The Auctions this term are smaller than normal but there are still some real highlights on view over the next few weeks. The reason for the diminutive sale season is almost certainly due to the uncertainty caused by the 12th December election and the late, short, business getting period in the run up to an early sale. Christmas came a little too early for both salerooms. However, I envisage strong bidding this season as most items are well priced and the art market has shown extraordinary resilience in recent months; all over the world.

Camille Pissarro’s ‘Gelee blanche, jeune paysanne faisant des feu’ comes from a collection of three restituted works and is, pretty much, an ideal example by the artist. There is a vibrant handling of colour (note the girl’s stick featuring pointilliste spots of blue and lilac) and the bold handling of tone in the smoke is outstanding:

Pissarro Gelee Blanche

David Hockney’s ‘The Splash’ was last up for sale in my early years at Sotheby’s and is a real highlight of the whole auction year. The choice to sell now is a real bonus to Sotheby’s who have been chasing this painting since the vast sums made for his monumental masterpieces in NYC recently (‘Portrait of an artist’ made 90m USD back in 2018).

Hockney Splash

Over at Christie’s the sales take, as ever, a lean towards the surreal with one of the finest Magritte works on record, ‘A la recontre du plaisir’, and one that should shatter its estimate of 8-12m GBP. Simply iconic, with the bowler hatted gent and the luminous moon centred in a dark blue sky:

Magritte Recontre

The complete list of sales and links are below and if you need any assistance do not hesitate to get in touch with Oliver Shuttleworth Fine Art.

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale: 4th February at 7pm

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale: 5th February at 1030am

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale: 5th February at 7pm

Christie’s Surrealist Sale: 5th February at 7pm

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art, Works on paper sale: 6th February at 1030am

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art, Day Sale: 6th February at 2pm

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale: 11th February at 7pm

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Sale: 12th February at 11am

Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale: 12th February at 7pm

Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale: 13th February at 1pm

Phillip’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale: 13th February at 7pm

Phillip’s Contemporary Art Day Sale: 14th February at 2pm