Paris Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art realised a total of 14,437,900/$19,332,204 (Estimate 11,184,000-15,705,000/$14,975,264-21,028,838). The sale established sell-through rates of 74% by lot and 85.7% by value. The sale was highlighted by strong prices achieved by surrealist works and an auction record was set for a watercolour by Man Ray.
Commenting on the sale, Thomas Bompard, Director of Sothebys Impressionist and Modern Art Department in Paris, said : ̋Collectors were pleased with the quality works from private collections on offer and rewarded us with sale results which were solidly within our expectations. The prices achieved for Roberto Matta and Wifredo Lam fully justify our strategy of placing them within the Surrealist group in a Paris sale.
STRONG PRICES ACHIEVED FOR SURREALIST WORKS
Selling well-above its pre-sale estimate, Max Ernsts La Carmagnole (1927), the most important Ernst painting of the 1920s to appear at auction for many years, realised 2,528,750 /$3,385,971 (est. 1,500,0001,800,000 /$2,070,000-2,480,000). The painting's violence, with its fearsome apparitions produced by frottage, harks back to the Middle Age and the Danse Macabre, while simultaneously anticipating the cataclysmic events to come in 1930s Europe.
Coming from the artists Flower-Shell series, Max Ernsts Fleurs exotiques (1928) sold for 840,750/$1,125,756 (est. 400,000600,000 /$555,000-830,000). This sophisticated painting reflects Ernst's technical mastery and readiness to adapt to the varied possibilities opened up by his frottage technique, which he had perfected in 1925.
Max Ernsts Nature à laurore (1937) from the former Joe Bousquet collection was one of the finest Forest paintings in Ernst's oeuvre and achieved 564,750/$756,195 (est. 300,000400,000 / $414,000-555,000).
Appearing at auction for the first time, Roberto Matta's Le Pendu realized 1,800,750 /$2,411,186 (est. 1,000,0001,500,000 / $1,380,000-2,070,000). The painting belonged to New York's Museum of Modern Art before entering a European private collection 40 years ago. The piece belongs to the series of mythical paintings which demonstrate Matta's mastery of automatism.
Man Rays Le Beau Temps, sold for 516,750/$ 691,923 (est. 120,000-180,000/$ 166,000-248,000), setting an auction record was set for a watercolour by Man Ray.