Christie’s Announce New Evening Auctions

Following the success of ONE, Christie’s $420 million live-streamed global relay auction in July, Christie’s will again break with tradition and introduce a new global auction calendar in October, adding exciting new collecting opportunities to the traditional Fall auction calendar. Presented by Christie’s unified “20/21” department, the new calendar will feature a mid-autumn marquee week of Evening and Day sales in New York ahead of the traditional November auctions, and a synchronised series of sales in London and Paris – all devoted to the best of 20th and 21st Century art. The additional New York sales will be conducted live and live-streamed from Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries on October 6 and 7, 2020. This will be followed by exceptional auctions that celebrate two great cities, bringing together the collecting communities from London and Paris, opening with exhibitions on 6 October during London’s Frieze Week and continuing with Evening live and livestreamed events in both cities on 22 October, coinciding with FIAC in Paris.

The October New York sales will offer extraordinary examples of Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary art, led by Paul Cézanne’s Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier, a superlative watercolor still life from the collection of the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. The still life, which dates to 1900-1906, was acquired by Edsel Ford in 1933. In the region of $25 million, Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier is the finest watercolor by the artist to come to auction in over thirty years.

GLOBAL EXHIBITION – CÉZANNE
To launch the announcement of its new October 20th Century Week in New York, Christie’s will tour Cézanne’s Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier to its galleries in Hong Kong and London in early September, with public viewings available as conditions allow. Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier represents the apogee of Cézanne’s work in watercolor, and a defining moment in the commencement of Modernism as we now know it. The watercolor compositions created between 1900 and 1906 were the culmination of his lifelong study of painting and constitute the final flowering of his art. Standing at the precipice of abstraction, these works represent Cézanne’s most revolutionary body of work.

The history of this picture’s ownership is appropriately distinguished; from the fabled dealer Ambroise Vollard to Alexandre Berthier, the fourth and final Prince of Wagram, killed in the First World War, the watercolor eventually made its way to America in 1929, and in 1933 entered the esteemed family collection assembled by Edsel and Eleanor Ford. The painting occupied their collection until Eleanor’s death in 1976 when it was bequeathed to the private operating foundation that would become Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.

OCTOBER 22, 2020: LONDON TO PARIS
On 22 October, a series of sales will begin in Paris with ‘The Secret Garden of Paul Haim’, an auction offering 41 monumental sculptures from the fantastic collection of the art dealer Paul Haim. Paris Avant-Garde will follow, highlighted by Zao Wou-Ki’s 31.07.68 (1968, estimate: €1,100,000 – 1,500,000) before moving to London for the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction, concluding with Thinking Italian Art and Design. The London session will include Georg Baselitz’s masterpiece Weiblicher Akt – Liegend (1977, estimate; £900,000-1,200,000).

THE SECRET GARDEN OF PAUL HAIM
Christie’s will offer 41 monumental sculptures from the fantastic collection of the art dealer Paul Haim in a dedicated auction. Since his death in 2006, Dominique, Haim’s daughter, has been overseeing the collection. All of these works were housed in La Petite Escalère, a secret garden nestling along the Adour, a short distance from Bayonne and Biarritz.

PARIS AVANT-GARDE
Executed in 1968, 31.07.68 by Zao Wou-Ki is fresh to the market having remained in the same French family since 2003. The painting, in perfect condition, has kept its bright and intense colours which makes this work very desirable for all international collectors.

LONDON POST-WAR AND CONTEMPORARY EVENING AUCTION
Painted in 1977, Weiblicher Akt – Liegend (Female Nude – Lying) is a monumental explosion of form and content by Georg Baselitz. Broad swathes of black, white and burnt sienna slice across a vast canvas over three metres wide. Charged with earthy physicality, the brushwork echoes the abstract bravura of Franz Kline or Willem de Kooning. Only on close inspection does a black diagonal – slashed through the painting’s centre – emerge as the reclining nude of the title. Likely based on the artist’s wife, Elke, she lies on her front, with one hand on her chin and one foot raised behind her. In Baselitz’s signature style, she is also upside-down. From a private Swiss collection, with exceptional provenance, the works was formerly part of the Crex Collection, whose pioneering embrace of the European and American avant-garde from the 1960s onwards transformed public appreciation of contemporary art in Switzerland and beyond.

THINKING ITALIAN ART AND DESIGN
Pino Pascali’s Contraerea (1965, estimate: £2,500,000-3,500,000) is a magnificent work of art, one which stands alone as the defining achievement of Arte Povera, and undoubtedly sits among the great masterpieces of the 20th Century. Evocative, playful and characteristically imaginative, captures the zeitgeist of the Post-War generation, exemplifying the practice of the artist.

Paul Cézanne, Nature morte avec pot au lait, melon et sucrier, watercolor over pencil on paper, Painted in 1900-1906. In the region of $25 million. © Christie’s Images Ltd 2020.

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