Among very high quality works spanning all over the 20thcentury, one real highlight will be La Dormeuse (1932) by Pablo Picasso, a large-scale portati of the artist muse Marie-Thérèse Walter, estimated £12-18 mln. Dated to Picasso’s so-called annus memorabili , this work will be the focus of the artist first exhibition at Tate Modern .
La Dormeuse then sits in a perfect dialogue with another great piece, Nu allongé I (Aurore) by Henri Matisse , realized in 1907 and with an esteem of £5,000,000 – 7,000,000. We well know about the admiration/competiotion between the 2 artists, who continued to embrace similar themes in response to each other’s work for all their carrier, both always pushing forward the Modern revolution of art and sculpture. It’s clear the apport of the “serpentine figure” and the decorative sinous line first developed by Matisse ( especially in his sculptures), in the Picasso’s Marie-Therese portrait. Having been in a French private collection for decades, this Matisse’s sculpture is a very rare and almost unseen work, as it was last exhibited only in 1915 at Montross Gallery.
Other Modern art highlights include 2 works by Max Ernst: Colombe blanche (1925) for £350,000 – 500,00 and Le Surréalisme et la peinture (1942) estimate £350,000 – 450,000, both very decisive works as they reveal Ernest’s involvement with Surrealistic poetic.
However there are many other important names from Modern and Postwar art included in the sale, as Jean Dubuffet, presented with a historic early painting, Profil Genre Aztèque, 1945 (esteemed over-million £1,200,000 – 1,800,000 ), some londoners beloved Henry Moore pieces, Marcel Duchamp and Lucian Freud with Small Naked Portrait, 2005 ( estimate£400,000 -600,000)
Looking more into the Contemporary Art selection, the leading highlight of the sale is Mark Bradford’s Helter Skelter I, (2007) from John McEnroe collection. This work is also the one of the largest (365.8 x 1036.3 cm) Bradfords to ever exchange hands—and with an estimate of £6 million to £8 million ($8.3 million to $11.1 million) it will be the priciest, aiming to overcome the artist record price, registered by Phillips itself just few years ago. The sale has been guaranteed by a third party and will nearly double the artist’s previous auction record $5.8 million. It will take just a few more bids above the guarantee price to make Mark Bradford one of the most expensive living American artists, alongside Brice Marden and Frank Stella, and make him the most expensive living artist of color.
Other important postwar artists who are also offered in the auction is Anselm Kiefer (Die Meistersinger, 1981-1982, estimate£1,500,000 – 2,000,00), Silgmar Polke (Untitled, 1989, stimato £800,00-1,200,000) and George Baselitz, an artist who recently has seen a new lively interest all around the world, as his current solo show at Fondazione Beveler confirms.Phillip’s will presented 1 of 5 paintings part of Baselitz’s Idol series, from 1963/64,which incorporate the artist’s early painterly practice and exploration of the burden of culture and identity. (Estimate: £1,500,000-2,000,000)
For more “pop” style lovers, we can mention the paper work by Jean-Michel Basquiat from 1983, estimate £ 1,000,000- 1,500,000) and 2 Diamond Dust shoes di Andy Warhol, two monumental glittering works originally conceived for a advertising assignment from a Warhol’s friend. They’re both on sale for £1,400,000- 1,800,000.
Then is worth for a special mention also Rudolf Stingel, Untitled, 1907 ,estimate £4,000,000-6,000,000, comprised in Stingel’s series of 12 large pannelli plated nickel and gold. It’s part of Stingel ‘s investigation on graffiti, during his iconic installations at Chicago Contemporary Art Museum and Whitney Museum di New York in 2007. In this occasion he artist also physically engaged the audience, allowing people to become an artist in mass, exploring the notion of authorship and creating a works which actually captured hundreds of voices.
To create all those hight expectation there’s the fact that Phillips actually succeeded to bring very important collections on sale, as Betty and Stanley Sheinbaum Collection, Blake Byrne Collection (LA) and Triton Collection Foundation.
In particular, part of the first one, a great and rare piece by one of the greatest italian sculptors in 20th Century, Marino Marini, presented with Piccolo Cavaliere from 1949,estimate £400,000 – 600,000. This little hand chiseled piece was purchased by Betty and Stanley Sheinbaum in 1958, and remained in this collection until today.
On the other hand, from Blake Byrne Collection comes a very iconic work Marlene Dumas,The Piligrim (2006), stimato £1,500,000-2,000,000. Exhibited in 2006 Man Kind alla Galerie Paul Adriese show in Amsterdam, it then was part of all acclaimed retrospective of the artist all over the world, from Los Angeles, to NY, until Menil Collection di Houston (2008/2009), as well as being included in Munich Tronies-Marlene Dumas and Old Masters exhibitions at Haus der Kunst (2011-2011).
The sale big expectations perfectly reflects the auction house big aspirations, once having anchored the sale on a outstanding selection of Modern & contemporary artists.
So the appointment is at 19.00 on March 8for this great Evening Sale and first 50 lots, followed the next day with the Day Sale and other 181 lots.