Following a result of more than $800 million in art sold across their global 20th century sales since June 29th, Sotheby’s will bring another round of highlights to its hybrid cross-category evening sale in London on July 28th. The sale—which will bring high-value works by Dutch Old Masters like Rembrandt, alongside modern and contemporary staples from Picasso to Richter— is expected to bring in between $162.7 to $234.9 million.
“As a new generation of collectors show less concern with the traditional art market categories of the past, this is a sale without boundaries for those collectors who look for the best of the best, regardless of where or when the artworks were made” said Helena Newman, Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe in a statement. “With the world’s calendar having shifted, we too have seized the opportunity to do things differently” said Newman.
Despite concerns around auction houses’ ability to bring in high-level consignments for this season due to seller concerns over the pandemic’s economic impact, Sotheby’s has secured a host of modern works fresh to the market that have been in private hands for a number of decades and present opportunities for new artist benchmarks.
Among the leading lots in the offerings is Matisse’s 1942, Danseuse assise dans un fauteuil, which was last publicly exhibited in 1949. The July 28 sale will mark the first time the work is coming to auction, after being held in private hands for five decades, acquired by its current owner in 1989. The painting is expected to sell for a price in the range of £8-12 million. The work comes from the period before he moved into making cut-outs and depicts his seated model– Carla Avogadro, an Italian noble in dancer’s costume.
One of the highest priced lots featuring in the late July sale is Joan Miró’s Peinture (Femme au chapeau rouge) from 1927— carrying an estimate of £20 to 30 million. The highest estimated Miro to come to auction this season and last seen on the market in 1966, the work hails from a seminal period in Miró’s career around the development of the modernist’s key style—lyrical abstraction. Coming up for sale, Femme au chapeau rouge is one of Miro’s ‘dream paintings’ – a series crucial to Miró’s legacy and inspired by his time in Catalonia. The sole comparable to come to the market last surfaced in 2012 with Peinture (Étoile bleue) which set the record for the artist at £23.6 million.
Sotheby’s has reported that nearly two-thirds of the sale is completely new to auction, and around 70% of the resold works in the offering have remained in private hands for two decades. Strong provenance and long holding periods for modern mainstays— represented in the offerings coming in Sotheby’s London sale— typically reaps success even in a fragile economic climate. With the market now past its first test of global demand for art, this sale will likely see similar international interest. On Tuesday, the exhibition is open to the public in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries for viewing.