Christie’s will scored up to 2 Malevich masterpieces at its next auctions.
The first was announced few days ago by Loic Gouger posting it on histogram describing it as “by far the most important and groundbreaking work”: Malevich composition from 1916 with an $70m estimate.
Consigned directly by Malevich’s heirs after the restitution, this work bought by David Nahmad at Sotheby’s in November of 2008 for $60m just as the global financial crisis was gathering momentum is now coming back to the market at Christie’s. It is not entirely clear whether the Nahmads are the consignors of the work at Christie’s. Nor is the $60m price from a decade ago a reasonable benchmark considering the gloaming conditions for global liquidity in November 2008. It is significant that the Nahmad family were able to purchase the work as something of buyers of last resort. The art market cycle has come fully through from the trough to another seeming market peak.
Enhancing the importance of this work Loic Gouger wrote: “Trust me I am not a fan of superlatives, I am just paraphrasing every single art historical books I read when I was at university (I used to understand them back then). This is not a just a Malevich this is THE best Malevich full stop ( I also remember studying this exact work in my art history lesson at University College London), this work is better perhaps that anyone in any museum or private collection in the world. I am not a big fan of the words priceless or masterpiece but if this is not the case then my name is Rosie. A work like this one should be the corner stone of every major collection or museum and if the market was indexed to the art historical importance of works, then this should be a billion $ painting ( although we as specialist have to sadly take into account the laws of gravity and the estimate will be in the region on $70m)“
News and press release should follow from Christie’s shortly, but in the meanwhile they have also announced another Malevich painting that will be offered in London June auction: “Landscape” (1911) (est £7m-£10m)
“You wait years for a good Malevich then two come along at once,” says Jay Vincze, Christie’s senior international director of Impressionist and Modern art.
In this case this is a early period composition by the artist, influenced by French post-impressionism and cubism, as somehow very similar to a Cezanne’s compositions or Picasso “Horta De Ebro“. “Landscape”, a large square gouache, resurfaced at auction in 1963 when it was sold to Marlborough Gallery, who in turn sold it to the Kunstmuseum Basel, where it remained for 50 years. In 2012, a settlement was agreed by the Kunstmuseum and the Canton of Basel-Stadt and the work, then called “Landscape with Red Houses”, was restituted to Malevich’s heirs, who sold the work privately that year and eventually come into auction.