Auctioneer Press Release Shapiro Auctions

Gustav Klimt and Chaim Soutine Highlight Shapiro Auctions May 18th Auction

May 15,2019 | 15:55 EDT By Shapiro Auctions

New York, NY - Shapiro Auctions is pleased to announce its May 18th Spring International Fine and Decorative Art Auction. The May auction will feature over 400 exceptional artworks and antiques, representing a range of works from the 16th century to Post-War and Contemporary.  From classic European modernism, to Asian antiques, to American folk art, Old Masters paintings, Impressionist works, and more, the broad range of offerings in this auction, shall intrigue collectors across many fields.

Lot 106, Gustav Klimt, Liegender Halbakt Nach Rechts (Half-Nude Reclining to the Right), Circa 1914-1915, Pencil on paper; Estimate $100,000-$150,000

A key highlight of this auction is a work by Gustav Klimt, “Liegender Halbakt Nach Rechts,” estimated at $100,000-150,000. A rare yet classic example of Klimt’s mastery of the sensual and erotic, this pencil on paper drawing was previously in the famed collection of Serge Sabarsky. It has been featured in multiple publications on the artist, including Alice Strobl’s “Gustav Klimt, Die Zeichnungen, 1912-1918, vol. III.”  The work is iconic in its representation of Klimt’s female muses, who are frequently the subjects of his wildly popular sketches. Also included are a selection of Klimt collotypes, representing some of his most iconic images, and were all originally published in Das Wek von Gustav Klimt from 1918. Each is estimated at $2,000-3,000, the works are signed in plate, with a unique intaglio signet printed in gold.

Lot 128, Chaim Soutine, Townscape with Cypress Trees, South of France, Oil on canvas, circa 1920s-1930s; Estimate $100,000-$150,000

Shapiro Auctions is proud to present a wonderful landscape painting by Chaim Soutine that was recently confirmed to be added to the Soutine catalogue raisonné. Soutine took inspiration from classical works by Rembrandt and Chardin, but developed his own unique style bridging those traditional approaches with abstract expressionism. The painting “Townscape with Cypress Trees, South of France,” made circa 1920s–1930s, will be on the auction block as Lot 128, estimated at $100,000-150,000.

Lot 291, Martiros Saryan, Small, Large Ararat and Yerevan, Oil on canvas, 1930; $20,000-$30,000

Fine Armenian works command attention in the May 18th sale. Of particular note is the carefully curated collection of a prominent Armenian-American family, who travelled throughout Europe and frequently participated in high-profile auctions there. Two works from this collection, by Armenian artist Martiros Saryan, warrant particular attention. “Small, Large Ararat and Yerevan” (est. $20,000-30,000), a vibrant view of a small town in the shadow of a towering mountain, brilliantly detailed with architectural structures, animals, and human figures, as well as “The Arch of Tcharentz,” a simple yet dramatic desert perspective (est. $14,000-18,000), reflect the artist’s aptitude for portraying his country’s breathtaking landscapes. From another celebrated Armenian artist, Georgy Zakharovich Bashinzhagyan, comes “Boating on the Lake” (est. $9,000-12,000), an exemplary display of his affinity for depicting grandiose waterscapes.

Shapiro Auctions has amassed a collection of Russian icons remarkable in its size, condition, and origins. A collection like the one offered here has not been seen in New York or London in the last five years. Celebrated workmasters Feodor Ruckert (A Faberge Silver and Shaded Cloisonne Enamel Icon of Saint Nino, est. $40,000-50,000), Pavel Ovchinnikov (A Miniature Icon of the Mandylion with Gilt Silver and Cloisonne Enamel Oklad, estimated $18,000-22,000) and A. Tobinkov (A Traveling Icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker with Gilt Silver Oklad, est. $3,000-4,000) contribute to this elaborate and detailed assemblage. More than 200 works of Russian fine and decorative art also complement the sale, in addition to the icons mentioned above.

Lot 115, Kees Van Dongen, Bouquet de fleurs, Oil on board; Estimate $50,000-$70,000

Also available on May 18th is a selection of fine European artworks. “Bouquet de Fleurs” by Kees Van Dongen (est. $50,000-70,000), a respected Dutch-French artist of the early 20th century, depicts a beautiful impressionist rendering of fiercely colored flowers in a spherical vase. The painting is accompanied by a signed letter from Jacques Chalom des Cordes of the Wildenstein Institute, dated March 12, 2009, confirming the inclusion of the painting in the forthcoming Kees van Dongen catalogue raisonné. Henri Martin also makes an appearance, with his painting “Le Lot en dessous des falaises de Saint Cirq Lapopie” (est. $50,000-70,000.) The work depicts the famous lot near the picturesque village Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in south-western France, where Martin bought a house in 1912. The artist would often spend the spring season there, enjoying beautiful views and "exercising his sense of composition" as written by Claude Juskiewenski in 1974. Many art historians noted that Martin's painting, particularly those of later period, reflect the clarity of light and vivid coloring of the south. The painting reflected the brilliant colors and scintillating brushwork that characterize so much of the artist's landscapes after he left Paris and is a particularly fine example of Martin's mature style. The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Cyrille Martin.

American art will be represented in the sale in part though the work of Johann Berthelsen.  Following a career in the theatrical arts, Berthelsen became well-known in his painting career for his representations of the Manhattan skyline. They were received with high praise from critics, and reputable collectors, such as William Randolph Hearst, sought after his New York scenes with vigor. The present lot, “Nocturne: The Manhattan Skyline Seen from Brooklyn,” estimated at $3,000-5,000, is a wonderfully nostalgic view of the city and a classic representation of Berthelsen’s work. Other American works include a painting from the School of Benjamin West (est. $4,000-6,000), two works from Arshile Gorky, and a collection of early folk artists. Included in the folk art section, are two beautifully rendered scenes, one a large 19th Century American painting of a boxing match, with bare-chested fighters of various races, and the other an early American mountainous lake landscape with railroad.

Continuing the success of their previous sales of Vietnamese-French artists, Shapiro Auctions will be offering works from the three most important Vietnamese-French artists of the 20th Century: Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, and Vu Cao Dam. All three painters were members of the École des Beaux-Arts de l'Indochine in Hanoi. “Les Amarylis” by Le Pho (est. $40,000-50,000,) depicts, in his signature Post-Impressionist approach, a vibrantly colored bouquet among the backdrop of lush and luminous foliage. Mai Thu’s “Coupe de fruits” showcases the artist’s exemplary use of color on silk (est. $65,000-75,000,) while “Le Cavalier” by Vu Cao Dam, with a Wally Findlay provenance, displays his affinity for poetic figures on delicate backgrounds (est. $45,000-55,000). Another noteworthy lot from the East is a gouache painting, “Mountain Peaks” by Jamini Roy (est. $8,000-12,000). A student of Rabindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy has become one of the most recognizable figures in Indian modern art.

Lot 138, Angel Botello, Ma Femme Haitienne, Oil on burlap, circa 1950; Estimate $5,000-$7,000

A personal favorite lot in the auction for the auctioneer, Gene Shapiro, is lot 138, an early nude by the Puerto-Rican artist Angel Botello, whose works have seen a considerably increase of interest in the past decade. Dated from the 1950s, it was consigned by the family of an American diplomat in Haiti, where Botello worked during this time. Entitled Ma Femme Haitienne, the painting depicts a beautiful nude in repose, with an earnest sentimentality that exudes through the painting. When asked about the sale as a whole, Shapiro states, “I personally love the ability, as an auctioneer, to exhibit, in the same sale, works from disparate times and nationalities, but that all bear the ability to touch us on a human level as collectors and art lovers."

By Shapiro Auctions