Sotheby's Hong Kong - Spring Sales 2008 Sotheby’s Hong Kong is proud to announce that its Spring Sales 2008 will be held at the Grand Hall of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from 8th to 11th April 2008.
and is expected to
achieve in excess of HK$40 million.
Highlighting the Indo-European oeuvres is a long-lost work
by Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias (1904-1957), Latin
America’s most influential artist in the Southeast Asian region.
The present gouache on paper version of Balinese Fishermen with Outrigger (pictured on
p.4; est. HK$700,000-1.1 million) was last known to have been illustrated in a 1937 edition of
Life magazine (“Mexican Covarrubias in Dutch Bali”) and whose whereabouts were henceforth
unknown. Covarrubias and his wife travelled twice to Bali and its surrounding islands in 1930s,
staying for extended periods; the strong influence of Balinese culture and society on both his
artistic and anthropological work cannot be doubted. As such, it is an extremely exciting
discovery; Covarrubias’ exceedingly rare Balinese works are highly coveted and Sotheby’s is
delighted to be able to showcase this magnificent work.
Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès’ (1880-1958) Temple de Bancal (Temple of Bancal; est.
HK$1.9–2.75 million) belongs to a series of paintings that the Belgian Impressionist executed,
the one to be offered in our rooms numbered and titled on
the reverse ‘Nr. 20 Temple de Bancal’ depicting a traditional
Balinese offering ceremony called banten. The gentle hues of
Temple de Bancal are somewhat of a rarity in Le Mayeur’s
canvasses of luscious and vivid reds, greens and oranges
showing his home and his love Ni Pollok, dressed in her
striking kaïns. The exquisite colours in this oil on canvas,
subdued and yet at the same time, strikingly captivating capture a scene of Balinese contemporary
life – a female priest (pedanda istri) sprinkles holy water upon four women; a group of elegantlyclad
women proceed towards the temple carrying upon their heads their offerings for the gods;
four men challenge their fighting cocks to a battle in the village wantilan (battleground). The
natural elegance and sensual movement of the women’s curves in contrast to the men’s physical
squatting is typical of both Le Mayeur’s and the Balinese manner. Boasting an excellent
provenance, Temple de Bancal was acquired directly from the artist by the father of the present
owner and exhibited in Delft at the Museum Nusantara from 30 March – 27 August 2006.
One of the main gems of the Important Private Collection
of Vietnamese Paintings and Works of Art sale is without
doubt Vu Cao Dam’s (1908 – 2000) Conversation
d’élégantes au jardin (A Conversation Amongst Elegant
Ladies in a Garden; est. HK$1.25–1.75 million). Executed
in 1939, this ink and gouache on silk, laid on paper, is the largest and most significant work ever
to appear at an international auction by this artist for this medium.
Vu Cao Dam attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts d’Indochine in 1931 before moving to France.
In 1949 - a seminal moment in Vu’s works - he moved to the South of France and became a
neighbour of Marc Chagall who profoundly influenced his future work. Conversations d’élégantes au
jardin is of such paramount importance as Vu ceased to paint with this medium around 1948,