Sotheby’s Paris Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale on 24 June will bring together remarkable works by some of the most celebrated artists of the past 80 years. Amongst the ensembles punctuating the auction, an exceptional private European collection of historical New realists’ works will certainly be the star of the day. Other highlights of the sale include important works by Jean Fautrier, Asger Jorn, Manolo Valdes and Victor Vasarely.
Watch our video on The New Realists – Radical Rebellion in 1960s Europe below.
The New Realists – Radical Rebellion in 1960s Europe
- London, United Kingdom
Having trained as an architect before serving as a pilot in the Fleet Air Army, Chadwick began working as a draughtsman. Known for his improvisational technique of welding metal without sketches or plans, designing as he manipulated his material, Lynn Chadwick has explored figures in motion throughout his sculpting career.There is a mastery of material, combined with a fine sensibility for balance, movement and the harmony of form and space in Watcher VI.
- Lisbon, Portugal
At a time where she established herself not only as one of the leading figures of the New School of Paris but also as one of the leading artists on the international art scene, Maria-Helena Vieira da Silva developed a singular plastic language by removing all figurative references from her canvases in favor of mysterious networks of signs stretching across the canvas, as if in a distorting mirror.
- Rome, Italy
Born on October 7, 1918 in Catanzaro, Italy, and trained at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples, Domenico "Mimmo" Rotella is considered one of the most eminent members of the New Realism movement, one of the fathers of Posterism and one of the precursors of Street Art.
- Vienna, Austria
Born in Vienna, Nitsch was drawn to religious art. He is associated with the Vienna Actionists—a loosely affiliated group of off-kilter and confrontational Austrian artists that also includes Günter Brus, Otto Muehl, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler.
Nitsch's abstract 'splatter' paintings, like his performance pieces, are inspired by his neutral perspective on humanity and being human.
- Paris, France
One of the major artists of the 20th century, Jean Fautrier belongs to this generation of artists born with Fauvism, Cubism and the avant-garde. Like Giacometti, Dubuffet or Fontana, he very early on embarked on a singular direction, passing to posterity by giving birth to one of the most revolutionary movements in the history of art: the Informal.
- Copenhagen, Denmark
Jorn’s style, wild, barbarous, and deeply rooted in German and Scandinavian expressionism of the beginning of the 20th century, likens his peers Emil Nolde or Edvard Munch. Jorn’s naive images are neither entirely figurative nor entirely abstract. Rather, they epitomise this fiercely independent avant-garde stance of the Post-War era.
- Düsseldorf, Germany
Working in a post-war age noted for its burgeoning scientific discoveries and technological advancements, Mack strove to articulate a new pictorial language befitting of his contemporary moment. With its monochromatic, mesmeric patterns and timeless splendour, Light Lamellar Relief epitomises Mack’s pioneering vision for an art liberated from the shackles of the past.
Portraiture has remained one of the oldest and most iconic genre throughout the history of art – generally reflecting the social and moral standards of the times while also provoking a critical reexamination of such standards. Through six works by Antonio Saura, Manolo Valdés, A.R. Penck, Robert Combas, Julian Opie and Jaume Plensa, we trace the lineage of the portraiture, analyzing the critical historical precedents that have paved the way for the endurance and relevance of this seminal genre.