S otheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale features a breathtaking selection of paintings, works on paper and sculpture by the most sought-after and revered artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The sale will be led by The Vanguard Spirit: Modern and Surrealist Masterworks from an Important Estate, a distinguished collection of museum-quality works from Latin America. This collection is anchored by Wifredo Lam’s Omi Obini, an electrifying canvas from 1943 considered the apex of Lam’s fully realized aesthetic vision. Women Surrealists are well-represented in the collection, notably by Remedios Varo’s Armonía and Microcosmos (or Determinismo), two outstanding examples of her signature fantastical imagery and complex narratives. Works by Leonora Carrington, Leonor Fini and Alice Rahon round out this exceptional group.
Further highlights include Pablo Picasso’s radiant depiction of a sleeping Marie-Thérèse from 1934, offered by the David Lloyd Kreeger Foundation after having been in the collection since 1962. Two exciting Surrealist works from 1929 are also among the sale’s highlights—a vibrant portrait by Picasso and an enigmatic oil by René Magritte. The sale is enriched by a vibrant work by Marc Chagall, the dazzling Le Cirque vert from 1973, along with Paul Signac’s lush depiction of the famous Pine of Bertaud on the coast of Saint-Tropez.
Take a Virtual Tour of the Exhibition
The Vanguard Spirit: Modern and Surrealist Masterworks from an Important Estate encompasses one of the most impressive assemblages of Latin American art in private hands ever offered at auction. Spanning over forty years of enlightened acquisitions, this encyclopedic and intensely personal collection reveals the prescience of a gifted and inquisitive eye—one capable of discerning museum-quality artworks before they were coveted by the collecting world at large.
Anchored in Surrealism by exceptional works by Wifredo Lam, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, Leonor Fini, and Alice Rahon, the collection is complemented by outstanding paintings by two of the most accomplished artists of la vanguardia Cubana: Mario Carreño and Cundo Bermúdez.
ESTIMATE $8,000,000 – 12,000,000
The present work distills the creative syncretism of Wifredo Lam's practice, commingling modernism and magic in myriad recombinant forms. Artworks from this period in Lam's practice are among the most iconic works of global modernism, subsuming New World cosmologies within numinous, hybrid figures that play out a vivid drama of transculturation.
Tête de femme endormie
Painted on July 12, 1934
ESTIMATE $9,000,000 – 12,000,000
T he theme of the sleeping woman recurred in a series of works that explored Picasso’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter in different poses, either fully recumbent or seated. Picasso completed this canvas at the height of the Surrealist movement in July 1934, when his palette was at its most vibrant and Freudian psycho-sexual symbolism played a defining role in the imagery of the avant-garde.
Tête de femme endormie has not appeared at auction since 1960. It was acquired by Carmen and David Lloyd Kreeger in 1962 and has remained in the latter’s foundation’s collection until today.
Property from the Collection of Arthur Hadley II
ESTIMATE $1,500,000 – 2,500,000
Sotheby’s is proud to present a major painting by Edvard Munch, painted during a critical year of the artist’s career, from the private collection of Arthur T. Hadley II. Stående kvinneakt can be seen as reconsideration of one of Munch’s most famed motifs, the artist’s resplendent Madonna of the mid-1890s.
ESTIMATE $2,800,000 – 3,500,000
The present work combines two of Giacometti's prevailing themes to create a palpable tension, formed not only by the relatively ambiguous relationship of the figures, but also between the geometric structure of the cage itself and the fluidity of its captives.