Collection of Odile Noll, Paris Galerie du Passage, Paris Private Collection, Paris Christie's Paris, November 30, 2006, lot 313 Acquired from the above by the present owner
The work of French furniture designer and sculptor Alexandre Noll underlines the spiritual relationship between an object and its maker. With inherently coarse surfaces and soft sensual curves, the present sculpture embodies the true organic form of material. Noll’s meaningful dedication to craftsmanship is seen as a response to a period of growing mass industrial production in the mid-19th Century. His pure approach to art and design was grounded in the idea of allowing natural characteristics of the medium to determine its final form. As the artist engaged in a traditional technique of carving directly into the wood, he allowed his sculptures to materialize while never losing touch with their original forms. Noll’s careful consideration of the material is reflected in the rhythmic contours of the sculpture’s body. Likewise, the polishing in the present example enhances the varied tonalities of the wood, highlighting the sculpture’s spatial majesty. Each one of Noll’s works is a unique piece that moves with the current of its primal form, producing abstract silhouettes that are only unified by the forces of nature. His consciousness towards the vernacular of the material empowers the viewer to immediate meditation on materiality and space. In this way, the abstract sculpture reflects Noll’s contemplation on the sacred relationship between man and nature.
Overall in very good condition. The color of the wood has a slightly cooler tone than appears in the catalogue illustration. The wood surfaces present with occasional minor surface scratches, dents, discolorations, and a few minute chips and abrasions, consistent with age and gentle handling. The surfaces with a few scattered irregularities and imperfections, inherent in the material and the making of the unique sculpture. One side with an indentation at approximately mid-height measuring approximately 4 inches long with a minor associated loss which appears to have been sensitively filled in at some point in the history of the piece, not visually distracting. The same side with two small areas near the top which also appear to have been sensitively filled in; these areas are possibly natural burls in the wood that could have been filled it at the time of production. The same side with a small shallow hole, possibly inherent in the wood, near the upper edge. The present sculpture is a beautiful example of Alexandre Noll's practice in sculptural woodwork. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.