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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Sotheby’s Paris Impressionist & Modern Art Sale June 1

Sotheby’s will present a highly selective sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in Paris on 1 June 2011. This prestigious sale pays homage to the most notable artistic trends of the 20th century, Surrealism and Cubism, and offers major works by such great modern artists as Joan Miró, André Masson and Alberto Giacometti.

André Masson, La chute, (le viol ou l’amour de la vitesse). Oil on canvas. Est. 250.000-350.000€. Photo: Sotheby’s/ArtDigital studio.

Joan Miró
Coinciding with the Miró retrospective at Tate Modern in London, Sotheby’s is honoured to be offering several superb works by the 20th century master.

The star lot is a superb 1942 pastel Women & Bird before the Sun, produced shortly after Miró’s legendary 1941 series Constellations (est. €2,000,000-3,000,000*). The work transcends its painful historical context (the Spanish Civil War, with Miró in Spain at the time), uniting quintessential elements of Miró’s artistic vocabulary (woman, bird, sun, star) with hypnotic graphic force, an irresistible colour scheme, and infectious lyricism. The result is a tour de force.

Surrealist Works
After the world record price obtained last December for his 1939 masterpiece Gradiva, pre-empted by France’s Musée National d’Art Moderne for €2.4m, Sotheby’s is delighted to offer three further works by André Masson: The Fall (Le Viol or Love of Speed), a violent, sun-drenched composition from 1939 (est. €250,000-350,000); his extraordinary Portrait of Goethe from 1940 (est. €200,000-300,000); and Chantier d’Oiseaux painted in July/August 1941, a few months after Masson arrived in America (est.€200,000-300,000).

Other emblematic Surrealist works include René Magritte’s 1947 painting La Terre de Feu (est. €700,000-900,000) and his Language of Colours (c.1961), a gouache featuring tree-leaves, a subject dear to the Belgian’s heart (est. €300,000-400,000).

Two 1960s paintings showcase the afterglow of the Surrealist movement: Max Ernst’s Untitled (The Sun Disguised), a blue composition from 1963 (est. €80,000-120,000); and Toyen’s masterly Fardée pour Apparaître from 1962 (est. €200,000-

Still Lifes: from Odilon Redon to Pablo Picasso
Overlapping with his Grand Palais retrospective, Sotheby’s is offering a magnificent work by Odilon Redon, featuring one of his most popular subjects, the floral bouquet. His pastel Flowers on a Grey Ground (c.1916) shows Redon’s exquisitely delicate handling and gift for appealing to the senses: you can almost smell these flowers! (est. €300,000-400,000).

Picasso’s Broc et Verre (1959) counts as one of the masterpieces from Picasso’s ‘Vauvenargues Period.’ It is strongly infused with memories of Picasso’s native Spain, and was produced in a spirit of asceticism and meditation in the majestic surroundings of the Marquis de Vauvenargues’ chateau (est. €900,000-1,300,000).

Juan Gris’s 1920 Glass & Fruit reflects the ‘fluid poetry’ typical of his work after World War I. The construction is based on the tension between straight lines and accentuated curves (est. €350,000-550,000).

Georges Braque’s Bouquet et Palette (1948-55), consigned from a French private collection, achieves perfect balance between Braque’s palette and the flowers’ vibrant colours (est. €80,000-120,000).

Seven Works Acquired from Ambroise Vollard
After the exceptional sale of the Trésors du Coffre Vollard in Paris and London in 2010, Sotheby’s is honoured to offer for auction seven remarkable works from a private European collection, acquired directly from the great Paris dealer. The ensemble marks the return of great Impressionist painting to the Paris auction scene.

The star work is Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Garden Scene in Brittany (1886), a first version of the famous work in the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, that has not been seen on the market for nearly a century (est. €450,000-650,000).

The group also includes three pastels and two paintings by Louis Valtat from his Paris period and dating from around 1896; and a large canvas by Georges Rouault.

Cubism: A Masterpiece & A Collection
The sale also includes a remarkable Cubist portrait by Henri Hayden: Seated Girl with Bouquet of Flowers (1919). With its virtuoso juxtaposition of textures, trompe-l’œil effects and graphic fantasy, this majestic composition counts as one of Hayden’s leading works, and is unquestionably the most important work by Hayden ever to come on the market. It comes from a private Italian collection (est. €300,000-500,000).

Another sale highlight is a group of works from the finest Cubist collection to appear on the market in the last decade, assembled between 1980-2005 by a European private collector, and including exceptional works by the second generation of Cubist artists from 1918, at a time when Cubism was adopting a more colourful approach.

Auguste Herbin, considered by many as the founder of abstraction in France, is an artist whose style evolved in line with the main developments in 20th century art without ever renouncing his own, highly individual approach. Le Tech à Céret (1913), with its refined, eye-pleasing colours, is an emblematic work from his Cubist period (est. €150,000-200,000).

The collection also features works by Louis Marcoussis and Georges Valmier, and rare compositions by two of the leading female Cubists: Marcelle Cahn and Alice Halicka.

A Spectacular Bronze by Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti’s bronze Man from the Waist Up or Homme à Mi-Corps (Diego Seated), made in 1965 and cast in 1982, is a magnificent sculptural portrayal of a hugely influential figure in Alberto’s life: his younger brother Diego. It has been consigned by an American connoisseur (est. €800,000-1,200,000).

Friday 27 May 10am-6pm
Saturday 28 May 10am-6pm
Monday 30 May 10am-6pm
Tuesday 31 May 10am-2pm

* estimates do not include buyer’s premium

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