day auctions of Impressionist & Modern Art are usually filled
with a lot of "pretty" but unimportant paintings and
drawings and sculptures but there inevitably are some very fine
works that could very well have been included in the more limited
and more expensive evening sales, and indeed this time there are
probably more fine works, despite their generally smaller size,
than in the evening auction.
One such example at this day auction at Sotheby's is Lot 139,
"Tete Visionaire," by Odilon Redon (1840-1916), shown
above. The 24 5/8-by-18 3/8-inch pastel on paper was executed
circa 1907 and has an estimate of $250,000 to $350,000. It is
very sumptuous and typical of the artist's meditative portaits
of woman surrounded by flowers and plants. Redon's mystical and
lyrical works are fairly rare. It failed to sell.
(1860-1946) is another eccentric individualist whose works do
not appear at auction often. Lot 141, "Une symphonie Musicale
(Vision Claire)," shown above, is a 14 3/4-by-16-inch oil
on canvas that was executed in 1928. Ensor is best known for his
depictions of masks and generally his compositions are rather
foreboding although bright. This attractive still life has a conservative
estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It sold for $84,000 including
the buyer's premium as do all the results mentioned in this article.
(1863-1935) is a very vibrant Pointilist painter whose oeuvre
was the subject of a recent retrospective at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. Lot 143, "Samois, Etude No. 10," shown
above, is an oil on canvas board that measures 10 5/8 by 13 5/8
inches. Painted in 1899, it has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000.
It sold for $288,000.
While Lot 143 is fairly loose in its painterliness, another Signac,
Lot 147, "Marseille, Le Vieux Port," is quite wild and
exciting in its handling of paint, almost foreshadowing de Kooning.
An oil on canvas board that measures 10 5/8 by 13 3/4 inches,
it was painted in 1906 and has an estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.
It sold for $125,600.
Lot 145, "Les Barques au Clair de Lune, Le Treport,"
is a very interesting work by Henri Le Sidaner (1862-1939). The
21 3/8-by-29-inch pastel on canvas is a Whistlerian nocture of
boats on a body of water. It has an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
It sold for $48,000.
more typical work by Le Sidanier is Lot 157, "La Table Dans
L'Interieur," an oil, pen and ink on canvas that measures
36 1/4 by 29 inches. Executed in 1928, it is the frontispiece
of the catalogue and illustrates the artist's muted palette and
keen sense of composition. It has an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.
It failed to sell.
Sidanier ranks with Henri Martin (1860-1943) and Gustave Loiseau
(1865-1935) in the ranks of the second generation of French Impressionists.
Lot 155, "Berger Jouant du Pipeau au Coucher de Soleil,"
is a quite striking work by Martin because of its quite dazzling
sunset. The oil on canvas measures 28 3/4 by 38 1/2 inches and
was painted circa 1895. It has an estimate of $60,000 to $80,000.
It failed to sell.
Lot 171, "Bords de Riviere, Normandie," is a very strongly
impressionistic oil on canvas by Loiseau. It measures 26 by 32
inches and was executed in 1918. It has an estimate of $60,000
to $80,000. It sold for $90,000.
Lot 186, "Le Poet Alberto Lozano," is a charming charcoal
and pastel on paper, 8 5/8 by 5 5/8 inches by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).
The work was executed in 1901 and has an estimate of $80,000 to
$120,000. It sold for $164,800.
One of the
finest works in this auction is Lot 188, "Study for the 'Skating
Rink' Curtain," a watercolor on board by Fernand Léger
(1881-1955). The 14 7/8-by-17 3/4-inch work was executed in 1921
and has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. Léger was
invited by Fokine and Rolf de Maré to design the sets for
two productions, La Creation du Monde and Skating Rink, for their
Ballet Suédois when it went to Paris. This is a fabulous
design. It failed to sell.
Lot 196 is a very fine sculpture by Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964).
Entitled "Statue on Triangular Base (Statuette), bronze,
30 1/4 inches high. Conceived in 1914, it was cast in an edition
of six circa 1955-7. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
It failed to sell.
Lot 199A, "Composition with Three Circles," is a very
fine drawing by Laslo Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946). The pen and brush
and ink, pencil and colored crayon on paper measures 16 3/4 by
13 3/4 inches. It was drawn in 1946 and has a conservative estimate
of $5,000 to $7,000. It sold for $13,200.
A fine companion piece for Lot 199A is Lot 205, "Warmes (Warm),"
by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). It is a 14 1/2-by-9 7/8-inch
watercolor on paper that was executed in 1924 and has an estimate
of $180,000 to $220,000. It failed to sell.
One of the
most beautiful works in the auction is Lot 206, "Dame im
Breiten Hut (Lady in a Wide-Brimmed Hat," by Paul Klee (1879-1940).
A watercolor and oil on paper mounted on board, it measures 10
3./8 by 15 1/2 inches. Executed in 1931, it has a modest estimate
of $60,000 to $80,000. It sold for $90,000.
Another excellent work by Klee is Lot 219, "Auferstehende
(Resurrection)." A casein, gouache and pencil on prepared
paper, it measures 10 1/2 by 8 1/8 inches and was executed in
1938. It is a very beautiful and bright abstract composition in
yellow, white and pale blue. It has a conservative estimate of
$80,000 to $120,000. It failed to sell.
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884-1976) do not appear at auction often
and Lot 209 is a very striking watercolor by him entitled "Landscaft
mit Sitzender Figur (Landscape with Seated Figure." The 19
3/4-by 27-inch work was once in the collection of Dr. G. Wilhelm
R. Valentiner, a former director of the Los Angles County Museum
and the Detroit Institute of Art and the author of a monograph
on this artist. It has a modest estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.
It failed to sell.
is a classically lyrical work by Lyonel Feininger that is entitled
"One World." The watercolor and pen and India ink on
paper measures 12 1/2 by 19 inches. Executed in 1953, it has a
conservative estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. It sold for $16,800.
has a group of works consigned by the estate of actor Rod Steiger,
the most notable of which is Lot 222, "Entwurf Heuwagen (Study
of a Haywagon)" by Gabriele Münter (1877-1962). The
oil on board measures 13 by 16 inches and was painted in 1908.
The catalogue notes that Münter traveled with Wassily Kandinsky
in 1908 in the Bavarian countryside and they chose Murnau on the
Staffelsee Lake and were soon joined by Marianne von Werefkin
and Alexej Jawlensky, the Russian artists. The powerful small
painting has an estimate of $150,000 to $200,000. It sold for
(1900-1955) is one of the most abstract and inventive of the Surrealists
and Lot 312, "L'Extinction des Especes," is a fine example
of his artisty. An oil on canvas board that measures 13 3/4 by
10 1/2 inches, it is dated 1936 and has an estimate of $150,000
to $200,000. It is the cover illustration of the catalogue. It
sold for $288,000.
Lot 338 is an impressive bronze sculpture by Henry Moore (1898-1986)
that is a "Working Model for Mother and Child:Hood,"
a sculpture he did for St. Paul's Cathedral in London. This sculpture
is numbered 1 of 9 and was executed in 1982. It has an estimate
of $350,000 to $450,000. It failed to sell.
Another fine sculpture is Lot 341, "Figure," by Barbara
Hepworth (1903-1975). The 72-inch-high bronze is number 6 of 6
and was executed in 1964. It has an estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.
It sold for $377,600.
72 percent of the offered lots sold, about the same percentage
as the night before at Sotheby's evening Impressionist & Modern