Sotheby’s might have announced a new focus on the middle market but that doesn’t mean they’re not chasing headlines. Carol Vogel announces the auction house’s lead lots for London next month, a Mondrian and a Bacon triptych:
“There hasn’t been a Mondrian of this quality for sale since the one in the Saint Laurent sale in Paris,” said Helena Newman, co-head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art department worldwide, referring to the auction of art and objects belonging to Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé, at the Grand Palais in 2009. At that sale, “Composition With Blue, Red, Yellow and Black,” from 1922, was bought by the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi for $29.4 million.
The 1927 painting at Sotheby’s, which comes from an unidentified European collector, is estimated at $23.5 million to $30.2 million.
The Sotheby’s contemporary-art sale on June 30 will offer yet another Bacon triptych. “Even though it feels as though there has been a proliferation of them up for sale, there really haven’t been that many,” said Oliver Barker, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s in Europe.
The Bacon triptych being sold next month is the earliest — painted in 1964 — and the smallest, just 14 by 12 inches, which makes it particularly desirable. […] It is estimated at $25 million to $35 million.
Bacon completed five small-scaled triptychs of Dyer; two are in museums (the Tel Aviv Museum and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark). “There’s a hierarchy of Bacon sitters,” Mr. Barker said, “of which George Dyer and Lucian Freud are at the top of the pile.”
Sotheby’s Sales Feature a Mondrian and a Bacon (NYTimes.com)