News-Antique.com - Apr 21,2009 - Two great icons of Modern Art will be featured in Sotheby’s May 5, 2009 Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York – Pablo Picasso’s La Fille de l’artiste à deux ans et demi avec un bateau from 1938 and Alberto Giacometti’s legendary sculpture, Le Chat from 1951. A rare group of paintings by Tamara de Lempicka from the collection of German fashion designer Wolfgang Joop is among other highlights. Prior to the exhibition and sale in New York, selected works will be on view at Sotheby’s London from April 22-25, 2009.
Gracing the cover of the Evening Sale catalogue is a vibrant masterpiece from 1938 depicting Pablo Picasso’s young daughter Maya, La Fille de l’artiste à deux ans et demi (est. $16/24 million). Emmanuel Di-Donna, Vice Chairman of Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide, notes that Picasso completed this image “only months after his harrowing Guernica. This life-affirming portrait reflects the great joy that Maya brought into the artist’s life, even on the eve of the Second World War.” Maya closely resembled her mother, Marie-Thérèse Walter, who is evoked in both the facial features and in a vibrant palette familiar from Picasso’s images of his young mistress. Perhaps the greatest work in a series described by art historian Werner Spies as “the most impressive Picasso ever devoted to a single child”, La Fille de l’artiste à deux ans et demi remained in the artist’s personal collection until his death in 1973, and has been in a private collection since the 1980s.
The Evening Sale will also include Alberto Giacometti’s exceptional Le Chat from 1951 (est. $16/24 million). This iconic bronze has not appeared at auction since 1975 and the cast on offer has been in a private European collection since 1967. According to Simon Shaw, Head of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s New York, “Giacometti sought to capture the very essence of his subjects: Le Chat recreates the extraordinary elegance and energy of the feline in a radically stylized form.” (Separate release available)
The finest group of paintings by Tamara de Lempicka ever seen at auction will be featured in the Evening and Day sales. Consigned by noted fashion designer Wolfgang Joop, this collection of ten works includes a painting synonymous with Lempicka's glamour – Portrait de la Duchesse de la Salle (est. $4/6 million). Sexy, bold and monumental, this spectacular picture from 1925 celebrates the strength and power of the modern woman. A sultry portrait from 1932 -Portrait de Marjorie Ferry - highlights Lempicka's unique blend of Hollywood glamour and avant-garde painting (est. $4/6 million). (Separate release available)