Art market
preview

Highlights from November's auctions: from Picasso’s homage to friendship to Cy Twombly’s photographs

Our pick of the works coming up for sale in Paris, New York and Rome

Share
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD, 2021

CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD, 2021



Gustave Caillebotte’s Jeune homme à sa fenêtre (1876); the Cox Collection: The Story of Impressionism, Christie’s New York, 11 November; estimate: in the region of $50m

The most expensive work by the French Belle Époque painter Gustave Caillebotte to be offered at auction this century, Jeune homme à sa fenêtre is likely to break the artist’s record, which currently stands at £16.6m, set at Christie’s in London in 2019. It comes from the collection of the Dallas oil tycoon Edwin L. Cox, who died last year, and will be offered in a single-owner sale expected to fetch upwards of $200m. The painting was purchased by Cox in 1995 from the art dealers Wildenstein & Co. in New York; before then, it was in the possession of the family of Albert Courtier, a notary and close friend of the artist. One of Caillebotte’s most recognisable paintings, it was exhibited at the Second Impressionist Exhibition in 1876. It depicts the artist’s younger brother, René, gazing out of the window of the family’s residence and was painted the same year he died, aged just 25.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s


Pablo Picasso, Figure (Projet pour un monument à Guillaume Apollinaire, 1962); the Macklowe Collection: Part 1, Sotheby’s New York, 15 November; estimate: $15m–$20m

This 1.2m-high steel sculpture is the result of a commission Picasso received in 1927 to create a monument to his friend, the French poet and art critic Guillaume Apollinaire, who died of influenza in the last days of the First World War. After his initial submission was dismissed by the monument committee for being “too suggestive and curvaceous”, Picasso made a series of more linear drawings based on Apollinaire’s work, which were tentatively accepted. These drawings were then turned into maquettes by Picasso’s friend, the sculptor Julio González, but rejected by the committee, which eventually decided to place a sombre granite obelisk on Apollinaire’s grave. However, in 1962, the maquettes—including this sculpture, which stayed in Picasso’s private collection until his death—were finally expanded into larger versions, under Picasso’s supervision, by the master blacksmith Joseph-Marius Tiola.

© Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, courtesy Gagosian


Cy Twombly, Studio, Lexington (2008); Souvenirs of Time, Gagosian Rome, until 13 November, and Paris Photo, 11-14 November; price on request

In November, at Paris Photo fair and at its gallery in Rome, Gagosian will present a group of Cy Twombly’s photographs, a lesser-known and more intimate side to the artist’s work. Souvenirs of Time, which will show at Gagosian Rome, brings together pictures taken of Twombly’s studios and apartments in the US, Italy and the Caribbean over a 60-year period from the 1950s through to the 2000s. Twombly was a keen photographer, an interest that started when he was a student at Black Mountain College in the early 1950s. He took photographs not only of his paintings in situ, as in this late photograph, Studio, Lexington (2008), of a work partially obscured behind a frieze of paint supplies, but also of domestic interiors and the classical sculptures that inspired him. At Paris Photo, the gallery will exhibit Twombly’s photographic still lives and landscapes, including images of heirloom lemons from Gaeta, Italy, and flowers in a cemetery on the Caribbean island, Saint Barthélemy.

Courtesy of Sotheby’s


Claude Lalanne, La Femme du Crocodile (2013); Les Lalanne de Dorothée Lalanne: Claude et François-Xavier Lalanne Sculptures, Sotheby’s, Paris, 4 November; estimate: €300,000-€500,000

This month in Paris, Sotheby’s sold the collection of Dorothée Lalanne, the daughter of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, in a three-part sale consisting of more than 200 lots of sculpture, jewellery, drawings, engravings and accessories by the ever-popular design duo. Featured in the sale dedicated to sculptures was “the crocodile’s wife”, La Femme du Crocodile, a previously unseen bronze made in 2013 by Claude, the only copy made by the artist herself. The crocodile was one of Claude’s favourite motifs—think of her famous Crocodile armchair. Florent Jeanniard, the vice president of Sotheby’s France and co-worldwide head of the design department, says: “The title chosen by Claude Lalanne is also important. As a woman artist in the 1970s, she demonstrates that a wife can be more dangerous than her husband.” La Femme du Crocodile sold for €1.95m (with fees), almost quadruple its high estimate.

Share