CHRISTIE’S WILL OFFER
ABSTRACTION BEYOND BORDERS IN THE IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN ART EVENING SALE AND THE ART OF SURREAL ON
27 FEBRUARY 2018
THE COLLECTION TRACES ABSTRACTION ACROSS EUROPE IN THE 20TH CENTURY
ARTISTS INCLUDE GEORGES BRAQUE, FRANTIŠEK KUPKA, FRANCIS PICABIA, KURT SCHWITTERS AND GEORGES VANTONGERLOO
Christie’s will offer a collection that traces the development of abstraction as artists across Europe redefined art in the 20th Century. Abstraction Beyond Borders will be included in the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale and The Art of the Surreal on 27 February 2018, launching ‘20th Century at Christie’s’, a series of sales that will take place in London from 27 February to 7 March 2018. A total of ten works represents the diversity of artists working in different cities across the continent, such as Georges Braque, František Kupka, Francis Picabia, Kurt Schwitters and Georges Vantongerloo, who shunned pictorial representation, instead creating unprecedented works that pushed the boundaries of what art could be. This group demonstrates the idiosyncrasy of these artists’ restless invention. From line, colour and form, to medium and material, their curiosity, daring eclecticism and pioneering spirit of exploration nearly 100 years ago paved the way for artists and collectors today. Highlights include Francis Picabia’s Peinture (Pot de fleurs) (circa 1924-26, estimate: £900,000-1,200,000, illustrated, above), an example of the series of ornate collaged paintings which occupied the artist during the mid-1920s and Iris (1929, estimate: £800,000-1,200,000). Composition émanante de l’équation y=ax2+bx+18 avec accord de l’orangé-vert-violet by Georges Vantongerloo (1930, estimate: £800,000-1,200,000) encapsulates his individual approach to the ideals of the De Stijl movement, adopting a mathematically constructed composition to explore the inter-relationship of a carefully selected group of colours. Das Richard-Fretiag-Bild by Kurt Schwitters (1927, estimate: £500,000-700,000, illustrated, above) is a rare Merz relief that dates from the height of his involvement with the International Constructivist movement, while Series C, III, Elevation (1935-38, estimate: £500,000-700,000) by František Kupka, one of the first truly abstract artists, establishes the radical simplification of form that characterises his late work. Georges Braque’s cubist composition, Cartes et cornet à dés (circa 1910-11, estimate: £500,000-800,000), originally owned by the pioneering early modern collector Wilhelm Uhde, presents the origin of this move towards a new, non-representational artistic language. Highlights from Abstraction Beyond Borders will be on view in Hong Kong (10-12 January) and Taipei (15-17 January) before being exhibited in London from 20 to 27 February 2018.