New York — The Bonhams sale of Impressionist and Modern Art, November 5 in New York, will feature 80 lots by period masters. Highlights will include works by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Emil Nolde and Marc Chagall, among other significant artworks drawn primarily from private collections.
Pablo Picasso's sensitively rendered Trois nus féminins (est. $220,000-$280,000) from 1923 was inspired by his summer at Cap d'Antibes with wife Olga Kokhlova and son Paulo at the invitation of American friends, patrons and collectors Sara and Gerald Murphy. Picasso's Neoclassically inspired composition of three figures was based on photographs from that trip and appeared in subsequent sketches and designs for the ballet Mercure. Previous owners of this drawing include important collectors Gerald Barry and Sir Hugh Walpole.
Fascinated with the energy and modernity of New York City during World War II, Fernand Léger juxtaposes manmade architectural forms and machine-age objects with naturally occurring elements in his boldly coloured gouache drawing Projet peinture murale circa 1940 (est. $120,000-$180,000).
The warmly toned and graphically charged brushstrokes of Emil Nolde's Reetlandschaft und booten from 1930-1935 (est. $80,000-$100,000) is evidence of the artist's masterful use of colour and his love of the landscape of his native Germany. His rich application of watercolour on dampened Japan paper achieves the perception of sunlight cast from beyond the edge of the picture. After travels to Asia and the South Pacific, which ended with the outbreak of World War I, Nolde increasingly drew inspiration from nature rather than modern urban themes for his subject matter. He was later defamed and labelled a "degenerate artist" by the Third Reich, who confiscated his work and prohibited him from painting and exhibiting in his native Germany.
Among the additional strong offerings rounding out the auction is Marc Chagall's circa 1956 Ma rue Podrovskaya (est. $90,000-$120,000), coming from a private collection and touching upon themes of dreams and memories, dotted with dramatised colour and brush work. The above works will be on view November 2–5.
To view the full collection, bidding information or to purchase the catalogue, please visit www.bonhams.com/auctions/20092/.
Preview: November 2-5 in New York
Auction: November 5 in New York
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