Christie’s announces Pablo Picasso’s Profil will be featured in the 20th Century Art Evening Sale on 11 November in New York. The painting is the property of The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles and will be sold to benefit acquisitions for the UCLA Grunwald Center and Hammer Museum (estimate: $6 million – $8 million).

Ann Philbin, Director of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, remarks, “The proceeds from the sale of this Picasso will create a fund enabling the Hammer to expand and deepen the diversity of artists represented in our collections, and to acquire works that play to our collections’ strengths—namely, historical to contemporary works on paper, including prints, drawings and photographs. The timing feels right as the Hammer undergoes a physical transformation that will create a new gallery for works on paper and a study center for the nearly 50,000 works on paper in the Grunwald Collection. These new spaces are set to open in early 2022 and will make these collections accessible to students, faculty and the public.”

Jessica Fertig, Christie’s Senior Vice President and International Director of Impressionist and Modern Art, remarks, “It is an honor to partner with the Hammer Museum and The Regents of The University of California on the sale of Picasso’s dramatic portrait to benefit acquisitions for the collections. Coming to market for the first time, Profil is part of a rare series of monumental female heads Picasso painted in early 1930, often termed his “bone period.” The painting displays the influences of Picasso’s tumultuous love life as well as surrealism, sculpture and African and Oceanic art. The result of this volatile mix of emotion and influence being the creation of this series of works that stand as some of the most radical, inventive, and disturbing evocations of the female form.

The majority of painting included in this series by Picasso are now housed in museum collections, including the MoMA, Art Institute of Chicago, Musée Picasso, Paris, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. This example was included in one of the most important exhibitions of Picasso’s career—a retrospective at the Galerie Georges Petit in Paris in 1932. The exhibition was curated by Picasso himself and featured works from various periods, displayed in seemingly disparate stylistic groupings. The present work can be seen in installation photographs from both the Paris and Zürich legs of the show.

In 1959, Profil was donated to the University of California Los Angeles by Stanley N. Barbee. In 1923, Barbee, together with his brothers, purchased the Coca-Cola franchise for Los Angeles and the surrounding area. Serving as President of the company, Barbee oversaw the rebuild of the head office and bottling plant. In 1936 he hired the architect, Robert Derrah, to design a new building, the now iconic, Art Deco Streamline Moderne style structure, which took the form of a 1930s ocean liner. Over the course of his life, Barbee amassed an extensive art collection, including Profil, as well as Paul Cézanne’s, Le Clos normand (Hattenville), now in the Albertina, Vienna, and Le Boulevard Montmarte, matin d’hiver by Camille Pissarro, now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

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