Exceptional Contemporary Works by Wool, Haring, Dubuffet and more

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The Art Contemporain Evening Auction in Paris on 6 June will once again offer an exceptional selection of works by some of the most important and sought after artists of the last 100 years. The sale will include works such as Dubuffet’s Portrait d’homme dating from May 1946, Joan Mitchell’s lyrical quadriptych A Tribord as well as a historical painting by Nicolas de Staël.

Art Contemporain Evening Sale
06 June 2018 | Paris

Exceptional Contemporary Works by Wool, Haring, Dubuffet and more

  • Jean Dubuffet, Paris Plaisir VI. Signed with the initials and dated 64; Executed on 2 May 1964.
    Estimate: €800,000–1,200,000.
    Characterised by an extraordinary creative energy and a force of life, Paris Plaisir VI is the perfect symbiosis of Dubuffet’s urban landscapes built on deconstructed perspective, the joyful palette of his Paris Circus series and the hypnotic graphic system of his L’Hourloupe series. It’s about an art without artifice, originating in the unconscious or in poetry, abolishing the frontiers of the possible and leading us to a magical state.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Serge Poliakoff, Composition abstraite. Signed, Executed in 1951.
    Estimate: €400,000–600,000.
    Serge Poliakoff said: “If you use a ruler to draw a square, it will die.” 

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Nicolas De Staël, Pot A Raies. Executed In 1953.
    Estimate: €700,000–1,000,000.
    With its haunting palette, its chromatic dissonance and its dense and compact surface, Pot à raies admirably translates the devouring passion that animated Nicolas de Staël at the turn of the 1950s. It was particularly notible in 1953 when he discovered Agrigento, Selinunte, Syracuse, and Fiesole. After this trip to Italy, his painting changed forever. It was already powerful; it became exhilarating, extraordinarily frontal and organic, the matter crystalising beneath the knife strokes, letting through a daring convolution of colour.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Jean Dubuffet, Portrait d'homme moustachu façon carton pâte.
    Estimate: €1,250,000–1,800,000.
    Trading the paintbrush for the scraper, the knife, the spoon and his fingers in this remarkable high relief. In Portrait d’Homme moustachu façon Dubuffet moved away from the painterly towards the poetic and the mystic. Removing himself from all figurative and aesthetic considerations, he drew closer to a a world of magical effigies.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Kazuo Shiraga, Takao. Executed in May 1959.
    Estimate: €1,800,000–2,500,000.
    Takao was one of the first paintings made by the artist after his meeting with Michel Tapié who convinced him to change his mode of expression: to abandon paper for the more noble and permanent medium of the canvas.

    By placing his works flat on the floor and using his feet to spread thick layers of paint in impressive tangled forms, Shiraga established a new relationship with the work. “I wanted to paint as though I was on a battlefield. Paint until exhaustion, until I collapsed” he said.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Joan Mitchell, A Tribord. Executed in 1990.
    Estimate: €800,000–1,200,000.
    A major figure in the history of 20th century painting, Joan Mitchell reconciled form and colour better than any other artist of her time.

    Here the four canvases form a singular polyptych, where the gesture creates a dialogue between nature’s light and shadow. The blues of the lakes of her childhood, the yellows of the rapeseed fields, deep reds, greens, blacks and greys combine here in transparent swathes. In each panel of this perfectly balanced polyptych, fields of colour emerge from the white background, giving extreme depth to the composition.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Zao Wou-Ki, 21.03.69. Executed in 1969.
    Estimate: €2,200,000–3,200,000.
    By skilfully distilling haloes of pure light and opaque shadows, Zao Wou-Ki brings something sacred to this work. Always a perfectionist, the artist here again employs one of the essential contributions of classical Chinese art, building on layered veils to bring an aura of mystery to an abstract work. Zao Wou-Ki once said: “what is abstract for you is real for me”.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Pierre Soulages, Peinture. Executed in 1961.
    Estimate: €1,000,000–1,500,000.
    This remarkable composition fully expresses the skill with which Soulages structures voids and reliefs, conjuring up flames in unexpected places.

    Form is linked here to colour and to matter and adds an unprecedented dimension to Soulages’s painting. The amber tones, almost golden brown in the background, reinforce the mystery that hovers over this major composition.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Pierre Soulages, Peinture. Executed in 1966.
    Estimate: €800,000–1,200,000.
    In the middle of the 1960s, Soulages’s painting took a new direction. It gained in fluidity, in flexibility and lyricism. Peinture marvelously illustrates this mutation in Soulages’ work towards something less authoritarian, more versatile and more fluid.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Rudolf Stingel, Untitled. Executed in 2011.
    Estimate: €400,000–600,000.
    In Untitled, Stingel creates confusion by inverting the viewer’s conventional spatial relationship with the painting’s subject: a rug. Performing an ingenious displacement in space, this figurative painting suddenly becomes enigmatic, thus reinforcing the existential and experiential aspects of the work.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Christopher Wool, Flow state. Executed in 1986.
    Estimate: €500,000–700,000.
    “One could superficially interpret Wool’s paintings as parodies of Pollock’s seriousness, as a cynical re-enactment of action painting utilizing an impoverished bag of tricks hijacked from vandalism. But then one would be missing the point. No, Wool embraces and engages action painting as his primary source and he then manipulates it, with the cool reflection of a Pop artist or Dada collagist, creating art that is both intense and reflective, physical and mechanical, unconscious and considered..." - Glenn O'Brien.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Keith Haring, Untitled. Executed in 1979.
    Estimate: €500,000–700,000.
    A leading figure of street art and the New York underground movement, Keith Haring was doubtless one of the most audacious and charismatic artists of his time.

    Untitled is one of his first works. Haring had just turned 21. The all-over composition of this impressive drawing which covers the entire surface, is absolutely disturbing. It clashes with the work of other graffiti artists such as Daze or Futura 2000 with whom he tagged the walls of the New York subway that same year.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
  • Hans Hartung, T1956-8. Executed in 1956.
    Estimate: €900,000–1,200,000.
    From his first remarkable works at the beginning of the 1920s, until his death in Antibes in 1989, Hans Hartung’s practice bore an internal aesthetic tension, the result of a to-and-fro between upsurge and control, disorder and measure, sensation and concept.

    Paintings with atmospheric and sometimes monochrome backgrounds such as T1956-8 are inhabited by dynamic silhouettes, totally deprived of density or volume. With Hartung space is never hollowed or raised, but instead arises from a series of successive planes.

    Art Contemporain Evening Sale
    06 June 2018 | Paris
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