Colin Gleadell explains the importance of the Martial Raysse sale in London last week:
Historians have not really recognised the term “French pop art”, confining the “pop” phenomenon mainly to America and Britain. But if there is one French artist who qualifies, it is Martial Raysse, who visited and exhibited in America during the early Sixties. Raysse’s Last Year in Capri was painted in 1962, the same year as Warhol’s first “pop art” exhibition of Campbell’s soup can paintings, and exhibited in Los Angeles in 1963. The 6ft painted collage, probably taken from a fashion magazine, places Raysse at the birth of pop art, and was always going to excite collectors. In the past, his work has mostly been sold in Paris. But in 2007 he was promoted to the international art set at the Venice Biennale with a mini-retrospective at Francois Pinault’s Palazzo Grassi, and the following year broke the million-pound mark at a sale in London. Last week, with an estimate of £1-£1.5 million, Last Year in Capri became the most expensive work made by a living French artist, selling for £4 million to New York-based advisor Christopher Eykyn.
Art Sales: ‘French Pop Art’ Sells for £4m (Telegraph)