F eaturing examples by the greatest masters of the second half of the 20th century, such as Lucio Fontana, Zao Wou-Ki, Pierre Soulages, Kazuo Shiraga, Anselm Kiefer and Jan Schoonhoven, this June’s Art Contemporain Evening Auction also includes a spectacular group of works by François Morellet. The auction offers a rare opportunity to acquire historical works from prestigious international private collections.
Celebrating Simon Hantaï’s Centenary
Sotheby’s Paris is honoured to offer three exceptional works directly from the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Estate. The packaged works Wrapped Jerrycan (1961) and Package(1963) constitute two very important early works in the artist’s oeuvre. Christo had first begun to wrap everyday objects in 1958 as a means of improving the accessibility of sculpture, following in the footsteps of Marcel Duchamp.
The Brite Green Store Front, Project (1965) comes from the ‘Store Front’ series which began in 1964, the year Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude moved to New York. Brite Green Store Front, Project is an intricate preparatory design for the life-size installation works which the artist then executed in the windows of several New York’s stores.
In the wake of the international exposure of the wrapping of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe in 2021 and the extremely successful sale of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s private collection at Sotheby’s in Paris, the international importance of these works is yet again confirmed with this sale.
An exceptional selection of five works by François Morellet, executed between 1949 and 1971, provides a panoramic perspective on the artist’s production, and illustrates his innovative spirit.
These works are remarkable by virtue of their provenance, among them the Galerie Denise René in Paris and the D+C Mueller-Roth in Stuttgart, who had a decisive impact in promoting geometric abstraction and concrete art abroad. They have also been part of notable exhibitions, such as the artist’s personal exhibition held at the Dia Art Foundation in New York in 2017-2018 and the renowned Quand j’étais petit, je ne faisais pas grand exhibition held at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in the year 2007.
Morellet, considered one of the pioneers of minimal and conceptual art, is a forerunner of the “conceptual attitude” commonly attributed to creators from across the Atlantic. He travelled to Brazil in 1950, during which time he immersed himself in the essence of concrete art, which was particularly abundant there in that period.
In 1961, Morellet co-founded the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (Visual Art Research Group or G.R.A.V.) with Le Parc, Sobrino, Garcia Rossi and Yvaral. The group’s members would have considerable impact on the expansion of kinetic art and Op art, questioning light, movement and retinal persistence through the use of contemporary materials.
Among the most hypnotic and captivating artists of the second half of the 20th century, Sam Szafran has fascinated collectors for decades. His work has long been diligently sought out by a select group of passionate connoisseurs, including William Louis-Dreyfus, who over the course of several decades, assembled an exceptional group of works by Szafran spanning the artist’s entire career.