8 May 2012
A painting by Nikos Engonopoulos (1910-1985), one of the most important members of the "Thirties Generation" of Greek artists, is to be sold at Bonhams, New Bond Street, as part of The Greek Sale on Tuesday 22 May. As the art historian N.Loizidi stated in Surrealism in Modern Greek Art "Engonopoulos gave us one version of surrealism, universal, but at the same time deeply rooted to Greekness". Dioskouros II, the catalog cover lot, is an excellent representation of this artist's phantom-like mannequin figures and symbolism. The work has a pre-sale estimate of £100,000 – 150,000.
The sale also includes a painting by another exponent of the "Thirties Generation": great Greek master of geometric abstraction, Yiannis Moralis (1916-2009). In 2007, Bonhams sold a work by Moralis, widely accepted as the greatest living artist, for £490,000, setting a record for the highest price ever paid for a work by a living Greek artist. The work in this sale, entitled Eroticon, typifies the artist's later style which employs a lack of painterliness, monochromatic palette and tendency of creating geometric and stylised compositions. It has a pre-sale estimate of £180,000 – 250,000.
The Greek Sale, which offers works from the 19th century up to the present day, also features The Dance of the Muses by the "father" of Greek 19th century painting, Nicholaos Gysis (1842-1901). Former National Gallery Director M. Kalligas commented in his seminal treatise on Gysis that "Dance of the Muses is a typical example of the unique grace and elegance with which Gysis endowed his subjects." It is expected to sell for £100,000 – 150,000.
Other sale highlights include Houses with Boat by Michalis Economou (estimate £50,000 – 70,000); View of Harbor by Constantinos Volanakis (estimate £50,000 – 80,000); and Female nude by Diamantis Diamantopoulos (estimate £80,000 – 120,000).
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com