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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more THE EYE OF THE ARCHITECT: PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTIONThe disciplines of architecture and painting have been intimately intertwined throughout history, two independent strands of creative thought that have nevertheless remained bound to one another by a common interest in how people experience the world around them. When considered in conjunction with one another, they can achieve a synergistic relationship, one in which the experience and appreciation of both the painting and the space they occupy are enhanced by their connection. The following selection of works from the collection of an esteemed European architect has been assembled with this concern in mind, each work having been chosen for its ability to complement and enrich the spaces they inhabit. Born from a keen sense of social responsibility, this architect’s forward-thinking vision was rooted in the grand tradition of socially engaged housing, creating unique buildings that place the welfare of residents above the flaunting of architectural form. Allowing ample space for vegetation to grow over their balconies and transform apartment blocks into living, vertical gardens, the resulting homes are places of beauty and contentment, with proximity to water and greenery fulfilling basic human needs as well as affording countless environmental benefits. In these buildings, the architect offered hope for a way of urban living that did not suffocate the natural world, but rather embraces an organic conception of growth, renewal and sustainability. The architect’s inventiveness, imagination and eye for detail find clear parallels in the art collection he formed over the course of his collecting life, acquiring pieces by some of the most celebrated masters of the twentieth-century avant-garde, from Pablo Picasso to Francis Bacon, Giorgio de Chirico to Joan Miró, and Fernand Léger to Giorgio Morandi. One of the most striking features of this varied group is the way in which the collector has managed to create a sense of unity amongst the works, choosing pieces of a similarly intimate scale and thematic concern to generate a dynamic dialogue between each of the pieces when considered together. Focusing primarily on figurative compositions, this tightly curated group of works not only reveals the collector’s discerning eye and architectural mind, but also his passion for artists who continuously sought to push the boundaries of tradition in their art. Indeed, many of the works in the collection date from pivotal periods of transition in each artists’ career, as they began to explore new, ground breaking techniques, subject matter or styles in their compositions. There is also a strong emphasis on form and construction in each of the compositions, and a fascination with the architecturally-minded approach to structure that feeds these artists' aesthetic practices. There is a clear focus on Cubism and its later developments, for example, from the carefully composed still-lifes of Picasso, Juan Gris and Georges Braque, to the visionary machine aesthetic of Léger which expanded upon the traditions of the Cubist language and adapted them to his own unique style following the First World War. The automatic, fluid language of Miró’s brand of Surrealism, meanwhile, is contrasted with the metaphysical contemplations of De Chirico’s dreamlike scenarios and cityscapes, which share the pensive atmosphere of Morandi’s highly subtle, architectural, still lifes. A rare example of Picasso’s Surrealist-influenced series of figures, meanwhile, finds echoes in Bacon’s disintegration of the human form, as the features of his model, Henriette Moraes, dissolve into an array of rich, expressive strokes of paint. Offering an intriguing insight into some of the most dynamic and exciting periods of the European artistic avant-garde, these works stand as a testament to the collector’s keen connoisseurial eye and deep appreciation for the connection between modern art and architecture.
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Citron et verre

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Citron et verre
signed and dated ‘Picasso 22’ (lower right)
oil on canvas
13 x 16 1/8 in. (33 x 41.2 cm.)
Painted in Dinard in 1922
Lynne Thompson, Blue Hill, Maine.
Kleemann Galleries, New York (no. K4293).
Galerie Claude Jongen, Brussels, by 1975.
Brook Street Gallery, London.
Private collection, Europe, by whom acquired from the above.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1994.
J. Cassou, Picasso, New York, 1940, p. 116.
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, vol. 4, Oeuvres de 1920 à 1922, Paris, 1951, no. 420, n.p. (illustrated pl. 174).
New York, Whitney Studio Galleries, The Spring Salon, May - June 1923.
Brussels, Galerie Claude Jongen, Picasso intime, November 1975 - January 1976, no. 270, p. 42.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Keith Gill
Keith Gill

Lot Essay

‘If Cubism is an art of transition I am sure that the only thing that will come out of it is another form of Cubism’
(Picasso, quoted in K.E. Silver, Esprit des Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-Garde and the First World War, 1914-1925, London, 1989, p. 350)

Pablo Picasso’s Citron et verre was painted in the summer of 1922, while the artist was holidaying with his wife Olga and young son Paulo in the fashionable northern beach resort of Dinard. Here he created a series of small cubist still-lifes, of which Citron et verre is one, that are jewel-like in their use of dazzling colour, ornate patterning and complex construction. The simple trio of objects – a lemon, glass and another indistinguishable object – are depicted with simple linear outlines, their forms accentuated and united by several horizontally striated passages that when set against the flat geometric planes of colour express a sense of volume and space. Exemplifying the artist’s continued development of Synthetic Cubism, this painting shows the artist using his cubist discoveries in a decorative, simplified and playful way, a reflection of the happily contented life he was leading at this time.

Citron et verre also embodies the eclecticism of Picasso’s art during this post-war period. Just the previous summer, the artist, while staying at Fontainebleau, had created a series of large, classical nudes. Rendered with exaggerated, volumetric forms, these statuesque figurative works were a radical contrast from the flattened, fragmented world of Picasso’s concurrent Cubism. During the summer of 1922 at Dinard, Picasso again returned to the theme of Classicism, painting, alongside Citron et verre and this series of cubist still-lifes, the large, Neo-Classical Deux femmes courant sur la plage (Musée Picasso, Paris). With all of these works, Picasso was ceaselessly exploring the concept and possibilities of form. From abstraction to representation, illusion and reality, volume and flatness, the artist, with an astounding ease, moved between these stylistic paradoxes to create a body of work that continues to intrigue. Citron et verre was first owned by Lynne Thompson, an American collector based in Maine, whose collection included Pollock, Rothko, Klee and Picasso.

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