The week of October 16 devoted to modern art at Sotheby's in Paris has now ended, with a grand total of €21.5 million. Three sales were staged at the Galerie Charpentier, featuring major works by some of the leading artists of the 20th century, several with outstanding provenances.
This week also marked the launch of a new sale entitled Modernités which provided a dialogue between the most outstanding artists of modern times, from the emergence of the avant-gardes to the present day. The highest price of the week was achived fora magisterial work by René Magritte, Le Toit du Monde, 1926, which was the subject of a battle between five bidders, culminating in €2,688,750 (lot 8). This composition was one of the first series of Surrealist paintings by the Belgian artist. Offered for the first time at auction, this enigmatic painting with little trace of any human figure was the first he used to employ the use of the human circulatory system, a stylistic figure found in some of his most iconic pieces of the next few years.
For the first time, Sotheby’s will present during the FIAC a new auction of artworks by the most famous modern artists, from the emergence of the avant-garde until today.
The dialogues, contrasts, variations and convergences between these works are the common thread behind this auction. Sculptures by Rodin, such as the famous Iris, which reveals the first signs of the artist’s deconstruction and reinterpretation of the body, and confront a ready-made by Marcel Duchamp, the famous Travelling Box, the first flexible sculpture in the history of art and an icon of conceptual art. Among many other works, a masterwork by René Magritte will also figure as well as a painting by Max Ernst from the 1930s, compositions by Miro, and emblematic works by Man Ray, especially rare on the market and from a private Italian collection. Abstraction and the French Post-war school are also represented through an important work by Nicolas de Staël from the famous Mellon collection, which are completed by masterworks of contemporary art such as an impressive canvas by Pierre Soulages dating from 1975.
This unprecedented event during such an important art fair hopes to stimulate amateurs with this selection of emblematic works of the highest quality, provoking a renewed outlook on over a century of creation.
At the centre of the Modernities auction: from Rodin to Soulages, Sotheby’s will also present fifteen works by Man Ray, all from the Galleria Il Fauno, directed by Luciano Anselmino and issued from the Sergio Tomasinelli collection.