Masters of the Modern

Highlights from the Impressionist and Modern Art sales during 20th Century Week at Christie’s — in New York

20th Century Week  at Christie’s in New York opens on 15–16 May with three sales of Impressionist and Modern ArtEvening, Works on Paper and Day — featuring exceptional works that shaped the future of art and art collecting.

Standout masterworks include: Henry Moore’s enigmatic and abstract Large Four Piece Reclining Figure, 1972–73 (Estimate: $6,000,000–8,000,000), the only titled recumbent female figure consisting of four distinct forms interacting compositely as a study of human form and spirit; Fernand Léger’s Nature morte aux éléments mécaniques, 1918 (Estimate: $10,000,000–15,000,000) that re-invents the still-life with bold, futuristic and cosmopolitan composition; and Wassily Kandinsky’s energetic and geometric arrangement Oben und links, 1925 (Estimate: $5,000,000–7,000,000) that explores the complexities of spatial orientation.

Marc Chagall’s lyrically romantic Les trois cierges, 1939 (Estimate: $8,000,000–12,000,000) conceived at the beginning of the Second World War as an expression of hope and Georges Braque’s cubist self-portrait Le Guéridon, 1911 (Estimate: $4,000,000–6,000,000) that focuses not on the man but rather on the tools of his artistic profession continue the element of experimentation.

Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise dans un fauteuil, 1917–20 (Estimate: $20,000,000–30,000,000) marks the beginning of his examination of Cubism and the onset of this revolutionary style while his Femme assise, robe bleue, 1939 (Estimate: $35,000,000–50,000,000) considers the boundaries of form.

Constantin Brancusi’s La muse endormie, original marble version carved in 1909–10; this bronze version cast in 1913 (Estimate: $25,000,000–35,000,000) translates the artist’s fascination with form into the first of his now iconic ovoid sculptures, confirming his position as the ‘patriarch of modern sculpture.’

Packed with fresh-to-market pieces by such acclaimed masters that will appeal to established and new collectors, the Evening, Works on Paper and Day sales offer the very best in Impressionist and Modern art.