AN EXUBERANT PAINTING BY ADRIEN-JEAN LE MAYEUR DE MERPRÈS
- AUCTION DEBUT -
MASTERPIECES WITH IMPECCABLE PROVENANCE
COMMISSIONED BY OR GIFTED TO CLOSE FRIENDS OF ARTISTS
Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur De Merprès | Anita Magsaysay-Ho
Hendra Gunawan | S. Sudjojono
8 July 2020
Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Evening Sale
9 July 2020
Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Day Sale
Hall 1, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
5-8 July | Hong Kong
Sotheby’s Hong Kong Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art Spring 2020 Sales Series, scheduled on 8-9 July, will be led by an exceptional painting by Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès that has never been seen in the market. Balinese Women in the Garden will make its auction debut after its acquisition by a close friend of the artist, and has remained in the original private collection for decades. Other highlights with impeccable provenance include Filipino artist Anita Magsaysay-Ho and Indonesia painter Hendra Gunawan.
This season, we are thrilled to present a selection of highly significant masterpieces by top artists from across the region, many of which are commissioned works gifted to or acquired by close friends of the artists. From Le Mayeur to Magsaysay-Ho, these works have fascinating background stories and truly speak to the richness and complexities of what Southeast Asia has to offer.
EXCEPTIONAL WORKS WITH IMPECCABLE PROVENENCE
A fresh to the market masterpiece by Adrien Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès, Balinese Women in Garden was acquired directly from the artist by the present owner’s grandfather, who was an avid collector of Le Mayeur’s work. Holding a special connection with Le Mayeur, this gentleman also had the opportunity to work closely with the artist’s life-long muse and later wife, Ni Pollock, whom the collector photographed in the 1970s. An exuberant work kept a private collection for decades, this painting makes its first appearance in the world’s stage at Sotheby’s this season.
Washing of the Feet by Anita Magsaysay-Ho is a singularly powerful masterpiece by the leading female voice of the Thirteen Moderns in the Philippines. This superlative work is the only composition of this iconic subject matter painted by the artist. Striking for its radical composition and powerful message, the painting hails from exceptional provenance as it was composed as a gift to Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez in 1959. In this heartfelt depiction of an iconic biblical scene of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, Anita expresses admiration for humble, hardworking Filipinos and at the same time captures the lofty ideal that leaders are first servants of the people and not of their own ambitions.
Fresh to auction and exhibited at the Indonesian artist's first solo show in Japan, The Flying Balloon is an immensely layered work conveying the intricate complexities of human life in vibrant rhapsody. Hailing from Ay Tjoe's 'Myriad of Paste' series, of which there are a limited number of paintings, this work boasts a cheerful palette exploring themes of play and technology. As one of the most iconic works of the artist's coveted oeuvre, The Flying Balloon achieved the prestigious “Best Emerging Artist Using Painting” award at the Prudential Eye Awards in 2015.