Contemporary & Impressionist Highlights from the Seroussi Collection

Martial Raysse, two pink men on orange background pointing green hand
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In order to create a "conversational residency" of artists, architects and writers, the renowned gallerist and doyenne of the French art scene Natalie Seroussi is auctioning some of her spectacular collection of artworks curated since she opened her first gallery in 1977. Included in French Cancan by Natalie Seroussi is an iconic work by Martial Raysse and a red chalk self-portrait by Henri Matisse. Click through to see highlights from the sale.

Contemporary & Impressionist Highlights from the Seroussi Collection

  • Jean Dubuffet, Cafetière, tasse et soucoupe, sucrier, 1965.
    Estimate €400,000-600,000.
    Not only is Cafetière, tasse et soucoupe, sucrier one of the most emblematic works of the Jean Dubuffet's twelve year Hourloupe cycle, it is also a unique interpretation of the classic still life. The intricate composition and abstract shapes mean the viewer must truly engage with the work to recognise the usually familiar objects of the coffee pot, the cup, the saucer and the sugar bowl.
  • Francis Picabia, Danseuse De French Cancan, circa 1942-43.
    Estimate €300,000-500,000.
    French Cancan is a perfect example of the painter's famous series of often naked women presented in seductive poses. Lifting her frilly dress in a classic pose associated with the legendary show, this dancer is the image of lightheartedness and erotic frivolity which contrasts with the harshness of the war years and the Occupation of the time in which it was painted. It is evidently a sarcastic interpretation as many of the famous cabarets of Montmartre were closed by the Vichy regime in order to establish moral order.
  • André Masson, Le Couple, 1940-41. Estimate €400,000-600,000.
    In October 1940, following the enactment of antisemitic legislation by the Vichy government, André Masson, his wife Rose (of Jewish origin) and their two sons travelled to Marseille intent on leaving for America. The present work was painted in this context, and seems to depict the painter’s family on the point of departing the European continent.
  • Martial Raysse, A Propos De New York En Peinturama, 1965.
    Estimate €1,000,000-1,500,000.
    A propos de New York en Peinturama is certainly one of Martial Raysse’s masterpieces. It was created in 1965 after spending a year at the Chelsea Hotel in New York where he built strong relationships with the main representatives of American pop art and moving to Los Angeles. This radical and irreverent work midway between painting, assemblage and new media brilliantly shows how this young prodigy revolutionised the art of his generation, with a virtuosity that brought him to have a retrospective exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam at only 29.
  • Henri Matisse, Autoportrait, 1941.
    Estimate €400,000-600,000.
    Particularly exceptional in its use of the sanguine or red chalk technique, this self-portrait dates from 1941. In the midst of the Occupation and beset with worries, Matisse underwent an important operation. Surprised to find himself still alive in the months that followed, he turned to drawing. “These self-portraits have a quality of tenacity and determination which is expressed by the technique. In these drawings, one strongly feels the fragility of the man, but also the triumph of the artist against adversity.” (John Klein, in Henri Matisse, Autoportraits, Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Musée Matisse, 1988, p.21).
  • Antonio Saura, Grand Curé II, 1960. Estimate €300,000-500,000.
    Grand Cure II (Large Priest) was created at a turning point in the painter’s artistic career. The work’s religious subject and awe-inspiring scale testify to Saura’s allegiance to tradition, whilst the gestural brushwork and spontaneous technique are resolutely modern.
  • Karel Appel, Tigerbird, 1952.
    Estimate €500,000-700,000.
    In 1952, with the painting Tigerbird, Appel followed in the footsteps of Picasso and Paul Klee, borrowing from primitive, popular and raw art as well as naive art. Combining naturalist and expressionist influences, Tigerbird celebrates life, childhood, newfound freedom and light with an exceptional creative energy. The vivid palette of colors is gaudy, and associated with impasto, evokes softness, innocence and childhood brutality.
  • Jean Tinguely, Relief Polychrome - Bleu, Ocre et Vert (Sprit), 1955.
    Estimate €400,000-600,000.
    Fascinated by mechanics since childhood, Tinguely built his first mobile metallic wire sculptures in 1954. Relief Polychrome - Bleu, Ocre et Vert (Sprit) undeniably evokes the work of great masters of modern abstraction while going beyond their contribution, especially by its loose and playful dimension. With this “meta-mechanical” composition, “meta” being used in the sense of “beyond”, Tinguely pushed the boundaries of painting, redefining the relationship of art to the world with a unique moving painting.
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