The market for paintings by Le Corbusier has been on a tear these last two years with dramatic sales above £1m on successive occasions. Although the bidding frenzy seems to have cooled by the time the Heidi Weber Museum offered a work last fall in New York, there was still a buyer at the $4m+ level.
Now Christie’s is offering several works from the Heidi Weber Museum which has been closed after its 50-year land lease in Switzerland ran its course.
Colin Gleadell has the whole fascinating story in the Telegraph but here’s the market history prior to the recent run-up:
Although long considered a by-product of his work as an architect and designer, Le Corbusier paintings have risen gradually in price since 1967 when Heidi Weber organised her first sale at Sotheby’s to pay construction costs in Zurich. Fifty works realised a modest £171,000. Since then she has been a key supplier of his work, and occasional purchaser. On the centenary of his birth in 1987 she gave 35 works to Sotheby’s which fetched £1.6 million. Four of the most expensive were sold to the same anonymous buyer, including a record £390,500 for a 1927 painting, Guitare et le Mannequin, which showed he was up there with the leading exponents of post-Cubist art in Paris, the “purists”, Leger and Ozenfant.
Le Corbusier on tour: Christie’s to auction paintings from the Heidi Weber Museum Collection (Telegraph)