GAUGUIN ‘SUNFLOWER’ MASTERPIECE LEADS CHRISTIE’S AUCTION OF IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART IN FEBRUARY The Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Auction and the sale of The Art of the
Surreal will take place on 9 February 2011 at 7pm with a pre-sale estimate of £73,880,000
its founder and chief spokesman. He stated
that the central idea was ‘to resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an
absolute reality, a super-reality.’
Major artists associated with the Surrealist movement include René Magritte, Salvador
Dalí, Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Delvaux and Francis Picabia, all of whom are
represented in the sale.
Olivier Camu, International Director and Head of Sale: “In recent years we have seen an
ever-increasing number of collectors acquiring Surrealist art, particularly due to a new appreciation from
collectors of Contemporary art. This is a vibrant collecting category, and we have seen significant growth
and higher price levels for many Surrealist artists in the last few years. This is the most valuable sale of
Surrealist art to appear at auction, and it is also among the finest selection of works that we have ever
offered in this sale.”
* L’aimant (The Magnet) by René Magritte (1898-1967) is a
monumental canvas painted in 1941 (estimate: £3.5 million
to £5.5 million) (illustrated left). Offered from a private Swiss
collection, it is one of the most important works by the artist
to be offered at auction. Magritte refers directly to the work
in two recorded letters dated November 1941 and 4
December 1941, in which he states that after ‘”The magnet” is
a female nude with long, blonde hair leaning against a rock, next to a
curtain. The folds of the curtain beside the woman faithfully copy the
shape of her body’.
* Etude pour `Le miel est plus doux que le sang’,
1926-27, is a landmark work and one of the
first Surreal paintings executed by Salvador
Dalí (1904-1989) (estimate: £2 million to £3
million) (illustrated right). This fully completed
study was executed in preparation for what
was one of the most important and influential
masterpieces of Dalí’s oeuvre - Le miel est plus
doux que le sang – a painting which is now lost.
Offered at auction for the first time, the
present work was acquired by the family of the present owner in the late 1950s and has
since passed by descent. It has been widely exhibited around the world, most recently as
part of Dalí and Film at Tate Modern in 2007.
* Las Llamas, llaman by Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) is almost 1.5 metres in height and was
painted in 1942 during the Second World War. It features a colonnade of one of his most
famous and iconic images – the burning giraffe – and is a grandiose work seemingly
addressing the war ahead with an idiosyncratic mixture of Surrealist humour and neurotic
fear. It is expected to realise £3 million to £4 million.
* Je me faisais semblant (I was Pretending to myself) by Yves Tanguy (1900-1955) is an
exceptional dreamscape painted in 1948 and measuring almost a meter in height (estimate:
£2 million to £3 million). Acquired by the father of the present owner circa 1965, it is
offered at auction for the first time.