23, "Violon et guitare," by Juan Gris, oil on canvas, 39 1/2 by 25
3/4 inches, 1913
Carter B. Horsley
leads off its Fall 2010 auction season with an evening sale of
Impressionist and Modern Art with 85 lots highlighted by a wonderful
works by Juan Gris and Vincent Van Gogh, good paintings by Pablo
Picasso and Fernand Léger, and very good sculptures by
Henri Matisse and Alberto Giacometti.
et guitare," Lot 23, is a 1913 oil on canvas by Juan Gris
(1887-1927)that measures 39 1/2 by 25 3/4 inches. It has been
widely exhibited and published and was once in the collection of Mr.
and Mrs. Ralph F. Colin of New York.
catalogue provides the following commentary:
Juan Gris returned to Paris in early November 1913 from his three-month
sojourn in Cèret, he had good reason to be pleased with the pictures he
had painted there. He completed thirteen canvases in a
consistently focused and formally cohesive series of still-lifes,
figures and landscapes, paintings which constituted the most assured,
fully fledged and distinctively personal work he had done to
date....Indeed, among these pictures are several that would eventuallyh
be counted among the very best he ever painted, indisputable
masterworks that demonstrate an astonishing and dazzling synthesis of
diea, color and form. Violon et guitare was Grisi own
among these Cèret paintings.....This painting has since come to be
widely regarded as a peak in his magnificent oeuvre, and one of the
milestones of cubism and early modernism."
lot has an estimate of $18 million to $25 million. It sold for $28,642,500 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article. It was a world's auction record for a Gris painting. It
of four consecutive lots in the auction that come from "distinguished
private collection" and are labeled "Four Modern Masterpieces."
In her November 4, 2010 article in The New York Times, Carol
Vogel wrote that the Gris and three other works in the auction that the
catalogue said were "modern masterpieces" were consigned by Henry
Kravis and his wife, Marie-Josée, president of the Museum of Modern
Art, "other collectors and art dealers familiar with the Kravises' art
were able to identify them as the sellers."
The second "masterpiece" is Lot
24 is a strong abstraction by Paul Klee (1879-1940) entitled "Pfanze
und Fenster Stilleben." An oil on canvas, it measures 18 3/4
inches and was painted in 1927. It has an estimate of
$4,000,000. It has been widely exhibited and published.
It sold for $5,010,500.
25, "L'Air," by Joan Miró, oil on canvas, 21 3/8 by 18 1/8 inches, 1938
third "masterpiece is Lot 25, "L'Air," by Joan Miró (1893-1983).
An oil on canvas, it measures 21 3/8 by 18 1/8 inches and was
painted in 1938. It has an estimate of $12,000,000 to
$18,000,000. It sold for $10,330,500. The catalogue notes that "In his works of the
late 1930s, Miró employed the ingenious iconogaphy of organic and
figural signs, which he had begun to developing in his early surrealist
work, to address the dire political events of the day - violence in the
streets, the horror of internecine bloodletting, the spreading web ot
totalitarian subjugation and oppression, and the personal tribulations
that each and every Spaniard, whichever side they took,
was forced to endure. The struggles that Miró depicted in his
paintings often took the appearance of a helter-skelter psycho-sexual
narrative, drawn from a mythic dimension sunk deep within the human
"Balustre et crâne," is a wonderful and very colorful still life
with a skull by Georges Braque on one side and a very good but sombre
still life on the reverse. The 17 3/4-by-21 5/8-inch oil
on canvas, shown above, was executed in 1938. It sold at Christie's in
New York November 6, 2002 for $449,500 when it had an estimate of
$500,000 to $700,000. At this auction, it has a very modest
estimate of $700,000 to $1,000,000. It sold for $1,986,500.
48, "Statuette de platre: Torse de femme, vue de face," by Vincent Van
Gogh, oil on canvas, 28 1/4 by 21 1/4 inches, 1887
Lot 428 is a very fine, lovely and refreshing oil on canvas of a paster
statuette of a woman's torso by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890.
Executed in 1887, it measures 28 1/4 by 21 1/4
It has been widely exhibited and published and has a modest
estimate of $3,500,000 to $5,500,000. It sold for $3,666,500.
The painting was offered as Lot 8 in the
Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's November 5,
2008 with an estimate of $7,000,000 to $10,000 and it was then passed
Lot 15, "Une Liseuse de
Romans," by Vincent Van Gogh, oil on canvas, 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 inches,
oil on canvas by Van Gogh is Lot 15, "Liseuse de Romans." It
measures 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 inches and was painted in November, 1888.
It has a modest estimate of $3,000,000 to $4,000,000.
It sold for $3,106,500. It
was once in the collection of John Hay Whitney of New York.
has been widely exhibited and published. Van Gogh disagreed
Paul Gauguin's emphasis on painting from "abstraction" and from
"memory," but this painting was done from "memory." "The
aspects of the present painting," the catalogue noted, "also point to
Gauguin's influence. The flat planes of color, framed in
black outlines, recall the style of cloisonnisme established by
Gauguin, Bernard, and Louis Anquetin at Pont-Aven earlier in the year.
Particularly noteworthy is Bernard's Les Bretonnes
prarie from August 1888...which anticipates both the emphatic contours
and the distinctive palette...of Van Gogh's Liseuse. Bernard
this canvas to Gauguin, who brought it with him to Arles; Van Gogh
found the painting so original that he made a watercolor copy."
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