This included a series of sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s Paris rooms that achieved multi-million prices for a number of lots, headed by works by Jean Miró, François-Xavier Lalanne and René Magritte.
Christie’s (26/21/15% buyer’s premium) Paris sales were part of a series of 10 live and online auctions titled 20/21 Century that were held across London and Paris spanning Frieze week in the British capital and Paris + in the French.
The seven Paris events raised a premium-inclusive total of €126.7m. Avant-Garde(s) including Thinking Italian, held on October 20, covered major names of the 20th and 21st century with an extra focus on Italian works.Heading this event was Joan Miró’s (1893-1983) 1949 work Peinture (Femmes, lune, étoiles).
The signed 2ft 4¾ x 3ft ¼in (73 x 92cm) oil and caisein paint on canvas featured signature elements of the artist’s postwar style including graphic figures and sun and star motifs.The painting was acquired from the Galerie Maeght in Paris in 1950 by Paul Roux and his wife Baptistine.
They were the founders of La Colombe d’Or, a hotel and restaurant in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in the south of France. It has been a meeting place for many famous artists, writers and actors such as Braque, Picasso, Chagall and Matisse, Calder and César and Jacques Prévert, housing a collection of works by many of these artists.Miró himself first visited the hotel on March 28, 1951, just a few months after Peinture (Femmes, lune, étoiles) was added to the collection and it had hung in the dining room of the hotel, which is still owned by the Roux family, for over 70 years until it was consigned to Christie’s.
The painting, which had an estimate on request and was also subject to a third-party guarantee, sold for a hammer price of €17.8m (£15.47m).
The section showcasing 20th century Italian art featured works by artists such as Lucio Fontana, Alighiero Boetti, Giorgio Morandi and Domenico Gnoli (1933-70).
Pictured here is Gnoli’s Giro di collo 15 ½, one of the artist’s signature subjects featuring monumental, hyper-realistic renditions of fragments of everyday objects such as items of clothing.The 4ft x 5ft 3in (1.2 x 1.6m) canvas from 1966, painted in acrylic and sand, had formerly belonged to the dealer Jan Krugier. From there it passed into a European collection from which the vendor acquired it in 2010.
At Christie’s last month it realised €1.7m (£1.48m) against an estimate of €1.5m-2.5m.In December 2021 Millon in Paris sold another of Gnoli’s paintings featuring close-up details from an item of clothing which had formerly been in the Krugier Gallery.
Button Unbuttoned, 1969, took €6.6m.François-Xavier Lalanne’s Rhinocrétaire 1, a unique metal sculpture of 1964 in the form of a rhino opening to reveal a desk, bar and safe, was offered as a Christie's after sale and realised €15.7m (£13.65m).
£1 = €1.15