Surrealist, modern and postwar pieces will go under the gavel next week at the Christie's Impressioniste et Moderne auction in Paris. More than 140 lots will be offered on December 1, 2009, with presale estimates ranging from $6 million to $9 million. Among the artists represented in the auction, which consists of the Lefebvre-Foinet collection, are Alberto Giacometti, Max Ernst, Henri Matisse and Zao Wou-Ki. The collection was amassed over five generations, with the latest in the family making the decision to sell.
A portrait of Maurice Lefebvre by Giacometti could fetch between $1 million and $1.5 million, but other lots are more attainable. "Lyrical Explosion C," by Alberto Magnelli, is expected to sell for $210,000 to $270,000, and Sonia Delaunay's "Colored Rhythms No. 615" could go for up to $160,000. Playing on the success of the market for Chinese art, Zao Wou-Ki's "5.11.64" could move for as much as $600,000.
Paris has done pretty well through the art market slump, especially when the auctions deviate at least somewhat from the norm. Though there aren't any guarantees, let's keep an eye on this one. It could be the touch of fresh air we need.
[Photo via Christie's]