Few expected August Macke’s “Im Bazar,” painted in 1914, to set a world auction record for the artist. It is very small, a handicap compounded by the fact that it is a watercolor on paper and therefore can only be exposed to light for limited periods. Worse, far from being in Macke’s violent Expressionist style for which the German artist is sought after, “Im Bazar” is in a bland style influenced by Cubism. It rose to £3.96 million, four and a half times the high estimate.
Paul Klee’s “Tänzerin” (A Dancer), painted in 1932 in a Surrealist spirit with a touch of cartoon-style fun, also set a world record for the painter as it brought £4.18 million.
By contrast, Impressionism fared poorly, although represented by a few remarkable landscapes. Monet’s admirable “Chemin de halage à Granval,” painted in 1885, sold only just for £2.5 million, missing the low estimate.
Christie’s Sale Soars, Driven by Beyeler Estate (New York Times)