In June, ArtCurial made a record price for Jacques Majorelle’s La Kasbah rouge which sold for €1.3m above a high estimate of €800k. The price was a record for the artist who spent most of his adult life in Morocco and travelled extensively in Sub-saharan Africa. Naturally, a record price brings more works to market. Artcurial has 11 Majorelles and 19 other works of Africanist art on offer in its November 9th sale which is estimated at €1.8m:
Jacques Majorelle was fascinated by the beauty and sensuality of black women and from the 1930s he began painting them, often asking them to pose naked in his beautiful garden. The artist realised experiments with many colours and researched various techniques applying powdered gold and silver to his paintings. From November 1945 to 1952, Jacques Majorelle spent more and more time in sub-Saharan Africa on a quest to find out more about the origins of his models. From Sudan to Guinea, travelling through Senegal and the Ivory Coast, Majorelle immersed himself deeper and deeper into everyday life and enabled him to capture the real lives of African people, from bustling crowds, to market scenes and portraits of African women.
Estimated at 350 000 – 550 000 € / 395 000 – 620 000 $, ‘Maternité’ (dated 1940), is a masterpiece from the Africanist period and comes from Barry Friedman and Félix Marcilhac. A large and bustling market scene in Macenta in Guinea is dated 1952 and estimated at 200 000 – 300 000 / 225 000 – 340 000 $ and the exceptional piece og 1929, Aït Ben Addou, from the famous ‘Casbahs de l’atlas’ series with a touch of gold and silver.