The Cuban Surrealist accounted for various gems in this art collection assembled by an American couple who lived in France from the 1950s.
Wifredo Lam (1902-1982), Untitled, c. 1950, oil on canvas, unsigned, 73 x 54 cm/28.7 x 21.3 in.
© ADAGP, PARIS, 2022
Central to a glittering sale that totaled €688,000 were outstanding graphic works from the Pole-Woods estate—themselves scoring a final €295,764. Leading the way was the eagerly-awaited work that had graced the cover of Gazette No. 30: Untitled by Wifredo Lam: the mysterious representation of one of the Caribbean-born artist’s beloved "animal women". The magical, symbolic work fetched €258,000 after a high estimate of €80,000. Produced around 1950, the painting (73 x 54 cm/28.7 x 21.3 in) was bought directly from the artist in 1954 by the American couple John and Alice Pole-Woods, and hung for a long time in their Paris apartment. It came with a certificate of authenticity from Lou Laurin-Lam dated 25 October 2007.
It was followed by a more affordable piece, this time with Lam’s name on it, at €10,200; a drawing from 1953 in ink and watercolor on paper, also Untitled, signed and dated (27 x 35 cm/10.6 x 13.8 in). The husband and wife also admired the sculpture of their time, particularly the slender volumes of the American artist Helen Elizabeth Phillips. One of her figures in gilt patinated metal entitled Fledgling, (h. 64 cm/25.2 in) went for €12,960: her record so far in auction rooms, where her work does not often appear (source: Arnet).
Next came some designer pieces from these post-war years, including eight "Métropole 306" model chairs from c. 1953 by Jean Prouvé, known as "Standard", with folded, black lacquered steel bases and seats and backs covered in red Skai (79 x 43 x 48 cm/31.1 x 16.9 x 18.9 in). Found on a sidewalk in 1990, they were now sold for €126,000... An anonymous set of dining room furniture (Brutalist work from the 1960s) garnered a splendid €23,520; the honeycomb design table, sideboard, four chairs and two armchairs came from a house in the Oise region.