacquers, ceramics and paintings from across Asia, as well as European decorative arts. The collection will be sold across an Evening Sale (March 20) and a Day Sale (March 21), with a complementary online auction Contemporary Clay: Yixing Pottery from the Irving Collection (March 19 to 26). Collection highlights include an extremely rare gilt-bronze figure of a multi-armed Guanyin ($4,000,000-6,000,000); an important Imperially inscribed greenish-white jade ‘Twin Fish’ washer ($1,000,000-1,500,000); lacquer pieces by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891) including a tray of autumn grasses and moon ($60,000-80,000); and Lithe Like A Crane, Leisurely Like A Seagull, by Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) ($800,000-1,200,000). The full press release can be read here.
Highlights from the Fine Chinese Paintings sale (March 19) include a long handscroll of Fourteen Poems on Planting Bamboo ($800,000-1,200,000) by the scholar-official Li Dongyang (1447-1516) and Zhang Daqian (1899-1983), Splashed Ink Landscape ($200,000-300,000). Japanese and Korean Art (March 19) returns to Asian Art Week with an impressive sale featuring a strong selection of Japanese woodblock prints by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), including the “Great Wave” ($200,000-300,000) and “Red Fuji” ($90,000-100,000). Featured Korean works include a gilt wood sculpture of a seated Bodhisattva ($60,000-80,000) from Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) and a slip-inlaid celadon stoneware maebyong ($300,000-400,000) from the Goryeo dynasty.
The South Asian Modern + Contemporary sale (March 20) features paintings by the seminal Progressive Artists’ Group and their associates, as well as important works by other pioneers of modern South Asian art. Highlights include Maqbool Fida Husain (1913-2011), Untitled (Horses) ($700,000-900,000) and Akbar Padamsee (B. 1928), Jeune femme aux cheveux noirs, la tête inclinée ($300,000-500,000). The sale of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art is led by a rare black ground painting of Mahakala Panjarnata, Tibet, 18th century ($250,000-350,000) and a curated selection of Himalayan bronzes and Indian paintings from the Estate of Baroness Eva Bessenyey.
This season’s sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art (March 22) features rare masterpiece objects, including an exceptional 'numbered' Jun jardinière ($2,500,000-3,500,000); a magnificent Xuande ‘Fruit Spray’ bowl ($2,000,000-3,000,000); a rare Northern Qi gilded grey stone figure of Buddha ($1,200,000-1,800,000), and a magnificent and very rare huanghuali painting table, jiatousun hua’an, 17th century ($800,000-1,200,000).
The Shao Fangding ($1,000,000-1,500,000) is a highlight of the dedicated single-owner sale of Chinese archaic bronzes, Power and Prestige (March 22). Additional information on the individual auctions is included in the following pages.
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