10 Defining Works by European Masters

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Launch Slideshow

The upcoming 20th Century Art – A Different Perspective sale in London on 14 November will showcase modern works by important Central and Eastern European artists. With paintings by artists such as Emil Filla, František Foltýn and Antonín Slaviček leading the sale, this selection provides an alternative narrative in the history of European Modernism and contemporary art. Click through to see highlights from the sale.

20th Century Art – A Different Perspective
14 November 2017 | London

10 Defining Works by European Masters

  • Emil Filla, Seated Woman. Estimate: £280,000—350,000.
    Painted in 1948, Seated Woman is a stunning example of Filla's mature period, combining influences from Picasso's work with a French Impressionist technique and a rich Expressionist palette. 

  • Spyros Papaloukas, Boatyard at Pantokrator Monastery. Estimate: £80,000—120,000.
    Following Papaloukas' return to Greece from his four-year stay in Paris in 1921, the artist focused on painting the landscape and people of his homeland, incorporating the maxims and elements of the aesthetic of the Cubists, Impressionists, Nabis and Fauves. The present work is a rich example of Papaloukas' finest works from his Mount Athos period. 

  • Antonín Slavíček, Forest. Estimate: £120,000—180,000.
    Forest is a striking example of Antonín Slavíček’s mood paintings from the turn of the nineteenth century, which were exhibited to great acclaim and inspired artists such as Gustav Klimt, Jan Preisler and Constantinos Parthenis to paint similar forest interiors. 

  • Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, A travers la ville. Estimate: £100,000—150,000.
    The subjects and style of much of Ghika's work was a celebration of Greek culture and history; he drew his inspiration from ancient Mediterranean civilizations first and foremost, with Far Eastern art, Byzantine mosaics and Cubism also holding great importance to the artist. In A travers la ville, Ghika transforms a city view into a labyrinth of intertwined sinuous curves and, geometrical shapes accented by a juxtaposition of vibrant and muted colours. 

  • Louis Marcoussis, Still Life With Guitar.
    Estimate: £50,000—70,000.
    Still Life with Guitar and Still Life with Chessboard are important works from the years 1912-1914, which marked the ascendancy of the Cubist movement in Europe prior to the outbreak of the First World War. Marcoussis painted only a few cubist works before he joined the French army when war was declared, and he did not resume painting until 1919, by which time Cubism had entered its late mannerist phase. In the decades that followed 1912, Cubism would continue to re-emerge and be reinterpreted in waves. However, it was these early years in which the present composition and lot 16 were executed, which are considered to be the true crucible of Cubism, and which established it as one of the most significant art movements of the twentieth century.

  • Louis Marcoussis, Still Life With Chessboard.
    Estimate: £40,000—60,000.
    Still Life with Chessboard  and Still Life with Guitar  are important works from the years 1912-1914, which marked the ascendancy of the Cubist movement in Europe prior to the outbreak of the First World War. Marcoussis painted only a few cubist works before he joined the French army when war was declared, and he did not resume painting until 1919, by which time Cubism had entered its late mannerist phase. In the decades that followed 1912, Cubism would continue to re-emerge and be reinterpreted in waves. However, it was these early years in which the present composition and lot 16 were executed, which are considered to be the true crucible of Cubism, and which established it as one of the most significant art movements of the twentieth century.

  • Marcel Janco, Inferno. Estimate: £80,000—120,000.
    Painted in 1915, Inferno is a seminal early Dada work by Marcel Janco, one of the inventors and founding members of the Dada movement. The stage like setting of the present work and the raw energy of the naked figures anticipates the Dada shows at the Cabaret Voltaire. The circular group of rope pullers are compositionally reminiscent of Matisse's Dance of 1910, whilst the chiaroscuro and modelling of the figures harks back to Goya and his nightmarish visions. 

  • Jankel Adler, Der Beginn Des Aufruhrs (Beginning of the Revolt). Estimate: £35,000—55,000.
    Painted in 1943 during the Second World War, Beginning of the Revolt is an essentially tragic and anarchic view of the human condition that closely relates to No Man's Land of the same year in the collection of the Tate Gallery , London. Underpinning Adler's work is an intensely organized structure and carefully composed response to the turmoil of his time. 

  • František Foltýn, Blue Madonna.
    Estimate: £250,000—350,000.
    Painted between 1922 to 1924, the year of his arrival in Paris, Blue Madonna is an exquisite example of Foltýn’s cubist phase and an homage to his native land. 

  • Odd Nurstrum, Mother. Estimate: £80,000—120,000.
    Odd Nerdrum is the leading figurative Norwegian painter of his generation. Highly dramatic in its visual impact, Mother presents a central woman and her children in a desolate rocky landscape. Reminiscent of Henry Moore's reclining figures, Nerdrum appears to subvert the pyramidal Renaissance formula of Virgin Mother with the two Holy Infants to a reclining, sleeping group, apparently the last people remaining on earth. Yet the bleakness of their surroundings is tempered by the suggestion of a rising sun on the horizon, bringing with it new hope. 

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