Modern and Contemporary Masters on View in Zürich

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Launch Slideshow

Works from the upcoming Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art auctions will go on display at Sotheby's in Zürich this weekend, allowing an opportunity to view paintings and sculpture by artists such as Francis Bacon, Bridget Riley, David Hockney and Marc Chagall. Click through to see highlights from across the sales.

Sotheby’s, Talstrasse 83, 8001 Zürich
Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday 12pm – 6pm

Modern and Contemporary Masters on View in Zürich

  • Francis Bacon, Self-Portrait, 1975.
    Estimate £15,000,000–20,000,000.
    A masterwork of self-interrogation, Francis Bacon’s 1975 Self-Portrait exhibits the ebullient self-regard and virtuoso confidence of an artist operating at the very height of his creative faculties.
  • Albert Oehlen, Untitled, 2005.
    Estimate £600,000–800,000.
    From an important body of work that Albert Oehlen made in the mid-2000s, Untitled is a robust and engaging painting that pairs a dazzling chromatic effect with a dense poetic concept.
  • Bridget Riley, Bright Shade, 1985.
    Estimate £600,000–800,000.
    Characterised by its rippling and hypnotic allure, Bridget Riley’s Bright Shade illuminates the artist’s ground-breaking investigations into the optical potential of colour.
  • Christopher Wool, Untitled, 2006.
    Estimate £3,000,000–5,000,000.
    A work of impressive size and dramatic aesthetic, Untitled is an exemplar of Christopher Wool’s feted series of abstract monochrome paintings.
  • Jean-Michael Basquiat, Big Snow, 1984.
    Estimate £3,500,000–4,500,000.
    Imbued with energy, charisma and dynamism, Big Snow pays homage to one of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s sporting heroes, Jesse Owens, the African American athlete who won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics.
  • Christopher Wool, Untitled, 1992.
    Estimate £3,000,000–5,000,000.
    With its cool humour and aesthetic allure, Christopher Wool’s brilliant enamel painting Untitled (1992) is the very quintessence of the artist’s most immediately recognisable and significant body of work.
  • Rudolf Stingel, Untitled, 2012.
    Estimate £1,200,000–1,800,000.
    A beguiling example of Rudolf Stingel’s celebrated opus of carpet paintings, Untitled (2012) evinces an ethereal spectral trace of an ancient and opulent Oriental rug.
  • Glenn Brown, Declining Nude, 2006. Estimate £700,000–1,000,000.
    An exceptional large-scale portrait, Glenn Brown’s Declining Nude (2006) is a modern-day incarnation of history painting at its finest.
  • Tom Wesselmann, Drawing for Great American Nude #21, 1961.
    Estimate £600,000–800,000.
    Bold, punchy and alluring, Tom Wesselmann’s Drawing for Great American Nude #21 is a quintessential icon of 1960s American Pop art.
  • David Hockney, What About the Caves, 1991. Estimate £1,200,000–1,800,000.
    A witty and engaging composition of whimsically abstracted forms, David Hockney’s What About the Caves is emblematic of the artist’s boundless curiosity and artistic scholarship.
  • Marc Chagall, La calèche volante, circa 1925. Estimate £2,000,000–3,000,000.
    Property from a Private Swiss Collection

    Depicting a characteristic wooden house reminiscent of Chagall’s native Vitebsk, La calèche volante is a smaller version of a painting of the same title, now in the collection of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. A night-time scene suddenly flooded with bright light, this image has been linked to the sun god rising in his chariot, combining the everyday with the magical.
  • Pablo Picasso, Buste d'homme, 1969.
    Estimate £1,000,000–1,500,000.
    Property from an Important Private European Collection

    Between January and March 1969 Picasso painted a series of highly stylised oil portraits on corrugated cardboard, including the present Buste d’homme. The man depicted embodies two of the key themes of the artist’s late work; the curling, black hair and jauntily angled hat are elements usually associated with the musketeer, while the vivid yellows and reds of his ornamented epaulettes are surely a reference to the figure of the matador.
  • Pablo Picasso, Mousquetaire. Buste, 1967.
    Estimate £1,800,000–2,500,000.
    Property from a Private Swiss Collection

    The musketeer is one of the archetypal images of Picasso’s late work. As a theme, it allowed Picasso to escape the limitations of contemporary subject matter and explore the spirit of a past age. These characters embodied the courtly mannerisms of the Renaissance gentleman and signified the golden age of painting, reflecting the influence of Velázquez, Rembrandt and Rubens on Picasso’s art.
  • Fritz Glarner, Relational Painting, No. 60, 1952.
    Estimate £450,000–650,000.
    Property of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund

    “Seeking an English equivalent for peinture relative, Glarner settled on the term ‘relational painting’ towards the end of 1946, which he applied retrospectively to some of his earlier paintings and all his subsequent works. It was a term that suited the kind of abstract painting he pursued, focused on relating geometric shapes and ground through colour.”
    (Dore Ashton, Fritz Glarner, in Art International, vol. 7, no. 1, January 1963, p. 51)
  • Julio González, Tête au miroir.
    Estimate £800,000–1,200,000.
    Property from a Private Swiss Collection

    The late 1920s and early 1930s constitute the single most important period of González’s career and the years in which he crystallised the unique sculptural language that he would describe as ‘drawing in space’. The joy of the present work is in its remarkable simplicity; using only a few formal elements, González nonetheless succeeds in conjuring his subject – a full head of hair – in a work that exudes character and energy.
  • Joan Miró, Peinture, 1953.
    Estimate £2,500,000–3,500,000.
    “Insofar as possible I’d like to get beyond easel painting, which in my opinion pursues a petty aim”, Miró declared in 1938, a decade after he famously proclaimed that he wanted to ‘assassinate painting’. In Peinture of 1953, he starts from a thick, multi-layered cardboard which he gouges and scratches to create scuffs and indentations of various depths, whilst elsewhere building protruding masses of paint, which all combine to create a truly three-dimensional object.
  • Bernard Buffet, Venise, Santa Maria della Salute, 1959.
    Estimate £250,000–350,000.
    Executed only a year after Buffet’s lover, Pierre Bergé left him for the fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, this deeply sombre work exudes a nostalgia and merriment for Bergé and Buffet’s time at the Venice Biennale. Painted in 1959, the outlines of the architectural elements of Venice, accentuated by Buffet’s expressive and highly individual style, reflect the solemnity of the artist’s own personal circumstances.
  • Marc Chagall, La Chèvre rouge, 1980.
    Estimate £180,000–250,000.
    With its atmospheric use of vibrant blue, phosphorescent white and bright red, La Chèvre rouge , painted in 1980, is a quintessential example of the glorious dream-like quality of Chagall’s art, capturing the artist’s most emblematic motifs. The present work celebrates the artist’s blissful years living in the Côte d’Azur and illustrates his passion for colour and light.
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