Antoine Pevsner (1884-1962)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more MODERN MASTERS: WORKS FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION Collections often reflect their collectors' tastes and histories, but seldom do they also reflect their friendships and relationships as much as this exceptional, historic group of works of art assembled by a private Swiss couple. Behind many of these works are tales of friendship, as the collectors came to know many of the artists who are represented here. The couple in question were not artists in their own rights, yet were prominent in the cultural milieu of Switzerland - and indeed Europe - especially in the middle decades of the Twentieth Century. Two published authors - indeed, authorities - they met a number of the most prominent figures of the avant garde from the 1920s onwards. They were able to meet Constantin Brancusi, to see Pablo Picasso's Guernica while it was in its studio, to help to support the impoverished and embattled Piet Mondrian and to entertain Hans Arp on a regular basis. Each of the works therefore serves as a relic of deeply personal bonds between the collectors and the artists whom they admired. Of course, not all the works in the collection were from artists whom they knew, or were acquired directly from them. For instance, the magnificent still life by Juan Gris, Nature morte à la nappe aux carreaux was in fact beyond their financial means when it was available for sale in Switzerland; instead of buying it, they were able to advise an acquaintance, the eminent doctor Wilhelm Löffler, who had known little about art and still less about such an avant garde monument of Cubism, with such enthusiasm that he bought it for himself… yet, when he died, he bequeathed it to them, stating that he had only ever considered it a permanent loan. This is a reflection of the incredible generosity of spirit of the couple in question, which was clearly appreciated by many with whom they came into contact. Looking at the collection, it is interesting to note the architectural dimension that is often present. The couple who assembled these works were often in contact with people from that milieu, and so it seems only natural that they should have acquired works that are either architectural in character, such as the Mondrian and the Vantongerloo, or which were the creations of artists involved with architecture and design, such as Le Corbusier and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Indeed, those artists spent time with the couple on the SS Patris II, which had become an extra location for the fourth Congrès Internationale d'Architecture Moderne. The ship, wending its way from Marseilles to Athens, where the congress itself was to take place, became a de facto conference in its own right, stopping along the way to view various sites. This gave the collectors and the artists and architects alike, such as Moholy-Nagy, Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, Ernö Goldfinger and others, a chance to begin or to deepen their acquaintances. It is this type of glancing insight into the cultural world of Europe during those turbulent decades at the middle of the Twentieth Century that this collection provides. It has faultless historical credentials, it provides insights into the personalities of the artists and the collectors, and it also reflects their daring, now justified support of modern art itself, ranging across Cubism, Dada, Purism and Surrealism. PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION
Antoine Pevsner (1884-1962)

Fontaine (Modèle pour une fontaine)

Antoine Pevsner (1884-1962)
Fontaine (Modèle pour une fontaine)
signed and dated 'Pevsner 20' (on the base); signed twice and dated 'Pevsner 1920' (underneath)
Plexiglas and metal
Height: 15 1/8 in. (38.5 cm.)
Executed in 1920; this work is unique
Private collection, Zurich, by whom probably acquired in 1929, and thence by descent to the present owner.
P. Peissi & C. Giedion-Welcker, Antoine Pevsner, Neuchâtel, 1961, no. 53, p. 149 (illustrated pl. 53).
C. Giedion-Welcker, Schriften 1926-1971, Stationen zu einem Zeitbild, Cologne, 1973, no. 116, p. 447 (illustrated).
A. Lardera, Antoine Pevsner, sa vie, son oeuvre, Paris, 1992 (illustrated fig. 32).
J.-C. Marcadé, Colloque international Antoine Pevsner, Paris, 1992, p. 60 (illustrated pl. 49).
E. Lebon & P. Brullé, Antoine Pevsner, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre sculpté, Paris, 2002, no. 15,
pp. 54-55 (illustrated; dated ‘1925’).
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Abstrakte und Surrealistische Malerei und Plastik, October - November 1929, no. 101.
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Begründer der modernen Plastik - Arp, Brancusi, Chauvin, Duchamp-Villon, González, Laurens, Pevsner, November - December 1954, no. 182.
Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Antoine Pevsner, December - March 1954, no. 20.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Fondation Maeght, Sculpture du XXème siècle 1900-1945. Tradition et rupture, July - October 1981, no. 147.
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. These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Brought to you by

Antoine Lebouteiller
Antoine Lebouteiller

More from Impressionist/Modern Day Sale

View All
View All