The London Sales

Modern & Contemporary Art | March 2023 | London
Showcasing the very best in Modern & Contemporary Art, the London Sales this March present a showcase of the major artistic movements of the 20th and 21st centuries, from the innovations of the Impressionists to the groundbreaking works of Contemporary masters and designers.

A Seminal Work by Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch’s singular vision resulted in vivid, psychological artworks that are among the most powerfully expressive works of Modern art. In 1906, at a turning point in his life, Munch was commissioned to paint what is now known as The Reinhardt Frieze. Installed on the walls of impresario Max Reinhardt’s avant-garde theatre in Berlin with twelve major canvases, it was an immersive installation - one of the first of its kind - and trailblazed the relationship between performance and art.

At just over four metres wide, Dance on the Beach is the monumental culmination of the series. In the foreground of the canvas are two of the artist’s great loves, affairs with both of whom ended in heartbreak. Like much of Munch’s best work, it explores the themes of life, love and death that underpinned his vision of the ‘modern life of the soul’. It is the only example from the Reinhardt series remaining in private hands, with all of the others held in German museum collections.

The painting was last on the market 89 years ago, when it was acquired at a Norwegian auction by Thomas Olsen – who assembled an unmatched collection of around thirty works by Munch including one of four versions of the infamous The Scream. Having previously belonged to Dr Curt Glaser, a major cultural figure in 1930s Berlin who was forced to flee when the National Socialists came to power, Dance on the Beach is being sold subject to an agreement between the two families.

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Pablo Picasso's Tender Portrait of his Daughter

The women in Picasso’s life have always been at the heart of the artist’s œuvre. On September 5, 1935, a new muse arrived in the form of his daughter Maya, named María de la Concepción after Picasso’s beloved late sister. Born to his great love Marie-Thérèse Walter, Maya was to prove an immense source of happiness for Picasso. Her birth came at a time of personal crisis for the artist; a lengthy divorce battle with his first wife Olga Khokhlova and the associated loss of his beloved property, Château de Boisgeloup, in combination with the increasingly worsening political situation in Europe conspired to overwhelm the artist, who was experiencing a nearly year-long abstinence from painting.

Pablo Picasso, Fillette au bateau (Maya)

The arrival of Maya sparked a creative rejuvenation. Between January 1938 and November 1939 Picasso painted fourteen portraits of Maya – the most important series Picasso devoted to any of his children, in which his joy as a father finds poignant expression through his art. Fillette au bateau (Maya), one of the artist’s most playful depictions of his daughter, will now appear at auction for the first time in more than 20 years. Kept by Picasso until his death in 1973, the painting was subsequently owned by Gianni Versace, before being sold by Sotheby’s London in 1999 as part of the late fashion designer’s collection of 25 works by the artist. Last year it was exhibited at the Musée Picasso in Maya Ruiz-Picasso, fille de Pablo a show celebrating the artist’s depictions of his daughter.

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Gerhard Richter's Monumental Masterpiece

A monumental masterpiece from Gerhard Richter’s celebrated cycle of abstract paintings is to headline Sotheby’s London Modern and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 1 March 2023. Of spectacular proportions, spanning four metres across, Abstraktes Bild, 1986, is one of the first large-scale paintings from the series ever created by the artist, boasting a size and chromatic intensity rarely found even within the grand arc of the artist’s monumental masterworks.

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The London Sales


Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild :

Hong Kong
5–7 February
Level 3, ManHo Garden, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong
88 Queensway Road, Pacific Place


Hong Kong
5–7 February
Sotheby’s Hong Kong

New York
11–15 February
Sotheby’s New York

(Women) Artists

This Spring, aligned with International Women’s Day, (Women) Artists will build on current momentum to celebrate long undervalued female creativity, through a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events. Uniquely positioned within the art market, Sotheby’s will address important questions with regards to the market for women artists and in addition, explore the role of the woman throughout art history, both as artist and muse.

Exhibitions in London

(Women) Artists
Highlights 6–16 March

Form: (Women) Makers
Highlights 7–16 March

Made in Britain
Highlights 10–14 March

Prints & Multiples
Highlights 6–15 March

Reuniting the Women Pioneers of the Bauhaus at Sotheby’s Story Café

To time with Sotheby’s (Women) Artists campaign, this season, we are partnering with British textile brand Christopher Farr. Reuniting the women weaving pioneers of the Bauhaus, exclusive wall coverings and rugs created in collaboration with the estates of Anni Albers and Gunta Stölzl will add vibrancy and colour to Sotheby’s Story Café, on view until late May.

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