Highlights of sale include seminal works by leading artists Gysis, Moralis, Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, Tsarouchis and Spyropoulos
An extraordinary creation of lyrical and expressionistic abstraction by Yiannis Spyropoulos, which is the largest in private hands and is fresh to the market, will come under the hammer at Bonhams Greek Art sale on 27th November at New Bond Street, London.
Estimated at £120,000 – 180,000, 'Triptych A' from 1969 is the third largest work the painter ever created. It is an immensely sophisticated painting, combining drama, linear elegance and simple grandeur with a play on light that echoes Rembrandt's dramatic canvases. The monumental work, measuring 117 by 272 centimetres is one of the finest examples of abstract art and has been exhibited in the National Gallery in Athens and in other leading museums across the world. Spyropoulos is one of Greece's greatest artists and was internationally recognised for his talent in the Venice Biennale in 1960, when he won the Unesco prize.
Yiannis Moralis, another master of Greek abstraction is also well represented in the sale with 'Figurehead' painted in 1994 and estimated at £100,000 – 150,000. Painted in his summer studio on the island of Aegina in 1994, the painting showcases key elements of the artist's unique style. In this painting of flowing curvilinear themes underscored by an austere compositional structure Moralis seeks the classical ideal through abstract geometric forms which suggest a human presence.
The Greek Art sale draws together an exceptional array of Greek art, with important examples by some of the most influential Greek artists from the 19th Century through to post-war and contemporary periods. Stand-out works by the great 19th Century master of genre painting and dominant figure of the Munich School, Nicholaos Gysis, are also among the highlights in the sale. 'The painter in the Orient' estimated at £150,000 – 200,000, shows the profound impact of the artist's trip to the Orient in 1873. This daily oriental scene set in an austere background emphasises Gysis' interest in light and attention to detail. Not only did this adventure result in a new style, but it also influenced Gysis' choice of subject.
Gysis' most prominent works provided much inspiration and influence for Greek artists for years to come. Yiannis Tsarouchis, one of the greatest Modern Greek Artists and major exponent of the Thirties Generation, was drawn to Gysis' psychologically acute portraits. As well as a stunning stage-set type landscape, 'The house of Yiannis Tsarouchis in Maroussi with an angel', estimated at £80,000 – 120,000, one of Tsarouchis' most intensely personal and expressive portraits is also included in the sale. The intimate and powerful 'Portrait of a dancer', estimated at £20,000 – 30,000 epitomises the artist's signature subject and great artistry, showing a young Greek male painted in earthy tones. In a well-known photograph of the artist's home, the painting featured prominently above Tsarouchis's bed, suggesting his attachment to the painting and the subject.
Olympia Pappa, Greek Art Specialist at Bonhams commented: "Despite the current climate, Bonhams still believes in the market and continues to hold stand-alone Greek Art sales. We are expecting much interest in this sale, considering the quality of the works and the artists represented. The top lots are unique works, which have all formed an important part to each artist's oeuvre."
Other highlights will also include important works by Theofilos, Theodore Jacque Ralli, Constantinos Maleas, Yiannis Gaitis, Paris Prekas, Thanos Tsingos, Alexis Akrithakis and Alekos Fassianos.
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 valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com