Sotheby’s has been lying in wait to announce their big collection for the November Impressionist and Modern art sales in New York. Featuring three Kandinskys with a combined low estimate of $55m, this European owner’s collection has several works featured at the Courtauld Insitute in London for fifteen years.
Sotheby’s press release goes into greater detail, including descriptions of the Maurice Vlaminck works that are also a key part of the collection:
Sotheby’s is honored to announce the sale of The Triumph of Color:Important Works from a Private European Collection in our marquee auctions of Impressionist & Modern Art this November in New York.
Put together primarily in the 1970s and ‘80s, the collection today represents one of the finest assemblages of post-Impressionist and Modern Art in private hands. The collection is defined by three superb masterworks by Wassily Kandinsky and rare works by the key protagonists of Fauvism and German Expressionism. Several of the paintings were loaned to the Courtauld Institute of Art in London for over fifteen years, where they provided a unique display of works from the Fauve movement, the Expressionists and the route to Abstraction in the early-20th century.
Helena Newman, Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, commented: “Infused with an intensity of color and expression, this collection of works provides a rare and exciting opportunity to acquire several exceptional examples of early-20th Century Art. It is unprecedented for three major paintings by Kandinsky, each from a key moment in the artist’s creativity, to appear at auction together, and complemented by stunning examples by the Fauves and the German Expressionists, the collection encapsulates the triumph of color in art at the start of the 20th century.’’
The three major paintings by Wassily Kandinsky chart the artist’s development across four decades from the earliest successes to his greatest achievements. The group is led by one of the last 1913 oil paintings left in private hands, Zum Thema Jüngstes Gericht, a unique composition from this prime year of Kandinsky’s career, during which he reached the summit of his path to Abstraction (estimate $22/35 million). An early abstract masterpiece, Improvisation auf Mahagoni, was painted at the end of the artist’s Murnau period (estimate $15/20 million). A stunning composition from the artist’s Paris period, painted in 1939, Le rond rouge is an exceptional large-format oil on canvas dating from the exhilarating years he spent in France (estimate $18/25 million).
The core of the collection has always been works by the Fauves, including three outstanding canvases by Maurice de Vlaminck. Paysage au bois mort (estimate $12/18 million), Pêcheur à Chatou (estimate $9/14 million) and Nu couché(estimate $2/3 million) represent the full spectrum of Vlaminck’s greatest achievements. Executed in 1905 and 1906 at the height of the Fauve movement, the three works boast remarkable, thickly-painted surfaces and vivid palettes.
Further highlights include exceptional works by some of the key artists of the German Expressionist movement, including Alexej von Jawlensky, Max Pechstein, August Macke and Heinrich Campendonk.
Sotheby’s will offer 33 works in total from the collection across our Evening and Day Sales of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York on 12 & 13 November, together estimated to sell for in excess of $90 million. Highlights are now on view in our London galleries as part of our Frieze week exhibitions, and will travel to Hong Kong this fall, before returning to New York for the full viewing of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art auctions beginning 2 November.