Two rare works by Arshile Gorky and Wassily Kandinsky–both from the collection of the same private European owner—will make their auction debut at Sotheby’s modern and contemporary art evening sale in London on March 25. The works are expected to fetch a collective price of £3.7 million ($5.08 million), and they have gone unseen by the public since the 1970s, when they were added to the owner’s collection.
Completed as part of his “Garden in Sochi” series from the early 1940s, the Gorky work, made between 1940 and 1941, depicts a female figure. Touching on mythic themes and recalling memories of the artist’s upbringing in Armenia, two of the works from the related series are in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection.
Throughout the 1920s, Gorky’s advance into abstraction was influenced by modernists such as Picasso and Kandinsky. By the 1940s, he was drawing inspiration from European Surrealists, including Joan Miró, André Masson, and Matta. According to Sotheby’s representatives, high-quality works by Arshile Gorky rarely surface at auction. Gorky’s Child’s Companions (1945) set the artist’s record at Christie’s in 2014, selling for $8.9 million at Christie’s.