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Impressionist & Modern Art
Sotheby's New York

7 PM, November 12, 2018

Sale 9330

Sotheby's confuses the market by mixing American and Latin American paintings with traditional European works


Vlaminckj 10

Lot 10, "Pecheur a Chatou," by Maurice de Vlaminck, oil on canvas, 18 1/8 by 21 5/8 inches, 1906

By Carter B. Horsley

The impressive evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art November 17, 2018 at Sotheby's New York is highlighted by four fabulous Fauve paintings by Vlaminck, three good Kandinskys, some Monets and Miros and a good Kokoschka, double-sided works by Kirchner and Meidner as well as some excellent works by Hartley, Davis and Tamayo that belong in other auctions.

Lot 10, shown above, is a wonderful oil on canvas by Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958) entitled "Pecheur a Chatou."  It measures 18 1/8 by 21 5/8 inches and ws painted in 1906.  It was exhibited at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London in 2002.  It has been widely published.

Vlaminck was an important Fauve painter who unfortunately changed his style after a few years to a dreary and drab greenish and dark palette.

The catalogue entry provides the following commentary:

"In Pecheur a Chatou the verticality in the treatment of the brushstrokes fully articulates the density of the reflection of the bridge atop the water.  The solid swaths of color which make up center of the composition owe much to the legacy of post-Impressionist painters Paul Gauguin and Paul Serusier; the flat areas of highly saturated planes of color are especially reminiscent of the stylistic experiments undertaken by Serusier under Gauguin's influence in the late 1880s.  These early experiments resulted in Serusier executing the celebrated panel, Le Talisman, now in the collection of the Musee d'Orsay.  In explaining this work, Serusier 'conveyed this friend Gauguin's message that instead of copying nature as one perceived it, one should represent it, transmute it into a play of vivid colors, emphasizing simple, expressive, original arabesques for the pleasure of the eye.'...The desire felt by Gauguin and Serusier to intensify color and simplify form led to a predilection for brushstrokes which were lengthened and continued as broad patches of vibrant color.  Drawing from the visual lexicon of these post-Impressionist artists, as well as the expressive brushwork of Vincent van Gogh, Vlaminck has utilitized non-naturalistic colors to great effect.  Through Vlaminck's passionate use of what are largely primary colors to portray the shoreline, bridge and river in the present work, the young artist achieves a composition that is as animated and harmonious the town it portrays."

This lot has an estimate of $9,000,000 to $14,000,000.  It sold for $7,637,500  including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.

The auction total was $315,404,500.

Vlaminck 7

Lot 7, "Paysage au bois mort (Ramasseur de bois mort), by Vlaminck, oil on canvas, 25 3/8 by 31 5/8 inches, 1906

Lot 7 is a very vibrant Fauve oil on canvans by Vlaminck entitled "Paysage au bois mort (Ramasseur de bois mort)".  It measures 25 3/8 by 31 5/8 inches and was painted in 1906.  It has been widely exhibited and published.  It has an estimate of $12,000,000 to $18,000,000.  It sold for $16,699,500.

Vlaminck 16

Lot 16, "Rueil, le garage a bateaux," by Maurice de Vlaminck, oil on canvas, 21 1/2 by 25 5/8 inches, 1906

Lot 16, "Rueil, le garage a bateaux," is an oil on canvas that measures 21 1/2 by 25 5/8 inches.  It was painted in 1906. 

The catalogue entry provides the following commetary:

"It was a Chatou that one of the critical partnerships at the core of the Fauve movement began with the chance meeting of Vlaminck and Andre Derain in June 1900.  When their outbound train derailed  shortly after leaving Paris, the two artists 'struck up a conversation while walking the rest of the way to Chatou, where they both lived....They agreed to meet the next day under the Pont de Chatou....Vlaminck and Derain eventually shared a studio...."

The lot has a modest estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $2,895,000.

Vlaminck  11

Lot 11, "Nu couche," by Maurice de Vlaminck, oil on canvas, 11 by 16 1/2 inches.  It was painted in 1905.

Lot 11 is a brilliantly bright nude oil on canvas by Vlaminck.  It measures 11 by 16 1/2 inches but its vibrances strike viewers as a much large work.  It was painted in 1905 and has been widely exhibited.

The catalogue entry provides the following commentary:

Nu couche depicts a dance from Le Rat mort - one of the infamous cabarets of Montmartre - and features one of the more common themes in fin-de-siecle Parisian art: the decadence and visual spectacle of nightlife.  The raucous and often sordid environment of the Rat Mort cabaret and its occupants were featured in the paintings of Degas, Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec in the previous century....Vlaminck's figure in Nu couche is tantalizing in her blatant display of nudity, lying provocatively prostrate on a couch that is suggested only through large fields of colors, partially covered by a cloth.  The stark whiteness of the figure's heavily made-up face powerfully contrasts with the vibrant palette of her flesh and of the background."

The lot has an modest estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $2,895,000.


Kirchner double hat    Kirchner double nude

Lot 24, "Lady in Blue in the Park," and "Female Nude," double-sided oil on canvas, by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 39 1/2 by 27 1/2 inches, 1912 and 1908

Lot 24, "Lady in Blue in the Park," and "Female Nude," is a double-sided oil on canvas, by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 1880-1938) that measures 39 1/2 by 27 1/2 inches.  They were painted in 1912 and 1908, respectively. 

The catalogue identifies the woman "in blue in the park" as Erma Schilling.  She is wearing a plumed hat and holding her eyeglasses.  The entry also notes that the nude "is an extraordinary vibrant and enigmatic double-sided canvas from the height of Kirchner's association with Der Brucke."

The lot has a modest estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.
It failed to sell.

isKirchner gym

Lot 22, "Artillerymen," by Ludwig Kirchner,  oil on canvas, 55 1/8 by 59 1/8 inches, 1915

Lot 22, "Artillerymen," by Ludwig Kirchner,  is an oil on canvas that measures 55 1/8 by 59 1/8 inches and was painted in 1915.  It is from the Alfred Flechtheim Collection and has been very widely exhibited and published.  It has an estimate of $15,000,000 to $20,000,000.  It sold for $21,975,800.

Kokoschka  21

Lot 21, "Joseph de Montesquiou-Fezensac," by Oskar Kokoschka, oil on canvas, 31 1/4 by 24 7/8 inches, 1910

Lot 21 is a portrait of Joseph de Montesquiou-Fezensac by Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980).  An oil on canvas, it measures 31 1/4 by 24 7/8 inches and was painted in 1910.  It is from the collection of Alfred Flechtheim, whose family had been in the grain business.

Flechtheim became an art dealer and bought many Cubist paintings and with help from Paul Cassirer opened a gallery in Dusseldorf whose opening included works by Braque, Cezanne, van Gogh, Kokoschka, Matisse, Picasso and Schiele.  Subsequently, he moved to Berlin and founded Der Quershnitt, an illustrated magazine that had contributions from Marsden Hartley, Ezra Pound and Ernest Hemingway and Jean Cocteau.


The catalogue provides the following commentary:

"We know from contemporaneaous accounts of the artist's practice that he used the ends of his brush, his hands, his fingernails, the tips of his fingers, small bits of cloth to wipe away paint - really anything that would allow him the most immediate contact with the oil and canvas.  In his own words, 'Look, the route from the brain via the arm and through the brush is much too long.  If it were possible, I would paint with my nose."

It is the catalogue's cover illustration.

It has an estimate of $15,000,000 to $20,000,000.  It sold for $20,395,200.

Meidner 25   Meidner 25 blue

Lot 25, "Apocalyptic Landscape," left, and, on the reverse, "Young Man with Straw Hat," oil on canvas, 37 by 42 7/8 inches, 1912, by Ludwig Meidner

Lot 25 is a large double-sided oil on canvas by Ludwig Meidner (1884-1986).  It measures 37 by 42 7/8 inches and was painted in 1912.  One side is entitled "Apocalyptic Landscape" and the other "Young Man with Straw Hat." It has been widely exhibited and published. 

The catalogue entry notes, effusively, that "Ecstatic, cataclysmic and profoundly affecting, Meidner's Apocalyptic Landscape" is one of the most extraordinary paintings of the twentieth century, belonging to a series executed between 1912 and 1916."

The lot has an ambitious estimate of $12,000,000 to $18,000,000.  It sold for $14,072,800.


Ensor 23

Lot 23, "La Danse," by James Ensor, oil on canvas, 14 5/8 by 18 1/8 inches, 1896

Lot 23 is a lovely oil on canvas by James Ensor (1860-1949) entitled "La Danse."  It has been widely published and exhibited. 

The catalogue entry provides the following commentary:

"Displaying an exquisite grace of style and subject matter," the painting "typifies the transitional style of James Ensor work of the 1890s.  This moment is marked by the shift away from the realism that defined Ensor's early career towards his full embracing of the bizarre and fantastic within his oeuvre....The mask-like countenance of the mysterious figure in the foregound...anticipates the carnivals, masks, puppetry and skeletons that would dominate Ensor's mature work."

The lot has an estimate of $700,000 to $1,000,000.  It sold for $975,000.

Schiele  19

Lot 19, "Dammernde Stadt (Die Kleine Stadt II)(City in Twilight (The Small City II)), by Egon Schiele, oil and black crayon on canvas, 35 5/8 by 35 1/2 inches, 1913

Lot 19 is a large cityscape by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) that was painted in 1913.  It is entitled "Dammernde Stadt (City in Twilight)."  An oil and black crayon on canvas, it measures 35 5/8 by 35 1/2 inches.  It has been widely exhibited and published.  It has an estimate of $12,000,000 to $18,000,000.  It sold for $24,572,500.

Kandinsky 8

Lot 6, "Improvisation on Mahogany," by Wassily Kandinsky, oil on mahogany panel, 25 by 39 1/2 inches, 1910

Lot 6 is a large oil on mahogany panel, entitled "Improvisation on Mahogany," by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944).  It measures 25 by 39 1/2 inches and was painted in 1910.  The catalogue entry notes that "Kandinsky's first major breakthrough was his discovery that color, when disassociated from representational concerns, could become the principal subject of a painting.  Taking his cue from musical composition, Kandinsky determined that every color corresponded with a particular emotion or 'sound.'"

The lot has an ambitious estimate of $15,000,000 to $20,000,000.  It sold for $24,233,800.

Kandinksy 8

Lot 8, "On the Theme of the Last Judgment," by Wassily Kandinsky, oil and mixed media on canvas, 18 1/2 20 1/2 inches, 1913

Lot 8, is a small oil and mixed media on canvas by Wassily Kandinsky entitled "On the Theme of the Last Judgment."  It measures 18 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches and was painted in 1913.  It once belonged to the Norton Simon Foundation in Los Angeles.  It has an estimate of$22,000,000 to $35,000,000.  It sold for $22,879,000.

Kandinsky 4

Lot 4, "Le Rond rouge," by Wassily Kandinsky, oil on canvas, 35 by 45 5/8 inches, 1939

Lot 4 is a large oil by Kandinsky entitled "Le Rond rouge."  It measures 35 by 45 5/8 inches and was painted in 1939.  It has been widely published and exhibited.  It has an estimate of $18,000,000 to $25,000,000.  It sold for $20,621,000.

Miro 33

Lot 33, "Figure," by Joan Miro, pastel and pencil on velours paper, 42 1/2 by 28 5/8 inches, 1934

Lot 33 is a large pastel and pencil on velours paper by Joan Miro that was created in 1934 and exhibited at Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2009.  Entitled "Figure," it measures 42 1/2 by 28 5/8 inches. 

The catalogue entry provides the following commentary:

"Anne Umland asserts that in Figure and other works from the series 'pastel offered Miro options that traditional oil or water-based paints did not: a vast range of ready-made colors and tints and a literal dimensionality - a real, physical depth of tone created by light scattering off the irregularly shaped pulverized and pigmented particles trapped in the flocking of the textured papers....At once humorous and horrifying, seductive and repellent, his protagonists appear frozen, stonelike, even petrified, despite their pneumatically swollen contours, with dense solid limbs, heads and torsos impregnated with chromatic matter."

The lot has an estimate of $7,000,000 to $10,000,000.  It sold for $7,298,000.

Monet 41


Lot 41, "La Falaise d'Amont," by Claude Monet, oil on canvas, 24 by 28 7/8 inches, 1885

Lot 41 is a fine coastal scene by Claude Monet (1840-1926) entitled "La Falaise d'Amont."  An oil on canvas, it measures 24 by 28 7/8 inches and was painted in 1885.  It has an estimate $3,500,000 to $4,500,000.  It sold for $3,615,000.

Caillebotte  39

Lot 39, "Allee de la Villa des Fleurs a Trouville," by Gustave Caillebotte, oil on canvas, 23 5/8 by 28 3/4 inches, 1883

Lot 39 is a fine landscape by Gustave Caillebotte entitled "Allee de la villa des fleurs a Trouville."  An oil on canvas, it measures 23 5/8 by 28 3/4 inches and was painted in 1883.  It has a modest estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $5,040,800.

Pissarro  15

Lot 15, "Primrose Hill, London," by Camille Pissarro, oil on canvas, 25 5/8 by 31 7/8 inches, 1892

Lot 15 is a very poetic landscape by Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) entitled "Primrose Hill, London."  An oil on canvas, it measures 25 5/8 by 31 7/8 inches and was painted in 1892.  It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for $1,935,000.

Hartley  28

Lot 28, "Pre-War Pageant," by Marsden Hartley, oil on canvas, 41 5/8 by 34 1/8 inches, 1913

Lot 28 is a good oil on canvas by Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) entitled "Pre-War Pageant."  It measures 41 5/8 by 34 1/8 inches and was painted in 1913.  It was consigned by Ed and Deborah Shein and has an estimate on request.

A November 14, 2018 article by Scott Reyburn in The New York Times provided the following commentary:

"Eyebrows were...raised by the $30 million Sotheby's had guaranteed the New York collectors Ed and Deborah Shein to sell a 1913 painting by the pioneering American modernist Marsden Hartley.  The artist had hitherto achieved a high of $6.3 million at auction....'Pre-war Pageant' is one of an art-historically admired series of some 30 abstract paintings, filled with symbolic shapes and patterns, that Hartley made in Berlin from 1913 to 1915, inspired by his friendship with a Germany army officer....Sotheby's was unable to find a third-party 'irrevocable bidder' to back its $30 million risk on the Hartley and on Monday it failed to sell."

Davia 52
Lot 52, "Rue Lipp," by Stuart Davis, oil on canvas, 31 3/4 by 39 1/4 inches, 1928

Lot 52 is a large oil on canvas by Stuart Davis (1892-1964) entitled "Rue Lipp."  It measures 31 3/4 by 39 1/4 inches and was painted in 1928.  It has been widely exhibited included at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2016 and 2017.  It has an estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.  It sold for $6,847,200.


Tamayo  49

Lot 49, "Volcan en erupcion," by Rufino Tamayo, oil and sand on canvas, 30 1/8 by 40 1/8 inches, 1947

Lot 49 is a fine abstract oil and sand on canvas by Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) entitled "Volcan en erupcion."  It measures 30 1/8 by 40 1/8 inches and was painted in 1947,  It has been widely exhibited.  It has a modest estimate of $1,300,000 to $1,800,000.  It sold for $4,095,000.  The Mexican artist is usually the star of Latin American Art auctions.


See The City Review article on the Fall 2018 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2018 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2018 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 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

See The City Review article on the Fall 2016 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2016 day auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2016 auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2016 auction at Sotheby's New York of Impressionist & Modern Art

See The City Review article on the Spring 2016 auction at Christie's New York of Impressionist & Modern Art
See The City Review article on the Fall 2015 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's New York
See The City Review article of the Fall 2015 Impressionist and Modern Art auction at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2015 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2015 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's New York

See The City Review article on the Fall 2015 "Masterworks: the Collection of A. Alfred Taubman" auction at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2015 Looking Forward to the Past auction at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2014 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2014 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's New York

See The City Review article on the Spring 2014 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's New York
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
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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