These works by Marcel Duchamp, Marc Chagall and Joan Miró from a member of the Matisse family, represent the convergence of a legendary and influential art dealer, artist and family who had a profound effect on 20th century art. The provenances: Pierre Matisse, Alexina ‘Teeny’ Matisse Duchamp and Marcel Duchamp became synonymous with the advocacy of a new and modern discourse for post-war art in America. In 1931, Pierre Matisse, the youngest son of the painter Henri Matisse — along with his wife Teeny — opened his eponymous gallery in the Fuller Building on East 57th Street, where it remained for 38 years. The Pierre Matisse Gallery introduced and exhibited some of the greatest European and American artists to America, capturing the attention of the American public. The gallery presented truly seminal and now iconic exhibitions of Balthus, Calder, Chagall, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Matisse, Miró, Lam, Tanguy and Zao Wou-Ki, among many others.
Joan Miro (1893-1983), Maquette pour la couverture de l’album Constellations, Pierre Matisse Editeur, New York, 1959; signed 'Miró.' (lower right); titled and dedicated 'Maquette pour la couverture de “Constellations" pour Pierre et Patricia Matisse affectueusement' (lower center); gouache and brush and India ink on paper; 17 ¼ x 14 1/8 in. (43.5 x 36 cm.); Painted in 1959. Estimate: $80,000 – $120,000
Following her divorce from Pierre in 1949, Teeny was reintroduced to Marcel Duchamp, by Dorothea Tanning, and the two married in 1954. Teeny Duchamp had a close connection to the city of Philadelphia, and was an honorary trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which has the largest collection of Marcel Duchamp of any institution. It was there in 1967 that Duchamp’s final work, Étant Donnes was permanently installed. Étant Donnes had been built in secret in New York between 1946 and 1966, at a time when Duchamp was believed to have stopped working. During much of its construction, Teeny was Duchamp’s sole confidant.
Marc Chagall (1887-1985), Couverture du catalogue Pierre Matisse Gallery 1968; signed twice, dated and dedicated 'Marc Chagall 1968. Pour Pierre amicalement' (along the lower edge); pen and brush and India ink and fabric collage over color lithograph on paper; 11 x 9 in. (27.9 x 22.9 cm.); Executed in 1968. Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000
This November, during our New York sales week, Duchamp’s Monte Carlo Bond (No. 30) and Étude pour Les joueurs d’échecs from his personal collection, along with an exquisite collage from Chagall and a vibrant gouache from Miró, will come to auction. The featured works are poignant reminders of the rich and meaningful legacy of these artists, and of those who championed their vision.