Auction Debut for Chu Teh-Chun’s First Snow Scene Triptych
Pierre Soulages’ Peinture 125 x 202 cm, 30 Octobre 1958
- Auction Debut in Asia of a Major Work by the Artist -
Les Souvenirs d’Indochine: The Madame Dothi Dumonteil Collection
Four Rare and Exquisite Works from the Golden Age of Vietnamese Modern art
PRECEDED BY “ICONS: MASTERPIECES FROM ACROSS TIME AND SPACE”
A Special Sale Featuring Works by Sanyu and Picasso
Virtual-guided Tours by International Actress and Art Connoisseur Lin Chi-Ling
Renowned Architect Raymond Fung Joins as Curatorial Advisor of Evening Sale
Sotheby’s Hong Kong “Beyond Legends: Modern Art Evening Sale” on 18 April 2021 will be headlined by Zao Wou-Ki’s 13.02.62, a masterpiece from the artist’s Hurricane Period and the first work dated to the artist’s birthday, produced at the height of his creative powers in the 1960s.
The Evening Sale will bring together a selection of seminal masterworks, from Chu Teh-Chun’s Harmonie hivernale, the first triptych by the artist depicting a snow scene to appear at auction, to paintings by Asian masters such as Sanyu, Wu Guanzhong, Liu Kuo-Sung, Hsiao Chin and Mai Trung Thu, as well as European artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Pierre Soulages, Georges Mathieu and Terry Frost. On the same night, Sotheby’s will present “ICONS: Masterpieces from across time and space”, a special sale headlined by two masterpieces by Sanyu and Pablo Picasso, paying tribute to the defining artistic expressions of the human form.
This season, Sotheby’s Hong Kong also presents two groundbreaking collaborations: top international actress and art connoisseur Lin Chi-Ling will take viewers on a virtual guide through the Modern Art sales; while Hong Kong-based architect and artist Raymond Fung will take on the role of curatorial advisor of the Evening Sale.
Felix Kwok, Head of Modern Art, Asia of Sotheby’s, comments: “Following the spectacular success of our Modern Art sales series in 2020, which cemented our leadership in this sale category in Asia, we are thrilled to introduce our new ‘Beyond Legends’ sale concept this season, featuring a line-up of modern Asian and European masterpieces that together spark a cross-cultural dialogue between East and West, in response to the growing international interest we have seen among our clients.”
A MASTERPIECE BY ZAO WOU-KI COMPLETED ON THE ARTIST’S BIRTHDAY
Completed on Zao Wou-Ki’s birthday, 13.02.62 augurs the artist’s widespread recognition in Europe, the United States, and Asia in the 1960s. His lively and energetic brushwork perfectly embodies the optimism and fervour of a painter at the height of his career. In his Hurricane Period, Zao Wou-Ki almost exclusively titled his works with the dates when they were completed. The significant date of 13 February explains his uncharacteristic use of a bright, impactful palette and especially red, the traditional Chinese colour signifying auspicious dates. This magnificent painting commemorates not only Zao’s birthday but also Valentine’s Day: its grand cosmic vision, with immortal cranes appearing and disappearing amidst a fiery vision of the world, powerfully expresses both passion and desire.
Among Zao’s recorded works, very few were created on the same day of the same month. As the first work dated to this important date, 13.02.62 is of immense art historical significance. It was included in the exhibition “Paris 1945-1965” at the Linz Lentos Kunstmuseum in Austria andthe important art historical publication L’art au XXe siècle.
SANYU AND PICASSO LEAD “ICONS” SPECIAL SALE
On the same night, Sotheby’s presents “ICONS: Masterpieces from across time and space”, a special sale headlined by two important works by Sanyu and Picasso, paying tribute to the defining artistic expressions of the human form. Sanyu’s Nu avec un pékinois is a masterpiece from the 1950s, marking the artist’s breakthrough in the classic nude, while Picasso’s Buste de matador, created in 1970, is historically significant as the first work in the last matador series of his life. More details of “ICONS: Masterpieces from across time and space” will be announced shortly.
CHU TEH-CHUN’S FIRST SNOW SCENE TRIPTYCH TO APPEAR AT AUCTION
Chu Teh-Chun’s Harmonie hivernale is the artist’s first triptych depicting a snow scene to appear at auction, and one of only two triptychs by Teh-Chun on the subject. In the year the work was completed, Harmonie hivernale was sent to France for the artist’s solo exhibition, and at the time, both in terms of composition and format, it was unrivalled. On attending the exhibition’s opening, the artist was photographed with the painting, which was to remain one of his most treasured artworks.
THE GOLDEN ERAS OF PIERRE SOULAGES AND ZAO WOU-KI
The Evening Sale features important Modern masterworks from the 1950s and 60s, which together showcase the trajectory of the artists as they became prominent in both Europe and the US.
Untitled (Golden City) was painted in 1951, when Zao Wou-Ki was travelling around Europe to broaden his horizons and fuel his creativity. The work captures Zao’s impression of Venice, which emerges mirage-like from a blue haze. Two works in this series reside in museum collections: one in the Centre Pompidou and another in Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum. In its use of space and colour, Untitled (Golden City) rivals both. In 1954, a Life Magazine feature, entitled “Artist from East Is a Hit in West: Zao Wou-Ki Paints a Poetic World,” described Zao’s recent work in detail and featured this painting, which is part of a body of work representing a milestone in Zao’s golden post-war period.
This season, Sotheby’s will present an important work by Pierre Soulages in the Hong Kong Modern Art Evening Sale for the first time. Peinture 125 x 202 cm, 30 Octobre 1958 was created on a large-scale, custom-made canvas. Soulages produced only ten works over two meters in size throughout the 1950s, and amongst those, this is the only work that adopts a golden palette. The painting first featured in Soulages’ solo show in 1959, and in numerous major exhibitions since then, most recently as part of Lévy Gorvy’s “Pierre Soulages: A Century”.
LES SOUVENIRS D’INDOCHINE: THE MADAME DOTHI DUMONTEIL COLLECTION
Les Souvenirs d’Indochine: The Madame Dothi Dumonteil Collection brings together four rare and exquisite works from the golden age of Vietnamese Modern art, acquired by the late Mrs. Dothi Dumonteil and her husband, Pierre Dumonteil. The collection is led by Mai Trung Thu’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Phuong, which stands as one of the most significant works by the artist to ever appear at auction. Having migrated to France as a child, Mrs. Dumonteil established her career as a couture model for Yves Saint Laurant and co-founder of Galerie Dumonteil. (See press release for detail)
This season, Sotheby’s will join forces with international actress and art connoisseur Lin Chi-Ling to create a series of short videos on Modern Art. Ms. Lin, a graduate of Art History at the University of Toronto, will share her insight on selected sale highlights as a virtual guide. The videos will be available to view on Sotheby’s website and social media channels from 31 March. Partial proceeds of five works in the Evening Sale – by Li Huayi, Lalan, Hsiao Chin, Georges Mathieu and Terry Frost, will be donated to Chiling Charity Foundation, a charity founded by Lin to support the local community.
In addition, Sotheby’s is honored to invite renowned architect and artist Raymond Fung will take on the role of Curatorial Advisor of the Evening Sale, sharing his expertise in visual design for the Hong Kong preview on 16-18 April. Mr. Fung was formerly senior architect of the Hong Kong Government, in charge of projects such as the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, the Hong Kong City Hall and the Hong Kong Wetland Park. One of Mr. Fung’s large-format ink creations will be offered in this season’s Modern Art Day Sale.
SPECIALLY PRESENTS: A WORK FOR CHARITY