Christie’s highlights: Chagall, Monet, Klein. 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale

LONDON AND PARIS – Taking place on 28 June 2022, three auctions focus on the influential artistic synergies that exist between London and Paris. 20/21 London to Paris is comprised of the 20th / 21st Century: Marc Chagall, Colour of Life, 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale, and the 20th / 21st

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20th/21st Century London Evening. Photo: Profimedia
  • Christie’s 20/21 London to Paris sale series focuses again on artistic synergies between London and Paris throughout the 20th and 21st centuries
  • 20/21 London to Paris is led by works from pioneering artists representing the cultural exchange between these two art capitals: Marc Chagall, Yves Klein, and Claude Monet
  • Jeff Koons’ seminal sculpture Balloon Monkey (Magenta) (2006-13, estimate: £6,000,000- 10,000,000) is presented by Victor and Olena Pinchuk to raise vital funds for humanitarian aid for Ukraine
  • Beatriz Milhazes’ Cebola Roxa will be offered as part of the landmark collaboration, Artists for ClientEarth
  • London 20/21 Evening and Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale will include sculptures from The Eye of a Sculptor: Works from the David and Laura Finn Collection, including rare bronzes acquired directly from Henry Moore, and works by Lynn Chadwick, Alexander Calder, Germaine Richier and Henri Laurens
  • Contemporary painters are represented by Rachel Jones, Caroline Walker, and Anna Weyant with female artists accounting for 48% of living artists in the London Evening Sale
  • Simone Leigh’s powerful sculpture Untitled V (Anatomy of Architecture Series) is from the same series presented in the central exhibition at the 59th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia
  • Christie’s leadership of the market for Surreal art is demonstrated by René Magritte’s iconic Souvenir de voyage, and seminal works by Leonora Carrington and Paul Delvaux

LONDON AND PARIS – Taking place on 28 June 2022, three auctions focus on the influential artistic synergies that exist between London and Paris. 20/21 London to Paris is comprised of the 20th / 21st Century: Marc Chagall, Colour of Life20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale, and the 20th / 21st

”Anthrompométrie De L’epoque Bleue”, Yves Klein

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Photo: Profimedia

Offered at auction for the first time, Yves Klein’s Anthropométrie de l’epoque bleue, (ANT 124)’s combination of eight solid blue imprints against a shimmering, dappled azure backdrop, which anticipates the Cosmogonies series, occupies a unique position within the artist’s oeuvre (1960, estimate on request). Representing the culmination of performance art and action painting, the work stands as a historic record of one of the twentieth century’s most daring and unique artistic projects: to seal in paint the passage from the material to the immaterial realms, using ‘living brushes’.

”Nymphéas, Temps Gris” & ”Waterloo Bridge, Effet De Brume”, Claude Monet

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Photo: Profimedia

Following the outstanding prices achieved by Christie’s in New York in May for two works from Monet’s highly influential Vues de Londres and Nymphéas series from the Collection of Anne H. Bass, two further works from these iconic series will now be offered in 20/21 London to Paris. Claude Monet’s depictions of the horticultural paradise that he designed and cultivated in Giverny stand among the greatest works of his career. Nymphéas, temps gris (estimate: £20,000,000-30,000,000) is one of a rare series of Nymphéas that Monet painted in 1907 in a vertical format to capture the spectacular effects of late afternoon light upon his water lily pond. Others from the series grace museum collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Artizon Museum, Tokyo. 

In Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume (1904, estimate: £22,000,000-32,000,000), Monet records an early morning view of the London landmark, choosing the moments in which the bright light of the rising sun breaks through the layers of haze and mist, sending rippling golden rays of sunshine into the sky, and across the surface of the water. Monet painted 40 views of Waterloo Bridge at different times of the day and with different atmospheric effects. Their importance has led to 26 of these views residing in museum collections including The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; Bührle Foundation, Zürich; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and Kunstmuseum Bern. The painting was acquired in 1951 by the entrepreneur and philanthropist Arde Bulova and has remained in his family ever since. This London view by the leading Impressionist artist stands as a testament to Britain’s significant impact on international artists, highlighting the cultural dialogue between London and Paris in the art historical canon.

Balloon Monkey (Magenta), Jeff Koons

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Jeff Koons, Balloon Monkey (Magenta), Christie’s, London, St. James Square. Photo: Profimedia

Representing childhood innocence and joy for both children and adults alike, Balloon Monkey (Magenta) (2006-13, estimate: £6,000,000-10,000,000) stands as a monumental symbol of hope and solidarity with those men, women and children living in war-torn Ukraine who have suffered terrible loss.

A significant highlight of Christie’s 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale, Jeff Koons’ Balloon Monkey (Magenta) demonstrates the power of art to unify and rally support for the defence of freedom and life in urgent times. Balloon Monkey (Magenta) is the highly sought-after artist’s proof and one of five unique versions (Red, Magenta, Blue, Yellow, Orange). The sculpture is on view in St James’ Square, adjacent to Christie’s Headquarters in London, until 1 July.

Marc Chagall, ”Color Of Life: Works Formerly From The Artist’s Estate” 

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MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985) Photo: Profimedia

Marc Chagall, Colour of Life: Works Formerly from the Artist’s Estate will launch Christie’s June 20/21 London to Paris sale series. Originating from the artist’s estate, the 20 works presented in the sale will be offered for the first time, and the auction on 28 June is the first in a series of global sales, offering the artist’s work in dedicated platforms at Christie’s international salerooms as well as online-only auctions. The group is led by Le peintre et les mariés aux trois couleurs (1984, estimate: £1,000,000 – 1,500,000, illustrated above, right). An online sale of Chagall Prints and Artist’s Books, highlighting the artist’s life-long love of the art of printmaking will run concurrently out of London, open for bidding from 14 June to 1 July.

The Eye Of A Sculptor: Works From The David And Laura Finn Collection

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Henry Moore, Reclining Figure: Umbilicus, Christie’s London. Photo: Profimedia

David Finn was a pioneer in public relations, a celebrated photographer, author, and collector. In 1948, he co-founded the PR firm Ruder Finn, seen to have revolutionised the industry at the time. Finn and his wife, Laura, began collecting in the late 1950s with a focus on sculpture. They acquired work by artists including Henry Moore, Lynn Chadwick, Alexander Calder, Germaine Richier, and Henri Laurens.

Examples by each of these artists are presented across the 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale and the Impressionist and Modern Art Day and Works on Paper Sale. Finn first bought a sculpture by Henry Moore in 1958 and later that year was introduced to the artist with whom he formed a very close friendship across decades and several collaborative photography projects. The group is led by Alexander Calder’s Red, White, and Blacks (1957, estimate: £ 1,8 1,800,000-2,500,000) and Henry Moore’s Interior Form (1952, estimate: £ 1,800,000-2,500,000). Related to the artist’s Upright Internal/External Form sculpture, Interior Form exhibits a lyrical sinuosity, its form delineated using smooth, fluid lines, that curve and flow with an amorphous quality.

SIMONE LEIGH, Venice Art Biennale

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Simone Leigh, Untitled V, 2016. Photo: Profimedia

Steeped in questions of racial and cultural identity, Untitled V (Anatomy of Architecture Series) (2016, estimate: £300,000-500,000) is a powerful sculpture from Simone Leigh’s celebrated Anatomy of Architecture series. Leigh draws upon her Jamaican heritage to explore the subjective experience of Black women. At the 59th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Simone Leigh, who represented America, won the Golden Lion for the best participation in the central exhibition. She was honoured alongside Sonia Boyce, representing the UK, who won the Golden Lion for best national participation. Christie’s partnered with the British Council as a Silver Sponsor of the British Pavilion, proudly supporting Sonia Boyce’s award-winning installation.

Contemporary Artists at Christie’s

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„Preening”, Caroline Walker (2018) Foto: Profimedia

Caroline Walker’s Preening (2018, estimate: £100,000-150,000) depicts the gleaming interior of a beauty store, a lone figure captured off guard within. The work belongs to Walker’s Service series, in which she depicts women in a variety of professional settings. Created in 2019, and included that year in the artist’s graduate exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, Spliced Structure (estimate: £100,000-150,000) exemplifies Rachel Jones’ vividly expressive language of colour, texture and abstract form. Anna Weyant’s Untitled (2020, estimate: £150,000-250,000) is a compelling example of her uncanny, virtuoso figurative paintings. The artist has cited the influence of painters including John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage, while her works also seem todraw upon the compositions of Balthus, and Edward Gorey’s illustrated children’s books.

”Souvenir De Voyage”, René Magritte

René Magritte, Souvenir de voyage, 1962-63. Photo: Profimedia

Last seen at auction over 20 years ago, Ferret Race (Stoat Race) (1952, estimate: £800,000-1,200,000) offers a portal into the intimate and hermetic universe of Leonora Carrington’s haunting imagination. An ingenious fabulist with a hunger for autonomy and authority as an artist, Carrington plumbed the mysteries of her reality to create coded narratives documenting her quest for the self. 

The protagonist of René Magritte’s Souvenir de voyage (circa 1962-63, estimate: £5,000,000- 7,000,000) is one of the artist’s most iconic and memorable motifs, the apple. Seen here, it stands alone and petrified on a beach directly under the light of a crescent moon that shines over the sea in the middle of a daylight sky. The semi-clothed female character central to Paul Delvaux’s Femme assise (La lampe) (1945, estimate: £500,000-800,000) is caught in a moment of quiet thought that seems at odds with the intense drama imparted by the exaggerated perspective and bold tones of both the room and the view that stretches beyond the open door.

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