Katya Kazakina publicizes Galerie Gmurzynska’s Art Basel sale of a $6m Fernand Léger mantlepiece decoration being sold by MoMA. The sale to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts has the companion piece on display, a loan by former Christie’s owner Joe Lewis. Both works were commissioned by Nelson Rockefeller:
“It’s one of those unique situations that you can do only at Art Basel,” he said. “You can bring, for the first time, a work of that provenance and place it with another museum.”That lucky institution is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, that has had the companion Rockefeller Matisse mural on display for almost three years.
Another major U.S. museum quickly placed the artwork on reserve, pending the approval of the board in September, said Mathias Rastorfer, Gmurzynska’s president.