Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York
Yareah Magazine

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York. Finest Avant-Garde Collection in a Generation To Be Offered at Sotheby’s on 6 November 2013.


Automobile in Corsa by Giacomo Balla. Copyright in this image shall remain vested in Sotheby’s.


Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 6 November 2013 will open with a private collection of seminal works created between 1910 and 1930. Futur! Masterworks of the Avant-Garde features museum-quality examples by artists including Giacomo Balla, Joan Miró, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris. Together, these works tell a compelling story of the European avant-garde, from Cubism and Futurism, through Dada, Surrealism and Abstraction. The fourteen pictures, estimated to sell for $67.2/95.1 million, represent perhaps the finest group of Modernist masterpieces to appear at auction since Sotheby’s landmark sale of the Malbin Collection in 1990. Sotheby’s will debut the collection in its London galleries from 12-17 October, before returning to New York for exhibition in its York Avenue galleries beginning 1 November. Highlights also will be shown in Hong Kong and Moscow this autumn.

Simon Shaw, Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York, said: “This is a treasure-trove of Modernism. Collections rarely explore a theme with such power and unity. Each work adds a distinct chapter, showing artists’ engagement with a radically transforming universe – mass communication, the automobile and airplane, technology, photography and cinema. Just as today’s world was born in those years, many more recent movements such as Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art and Abstraction also have their roots in the artists represented here.”

Mr. Shaw continued: “The collection is characterized by truly superlative quality. Several pieces – including Balla’s Automobile in corsa and Volucelle II by Picabia – number among the finest examples ever likely to come to the market. These extraordinary selections reflect the vision of Alain Tarica, who helped form the collection during the late 1960s and early 70s, and is celebrated for creating the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, and several others. M. Tarica explained how these remarkable works were brought together: “In the same way that the Italian Renaissance was an exceptionally rich period of radical cultural renewal, breaking with long-held traditions, the first half of the 20th Century in Europe also marked a major revitalization in the arts. This couple wanted to build a collection centered on the avant-garde of the first half of the 20th Century, when the artists were working, as they were during the Renaissance, as genuine innovators.”

Giacomo Balla. Automobile in corsa. Mixed-media on paper laid down on board. Painted in 1913. Estimate $12/18 million.

A thundering vortex of white, gray and black, Balla’s dynamic Automobile in corsa exemplifies Futurist painting at its most thrilling. “Universal dynamism must be rendered in painting as a dynamic sensation,” was one of the principles of the Futurist Manifesto, and the present picture offers us the sensation of a speeding car as it appears to dematerialize while accelerating through space.

Futurist painting burst into the consciousness of the international art world with the opening of the exhibition Les Peintres futuristes italiens at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris in February 1912, and the following month with a group exhibition at Herwarth Walden’s Galerie der Sturm in Berlin. Automobile in corsa, which dates from the movement’s crescendo in 1913-14, is one of the greatest examples of their aesthetic principles. It belongs to a groundbreaking group of works that Balla executed in 1913-14 on the theme of cars in movement, exploring the Futurist themes of dynamism, speed and light. This series took Futurism to the brink of Abstraction. Supremely rare, Automobile in corsa is one of the most spectacular of the series.

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