AO Auction Preview: Picasso and Gauguin Lead Impressionist & Modern Art Sales at Sotheby's & Christie's in London February 7-8th, 2011

February 6th, 2011

Pablo Picasso, La Lecture, 1932 (est. £12–18 million), via

February’s round of major art auctions begins in London next week with Impressionist & Modern sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s.  On Tuesday evening Sotheby’s will offer forty-two lots estimated to bring between £55-79 million. Sotheby’s will also hold a 60-lot sale of Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary works titled “Looking Closely: A Private Collection” on Thursday, February 10th that is expected to fetch up to £54 million.  All the works in that sale are from the collection of George Kostalitz, a Geneva-based collector who died last year. Christie’s forty-six lot evening sale on Wednesday is estimated to bring £54-80 million and, as was the case last year, will be immediately followed by a thirty-one lot auction of Surrealist works estimated to fetch an additional £19-28 million. While it is uncertain whether these auctions will produce a buzz-worthy sale on par with last year’s £65 million paid for Giacometti’s L’Homme Qui Marche I, both houses are offering a number of strong works led by canvases by Picasso and Gauguin.

Alberto Giacometti, Diego, 1958 (est. £3–5 million), via

more images and story after the jump…

At Sotheby’s, Picasso‘s portrait of Marie-Therese Walter, his muse and mistress, is the week’s most anticipated lot. The canvas was last at auction in 1996 and failed to sell against a low estimate of $6 million. This time around La Lecture is expected to fetch between £12-18 million and may very well exceed its estimate if the demand is anything like it has been for comparable Picasso paintings, such as Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur (another 1932 portrait of Walter that sold for $106 million in May) and Le Rêve (same year, same subject, and would have sold for $139 million were it not for an unfortunate meeting of canvas and elbow).

Alberto Giacometti, Grand Buste de Diego Avec Bras, executed 1957, cast 1958 (est. £3.5–5 million), via

Two works by Giacometti are among the top lots at Sotheby’s. Both are portraits of the artist’s younger brother, Diego, who worked closely with the elder Giacometti and was his primary model. A somber oil on canvas likeness is expected to bring £3-5 million. The three-dimensional portrait, Grand Buste de Diego Avec Bras, is estimated to fetch about the same and is one of an edition of six.

Claude Monet, Argenteuil, Fin D’Aprés-Midi, 1872 (est. £3.5–5.5 million), via

An early Monet will also be offered on Tuesday evening. Painted in 1872, the canvas is one of the first major compositions by the artist to explore the theme of boats on water. The most famous of these works is another 1872 painting, Impression, Soleil Levant, after which the Impressionist movement was named. At last June’s auctions in London a water lily painting by the artist that carried estimates of £30-40 million failed to sell at Christie’s. Sotheby’s expects its Monet will bring between £3.5-5.5 million.

Marino Marini, L’Idea Del Davaliere, 1955 (est. £3.7–4.5 million), via

A monumental piece by Marino Marini is one of four sculptures included in the Sotheby’s evening sale. Noting that 2010 was a good year for sculpture, the auction house will offer L’Idea Del Davaliere with a presale estimate of £3.7-4.5 million. Marini is best known for his equestrian sculptures and this one, standing over 80″ high, is cast in bronze and hand-painted by the artist. Works by Henry Moore and Aristide Maillol complete the sculpture offerings at the evening sale.

Henry Moore, Reclining Connected Forms, 1969 (est. £1.5–2.5 million), via

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for Portrait of Lucian Freud, 1964 (est. £7–9 million), via

The “Looking Closely” sale at Sotheby’s has some gems of its own. The top lot there is a tryptic by Francis Bacon that is expected to fetch between £7-9 million. Works by Dali, Chagall, Giacometti, and Modigliani are all expected to bring upwards of £2 million.

Paul Gauguin, Nature morte à “L’Espérance”, 1901 (est. £7-10 million), via

The headlining work at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale is a still life with sunflowers by Paul Gauguin. Executed in 1901, the work is one of four sunflower paintings created as a tribute to Gauguin’s friend and fellow artist Vincent van Gogh. The painting has a long, impressive exhibition history and according to the auction house has been unseen in public since 1989, though it failed to sell at Christie’s in 1996 against the same presale estimate it carries today.

André Derain, Bateaux à Collioure, 1905 (est. £4-6 million), via

Hidden away even longer was a painting by André Derain. Executed during the artist’s stay in the French coastal town of Collioure with friend and mentor Henri Matisse, Bateaux à Collioure was last on view in 1965 and has changed hands just three times in the hundred or so years since  its creation. The work is being offered with a presale estimate of £4-6 million.

Georges Braque, Nature morte à la guitare (rideaux rouge), 1938 (est. £3.5–5.5 million), via

Christie’s will be offering four works from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. The auction house notes that one of these, Georges Braque‘s Nature morte à la guitare (rideaux rouge), was once owned by Mr. and Mrs. Albert D. Lasker, the parents of Mrs. Brody who owned Pablo Picasso’s Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur which, as previously mentioned, sold at Christie’s New York in May 2010 for a record $106 million. The other three Art Institute lots are Sur l’impériale traversant la Seine and Verre et pipe by Picasso and Henri Matisse’s Femme au fauteuil.

Pablo Picasso, Sur l’impériale traversant la Seine, 1901 (est. £2–3 million), via

Edgar Degas, Danseuses jupes jaunes (Deux danseuses en jaune), c. 1896 (est. £3–5 million), via

A pair of ballet dancers by Edgar Degas is among the top lots at the Christie’s sale. The painting has been in the same family since 1899 and was on long term loan to the Ashmolean Museum from 1983-2000. Its owners hope to unload the pastel for £3-5 million.

René Magritte, L’aimant, 1941 (est. £3.5–5.5 million), via

As is the case at Sotheby’s, some of the most alluring works for sale at Christie’s are being offered at the secondary auction. The top lot at “The Art of the Surreal” sale is a luminous nude painting by René Magritte that is expected to bring between £3.5-5.5 million. Works by Dali, Tanguy, and Miró are expected to fetch upwards of £2 million.

Salvador Dali, Las Llamas, llaman, 1942 (est. £3–4 million), via

Optimism for the Impressionist & Modern sales is summarized by a statement from Giovanna Bertazzoni, Director and Head of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s London: “2010 was a landmark year for the art market that witnessed record sales and results. This was driven in a significant way by the demand for rare and market-fresh works of Impressionist and Modern art which represented 7 of the top 10 prices paid last year at auction, 6 of which sold for over $50 million. The category continues to engage new collectors from both established and emerging markets, including China and Russia, and where there is a healthy supply it has been shown that there is a tremendous demand for the rarest and the best.”

Check back for onsite coverage of these auctions as well as the Contemporary auctions that begin on February 15th. Follow Art Observed on Twitter for live tweeting of notable auction results.

-J. Mizrachi

Related links:

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale e-Catalog [Sotheby's]
Sotheby’s Looking Closely Sale e-Catalog [Sotheby's]
Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Evening Sale e-Catalog [Christie's]
Christie’s Art of the Surreal Sale e-Catalog [Christie's]
Gauguin Flowers to Top $169 Million Sale; Hirst Skull: Art Buzz [Bloomberg]
Christie’s Offers a Still Life Painting by Paul Gauguin in Big 2011 Opening Sale [ArtDaily]
Impressionist & Modern Art sales in London: maintained confidence [Art Market Insight]
London Auctions Brim with Comeback Kids [Wall Street Journal]
The Art Market: the big-hitters in London [Financial Times]
Picasso’s Sleeping Mistress May Fetch $28.6 Million at Auction [Bloomberg]
Picasso to make biggest impression at Sotheby’s sale [Guardian]
Sale of the week: Looking Closely [Financial Times]

Bone Marrow Donation; Dying man’s plight highlights need for more Black donors

Baltimore Afro-American April 22, 2005 | Sparks, Leonard Sparks, Leonard Baltimore Afro-American 04-22-2005 This is another in a series to shed light on organ, tissue and bone marrow donation, little discussed and even less understood, an important solution to the many health issues plaguing the Black community.

Ron Rose feels cheated.

The days and hours he used to spend beating his body into maximum health — biking, mountain climbing and hitting the gym five days a week — are now spent dying.

A year after increasing fatigue drove Rose, then living in Seattle, to the University of Washington Medical Center for a biopsy, the man who was once a self-described “physical specimen” now spends 10- to 12-hour days at the hospital twice each week and must sometimes use an oxygen machine to stabilize his breathing.

Diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare form of bone marrow cancer, the 57-year-old is nearing death as the cancer erodes his body’s ability to make healthy blood cells.

“I have very little time left,” said Rose, now living in New York and being treated at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “I continue to get weaker and weaker and that’s where we stand right now.”

Doctors have told him his only hope is in finding a suitable donor for a life-saving bone marrow transplant, the last treatment option for many people with leukemia, lymphomas or other blood cancers.

While 30 percent of people needing bone marrow transplants find a match among relatives, the rest, like Rose, must utilize the National Marrow Donor Program. go to site bone marrow donation

The federally funded nonprofit maintains a national registry of potential bone marrow and stem cell donors, as well as a bank of donated umbilical cord blood, and facilitates about 2,500 marrow transplants each year.

Rose’s yet unsuccessful search – he has been on the national and international waiting lists since July – highlights the fact that Black patients, who are much more likely to find a genetic match with a donor from their race, have historically drawn from a smaller pool of potential donors. That translates into a longer wait for a transplant and a greater likelihood of dying before receiving one.

And despite an intensified recruitment effort in which NMDP has partnered with national and local organizations to increase awareness about marrow donation among Blacks and other minorities, the need for more Blacks to take the simple blood test that puts them on the national registry of potential donors, or to donate umbilical cord blood, is still urgent.

Once taken, the sample goes through tissue typing, which identifies the six cell-surface antigens used to match patients and donors. If a donor’s tissue type matches a patient on NMDP’s waiting list, he or she has marrow drawn from the pelvic bone,” a minor surgical procedure with no lasting effects. go to site bone marrow donation

Currently, NMDP has about 443,000 Blacks among its 5.5 million potential marrow and blood cell donors, a number that has grown from 98,052 in 1994.

A major factor in that growth has been NMDP’s campaign to increase awareness among minorities — including Asians, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders — about marrow donation.

Partnering with them in their effort to reach more Blacks have been high-profile national organizations such as the NAACP, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

The effect of the growth in potential donors is seen in an increase, over the last 12 years, in the chance of an African-American patient finding a match, from 19 percent in 1993 to 59 percent in 2003. But Whites, who comprise more than 50 percent of those on the national donor registry, have almost a 90 percent chance of finding a match through NMDP’s registry.

State legislatures are also joining the effort. This year, Maryland joined Missouri and Washington states in passing legislation that will allow minors as young as 16 to donate bone marrow. Currently, NMDP requires that donors be between 18 and 60.

“There has always been a need for minorities,” said Susan Crabbin, coordinator for the bone marrow donor program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the only donor center in Baltimore and one of four serving Maryland. “The more people that register, the better chance any patient is going to have of finding that match.”

Juliette Williams, a recruiter with an NMDP-run donor center in Washington, D.C., that also serves Maryland and Northern Virginia, said the need for minority donors is as acute as it was when she started almost three years ago. She notes that in that time, she is still searching for a match for an 11-year-old boy.

Making presentations at churches, colleges and health fairs, Williams said she constantly confronts the myths and misperceptions that Blacks have about marrow donation.

“In some neighborhoods, they think I really want a bone,” said Williams, who donated bone marrow herself four years ago. “And some people think when you join the registry, you’re actually giving the marrow right there on the spot.”

All of which frustrates Rose. After his diagnosis, both his brothers were tested for a possible match. When they failed to prove compatible, Rose tried cousins, nephews, nieces, a goddaughter and friends in Seattle and in Baltimore, using his own money to pay for as many as 22 tests.

“Each test cost me $1,500,” said the former Baltimore resident, one of the original owners of the Shake and Bake Family Fun Center on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The embattled Rose is kept alive by hospital visits – during which he sometimes receives fluids to combat constant dehydration or receives blood transfusions and the nine different medications he takes each day.

“It’s a very depressing, ominous job just to stay alive,” said Rose, who is also eating just one meal per day. “I hope to get a bone marrow donor.

That’s my best hope. If I don’t, I know death is imminent.”

Aware that each Black who joins the registry potentially carries the key to a longer life for him, Rose said Blacks need to become more concerned with helping others, if not for his sake, then for the sake of someone else.

“It’s incomprehensible for us to have such a large community and not be cognizant of the fact that [there is] a need for eyes and kidneys and hearts and livers,” said Rose. “We take it so cavalier.”

Anyone wishing to register on Rose’s behalf, call the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at 212-639-6519. For other information on becoming an individual donor or sponsoring a recruitment drive, call the National Marrow Donor Program at 1-800-627-7692 (; the Washington, D.C. Metro Region Donor Center at 202-638-0753 (888-814-8610); or the donor center at Johns Hopkins

V.113 Sparks, Leonard