Picasso and Hockney Lead Geneva Highlights from Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Sales

Launch Slideshow

A magnificent collection of impressionist, modern and contemporary masterpieces goes on sale at Sotheby’s this spring, including works by Picasso, Chagall, Hodgkin and Basquiat.
The Impressionist & Modern Art Evening and Day Sale in February 2019, will feature a wonderful selection of paintings, works on paper and sculpture by leading artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries including Schiele, Kirchner, Giacometti, Picasso and Chagall among others. Plus, a noteworthy selection of artworks spanning the post-war period through to the very cutting edge of Contemporary Art today will be up for auction in the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in early March. Click above to see the highlights.

Picasso and Hockney Lead Geneva Highlights from Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Sales

  • Alexej von Jawlensky, Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche
    Estimate £800,000-1,200,000
    Painted in 1907, Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche displays the vibrant palette that Jawlensky was formulating during the early years of Expressionism and that would eventually characterise his entire œuvre. A synthesis of various influences including Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne, Stilleben mit Früchten, Figur und Flasche heralds the breakthrough that would occur in the following year, when the artist spent his first summer in the Bavarian town of Murnau painting alongside Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter and Marianne von Werefkin. It was in Murnau, where the group fostered an atmosphere of freedom and stimulating artistic exchange, that both Jawlensky and Kandinsky created some of their most innovative and daring compositions, pushing the boundaries of painting along a path that eventually led to abstraction.
  • Egon Schiele, Auf dem Bauch liegendes Mädchen
    Estimate £500,000-700,000
    The model for this drawing is Gertrude ‘Gerti’ Schiele (later Gertrude Peschka), the artist’s younger sister. Jane Kallir observed: ‘By 1909, there was no question that, among all his family members, Gerti was Egon’s favorite model. […] In the morning he was at her bedside, clock in hand, to wake her. At the count of three, she had to be up and ready to pose’ (J. Kallir, Egon Schiele’s Women, Munich, London & New York, 2012, p. 54).
  • Marc Chagall, La Traversee de la mer rouge
    Estimate £300,000-£500,000
    In a dramatic retelling of the Exodus, Marc Chagall’s La Traversée de la Mer Rouge remarkably portrays the Israelites crossing the Red Sea amidst a sombre and nocturnal backdrop of blue, a colour infused with a reflective power that brings to life the sacred mystery of the flight from Egypt. Chagall permeates the bounds of paint through a mystically poetic work, that in dream-like fashion, allows the artist to revisit his own Jewish Vitebsk roots. Through a radical modernist aesthetic and iconic symbolism, La Traversée de la Mer Rouge is a powerfully evocative œuvre that meets the psychological and spiritual needs of Chagall’s time.
  • Marc Chagall, Le Bouquet Jaune
    Estimate £100,000-150,000
    The subject of rich floral bouquets fascinated Chagall from the late 1920s, and was endlessly explored throughout his career. In Le Bouquet jaune Chagall accentuates the vibrant colour of the bouquet’s petals, and combines this harmoniously with the romantic image of a couple. Infusing the canvas with an iconic deep blue, the artist marries romanticism with expressionism to produce a composition rich in Chagallian symbolism.
  • Pablo Picasso, L'Étreinte
    Estimate £150,000-200,000
    L’Etreinte is a powerful example of Pablo Picasso’s mature draughtsmanship. Imbued with sensuality and eroticism, the present work is an exquisite line drawing that depicts the embrace of man and woman. Executed in 1969, a few years after the artist married his second wife Jacqueline Roque, and included in the landmark exhibition at the Palais des Papes in Avignon that year, the drawing is uninhibited, radical and expressive.
  • Marc Chagall, Esquisse d'après le tableau 'Couple dans le paysage bleu'
    Estimate £80,000-120,000
    A study for Couple dans le paysage bleu, the present work magnificently depicts Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the artist’s home with his second wife, Vava. In a poetically whimsical work, heightened by the iridescent blue background and the glowing moon, the artist renders a dream-like and magical œuvre beautifully decorated with his favourite themes: flowers and lovers.
  • Marc Chagall, Le Peintre au village
    Estimate £60,000-80,000
    Painted shortly before Chagall’s death, Le Peintre au village is a highly introspective self-portrait that is undoubtedly set against the backdrop of Chagall’s hometown, Vitebsk. In this metaphorical stage bursting with the artist’s most recognisable motifs, Chagall permeates the scene with a reflective red, imbuing the work with a deeply nostalgic atmosphere.
  • Sonia Delaunay, Rythme couleur
    Estimate £40,000–60,000
    Executed the year of Sonia’s Delaunay’s important retrospective at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, Rythme Couleur reinvents abstraction marrying expressive colours with light and dark gradients that produce a work of exceptional power typical of the artist’s œuvre. Incorporating layered colours reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism, the present work exemplifies Delaunay’s unique style, one that combines her passion for art and design.
  • Painted in 1915, at the height of Jawlensky’s involvement with Der Blaue Reiter, this vibrant landscape encapsulates Jawlensky’s dedication to lyrical expressionism. Drawing inspiration from Van Gogh, Matisse and Van Dongen, the artist boldly captures a view across Lake Geneva, where Jawlensky settled after the outbreak of the First World War.
  • Sumptuously painted, Howard Hodkin’s Counting the Days is awash with a mesmerising explosion of vibrant colour that exemplifies the artist’s deeply expressionistic visual language.
  • David Hockney, Kasmin, 1973
    Estimate £150,000–200,000
    Delicately rendered in pencil on paper, David Hockney’s 1973 portrait of his art dealer Kasmin is a profoundly intimate depiction that captures the development of what would become the artist’s iconic and inventive style.
  • Bursting with frenetic energy, Untitled (Portrait of Steven lack) spectacularly showcases Jean-Michel Basquiat’s masterful draughtsmanship, fearless mark making and free-floating psyche.

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