MATISSE'S ARBRE DE NEIGE ACHIEVES TOP LOT AT BONHAMS IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART SALE


Impressionist & Modern Art
17 May 2017
New York

MATISSE'S ARBRE DE NEIGE ACHIEVES TOP LOT AT BONHAMS IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART SALE


Impressionist & Modern Art
17 May 2017
New York

MATISSE'S ARBRE DE NEIGE ACHIEVES TOP LOT AT BONHAMS IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART SALE


Impressionist & Modern Art
17 May 2017
New York

New Yor k− The May 17 sale of Impressionist & Modern Art achieved US$2,516,875 and the top lot of the sale was Arbre de Neige by Henri Matisse (1869-1954), which realised $1,567,500.

William O'Reilly, Head of Impressionist & Modern Art, Bonhams commented: "There was tremendous excitement surrounding Matisse's rediscovered cutout Arbre de Neige. The work is from his most recognisable series and in exceptional condition. Unsurprisingly it was one of the most talked about works of the auction week and attracted competitive bidding from international clients. My team and I were honoured to have offered this exceptional work to the market for the first time in almost 50 years."

About Arbre de Neige:
Matisse's cutouts are now among his most recognisable works. They combine the fluid line of his drawings with the brilliant colour sense of his paintings, as the recent landmark exhibition at the Tate and MoMA demonstrated so memorably. The location of Arbre de Neige was not known to the curators of that show as it has been in a Canadian private collection since 1968. It was sold in that year by the celebrated Swedish collector Theodor Ahrenberg, a great connoisseur of Matisse's work, who had acquired it directly from the artist through Heinz Berggruen.

Arbre de Neige was created in 1947 as one of a series of small scale works in richly coloured paper with which the artist covered the walls of his studio at the Villa Le Rêve at Vence, in the south of France. Matisse had first used the technique to stunning effect in designing his pivotal print series Jazz, conceived during the war and published in 1947. Each element was cut with masterful certainty into heavy paper, a technique Matisse described as "drawing with scissors". The cutouts were then pinned against sheets of complementary colours and arranged on the wall at the artist's direction. The loosely affixed elements and their delicate organic shapes reacted to the shifting light and gentle breezes to create an exotic indoor garden.

When Matisse moved to Nice in June 1949, the wall of cutouts was taken down and individually mounted and framed for exhibition. Arbre de Neige is only lightly glued: the edges of the cutout are still proud of the sheet, and the pin holes are clearly evident, giving it a fresh and very sculptural aspect.

Contacts
  1. SungHee Kim
    Press
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 917 206 1692

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