NEW YORK – Today Sotheby's announces additional highlights from the historic sales series devoted to the remarkable collection of the late A. Alfred Taubman – legendary collector, philanthropist and businessman – as well as the first public opportunities to view works from the collection.
Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, said: “Mr. Taubman’s collection of Impressionist and Modern art is one of the most impressive ever assembled in the United States, featuring prime examples by all of the great figures of the European avant-garde: Picasso, Miró, Modigliani, Degas, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec and many other noted artists are all well-represented. Mr. Taubman developed a taste for the International Style while a student of architecture in the post-war period, at the time heavily influenced by the work of Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. This inspiration can be witnessed throughout the collection, which features works of bold, linear abstraction by artists from Giacomo Balla and Wassily Kandinsky to Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and particularly Egon Schiele, whom he regarded as the greatest draughtsman of the 20th century. The appearance of such a stunning number of masterworks at auction this fall will mark a truly exceptional market moment.”
AMEDEO MODIGLIANI, PORTRAIT DE PAULETTE JOURDAIN, CIRCA 1919. ESTIMATE UPON REQUEST.
A leading figure of the École de Paris at the turn of the 20th century, Amedeo Modigliani’s portraits in particular rank among the most desirable examples of modern art in today’s market. Portrait de Paulette Jourdain is a classic example from this iconic series, which synthesizes the signature traits of Modigliani's mature style: the radical simplification of the female form, the elongated neck and face, and the stylized facial features. This work has never before appeared at auction, and was acquired by Mr. Taubman from Acquavella Galleries in 1983.
PABLO PICASSO, FEMME ASSISE SUR UNE CHAISE, 1938. ESTIMATE: $25,000,000–35,000,000.
Painted the year following Pablo Picasso’s Weeping Women series and his monumental Guernica, Femme assise sur une chaise depicts Dora Maar, the artist’s lover and muse. The spatial purity of the painting’s composition is reflected in other Modern works in the Taubman Collection by László Moholy-Nagy and Wassily Kandinksy, while its monumental scale and visual power relate to other large-scale works in the collection by Abstract Expressionists – many of whom were heavily influenced by Picasso. Mr. Taubman acquired this painting at auction from the collection of Gianni Versace in 1999.
EDGAR DEGAS, DANSEUSES EN BLANC, CIRCA 1878. ESTIMATE: $18,000,000–25,000,000.
Mr. Taubman’s selection of works by Edgar Degas features two of the most exquisite examples to appear on the market in recent years. Completed in 1878, Danseuses en blanc employs a bold visual vocabulary that borders on the abstract. The work’s rich, velvety surface reveals the artist’s unrivaled facility with Pastel. Femme nue, de dos, se coiffant (Femme se peignant) dated circa 1885 stands as the finest bathing nude by Degas remaining in private hands (estimate $15/20 million). Another version of this same subject resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
EGON SCHIELE, FREUNDIN, ROSA-BLAU, 1913. ESTIMATE: $2,500,000–3,500,000.
The breadth and quality of Mr. Taubman’s group of works by Egon Schiele – one of the greatest ever assembled in the United States – affords a rare glimpse into the singular vision of one of the geniuses of the Viennese Secessionist movement. The remarkable collection of 24 works on paper focuses on Schiele’s key subjects: the female nude and lover. The group is led by Freundin, Rosa-Blau, an exceptional example once owned by the great German-Austrian filmmaker Fritz Lang. Mr. Taubman’s appreciation for the Viennese Secessionists is also expressed in the selection of works by Gustav Klimt and Richard Gerstl, and examples of furniture by Josef Hoffmann.
Visit to learn more about highlights spanning the unprecedented collection, which will be offered across our series of four dedicated sales in November and January:
THE COLLECTION OF A. ALFRED TAUBMAN
Sotheby’s New York
4 November 2015
MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART
5 November 2015
18 November 2015
27 January 2016