Taking Shape: 20th Century Sculpture from the Bloch Family Collection

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Launch Slideshow

The upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale in London  is led by an outstanding group of sculptures from the collection of Mary and George Bloch, including important pieces by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti and Barry Flanagan. From the late 1960s through to the late 2000s the couple formed several collections of importance in addition to the present ensemble, including Chinese snuff bottles and assemblages of Southeast Asian art, Japanese ivory and lacquer, Old Master prints and 20th-century Western art. Click ahead to see highlights from the collection. 

Photographed by Hannah Slaney.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale
London | 22 June 2017

Taking Shape: 20th Century Sculpture from the Bloch Family Collection

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    Barbara Hepworth, Four-Square (Four Circles), Conceived in 1966 and cast in bronze during the artist’s lifetime by the Morris Singer Foundry, London in a numbered edition of 7 plus 0.
    Estimate £200,000–300,000.
     “I believe that the understanding of the material and the meaning of the form being carved must be in perfect equilibrium.” - Barbara Hepworth

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    Henry Moore, Reclining Figure, Conceived in 1957 and cast in bronze in an edition of 12 plus 1.
    Estimate £500,000–700,000.
    “Sculpture is like a journey. You have a different view as you return. The three-dimensional view is full of surprises in a way that a two-dimensional world could never be.” - Henry Moore

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    Barbara Hepworth, Maquette for Dual Form, Conceived in 1965 and cast in bronze in 1966 by the Morris Singer Foundry, London in a numbered edition of 9 plus 0. Estimate £150,000–250,000.
    “I felt the most intense pleasure in piercing the stone in order to make an abstract form and space; quite a different sensation from that of doing it for the purpose of realism.” - Barbara Hepworth

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    Henry Moore, Maquette for Three Piece No. 3: Vertebrae, Conceived in 1968 and cast in bronze by the Noack Foundry, Berlin in a numbered edition of 9 plus 1. Estimate £80,000–120,000.
    “This is perhaps what makes me interested in bones as much as flesh because the bone is the inner structure of all living forms. It’s the bone that pushes out from inside and it’s there that the movement and the energy come from.” - Henry Moore

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    Alberto Giacometti, Buste de Fraenkel, Conceived in 1956-59 and cast in bronze by the Susse Foundry, Paris in an edition of 6. Estimate £400,000–600,000.
    During the 1950s, Giacometti produced a series of busts which were more figural and naturalistic than his elongated figures of the post-war years. The sitter of the present bust , Dr Fraenkel, was for thirty years a close friend and confidante of Alberto Giacometti; the composition demonstrates the artist’s fascination at this time with the emotive command of a face.

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    Barry Flanagan, Hare on Globe Form, Conceived and cast in bronze in 1993 by the AB Fine Art Foundry, London in an edition of 12 plus 2. Estimate £40,000–60,000.
    The motif of the hare is a predominant theme in the sculpture of Barry Flanagan, inspired by George Ewart Evans’ 1972 book The Leaping Hare. Evans’ book was an anthropological study of the hare, combining accounts of legends from many different countries and cultures, together with superstitions and mythologies, all of which fed Flanagan’s fierce appetite for the theme. Here, the form of the hare appears dynamic and vivacious, balanced on a globe form, with limbs outstretched.

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    Pablo Picasso, Petite femme enceinte, Conceived in Vallauris in 1948 and cast in bronze by the E. Godard Foundry, Paris in an edition of 2.
    Estimate £250,000–350,000.
    Conceived in 1948, Pablo Picasso’s Petite femme enceinte dates to one of the happiest times in the artist’s life, his relationship with Françoise Gilot between 1946–1953. His many depictions of dancing fauns, musicians and centaurs during this period seem to convey this sense of freedom and happiness. Their son Claude was born in 1947 and their daughter Paloma in 1949 and Petite femme enceinte is representative of this very special time. With its round breasts, voluptuous forms and the small fetus protectively enclosed by the figure’s outline, Petite femme enceinte presents a tender evocation of fertility and motherhood.

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    Jean Dubuffet, Siphonus, Executed in 1971; this work is unique. Estimate £500,000–700,000.
    Striking in scale, significant in historical import, and brimming with a sense of individual personality, Jean Dubuffet’s Siphonus is a work of exceptional impact. It should be considered not only as a fascinating artefact from an extraordinary moment in this artist’s oeuvre – the Coucou Bazar – but also as a prime example of the celebrated Hourloupe cycle. It is playful, vivacious, and engaging; executed in perhaps the most recognisable artistic language of the 20th century.

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    Alexander Calder, Double Helix, Conceived in 1944 and cast in bronze in 1944 and 1966 in two editions; this work cast in 1966 in a numbered edition of 6.
    Estimate £200,000–300,000.
    Elegantly composed of three skilfully cast parts, Double Helix has all the subtle movement of Alexander Calders iconic stabiles yet is cast from weighty bronze. Indeed, the use of bronze in Calder’s oeuvre is extremely rare and marks a turning moment in the artist’s practice. As the war drew to a close in 1944 and Calder’s traditional materials of sheet metal were in shortage, the artist turned to less conventional materials. However, as one viewer remarked after seeing the original cast for this work, bronze did not compromise Double Helix’s grace: “being considerably heavier than [mobiles]… motion becomes more purposeful, [Double Helix] has even a kind of deadly, snake-like feeling of power.”

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    Joan Miró, Personnage, Conceived in 1970 and cast in bronze by the T. Clementi Foundry, Paris in an edition of 4 plus 1. Estimate £80,000–120,000.
    The present work illustrates Joan Miró’s capacity to echew convention and to create a truly unique composition out of individually mundane objects. Miró transforms these found objects to create figures such as women or birds. Like much of the artist’s work, the composition departs from representation and reality in an attempt to stimulate the imagination. ‘These new creations are invested with the mysterious animation of the artist’s touch and yet retain an unbreakable link with the ordinary. They become a metaphor for the infinite variety and absolute peculiarity of human individuality’ (‘Miró’s public Art’ in Miró in America (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1982, p.111).

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