Bonhams is announcing a few of their top lots for November which include a Giacometti figurine and Dean Martin’s Diego Rivera watercolor. But the star lot is this Max Ernst which has been quietly living in the American Southwest for the last 60 years:
Ohne titel (Sedona Landschaft) is a stunning image painted by Max Ernst in 1957, during his time spent in Sedona, Arizona, after the war (estimate: $500,000-700,000). The painting was gifted by the artist to Dr. Kenneth Brilhart, chief surgeon at nearby Cottonwood hospital, and has stayed with his family and in Arizona ever since. Last seen by the public in an exhibition in 1961, this powerful and dramatic landscape features the rich orange tones of the Sedona rocks with a hawk to the right of the composition, standing in for Ernst’s birdman alter-ego, Loplop. The work is a classic example of Ernst’s surrealist style, and of the décalcomanie technique, in which pools of paint are pressed between a smooth surface and the painting, then separating them in a swift movement to reveal a guide for the composition.