Press Release

SOTHEBY’S PRESENTS THE HIGHEST-ESTIMATED SALE SERIES EVER STAGED IN ASIA

Hong Kong
14 Live Auctions to be Held from 16 – 23 April
Over 2,500 Lots Estimated in Excess of HK$3.2 Billion / US$417 Million

AND UNVEILS A SPECIAL CURATED THEMED SALE
'ICONS: MASTERPIECES FROM ACROSS TIME AND SPACE':
Five Masterpieces Spanning One Thousand Years of History
With a Combined Estimate of HK$300 Million / US$38 Million
- Giacometti Song Dynasty Bodhisattva Zhang Daqian Sanyu Picasso -

TO COINCIDE WITH THE SPRING SALES PREVIEW EXHIBITON:
AN EXPERTLY CURATED SHOWCASE OF LUXURY ITEMS
Offered Across Auctions, Private Sales and Sotheby’s Buy Now Marketplace

Sotheby’s today unveils the full offering of its 2021 Hong Kong Spring Sale Series to be held from 16 to 23 April, presenting categories ranging from fine art, including Chinese works of art and paintings, modern and contemporary art, through to the luxury market with jewellery, watches, wines and spirits. The week-long sale series encompasses outstanding works from times both ancient and modern, unified by the pursuit of the highest levels of creativity and craftsmanship by artists and brands alike. Featuring over 2,500 lots with a combined estimate in excess of HK$3.2 billion (US$417 million), the 2021 Spring Sales will carry the highest estimate for any sale series ever staged in Asia.

As part of this series, Sotheby’s is also pleased to announce a special themed sale titled ICONS: Masterpieces from Across Time and Space, to be held on 18 April, which brings together five masterworks spanning one thousand years of history by iconic artists from the East and the West, including Picasso, Sanyu, Zhang Daqian and Giacometti. From bodhisattva to matador, from artist to muse, the ICONS sale explores the artistic expressions of the human form throughout the ages – inviting viewers to step outside of their visual frames of reference and find inspiration through fresh eyes.

As the market leader in Asia, we are proud to present the strongest sale series ever staged in Hong Kong. The exceptional line-up this season, led by ICONS: Masterpieces from Across Time and Space, once again demonstrates Sotheby’s unrivalled sourcing and curatorial capabilities. This remarkable season also marks a sweeping set of innovations in our endeavor to serve our clients better – from our first collaboration with Hong Kong’s iconic cultural-retail destination K11 MUSEA and the first travelling exhibition in Shenzhen, to an expertly curated showcase of luxury items, we are expanding our community and connecting with a much wider base of collectors across fine arts and luxury
Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby’s Asia

The exhibition opens to the public at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, while the auctions will be held at Sotheby’s Gallery at One Pacific Place. Three Evening Sales will be broadcast via Sotheby’s signature global livestream model. For the Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 19 April, bidders will be able to place bids with Sotheby’s specialists via phone in Hong Kong, New York and London, or via Sotheby’s interactive online bidding platform.

TO COINCIDE WITH THE SPRING SALES PREVIEW EXHIBITON: AN EXPERTLY CURATED SHOWCASE OF LUXURY ITEMS

Offered Across Auctions, Private Sales and Sotheby’s Buy Now Marketplace

Tailored to the increasing trend of cross-collecting amongst luxury categories, Sotheby’s will present a highly curated assortment of luxury items during its Spring Sales week at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, encompassing jewellery, watches, collectible sneakers, designer handbags, collector cars, wines and rare whiskies. The remarkable objects are offered across a multitude of sale channels including live and online auctions, private sales, as well as Sotheby’s Buy Now marketplace.

Following a year of innovations and transformation, Sotheby’s is now uniquely positioned to be the number one destination in the world of luxury, satisfying collector’s needs and desires all year round. Introduced in 2020 and expanding to Asia this year, Sotheby’s Buy Now marketplace meets the demand of our clients to buy and sell beyond the traditional auction calendar, providing them with 24/7, 365 access to an exceptional property mix of over 5,000 items across fine jewels, contemporary art, collectible sneakers, watches, designer handbags, decorative objects, interiors and more at a variety of price points. Catering to the desire for convenience and speed from a growing digitally savvy audience, Buy Now offers seamless online purchasing and international shipping throughout the year.

ICONS: MASTERPIECES FROM ACROSS TIME AND SPACE

A Special Themed Sale Featuring Masterworks Spanning One Thousand Years of History

Auction: 18 April 2021, 6PM ︳Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery

SANYU AND PICASSO: A CENTURY OF CONVERGING GENIUS

PABLO PICASSO, BUSTE DE MATADOR (left)
1970, oil on canvas, 130 by 97 cm
Est. HK$100,000,000-150,000,000 / US$12,880,000-19,310,000

SANYU, NU AVEC UN PÉKINOIS (right)
1950s, oil on masonite, 84 by 122 cm
Est. HK$100,000,000-150,000,000 / US$12,880,000-19,310,000

Pablo Picasso is arguably the most admired Modern master by Asian artists. Specifically, his commitment to breaking with tradition and emphasizing his inner emotions, deeply resonated with Chinese modernist pioneer, Sanyu. This month, two masterworks by the Spanish and Chinese artists will headline Sotheby’s auction ‘ICONS: Masterpieces from Across Time and Space’ in Hong Kong. Together these paintings link the East and the West, and showcase how Modern art came to expand from a regional to global phenomenon.

As a young artist, Sanyu lived in Paris and became totally subsumed in the city’s bohemian lifestyle, frequenting classes at the Academy de la Grande Chavmerie alongside the most talented artists of the time. By the end of the 1920s, Henri-Pierre Roche had become Sanyu’s art dealer, and it is through the infamous novelist and collector that the artist likely met Picasso. In 1945, Sanyu wrote an essay titled “Reflections of a Chinese Painter on Picasso” in which he proclaimed, “[Picasso] he has moved us away from the era of academic painting…it is he who takes us down a new path.”

Executed twenty years apart, Sanyu’s Nu avec un pékinois from the 1950s reflects themes of love and perseverance, and marks the artist’s breakthrough into classic nude portraiture, while Picasso’s 1970 work, Buste de matador, was the first painting he made in his final Matador series. For the elderly Spanish artist, the matador was one of a cast of characters that were a means of projecting different aspects of his identity.

Formerly from the Collection of the Artist’s Wife Chang Hsu Wen-po
ZHANG DAQIAN, SELF PORTRAIT WITH A TIBETAN MASTIFF
Splashed ink and colour on gold paper, framed, 176 by 96 cm
Estimate: HK$48,000,000 - 60,000,000 / US$6,180,000-7,730,000 Arnold Lee

Measuring six feet in height, Self Portrait with a Tibetan Mastiff depicts the artist garbed in robes with a scroll in hand. Beside him is his favourite pet dog, named the Black Tiger, a giant Tibetan Mastiff with dense black fur, both fine and lush in texture. The background of the composition is filled with rich and thickly impastoed blue ink splashes of varying gradation, which serves as a stark contrast to the jet-black fur of the dog, against the gold paper background. This is one of the largest self portraits of Zhang Daqian, and has remained with the artist throughout his life.

A MAGNIFICENT AND EXTREMELY RARE LARGE WOOD SCULPTURE OF AVALOKITESHVARA,
SONG DYNASTY
figure 137.2 cm, overall 178 cm
The outcome of Carbon-14 testing is consistent with the dating of this lot
Est. HK$30,000,000-50,000,000 / US$3,870,000-6,440,000

This magnificent wood sculpture of Avalokiteshvara, preserved in exceptionally good condition with original pigments, is a majestic legacy of the Song dynasty (960-1279). Its stature, classic poise and serene naturalism embody its timelessness. The bodhisattva is an extremely rare example outside of the holdings of major international museums, where sculptures of this type have been prized and celebrated for over a century as the anchor pieces of their Chinese art collections.

ALBERTO GIACOMETTI, PETIT BUSTE SUR COLONNE
Bronze, incised with the artist’s signature and the foundry mark
Susse Fondeur, Paris and numbered 6/8
Conceived circa 1951-52 and casted in 1973
This work is number 6 from an edition of 8
151.7 by 21 by 22.4 cm
Est. HK$14,000,000-18,000,000 / US$1,810,000-2,320,000

Created in the 1950s, Petit buste sur colonne is a striking work, and likely inspired by the artist’s brother and primary model, Diego Giacometti. Conceived during a transformative period in which Giacometti’s focus shifted away from the human body to the bust, the work explores sculptural conceptions of space and investigates the expressive and psychological possibilities presented by the human head. Cast in an edition of eight, this work was originally in the collection of the artist’s wife, Annette Giacometti.

Click here for full highlights of 2021 Hong Kong Spring Sales Series.

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