Art Contemporain Evening Sale
Live Auction: 16 December 2020 • 5:00 PM CET • Paris

Art Contemporain Evening Sale 16 December 2020 • 5:00 PM CET • Paris

S otheby’s is pleased to announce the Paris Art Contemporain Evening Sale. This sale will be an pre-eminent auction anchored in a museum-quality selection of blue-chip Post-War and Contemporary Art. Featuring examples by the greatest masters of the second half of the 20th century, such as Jean Dubuffet, Chu Teh Chun and Kazuo Shiraga, the auction offers a rare opportunity to acquire historical works from prestigious international private collections.

Featured Highlights

Left to Right: Chu in the Yellow Mountains in 1983. © D.R ; Chu Teh-Chun, Composition, 1961; Dongtian Mountain Hall, attributed to Dong Huan, circa 934-962 National Palace Museum, Taipei.

Jean-Michel Basquiat
Estimate: 750,000 – 1,000,000 EUR
Jean-Michel Basquiat | Untitled
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled is a masterful example of the artist’s instinctive and revered abilities as a draughtsman. The warrior-like figure in Untitled stands tall with one hand raised; ready for combat, eyes wide open, teeth bared as his crown of thorns energetically vibrates in deep red and black. Typical of his works on paper, the frenetic urgency of the mark-making and the unique variance in colour effortlessly combine to form a singularly sizzling composition that exemplifies Basquiat’s effortless creative genius.
Kazuo Shiraga
Chimeisei Tettekisen
Estimate: 2,000,000 – 3,000,000 EUR
Kazuo Shiraga | Chimeisei Tettekisen
Chimeisei Tettekisen, executed in 1961, intrigues as much as it fascinates. Swirling around until the viewer’s gaze falls on its centre, this painting catalyzes the incredible creative energy that inhabited Shiraga at the time. From one of the most important series of paintings that the artist painted (The Water Margin Series), Chimeisei Tettekisen masterfully depicts the epic story of a great hero of medieval China popularised in Japan thanks to the engravings of Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi.
Jean Dubuffet
Scène épisodique à deux protagonistes
Estimate: 1,100,000 – 1,800,000 EUR
Jean Dubuffet | Scène épisodique à deux protagonistes
Recognised as the most enduring series in the artist’s oeuvre, L’Hourloupe, derived from Art Brut, was invented from simple scribbles. Episodic scene with two protagonists is a remarkable painting that embodies the apogee of Dubuffet’s research. By radically reducing his palette to saturated zones of red and blue, contoured by sinuous black lines against a luminous white ground, Dubuffet further removes his composition from the realm of everyday reality, effectively enveloping the viewer in a mesmerizing web of densely interlocking figures, patterns, and forms.
Jean Dubuffet's Total Immersion in the Landscape Read More

Zao Wou-Ki
Estimate: 1,500,000 – 2,000,000 EUR
Zao Wou-Ki | 15.05.62
Painted in 1962, 15.05.62 is a lyrical work as unbridled as it is harmonious, testifying to a balance long sought after by Zao Wou-Ki. As an abstract composition, it offers an imaginary graphic design and an incomparable atmosphere. Here, the artist’s inner world becomes one with a fantasised nature, absorbing natural phenomena.
From the Collection of Yves Carcelle

Y ves Carcelle was a beacon of French elegance.

During his tenure as President of Louis Vuitton, Carcelle transformed this century-old leather goods brand into a major player in the luxury industry, thanks to his marketing genius and charisma. This art history aficionado unfortunately passed away a few weeks before the unveiling of the Frank Gehry building for the Foundation, of which he was also president.

Yves Carcelle cultivated close relationships with artists and personally enjoyed collecting contemporary art. He had grown particularly fond of Asian contemporary art, which he discovered early on during his travels to China in the 1980s.


Sotheby’s is honoured to present a selection of pieces from his private collection in the Prestige Auction and the Day Auction. To pay tribute to this “pioneer and tireless traveller,” as Bernard Arnault, CEO of the LVMH Group, describes him, it seems quite logical to include Yayoï Kusama’s gift to Carcelle in 2012 in our auction – a trunk covered in her magical polka dots, a truly emblematic work of art.

Sam Szafran, 40 Years of Painting

A mong 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.

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