Important Works by Tamara de Lempicka from the Collection of Wolfgang Joop to be Sold at Sotheby’s

. April 7, 2009

On May 5 and 6, 2009 ten paintings by Tamara de Lempicka from the collection of noted fashion designer Wolfgang Joop will be offered at Sotheby’s New York. It is the finest group of paintings by the artist ever to appear at auction. Four paintings will be included in the evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on May 5th and six will be offered the following day. Highlights will be on view in London from April 22-25 prior to the exhibition and sale in New York.

Emmanuel Di-Donna, Vice Chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art Worldwide and Head of Sotheby’s Evening Sales, New York, commented, “This group of paintings, all from Lempicka’s prime period, embodies the spirit of the Art Deco era and its sense of style and modernity. These iconic images range from intimate and sensual to bold and monumental. As an artist, Lempicka drew on the avant-garde art and design around her, Cubism in particular, to derive a distinct aesthetic all her own.”

Recent decades have witnessed a resurgence of interest in Tamara de Lepmicka, a figure who occupied an important position in ‘Roaring Twenties’ Paris. Her glamour has inspired celebrity collectors in the movie, music and fashion worlds. A voracious collector, Wolfgang Joop has spent several decades amassing an extraordinary collection of modern and contemporary art and 20th century design. Benjamin Doller, a Vice Chairman of Sotheby’s commented, “As a key player in the fashion industry with his collection Wunderkind, it’s understandable that Mr. Joop would appreciate the Hollywood glamour and decadence celebrated in Lempicka’s work. A pioneer in many areas of collecting, he was among a handful of early enthusiasts to rediscover her in the 1970s. ”

Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale – May 5, 2009
Among the works that will be offered in the evening sale on May 5th is a painting that has become synonymous with Lempicka’s style – Portrait de la Duchesse de la Salle (est. $4/6 million). Sexy, bold and monumental in its presentation, this spectacular picture from 1925 celebrates the strength and power of the modern woman.

Also included in the evening sale is a sultry portrait from 1932 – Portrait de Marjorie Ferry – which exemplifies the sleek and sexy aesthetic that defined Lempicka’s art (est. $4/6 million). The model is the English-born Marjorie Ferry, a cabaret singer living in Paris, who is transformed by Lempicka into a modernday goddess, cloaked in marble-crisp drapery in front of a Doric column.

Lempicka’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Poum Rachou from 1933 is one of her most recognizably Cubist-inspired compositions, calling to mind the 1920s Le Petit dejeuner series of Fernand Léger (est. $1.8/2.5 million). A dynamic still life from 1931, Arlette Boucard aux Arums, features a portrait of Arlette Boucard, a young woman whom Lempicka painted as an adolescent in 1928 (est. $800,000/1.2 million). For this new composition, Lempicka pairs a photograph of the girl with a bouquet of arums or calla lilies, a dual symbol of purity and seduction and an allusion to Arlette’s passage from youth to womanhood.

“Tamara’s appeal to me is comparable to that of a blue diamond,” said Wolfgang Joop. “From the first moment I saw her paintings, I was captivated by the unique way in which she presented women, and I have been fortunate to enjoy a long and intimate history with her. In turn, she inspired my work with a distinctive style that embodies the image of a modern woman.”

Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale – May 6, 2009
Le Telephone II will be the cover lot of the Impressionist and Modern Art Day sale on May 6th. Painted in 1930, the year after Lempicka moved into a large Art Deco apartment with a studio on the Left Bank in Paris, the present work exemplifies the modernity of the age and of the artist herself (est. $800,000/1.2 million). Pulp magazines had gained enormous popularity in the 1920s and the femme fatale became the central figure in these works, soon to be immortalized in the novels of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, and in the film noir classics of the thirties.

Wolfgang Joop
Wolfgang Joop was born in Potsdam, Germany in 1944 and studied Drawing, Sculpture and the Theory of Art before working as a freelance artist. He was invited to be an honorary professor of Life Drawing and Design at the University of Art in Berlin, and his drawings and paintings are included in the permanent collections of several contemporary art museums, including the Hamburg Museum of Art and Industry which houses over 100 of his works. Wolfgang Joop, founder and creator of the world renowned fashion company WUNDERKIND has become one of the most influential designers for luxury fashion in the world. With the creation of the label WUNDERKIND he has built the only German fashion house of its kind, offering their worldwide clientele a sophisticated range of luxury ready-to wear collection and accessories. The company’s products are sold in more than 100 of the best boutiques and stores worldwide. End of 2008 the brand opened its first international boutique in London’s Mayfair district, on 16 Mount Street. Wolfgang Joop’s collection ranges from paintings and furniture dating from the seventeenth-century to the present day, and includes works by Jeff Koons, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Alexandre Noll, Charlotte Perriand, Jean Royère and Jean Prouvé, among others.

Category: Auction News

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