The New York Sales: Masterworks from Picasso to Richter, Magritte to Bourgeois

The New York Sales: Masterworks from Picasso to Richter, Magritte to Bourgeois

Sotheby’s biggest auctions of the year showcase over a century of artistic production, including major artistic movements of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
Chapters
Sotheby’s biggest auctions of the year showcase over a century of artistic production, including major artistic movements of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

E ach May, Sotheby’s holds its biggest auctions of the year. This edition of The New York Sales, presented in partnership with Celine, is headlined by The Mo Ostin Collection, 15 lots from which will be presented in a dedicated evening auction. Five more sales throughout the week will feature standout works from the most significant artistic movements of the 19th–21st century, spanning the innovations of the Impressionists to the groundbreaking works by young and emerging artists working today.

Hundreds of works from the auctions are on view at Sotheby’s New York from 6–18 May.

The Mo Ostin Collection Evening Auction

Mo Ostin was a music legend in LA – the genius behind Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell and many more – as well as an avid art collector. On 16 May, The Mo Ostin Collection Evening Auction opens the weeklong auction series with 15 works from his extraordinary collection, led by two masterworks by Magritte whose combined high estimates reach $80 million.

Rene Magritte, L’Empire des lumières

René Magritte, L’Empire des lumières (1951). Estimate: $35–55 million

Magritte’s L’Empire des lumières works reign supreme among the most iconic images in 20th-century art history; the last time one came to auction at Sotheby’s, it sold for £59.4 million. Each work in the masterful series depicts a quiet home, glowing and bathed in lamplight against the inky darkness of the night, yet seated below a bright blue sky. The uncanny familiarity of such a surreal scene exemplifies Magritte’s sophisticated exploration of representation and reality and his profound insight into human perception. As Magritte explained, “This evocation of night and day seems to me to have the power to surprise and delight us. I call this power: poetry.”

 

Willem de Kooning, Two Figures

Willem De Kooning, Two Figures (circa 1946–47). Estimate: $5–7 million

Willem de Kooning’s Two Figures reflects his unparalleled synthesis of figuration and abstraction. Despite its small size, the composition radiates an intense energy that portrays the fusion of the sexual and the violent. The figures’ dynamic embrace dissolves the figure-ground distinction, expressing a raw, unmediated human essence. The multi-perspectival composition, with its flattened planes and black lines, challenges the viewer to investigate the depths of de Kooning’s exploration of abstraction and figuration. Two Figures is an exceptionally rare, museum-quality example – virtuosic composition that compresses expansive power into the limits of its sheet’s periphery.

 

Cy Twombly, Untitled

Cy Twombly, Untitled (1962). Estimate: $14–18 million

Untitled features Cy Twombly’s signature scrawls, smears and ciphers in his signature palette of red, pink and white. The canvas displays the physicality and poetic mood that are characteristic of his best work, as Twombly joins the ethereal strokes of graphite, furious graffito scribbles and visceral bursts of impastoed pigment. Twombly’s fascination with ancient architecture, poetry and sagas of the gods is evident, and the painting demonstrates the profound force of his revolutionary abstract lexicon at its most emphatic and inspired. The composition unites painting and drawing, language and imagery, logic and chaos, epitomizing Twombly’s extraordinary semiotic lexicon.

 

Rene Magritte, Le Domaine d’Arnheim

René Magritte, Le Domaine d’Arnheim (1949). Estimate: $15–25 million

The second painting by Magritte to feature in this auction, Le Domaine d’Arnheim is among the painter’s most iconic compositions. The work, completed in 1949, explores the entanglements of the organic and the contrived, exploring similar themes to Edgar Allan Poe’s short story of the same name. Nature and artifice are separated as well as linked by the broken panes of glass that reflect the vast landscape beyond the window. A 1938 version of the painting eggs on the sill; here, Magritte shifts the emphasis onto the mountain and the design of the eagle’s head, exploring the dichotomy between nature and artifice, sign and signifier.

 

Joan Mitchell, Untitled

Joan Mitchell, Untitled (circa 1958). Estimate: $7–10 million

Mitchell’s Untitled, created circa 1958, is an exemplary work of Abstract Expressionism. The painting, executed on a 6-foot canvas, showcases Mitchell’s signature style, which merges the expressive abstract machismo of the New York School with the elegant European fidelity to nature. It displays the absolute quintessence of the artist’s painterly vernacular and initiates a nuanced dialogue between representation and abstraction, memory and emotion, gesture and color. The painting has distinguished Mitchell as one of the foremost artists of her generation and is an outstanding example of the heroic sensibilities inherent to Abstract Expressionism.

The Modern Evening Auction

Coming to the block on 16 May at 7 pm, The Modern Evening Auction captures the spirit of artists working around the globe in the late 19th and early 20th century. Featuring work from the collections of Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem, Ambroise Vollard, Frances Wells Magee and others, the artists represented here dared to challenge established norms and propose a new, modern vision of art.

Gustav Klimt, Insel im Attersee

Insel im Attersee, painted at the turn of the 20th century, is considered one of Gustav Klimt’s most striking landscape pieces. Departing from traditional landscape techniques, Klimt used a flood of color and form, creating a composition that immerses the viewer in contemplation of nature and art. Landscapes accounted for nearly half of Klimt’s oeuvre, with summers spent in the Salzkammergut region of Austria inspiring his artistic direction. Alongside a similar scene in the collection of The Leopold Museum, this is one of only two compositions that focus with such attention on the water of the Attersee. The painting’s boldness and focus on the act of painting itself suggest an evolution in Klimt’s artistic style.

Vincent van Gogh, Jardin devant le Mas Debray

Vincent van Gogh, Jardin devant le Mas Debray (1887). Estimate: $20–30 million

Jardin devant le Mas Debray captures a pivotal moment in Vincent van Gogh’s mature style, representing a transformation in his art. Vincent arrived in Paris in February 1886 to live with his brother, Theo. During his two-year stay, he was introduced to Impressionism and the latest artistic developments of the Parisian avant garde, which had a transformative effect on his work. He quickly developed a unique style that embraced vivid colors and sharp variations in his handling of oil paint, and developed this practice in still lifes and landscapes, creating some of his greatest masterpieces from 1887 to 1890.

 

Alberto Giacometti, Femme Leoni

Alberto Giacometti, Femme Leoni (1947/1960). Estimate: $25–35 million

Alberto Giacometti, recognized as the most important sculptor of the 20th century, created craggy, emaciated figures that have come to symbolize the human condition. Femme Leoni, conceived in 1947, is a masterpiece of Giacometti’s post-war artistic production and one of the first tall, static female sculptures that, along with L’Homme qui marche, would come to symbolize Giacometti’s work for the remainder of his life.

 

Pablo Picasso, Femme nue couchée jouant avec un chat

Pablo Picasso, Femme nue couchée jouant avec un chat (1964). Estimate: $20–30 million

Femme nue couchée jouant avec un chat, from the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Collection, is an emphatic ode to Picasso’s wife, Jacqueline. The painting is a monumental depiction of Jacqueline and her cat, and its execution across four days shows the best of Picasso’s innovative techniques. Picasso used Ripolin, an enamel paint typically used in industrial preparations, which allowed him to layer his pigments without fear of mixing new colors into wet paint. This period was among the most sensuous and personal of his highly autobiographical late oeuvre.

Claude Monet, Au Cap Martin

Claude Monet, Au Cap Martin (1884). Estimate: $10–15 million

Au Cap Martin is part of a series of works produced during Claude Monet’s 1884 Mediterranean excursion. Monet left his home in Giverny on a three-month trip to Italy and the Côte d’Azur, where he painted nine canvases, including the present work. Painted at the eastern shoreline of the Cap Martin, the twin Maritime Alps peaks of the Roc de l’Orméa and Restaud tower over the loosely delineated buildings below, creating a romantic sense of grandeur. The textural richness and chromatic potency of the painting reflects Monet’s delight in revisiting the sea and rocky terrain.

Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of a Man as Mars

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of a Man as Mars (circa 1620). Estimate: $20–30 million

Portrait of a Man as Mars, from the prestigious Fisch Davidson Collection, is a Baroque masterpiece painted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp around 1620. Blending the genres of portraiture, allegory and mythology, the painting depicts an armor-clad man wearing an all’antica helmet, holding a martial pike and draped in a lion’s pelt. He conveys the self-assurance of the classical deity Mars. Rubens’s virtuosity and expertise in manipulating paint can be seen in the textures of the work, where each material is meticulously rendered with different brushstrokes, colors and impastos. Rubens’s work had remarkable influence on generations of painters, especially in the modern period, including Manet and de Kooning.

The Contemporary Evening Auction

One of the most exciting contemporary art events of the year takes place on 18 May at 7 pm. The Contemporary Evening Auction features artists and artworks that capture the seismic shifts that occurred in art in the latter half of the 20th century, beginning with post-war abstraction in America and Europe, through to color-field painting, Minimalism and the Pop Art movement, and into the critical postmodern inquiries of the 1980s and 1990s

Louise Bourgeois, Spider

At once beautiful and haunting, familiar and uncanny, Louise Bourgeois’s monumental “Spiders” stand among the most entrancing and ambitious artistic achievements of the 20th century. This May, Sotheby’s will offer Spider from 1996 – an early and profoundly significant example of Bourgeois’s most iconic motif, and one of just four monumental Spiders to ever appear at auction. Making its auction debut, the sculpture is estimated to achieve $30–40 million – the highest estimate ever for a work by Bourgeois and among the most valuable works by a woman artist ever to appear at auction. Soaring over 10 feet tall and more than 18 feet across, Spider emerges from the Fundacao Itau, having remained in the prestigious institution’s collection in Sao Paulo for more than two decades. The sale will support the Fundacao’s art and culture initiatives in Brazil.

“The Spider has become a global icon, recognizable by all given its prominent presence in cultural institutions around the world — it is not only a paragon of modern sculpture, but has taken on a larger symbolic presence within contemporary culture internationally.”
David Galperin, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art, New York

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Now’s the Time

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Now’s the Time (1985). Estimate upon request

Now’s the Time, a monumental artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat, is a talismanic recreation of the vinyl pressing of Charlie Parker’s 1945 jazz composition of the same name. Painted on roughly hewn plywood, the artwork reflects Basquiat’s own artistic project, which was centered around the recognition, admiration and amplification of Black artistic icons, both past and present. Emerging from the celebrated collection of Peter Brant, Now’s the Time has appeared as a major highlight in many of Basquiat’s most acclaimed international exhibitions and retrospectives: at The Brooklyn Museum, New York; Fondation Beyeler, Basel; Art Gallery of Ontario, where it was the centerpiece of the eponymous exhibition entitled Jean Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time; and most recently in the landmark exhibition at Montreal Museum of Art, Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music, where it was also prominently illustrated on the cover of the exhibition catalogue.

 

Gerhard Richter, 4096 Farben

Marking the final painting of Gerhard Richter’s coveted early “Color Chart” series, the artist’s monumental 4096 Farben will appear at auction for the first time in nearly 20 years this May. It is one of just three major “Color Chart” paintings to have been offered at auction in the last decade and one of only 14 monumental “Color Chart” paintings that Richter executed in his ultimate suite from 1973–74, the vast majority of which now belong to prestigious institutional collections such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk. The concept of the color chart and of this work were particularly significant to Richter, who would later take this painting as the inspiration for an ambitious commission to create a stained-glass window at Cologne Cathedral, unveiled in 2007. 4096 Farben was recently chosen as the cover of the artist’s catalogue raisonne, published by Dietmar Elger.

Christopher Wool, Untitled

Christopher Wool, Untitled (1988). Estimate: $10–15 million

Christopher Wool’s Untitled is an early and iconic piece that showcases the artist’s merging of text and image. The six repetitions of “PLEASE” in black enamel on an 8-foot sheet of aluminum represents Wool’s rebellious tendencies and subversion of popular culture, using elements from film and mass media. The simple word is transformed into an imploration with an increasingly urgent and sinister tone, the repeated letters forming sounds and independent images. The painting captures the balance between automated rigor and handcrafted intimacy, with process drips left visible on the aluminum. Testifying to its milestone significance in Wool’s career, Untitled was one of two masterpieces by the artist selected for inclusion in the 1989 Whitney Biennial, only one year after its execution.

 

Wayne Thiebaud, Candy Counter

Candy Counter by Wayne Thiebaud is an iconic 1960s American Pop art masterpiece, representing the artist’s practice of elevating images of American nostalgia through sumptuous imagery and color, evoking both mood and memory. Painted in 1969, Candy Counter is the first confectionary painting of this scale (47 by 36 ⅛ inches) from the artist’s most coveted period of the 1960s to appear at auction in more than 25 years. Among the largest paintings Thiebaud produced of this subject matter in the first decade of his mature production, only 10 paintings of this scale produced in the 1960s feature dessert or deli counter imagery, over half of which reside in permanent museum collections, with the sister painting of this work held in the Anderson Collection at Stanford University. The painting embodies an enduring tribute to the cultural consciousness of postwar America and is included in numerous exhibitions and retrospectives of the artist’s oeuvre.

“Each era produces its own still lifes… My interest in painting is traditional and modest in its aim. I hope that it may allow us to see ourselves looking at ourselves.”
Wayne Thiebaud

The NOW Evening Auction

Heading to the block on 18 May at 6 pm – just before the contemporary art sale – The NOW Evening Auction features work by the most exciting and cutting-edge artists on the market. This season’s edition is highlighted by Yoshitomo Nara, Jadé Fadojutimi, Kerry James Marshall and Justin Caguiat, among others.

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Mask Boy)

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Mask Boy) (2014). Estimate: $4–6 million

Kerry James Marshall’s 2014 painting Untitled (Mask Boy) defies constructed stereotypes in art and reclaims Blackness in its depiction of a figure admiring himself while holding a Dogon mask of Mali. The figure’s blissful interaction with the mask signals a self-assurance and an assertion of his individuality and Blackness, which Helen Molesworth says, “is offered as a radical presence that shows how the very notions of beauty and truth that paintings and museums hold to be self-evident are premised on exclusions that are ethically, philosophically, and aesthetically untenable.”

 

Simone Leigh, Las Meninas II

Simone Leigh, Las Meninas II (2019). Estimate: $2.5–3.5 million

Simone Leigh’s Las Meninas II sculpture is a representation of Black female subjectivity, sovereignty and African diasporic artistic traditions. The sculpture, which has a commanding presence, unites the most significant iconography of Leigh’s lauded and diverse corpus, including a dome-like raffia skirt, a ceramic female torso and an intricately inlaid rosette motif. The artwork challenges Western aesthetic hierarchies – it references Diego Velázquez’s painting, which also questions illusion, power, representation and viewership – and expands the narrative and aesthetic possibilities of artistic production. Leigh was the first Black female artist to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, and her work is on view at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art until September 2023, followed by other museums.

“The tendency when people hear Black women’s stories is to focus on what happened to them, not the intellectual labor and creativity they brought to the situation… My work is about what they did from those compromised positions – the labor, the care, the love, the ideas.”
Simone Leigh

Mark Bradford, I don’t care if he’s Captain America

Mark Bradford, I don't care if he's Captain America (2018). Estimate: $3–4 million

Mark Bradford’s I don’t care if he’s Captain America is an explosive composition that epitomizes his use of abstraction to explore larger sociopolitical ideas. Through layering repurposed paper materials found on city streets, Bradford creates cartographic compositions that explore American urban spaces and their subjective nature. The painting features bold lacerations exposing areas of vibrant pink, blue, ochre and black, and was created during a time when the artist was exploring notions of the American hero and antihero through archetypes in comics.

 

Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Into and Through the Jungle Monkey Face 45.98)

Mark Grotjahn, Untitled (Into and Through the Jungle Monkey Face 45.98) (2014). Estimate: $4–6 million

Untitled is an exemplary piece from Mark Grotjahn’s “Face” series. Measuring over 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide, the painting is characterized by its intricate geometric bands of color that converge in a one-point perspective. This creates a mesmerizing optical energy and churning composition that appears to simultaneously devour and regenerate itself. The piece challenges the strict formal organization of modernist painting with a spectacular flourish and injects a distinct humanity into the archetypal dialectic between abstraction and figuration.

 

Yoshitomo Nara, Haze Days

Haze Days by Yoshitomo Nara depicts a young girl, a recurring character in Nara’s works, standing defiantly with her head wrapped in a bandage, gazing outwards with penetrating emerald eyes. The monumental canvas measures nearly 6 feet, enveloping the central heroine in the serene and mystical depths of Nara’s pastose puddle, a symbolic motif representing a passage that connects the present to the collective realm. The use of a youthful doppelgänger expands beyond self-portraiture, creating images of universal emotional appeal and angst. The water imagery in Haze Days ranks among Nara’s most symbolic and personal motifs, reflecting its transformational power and profound spiritual depth.

“My strongest emotion in relation to the external world is rebelliousness. It’s awakened by feelings of oppression: rebelliousness is the flip side of the desire to improve oneself to meet the standards of the external world.”
Yoshitomo Nara

The Modern Day Auction

The Modern Day Auction on 17 May draws together a century of paintings, drawings and sculpture from across Europe and the Americas to showcase the best of Impressionism through to Abstract Expressionism. The evolution of art in the modern era was shaped by movements, counter-movements and cross-currents that defy narrow categorizations by continent or medium.

The auction features six works from The Collection of Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem and a selection of works from The Collection of Frances Wells Magee, as well as sculpture from the collection of Jules E. Mastbaum, Rodin’s American champion.

Barbara Hepworth, Poised Form with Circle

Barbara Hepworth, Poised Form with Circle (1965). Estimate: $500,000–700,000

Dame Barbara Hepworth was one of the most important and innovative modernist female sculptors of the 20th century. This standing slate sculpture on a wood base is a delightful example of her work from the beginning of the last decade of her career when she was focused on exploring three different shapes: the closed form, two forms in juxtaposition and the standing form. The ovoid form, biomorphic shape and pierced hole of this work are typical of Hepworth’s style. Hepworth described the significance of directly carving a hole into a stone, stating that it could “reveal its depth and its inner tension, and the space in relation to a human being.”

 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Passerelle d’Essoyes

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Passerelle d’Essoyes (circa 1898–1901). Estimate: $700,000–1 million

In La Passarelle à Essoyes, Renoir depicts a relaxed summer's day in the country: on the river’s edge, a washerwoman scrubs clothes, children (possibly the artist’s own) fish and a boat drifts in the foreground. Discussing the idyllic life which Renoir led and reflecting on his own visits there, Ambroise Vollard wrote, “Renoir had a small residence in Essoyes, his wife’s native country, where he spent the hottest months of the summer. What good times I had in this house which was an old peasant house, with thick walls, surrounded by a garden planted with fruit trees!”

 

Edward Hopper, Group of Houses

Edward Hopper, Group of Houses (1923–24). Estimate: $500,000–700,000

Group of Houses, a watercolor by Edward Hopper, dates back to his early experimentation with the medium in 1923. This work features residential homes in Cape Ann, Massachusetts, where Hopper captured the town’s quiet street corners and boats. The painting is historically significant as one of Hopper’s earliest watercolors, and his masterful use of color distinguishes it as one of his finest Gloucester pictures. The painting was gifted to The Whitney Museum of American Art as part of a 1970 bequest, where it has remained for over 50 years, and will be auctioned for the first time in May to support future acquisitions.

 

Jean Dubuffet, Site aléatoire avec 2 personnages

Jean Dubuffet, Site aléatoire avec 2 personnages (1982). Estimate: $200,000–300,000

Featuring a vibrant color palette and playful figures that Jean Dubuffet is best known for, Site aléatoire avec 2 personnages merges the figurative and the abstract in a picture devoid of distinct background or foreground. Instead, every element of the painting collapses into the other, resulting in a fulfillment of the artists own proclamation: “Portraits and landscapes must come together and it is more or less the same thing, I want portraits where the depiction follows the same mechanism as that of the depiction of a landscape, here ripples and ravines, there a nose, here trees, there a mouth and a house.”

 

Mario Carreño, Allegory of a Cuban Landscape

Mario Carreño, Allegory of a Cuban Landscape (1943). Estimate: $150,000–200,000

Allegory of a Cuban Landscape is a rare and dynamic masterwork from a landmark series of paintings in Duco executed following a visit from Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros to Carreño’s Havana home in 1943. Carreño, like Siqueiros, prized the medium for the unparalleled richness and glossiness it offered; for the immediacy and vibrance it revealed when layered – but unlike him only exploited it for a brief and critical period. Gleaming with bright turquoise and magenta waves that cascade across the lush coast of the island, carefully guarded by glimmering orisha (deity) figures, Alleogry of a Cuban Landscape is a powerful celebration of prismatic Antillean light and color.

The Contemporary Day Auction

The Contemporary Day Auction on 19 May features hundreds of artworks by the most critically acclaimed artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including 18 exceptional works from The Mo Ostin Collection, exceptional outdoor sculpture from The Collection of Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem and a selection of works from The Collection of Frances Wells Magee.

Joan Mitchell, Untitled

Joan Mitchell, Untitled (1974). Oil on canvas. Estimate: $1–1.5 million

Joan Mitchell’s Untitled from 1974 is a rare example of a tondo showcasing the artist’s unique brand of Abstract Expressionism. With captivating atmospheric qualities, the painting brings together the visual languages of abstraction and landscape in a maelstrom of pigment. Untitled underscores Mitchell’s masterful use of the brush through her juxtaposition of broad, heavily impastoed strokes with more delicate, brushy passages as well as translucent veils of dripping pigment. Mitchell’s uninhibited creative confidence is evident across the dynamic surface with exquisite tension as line and color is compressed within the circular format. Having remained in the collection of the same Chicago family since its initial acquisition the year it was executed, this rarefied treasure has never before appeared at auction.

 

Albert Oehlen, Untitled

Albert Oehlen, Untitled (1993). Oil and inkjet on sewn fabric. Estimate: $900,000–1.2 million

Albert Oehlen’s Untitled from 1993 exemplifies the artist’s experimentation with the limits of painting. Here the fractured and stitched fabric surfaces with gestural strokes of explosive color across the dynamic and variegated surface showcase Oehlen’s questioning of traditional pictorial space and the relationship between viewer and art. The work challenges the boundaries of oil on canvas, creating multiple visual possibilities and pushing the viewer to decipher the layers of color and texture.

 

Wayne Thiebaud, Bow Tie Tree

Wayne Thiebaud, Bow Tie Tree (1969). Oil on canvas. Estimate: $2–3 million

A still life of a quintessential staple of American menswear, Bow Tie Tree is Wayne Thiebaud’s contemporary interpretation of a classic fashion item. A stunning and exquisitely rendered example of Thiebaud’s celebrated practice in which he elevates images imbued with American nostalgia, the artist transforms the quotidian into the iconic with lush layered impasto and delicate pastels. Bow Tie Tree was most recently exhibited in 2003 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition, Wayne Thiebaud: Fifty Years of Painting, and was hung alongside Candy Counter currently being sold at Sotheby’s New York in the Contemporary Evening Auction on 18 May with an estimate of $10–15 million.

 

Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY-NETS (TWXOB)

Yayoi Kusama, INFINITY-NETS (TWXOB) (2014). Acrylic on canvas. Estimate: $1.2–1.8 million

INFINITY-NETS (TWXOB) exemplifies Yayoi Kusama’s iconic approach to abstraction. Depicting an endless maze of oscillating, kaleidoscopic clusters, the present work is made up of intricately undulating pinks, reds and white lines atop an electrifying black ground. Kusama’s refined and delicate palette imparts a sense of ethereality onto the canvas, drawing the viewer irresistibly towards the intimate spaces contained within the tightly woven blanket of paint. The flowing, almost topographical surface of the work hypnotically meanders across the extent of the picture plane, mirroring the process in which it is created.

 

Gego, Dibujo sin papel

Gego, Dibujo sin papel (1985). Iron and steel. Estimate: $400,000–600,000

Dibujo sin papel (1985) by Gertrud Goldschmidt, better known as Gego and the subject of a current exhibition at The Guggenheim Museum, is a masterpiece of intricate design and simplicity. The largest piece from her renowned “Drawings without Paper” series, it consists of meticulously intertwined iron and steel wires and rods in a delicate balance. The lime-green and black iron bars, silver beaded steel chains and sun-like wire orb create an intricate window with tendrils extending in all directions. This fragile construction remains in constant motion, casting delicate shadows and lines. Gego’s originality and innovative contribution to 20th-century abstraction is exemplified in this work, executed at the peak of her artistic maturity.

Picasso Works from The New York Sales

The New York Sales

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