Emmy 'Galka' Scheyer, Hollywood, by whom acquired directly from the artist in 1933.
Nierendorf Gallery, New York, by July 1942.
Nina Kandinsky, Paris, by whom acquired in the late 1940s.
Galerie Maeght, Paris (Ph. no. 4310), by whom acquired in November 1974.
Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, and thence by descent to the present owner.
ANTONI TÀPIES: THE WISDOM OF THE WORLD
Christie’s is honoured to present a selection of Twentieth Century Masterworks from the personal collection of Antoni Tàpies. Offered across a series of auctions throughout 2017 and 2018, these exceptional works offer a unique insight into the powerful bond that existed between this revolutionary artist and the paintings, sculptures and artefacts he encountered over the course of his lifetime. Highly intimate objects, gathered together over the course of his meandering collecting journey, these objects were closely connected to Tàpies’s own artistic practice and reflect the seminal relationships, friendships and concepts that inspired him throughout his artistic career. Each work in the collection stands as a testament to the critical, perceptive and engaged way of looking that Tàpies was renowned for, and the passion he had for the works of his artistic and cultural forebears.
Gathering together artworks and objects apparently epochs and cultures apart, Tàpies collected passionately, but in a unique and idiosyncratic manner. An avid reader of ancient and Eastern philosophy, he held a deep fascination for the concept of ‘authentic reality’, a state of awakening which could be triggered by contact with a piece of art. As his son, Toni has explained: ‘For Tàpies, an artwork had to be like a talisman. A talisman capable of transmitting wisdom, thought and answers to the deepest doubts and concerns that may face a human being’ (Toni Tàpies, ‘A Personal View’ in Tàpies: Lo Sguardo Dell’Artista, exh. cat. Venice, 2013, p. 27). It was this energy, the unique spirit of an artwork, that Tàpies sought in all he collected. It was a power which obsessed him, which he attempted to absorb, to digest and nurture, to combine with his own artistic vision, and finally, to translate into the gestures, strokes and marks he put down on his canvases. Each of these carefully selected works of art, chosen for their visual and spiritual presence, provided Tàpies with a personal library of visual stimuli, which acted as a catalyst for his own creative impulses and shaped and influenced his art throughout his career. The importance of these artworks in Tàpies’s everyday experience is evident – these are the images and shapes which captured his imagination, comforted him, inspired him and obsessed him on a daily basis. Each of these artworks provided essential nourishment for Tàpies’s creativity, opening a path for his artistic evolution and pushing his work to new levels of dynamic expression
MASTERWORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF ANTONI TÀPIES
The artist's handlist, vol. VI, no. 466.
V. Endicott Barnet, Kandinsky Watercolours: Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, 1922-1944, London, 1994, no. 1077, p. 330 (illustrated).
A. Tàpies, El arte y sus lugares, Madrid, 1999, p. 204 (illustrated; dated 'circa 1930').
Oakland, California, The Oakland Art Gallery, Paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, the 'Old Master' of Abstract Art, January 1935.
San Francisco Museum of Art, Paintings by Wassily Kandinsky: A Survey 1923 to Present, July 1939.
Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Fondation Maeght, Kandinsky Centenaire 1866-1944, July - September 1966, no. 79.
Zurich, Galerie Maeght, Kandinsky: Ölbilder, Gouachen, Zeichnungen, April 1972, no. 40.