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Impressionist & Modern Art

Christie's New York


7 P.M., November 5, 2013


Sale 2778

Modigliani


Lot 19, "Monsieur Baranowski," by Amedeo Modigliani, oil on canvas, 43 1/4 by 21 3/8 inches, 1918


By Carter B. Horsley

After Monday night's rather diastrous evening auction of works from the Jan Krugier collection at Christie's New York kicking off the fall art market season, nerves were frayed about this auction of Impressionist & Modern Art the next night at the same auction house.

Many observers feared they might be in for a bumpy ride, but the day auction of more works from the Krugier collection was a surprising success with most works selling and the total going considerably over the high estimate.

Day auctions, of course, are the poor cousins of the spotlight art market that wants new records, fresh material, and  stupendous prices.

The unspoken concern was that a major crash might be in the offing for the art market following recent news of forgeries in the Chinese Art market and troubles for Knoedler's, once one of the most prestigious and important art dealers, and financial  woes for the company of Steven Cohen, a very major player in recent years in the art market.

Although the evening Krugier sale had a good number of works that failed  to sell, the auction houses have been getting poorer slugging percentages averages in recent years even as their very impressive catalogues have become unwieldy.  The problem was that some of the "passes" at the Krugier auction were the biggest tickets: a great Picasso maquette for Chicago's Civic Center and a stunning and visceral Kandinsky landscape.

Christie's Impressionist evening auction had some big items including a very fine painting by Alberto Giacometti of his brother Diego that had an estimate of $30,000,000 to $50,000,000, and a great Modigliani portrait and a large Picasso, both with estimates of $25,000,000 to $35,000,000.  The Wall Street Journal, in fact, ran an article by Kelly Crow a couple of days before the auction about the bar being raised much higher now for important works of art.


Portrait of Diego Giacometti


Lot 9, "Diego en chemise Úcossaise," by Alberto Giacometti, oil on canvas, 31 7/8 by 25 1/2 inches, 1954

Well, there were no bids for the Giacometti in the auction room or on the phone but auctioner Andrew Rumbler was able to sell it for $29,000,000 to someone who had "guaranteed" the lot.  The final price with commissions was $32,645,000, a world auction record for the artist in the medium, and after the auction Mr. Rumbler told a news conference that the guarantor was "pleased."

The Modigliani painting, Lot 19, a portrait of "Monsieur Baranowski," an oil on canvas that measures 43 3/4 by 21 5/8 inches, however, did not sell and was passed at $19 million.

And the Picasso, Lot 31, "Le Peintre et son modele dans un paysage," an oil  on canvas that meaures 51 1/8 by 76 3/4 inches, also did not sell and was passed at $23 million.

The Modigliani is a magnificent painting and about as good as one could dream of in terms of condition, style and execution.

The Picasso was full of Sturm un Drang, but then so are an awfully lot of Picassos.



Picasso

Lot 31, "Le peintre et son modele dans un paysage," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 51 1/2 by 76 3/4 inches, 1963

The estimate is $25,000,000 to $35,000,000.  It was passed at $23 million. In an article by Kelly Crow at The Wall Street Journal,  Brooke Lampley of Christie's said that "the seller took his pricing cue from a November 2011 Sotheby's sale of a similar Picasso from 1967 that sold for $23 million.

Van Gogh ink

Lot 16, "La maison de Vincent Ó Arles," by Vincent Van Gogh, pen and ink on paper, 5 1/4 by 8 1/8 inches, 1888

Lot 16, "La Maison de Vincent Ó Arles," is a great pen and ink on paper study for two large oils by Vincent Van Gogh.  It measures only 5 1/4 by 8 1/8 inches.  The estimate is  $2,500,000 to $3,500,000.  During a pause in the bidding, the auctioneer, Andrew Rumber, reminded the audience how small the drawing was.  It sold for $5.4 million to an Asian private buyer.  At the press conference after the auction, Doug Woodham, president of Christie's Americas said that the auction house was encouraged by the increased activity of Asian buyers, noting that three of the top ten works that were sold at the auction were purchased by "Asian Private."  He also said that there was  "strong competition...for the middle market" and that there were people from 32 countries attending the auction.

When asked if many sellers had revised their reserves in light of the disappointing results of the Krugier evening sale, Mr. Rumbler told The City Review that "consigners of the top lots are not in financial need," adding that some of the works that failed to sell had been on the market for 10 or more years, suggesting that that might have explained some reticence on the part of buyers' obsessed with "freshness" that traditionally usually only extended a few years back.


Boccioni drawing

Lot 23, "Disgregazione x velocitÓ, Penetrazioni dinamiche d'automobile," by Giacomo Balla, goauche, wash and brush and ink on paper laid down on card, 26 1/2 by 37 1/2 inches, 1913

Lot 23, "Disgregazione x velocitÓ, Penetrazioni dinamiche d'automobile," is a large gouache, wash and brush and ink on paper laid down on card by Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) that is very similar but not as strong as one that is in the auction at Sotheby's New York November 6, 2013. The 1913 work measures 26 1/2 by 37 1/2 inches.  The estimate for this one is $3,000,000 to $5,000.  It failed to sell, despite the artist's rarity and importance, and was passed at $2.8 million.

Juan Gris

Lot 11, "Guitare sur une table," by Juan Gris, oil on canvas, 36 1/4 by 23 3/8 inches, 1916

One of the star items in the auction is Lot 11, "Guitare sur une table," an oil on canvas by Juan Gris (1887-1927).  The 1916 work is one of the artist's typical beautiful and richly colored Cubist still lifes.  It measures 36 1/4 by 23 3/8 inches and was the back-cover illustration of the auction's catalogue.  The estimate of $10,000,000 to $15,000,000.  It sold for $9,125,000.


Gris detail

Detail of Lot 11

It is similar to "Violon 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 that was sold at Christie's New York November 3, 2013 for $28,642,500, a world auction record for Gris (see The City Review article).  It had been consigned by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kravis, according to an article in The New York Times by Carol Vogel. 

Clearly, the art market is weak despite high stock and real estate prices.

Kandinsky 1

Lot 39, "Schwarz und Violett," by Wassily Kandinsky, oil on canvas, 30 3/4 by 39 1/2 inches, 1923

Lot 39 is a very good, 1923 abstraction by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) entitled "Schwarz und Violett."  An oil on canvas, it measures 30 3/4 by 39 1/2 inches.  It has an estimate of $4,500,000 to $7,500,000.  It sold for $12,597,000.


Kandinsky 2

Lot 26, "Scharf im dumpf," by Wassily Kandinsky, oil on board in the artist's frame, 19 1/4 inches square, 1929

Lot 26 is a 1929 oil on board by Kandinsky that is entitled "Scharf im dumpf."  It measures 19 1/4 inches square. The estimate is $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.  It sold for $1,085,000.


Klee 1


Lot 10, "Siedelung im Hugelland," by Paul Klee, watercolor and pen and ink on linen laid down on the artist's mount, 10 by 16 1/2 inches, 1930

Lot 10 is a lovely and subtle watercolor and pen and ink laid down on the artist's mount by Paul Klee (1879-1940).  Entitled "Siedelung im Hugelland," it measures 10 by 16 1/2 inches. The  estimate is $500,000 to $700,000.  It sold for $785,000.


Klee 2

Lot 27, "Parkbild bei Regen," by Paul Klee, oil on card laid down on the artist's board, 13 by 8 1/4 inches, 1920

Another fine Klee is Lot 27, "Parkbild bei Regen."  an oil on card laid down on the artist's board, it measures 13 by 8 1/4 inches and was painted in 1920.  The estimate is $700,000 to $1,000,000.   It sold for $701,000.


Miro

Lot 43, "Composition," by Joan Mirˇ, oil,  gouache, pencil and wax crayon on paper mounted on canvas, 38 5/8 by 220 5/8 inches, 1978

Lot 43, "Composition,"by Joan Mirˇ (1893-1983) is an oil, gouache, pencil and wax crayon on paper mounted on canvas that measures 38 5/8 by 220 5/8 inches.  It was created in 1978 and is a study for a large brick mural at the Wilhelm-Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen am Rhein.  The estimate is $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $2,909,000.


Monet

Lot 14, "L'Ile aux Orties," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 28 3/8 by 36 1/2  inches, 1897

Lot 14 is a nice Claude Monet (1840-1926) oil on canvas entitled "L'Ile aux Orties."  It measures 28 3/8 by 36 1/2 inches and was painted in 1897.  It is not quite as strong as a very similar composition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and a better composition at the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.  The estimate is $6,000,000 to $9,000,000.  It sold for $8,117,000.

Signac

Lot 18, "Les Allees, Cannes," by Paul Signac, oil on canvas, 28 3/8 by 36 1/8 inches, 1920

Lot 28 is a large oil on canvas by Paul Signac (1863-1935) entitled "Les Alles, Cannes." It measures 28 3/8 by 36 1/8 inches and was painted in 1920.  It is from the collection of Evelyn Annenberg Jaffe Hall.  The estimate is $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $3,749,000.

Sisley

Lot 15, "Route de  Versailles," by Alfred Sisley, oil on canvas, 18 1/8 by 24 1/8 inches, 1876

Lot 15 is a very pleasant landscape by Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) entitled "Route de Versailles."  An oil on canvas, it measures 18 1/8 by 24 1/8 inches and was painted in 1976.  The estimate is $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.  It sold for $1,085,000.


Pissarro

Lot 44, "Paysage avec maisons et mur de cloture, givre et brume, Eragny,"  by Camille Pissarro, oil on canvas, 18 1/2 by 21 3/8 inches, 1892

Lot 14, "Paysage avec maisons et mur de cloture, givre et brume, Eragny," is an intriguing oil on canvas by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903).  It measures 18 1/2 by 21 3/8 inches and was painted in 1892. The estimate is $800,000 to $1,200,000.  It sold for $965,000.

Schiele 1

Lot 12, "Mann und Frau (Umarmung)," by Egon Schiele, gouache and black crayon on paper, 17 3/4 by 11 3/8 inches, 1917

Lot 12 is a very fine gouache and black crayon on paper by Egon Schiele (1890-1918).  Entitled "Mann und Frau (Umarmung)," it measures 17 3/4 by 11 3/8 inches and was painted in 1917. The estimate is $5,000,000 to $7,000,000.  It failed to sell and was passed at $4.8 million.

Schiele 2

Lot 24, "Selbstbildnis," by Egon Schiele, waterolor and charcoal on buff paper, 17 1/4 by 12 inches, 1910


Lot 24, "Selbstbildnis," is a striking watercolor and charcoal on buff paper by Schiele that measures 17 1/4 by 12 inches.  The estimate is $800,000 to $1,200,000.  It sold for $1,625,000.


Munch

Lot 40, "Hest i landskap," by Edvard Munch, oil on canvas, 26 3/4 by 35 5/8 inches, 1912

Lot 40 is a very fine oil on canvas of a horse in the woods by Edvard Munch (1863-1944).  Entitled "Hest i landskap," it measures 26 3/4 by 35 5/8 inches and was painted in 1912. The estimate is $2,500,000 to $3,500,000.  It failed to sell and was passed at $1,700,000.


Moore 1

Lot 30, "Reclining figure," by Henry Moore, bronze, 21 inches long, cast 1963

Lot 30 is a nice bronze by Henry Moore (1897-1986) entitled "Reclining Figure."  It is 21 inches long and was cast in 1963. The estimate is $400,000 to $600,000.  It sold for $845,000.

Moore 2

Lot 4, "Family Group," by Henry Moore, bronze, 9 1/4 inches high, circa 1950

Another good bronze by Moore is Lot 4, "Family Group," which is 9 1/4 inches high and was done circa 1950.  It has an estimate is $500,000 to $700,000.  It sold for $1,565,000.

Moore 3

Lot 1, "Woman Knitting," by Henry Moore, watercolor, black chalk, colored wax crayons and pencil on paper, 29 7/8 by 22 1/8 inches, 1949

Lot 1 is a very good watercolor, black chalk, colored wax crayons and pencil on paper by Moore entitled "Woman Knitting."  It measures 29 7/8 by 22 1/8 inches and was painted in 1949.  The estimate is $500,000 to $700,000.  It sold for $1,325,000.

Lot 32 is a large bronze sculpture by Moore entitled "Reclining Figure" that was cast circa 1970.  It measures 90 by 133 inches and has an estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.  It sold for $6,101,000.

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
See The City Review article on the Fall 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
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
See The City Review article on Phillips May 7, 2001 Impressionist & Modern Art auction
See The City Review article on the November 9, 2001 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
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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