Sotheby’s Paris Contemporary Art sales concluded yesterday with a total of €43.1 million, bringing the total for this category in France this year to €78.7 million, up nearly 40 % to 2016.
Over the past year, Sotheby’s has established landmark prices for leading French artists of the second half of the 20th century, with four world auction records: for Pierre Soulages (€6.1 M), Simon Hantaï (€4.4 M), Germaine Richier (€3 M) and Hans Hartung (€2.7 m).
The collection of Alain & Candice Fraiberger attracted art connoisseurs from around the world, many of whom recognised the importance of an exceptional painting by Wifredo Lam, A trois centimètres de la Terre, 1962, realised at the peak of his career, fetched €4,441,200 – a world record for the artist (lot 11). Another work surpassed €4 million: Les Riches Fruits de l’Erreur, painted on 12 March 1963 by Jean Dubuffet, which sold for €4,102,500 (lot 7), three times the price obtained four years ago.
If, as Marcel Duchamp believed, it is the viewers that make the paintings, it is the collectors which give them all their scope, by creating dialogues between them.
The Alain and Candice Fraiberger collection reflects the people who patiently built it up over the last forty years: subtle, pertinent, enlightened. With rare consistency and discernment, this couple of shrewd collectors have brought together a group of museum worthy artworks, from the post-war period to today. Through their travels around the world in search of historical pieces, they have succeeded in assembling a unique collection which mirrors their strongest convictions and the remarkable scope of their knowledge and understanding of modern and contemporary art.
From Wifredo Lam to Jean-Michel Basquiat in passing by Dubuffet, César, Buren or Gilbert & George, the collection traces the history of 20th century art as well as Alain and Candice Fraiberger’s skill at creating dialogues between historical works and contemporary creation.