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Impressionist & Modern Art

Christie's New York

7 PM, May 15, 2017

Sale 15004

Van Gogh

Lot 28, "Laboreur dans un champ," by Vincent Van Gogh, oil on canvas, 19 7/8 by 25 1/2 inches, 1889


By Carter B. Horsley

The important fall auction season got off to a start with the November 13, 2017 evening sale of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie's New York that was highlighted by very fine masterpieces by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) and Fernand Léger (1881-1955) and members of the New York Dada Group.

The sale total was $479,329,250, the second highest total for such a sale in Christie's history.  It was 88 percent sold by lot.

The top-priced lot of the night was Vincent van Gogh’s Laboureur dans un champ, executed in the year before his death. This richly painted view from the window of the artist’s room in the asylum at Saint-Rémy was completed in the late summer of 1889. It sold for $81,312,500 (including buyer’s premium), the second highest auction price in history for the artist. The record price for a work by Van Gogh still stands at $82,500,000, which was paid for Portrait du Dr. Gachet  (1890) at Christie’s in May 1990.

Detail of Van Gogh

Detail of Lot 28

The Van Gogh was one of a rich offering of highlights, which began with the first lots in the sale - a remarkable and museum-quality selection of New York Dada works from the Beyond Boundaries collection that was assembled with the guidance of renowned advisor Alain Tarica, who also worked with Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, and Hubertus and Renata Wald. 

Severini

Lot 4, "Danceuse," by Gino Severini, gouache, watercolor, brush and black ink, black conté crayon, white chalk, corrugated cardboard, sequins and paper collage on paper, 40 1/2 by 28 5/8 inches, 1914

Detail of Severini

Detail of Lot 4

The most spectacular work in this group is Lot 4, "Danceuse," by Gino Severini (1883-1966), the great Futurist.  It is a gouache, gouache, watercolor, brush and black ink, black conté crayon, white chalk, corrugated cardboard, sequins and paper collage on paper.  It measures 40 1/2 by 28 5/8 inches and was created in 1914.  It is in superb condition and is an astounding work that qualifies as a world masterpiece!

Crotty  Duchamps

Lot 5, "Les forces mécaniues de l'amour en mouvement," by Jean Crotty, oil on glass, wood, newsprint, tin, paper, wire and metal tubing assemblage, 23 3/4 by 29 1/4 inches, 1916, left; Lot 6, "Radiation de deux seuls éloignés," oil, gold paint, string, was, plastic, glass beads and tinfoil assemblage on canvas, 28 3/4 by 19 3/4 inches, 1916-20

Crotty detail


Detail of Lot 5


Detail of Lot 6

Detail of Lot 6

Hardly less sensational are Lots 5 and 6.

Within this group, new world auction record prices were set for works by Jean Crotti (1878-1958) (Lot 5, "Les forces mécaniques de l'amour en mouvement") and Suzanne Duchamp (1889-1963) (Lot 6, "Radiation de deux seuls eloignes").

, as well as a world auction record for a sculpture by Man Ray.

Kandinsky

Lot 9, "Improvisation mit Pferden (Studie fur Improvisation 20), by Wassily Kandinsky, oil on canvas, 28 by 39 inches, 1911

Kandinsky bids

The top price among the Beyond Boundaries works, however, was achieved by Lot 9, Improvisation mit Pferden (Studie für Improvisation 20), an 1911 oil on canvas by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).  It had an estimate of $9,000,000 to $15,000,000.  It sold for $12,687,500.

Leger

Lot 14, "Contraste de formes," by Fernard Léger, oil on burlap, 36 3/8 by 28 7/8 inches, 1913

The second highest price on the night was realised when Fernand Léger’s Contraste de formes  from 1913, sold for $70,062,500, easily eclipsing the previous world auction record for the artist - $39,241,000, which was set in 2012. It measures 36 3/8 by 28 7/8 inches.  Offered for the first time at auction, this ground-breaking painting of the early 20th century came from the property of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, with proceeds from its sale going towards the foundation’s philanthropic mission.

Matisse

Lot 18, "Les régates de Nice," by Henri Matisse, oil on canvas, 31 7/8 by 25 5/8 inches, 1921, far right, above a very crowded bank of auction workers manning the phones, with works by Picasso, Miro, Léger and Magritte at left

The Van Gogh masterwork was one of a number of stunning paintings offered from The Collection of Nancy Lee and Percy R. Bass. They included Les régates de Nice, a 1921 painting by Henri Matisse depicting two young women gazing at the sea from their apartment on the French coast, which sold for $16,625,000.

Miro

Lot 31, Peinture," by Joan Miro, oil on canvas, 51 1/8 63 3/4 inches, 1933

Another superb work from the Bass collection is Lot 31, a very luminous abstract 1933 oil on canvas by Joan Miro (1893-1983) that measures 51 3/4 by 63 3/4 inches.  It has an estimate of $18,000,000 to S25,000,000.  It sold for $20,375,000. The night’s combined total for the paintings from the Bass Collection was $143,432,500, with further works to be offered over the coming days.

The freshness of stellar collections was one of a number of strong themes in the sale.

Delaunay

Lot 27, "La Tour Eiffel," by Robert Delaunay, oil on canvas, 31 7/8 by 25 5/8 inches, 1928

The selection offered from The Collection of Stanford Z. Rothschild, which included works by Monet, Pissarro, Redon and Robert Delaunay (1885-1941)  whose bright, very colorful and stunning 1928 rendition of the Eiffel Tower that he first depicted in 1910.  It has an estimate of only $2,500,000 to $3,500,000.  It sold for $3,372,500.


Misia et Valloton by Vuillard

Lot 49, "Misia et Valloton a Villeneuve," by Edouard Vuillard, oil on board laid down on cradled panel, 27 5/8 by 20 1/8 inches, 1899

Another group of paintings were consigned by Egyptologist William Kelly Simpson including  also attracted deep bidding. The highest price achieved was for Édouard Vuillard’s superlative Misia et Vallotton, an 1899 oil on canvas that measures 27 5/8 by 20 1/8 inches.  It has been widely exhibited and reproduced.  It has an estimate of $7,000,000 to $10,000,000.  It sold for $17,750,000, about $10 million higher than the artist's previous world auction record.

Vuillard

Lot 50, "Autoportrait a la canne et au canothier," by Vuillard, oil on board laid down on canvas, 14 1/8 by 11 1/8 inches, 1892

Another Vuillard from the Simpson collection is Lot 50," a charming small self-portrait from 1892 that measures 14 1/8 by 11 1/8 inches.  It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $5,262,500. The total for the six works from the collection was $28,162,500.

Matisse


Lot 47, "Antique et oeillets," by Henri Matisse, oil on canvas, 24 by 19 3/4 inches, 1928

Lot 47 is a nice still life by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) of a statue of naken women's torso on a table.  An oil on canvas, it measures 24 by19 3/4 inches and was painted in 1928.  It once belonged to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.  It has very modest estimate of $1,500,00 to $2,500,000.  It sold for $2,652,500.

Matisse girl

Lot 33, La blouse verte brodee," by Henri Matisse, oil on panel, 6 3/8 by 8 5/8 inches, 1936

Lot 33 is a small but very charming oil on panel by Matisse of a woman in an embroidered green shirt.  It measures 6 3/8 by 8 5/8 inches and was painted in 1936.  It has an estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,500,000.  It sold for $3,125,500.

Cezanne

Lot 45, Three apples, by Paul Cezanne, oil on canvas, 7 3/8 by 15 inches, 1880

Lot 45 is a very nice painting of three apples on a plate by Paul Cezanne (1839-1906).  An oil on canvas, it measures 7 3/8 by 15 inches and was painted circa 1880.  It has an estimate of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000.  It sold for $6,837,500.

Lot 12, "L'empire des lumineres," by René Magritte (1898-1967), is a 1949 canvas that measures 19⅛ by 23⅛ inches. It once belonged to Nelson Rockefeller.  It has an estimate of $14,000,000 to $18,000,000.  It sold for $20,562,500, an auction record drawing a burst of applause.

Nolde

Lot 13, "Indische Tanzerin," by Emil Nolde, oil on canvas, 34 1/4 by 39 5/8 inches, 1917

Another auction record was by Lot 13, Indische Tänzerin, by Emil Nolde (1867-1956), a 1917 oil on canvas that measures 34 1/4 by 39 5/8 inches.  It was included in early exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  It has a very modest estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $5,262,500.

The auction has some good Picassos.

Picasso 39

Lot 39, "Femme accroupie (Jacqueline)," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 57 1/2 by 44 7/8 inches, 1954

Lot 39 is a large portrait of Jacqueline that Picasso (1881-1973) painted in 1954.  It measures 57 1/2 by 44 7/8 inches.  It was being offered at auction for the first time.  It has an estimate of $20,000,000 to $30,000,000.  It sold for $36,875,000.

Reclining woman by Picasso

Lot 3, "Le Repos (Marie-Thérèse Walter)," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 10 1/4 by 18 1/4 inches, 1932

The most beautiful painting in the auction is Lot 3, "Le Repos (Marie-Thérèse Walter)," by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), an oil on canvas from 1932 that measures 10 1/4 by 18 1/4 inches.  It was sold at Christie's November 6, 2002 for $3,089,500 when it had an estimate of $2,500,000 to $3,500,000.  At the spring 2012 evening auction at Christie's, it had an estimate of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000 and was the backcover illustration of the catalogue.  It then sold for $9,882,500 to an American private collector.

The catalogue notes that "Of all of these outstanding portraits, Le Repos, with its innovative landscape composition is among the most intimate.  A fluid and deeply personal work, the simple lines and fields of color translate the great tranquility of her sleep.  Marie-Thérèse was not merely a model but a true inspiration and the portraits Picasso painted of her during the spring of 1932 are visual declarations of his love  The splendor of these paintings was most recently heralded again in the acclaimed Gagosian Gallery exhibition Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L'Amour Fou, which focused on the relationship between the two lovers and the incredible string of works elicited by their raptuours affair....It is exclusively a lover's view, seen with a lover's proximity.  The face fills the composition, creating an intense impression of the intimacy between artist and sitter: it reads as a pillow-side view of Marie-Thérèse with her features so near and all context absent other than a portion of the surface where her head rests."

At this auction, the painting has an estimate of $10,000,000 to $15,000,000.  It sold for $11,562,500.

Monet Seine

Lot 26, "Matinee sur la Seine," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 35 1/8 by 36 3/8 inches, 1897

Lot 26, Matinée sur la Seine, is an 1897 oil on canvas by Claude Monet (1840-1926).  It measures 35 1/8 by 36 3/8 inches and has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in 1960 and the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1985.  It is one of a series of 22 canvases on the subject.  It has an estimate of $15,000,000 to $25,000,000.  It sold for $23,375,000.

Lavancourt

Lot 52, "Coucher de soleil à Lavacourt," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 21 ¼ by 31 7/8 inches, 1880

The most beautiful, or at least the most impressionist, Monet in this auction was Lot 52, "Coucher de soleil à Lavacourt," a 21 1/4-by-31 7/8-inch oil on canvas. Executed in 1880, it has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 at Christies in the fall of 2004 when it sold for $2,247,500. It had sold for $1,872,500 at Christie's, November 8, 1999 when it had an estimate of $1,500,000 to $2,500,000.  At this auction, it has an estimate of $5,000,000 to $7,000,000.  It failed to sell.


See The City Review article on the Spring 2017 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2017 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie's New York
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See The City Review article on the Fall 2013 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2013 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2013 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's New York

See The City Review article on the Fall 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
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See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's November 2, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern evening sale at Sotheby's in the Spring, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction in the Fall, November, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's November 5, 2004
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's May 4, 2004
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's May 5, 2004
See The City Review article on the May 5, 2004 evening auction at Sotheby's of Property of the Greentree Foundation from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's May 6, 2004
See The City Review article on the Spring 2004 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art Part 2 day auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg
See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist Art Part Two day auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Nov. 5, 2001 auction of the Smooke Collection at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg
See The City Review article on the Nov. 5, 2001 auction of the Hoener Collection at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg
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See The City Review article on Phillips Fall 2000 Impressionist & Modern Art auction
See The City Review article on the Christie's evening sale of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art May 8, 2000
See The City Review article on the Christie's evening sale of Twentieth Century Art May 9, 2000


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