The Impressionist, Modern & Contemporary Sales in New York: 13th-17th May 2019

The Auctions this week look as strong as ever and the previews have been well attended according to specialists at all the houses. There is no question that this season’s sales may be the best of the finest calibre I can remember in New York; certainly for a multi-owner series of sales without a Whitney or Mellon collection to fill the coffers.

The highlights are everywhere from the stunning Claude MonetMeulesto Robert Rauschenberg’s seminal Buffallo IIto Koon’s 1986 Rabbit; every space at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillip’s is packed with class works of art.

In a nutshell my favourite works were fairly easy to pick:

This Paul Cezanne oil at Christie’s was bought by the present owner at Sotheby’s back in 1999 and represents one of the best paintings from one of the key series in the history of modern art.

https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/paul-cezanne-bouilloire-et-fruits-6202454-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6202454&sid=9b03239a-2bea-4e6a-afc4-5bf1ae500b4b

This wonderful Rauschenberg I have touched upon already, but it may be the most influential work of art from the 1960s – it was certainly as important as anything by the other great screenprinter: Andy Warhol.

RRhttps://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/robert-rauschenberg-buffalo-ii-6205129-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6205129&sid=7a21d8c5-4414-4aee-a38c-fa3ecb59f095

Over at Sotheby’s this Claude Monet is from 1890 and is surely the finest of the Haystacks series. I consider them to be in the same league as the Nympheas: I hope the market agrees.

https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2019/impressionist-modern-art-evening-n10067/lot.8.html?locale=en

The top lot (in quality terms) in the Sotheby’s Contemporary sale this week is this Francis Bacon which corresponds with the classic post-war terror of the Geometry of fear group. This horror is a masterpiece:

https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2019/contemporary-art-evening-auction-n10069/lot.9.html?locale=en

Finally, back to Christie’s and their stunning Modigliani head. This sculpture is the epitome of his aesthetic and was vastly influential to almost all 20thcentury sculpture from Constantin Brancusi to Jean Arp:

https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/sculptures-statues-figures/amedeo-modigliani-tete-6202467-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6202467&sid=cafdb757-517f-4e39-b5f5-8b75ea4400de

Enjoy the sales and remember, use an advisor when spending significant sums.

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