This June the main talking point is the astonishing quality of the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening sales; with no less than four top masterpieces going to sale in one of the best multi-owner sales series I can recall. The best auctions are small and beautiful: with quality the main objective. Sadly, Christie’s are postponing their Contemporary Evening sale as they could not get a sale of adequate class together following on from the sales in NYC just one month ago.
At Sotheby’s there are three power-house lots – a Joan Miró from the ‘Constellation’ series of 23 works on paper that were to be the highlight of his career. The low estimate is in the region of 20m GBP. I do know that one work from the same series made 40m USD privately four years ago and this work should do very well indeed. Two works by Wassily Kandinsky are being offered – a staggering Murnau work from 1909 and a large abstract from 1913. Both will make significant prices but I wonder if the market will be ready for two pieces of such class with a very limited German-Expressionist-buying public above 15m GBP.
Christies Evening sale is offering a staggering painting by Max Beckmann: Hölle der Vögel. Beckmann was the revolutionary, heroic, artist that took the fight to National Socialism in 1930s Berlin very directly. This masterpiece of 1937-38 is being offered at an estimate around 30m GBP which is a strong estimate for such a deeply harrowing work. That said there will be countless museums keen to have such a piece: which is an artistic summation of the horrors of the time.
Other highlights at Christie’s are a superb Egon Schiele townscape at 20m GBP entitled Einzelne Häuser (Häuser mit Bergen)– it is a classic work but in need of great lighting since the tone and surface looks a little ‘muddy’ for such a pricey painting. At a lower price point (2-3m GBP) the Claude Monet of 1882 is a gorgeous work from a period that embodies his ability to paint colour and light in the least promising couloirs of the Normandy dunes.
The sale dates are as follows:
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale: 21st June at 7pm
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale: 22nd June at 1030am
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale: 27th June at 7pm
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sales: 28th June at 1030am
Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale: 28th June at 7pm
Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Sale: 29th June at 11am
When buying high value works of art please do use an advisor, and enjoy the process without the fear of overspending.