Monumental Contemporary Works Lead Paris Sale

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Our upcoming Contemporary Art auction in Paris in December gathers highly sought after pieces by Jean Dubuffet, Simon Hantaï, Hans Hartung, Tom Wesselman, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Sigmar Polke among others. Click through to discover a selection of these monumental works.

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Monumental Contemporary Works Lead Paris Sale

  • Hans Hartung, T1957-8.
    Estimate €600,000-800,000.
    “If graphic brush strokes sometimes resemble Chinese calligraphy, this dialogue with the background, with the entire surface of the painting, shows a completely different purpose, and evokes the structural simplification through which teenage Hartung used to reduce Goya or Rembrandt to tensions of forms.”

    Pierre Daix
  • Simon Hantaï, m.c.7 (Mariale), 1962.
    Estimate €2,000,000-3,000,000.
    In this constellation, m.c. 7 holds a unique place, as Dominique Fourcade suggests on p.97 of the catalogue published for the Simon Hantaï retrospective exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, “the surface of the painting seems torn apart, even shredded – (…) as if worked by the most refined of vandals”. The folding process of large overlapping canvas portions here reached perfection as the positive and negative spaces wildly interact.
  • Tom Wesselmann, Long delayed nude, 1967-75.
    Estimate €1,000,000-1,500,000.
    Iconic pop American painting, Long Delayed Nude draws on a recurring theme in Tom Wesselmann's work -the nude- while disseminating distinctive elements of his two other major series, Still Lifes and Bedroom paintings. Started in 1967 and finished only eight years later, in 1975, this monumental painting of great formal complexity cleverly blends the various inspirations of Wesselmann's painting.
  • Jean Paul Riopelle, Forestine, 1954.
    Estimate €2,500,000-3,500,000.
    With its hypnotic plays of light and majestic impastos, this cathedral artwork stands out from the rest of Riopelle’s production as one of his greatest confrontations with medium and colour at its purest.
  • Nicolas de Staël, Composition, 1950.
    Estimate €4,500,000-6,500,000.
    For its majestic format, its sumptuous muted palette and its remarkable jumble of lines and shapes worked in large flat tints, Composition translates better than any other pieces from this period the mindset of Nicolas de Staël in the middle of the last century.
  • Kazuo Shiraga, Sekito, 1979. Estimate €800,000-1,200,000.
    Exhibiting an intense dynamism, Sekito is a stunning example of Kazuo Shiraga's radical 'performance paintings'. By placing his works flat on the floor and using his feet to spread thick layers of paint across the surface of the canvas in energetic gestural moves, Shiraga wanted to "paint as though rushing around on a battlefield, exerting" himself "to collapse from exhaustion" (Kazuo Shiraga quoted in: Exh. Cat., New York, McCaffrey Fine Art, Kazuo Shiraga, 2009, p. 59). The uninhibited action allowed the artist to fully immerse himself in the work, merging body with matter in a fluid, explosive, visceral synthesis.
  • Sigmar Polke, Doppelbild (Skyscraper), 1980.
    Estimate €550,000-750,000.
    Delivering the punch of American Pop and the vigour of Abstract Expressionism, Doppelbild (Skyscraper) presents the viewer with a complex layering of sources and techniques that would come to characterise Sigmar Polke’s momentous paintings of the 1980s. With a pyramid of geometric blocks that evince the distinct outline of the Empire State Building, the city is unmistakeably New York, and yet, in this cosmic cabaret of painterly elements, the metropolis scene ultimately becomes a vehicle for meditation on the act of painting itself.
  • Serge Poliakoff, Orange gris et noir, 1964.
    Estimate €500,000-700,000.
    Poliakoff's paintings are revealed from the interior rather than the exterior. This is true, not only for the structure and organisation of his pictures, but also for the dimensions of his art. It is abstract and is remote from all nature because it is Nature itself, with not even the slightest connection with the figurative world. These paintings owe nothing to their exterior; they have no particular message. Rather, they invite one to be absorbed by them; they encourage meditation.
  • Carlos Cruz Diez, Physichromie 2347, 1994.
    Estimate €220,000-280,000.
    Cruz-Diez began the Physichromie series in 1959 in Paris, the city that he subsequently moved to permanently from Caracas the following year. The term ‘Physichromie’ is a term invented by the artist to communicate his combined intention for the works. It is a structure designed to reveal certain circumstances and conditions related to color, changing according to the movement of the viewer and the intensity of the light, and thus projecting color into space to create an evolutionary situation of additive, reflective, and subtractive colour.
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