With bare hands

On 13 March 2020, by Claire Papon

This Nude with crossed hands is one of the very few carved wood pieces by Alexander Calder to come on the French market. It dates from his Paris years, between 1926 and 1933.

Alexandre Calder (1898-1976), Nude with crossed hands, sculpture in wood, taille directe. H.106 cm.
Estimate: €150,000/200,000

Similar works are now in the Whitney Museum and the Calder Foundation in New York. Its sinuous lines, slender silhouette and subject matter are reminiscent of works by Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti, though its realistic style, massive appearance and roundness make it very different Having studied mechanical engineering in Pennsylvania, then painting and drawing in New York, Calder moved to Paris in 1926, where he became friends with Picasso, Brancusi, Man Ray, Piet Mondrian, Zadkine, Duchamp, Miro, Josephine Baker and others. The artist was still seeking his artistic identity, and divided his work between wood and stone sculptures, wire portraits and miniature circus figures. This sculpture was part of the Movschin collection in Paris before being inherited by the art lover who is now selling it.

Invitation to meditation

On 13 March 2020, by Claire Papon

The chief assets of this riverbank by Maurice de Vlaminck are its size and above all its period, composition and craftsmanship.

Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958), La Rivière, huile sur toile, vers 1913-1914, 60,4 x 73 cm.
Estimate: €150,000/200,000

If there is one type of work by the artist we are not used to seeing, it is this one. It illustrates how deeply Vlaminck was imbued by Paul Cézanne. There is a striking resemblance between the Aix-en-Provence master's Bords de Marne (Marne river banks) of 1888-1890 and the work here, executed in around 1913-1914. Probably painted on the banks of the Seine or the Marne, and still on its original support, this picture comes from the estate of a collector who acquired it in the 1970s or 1980s. "Vlaminck's paintings of this period are more disciplined and feature cooler colours: we see ranges of green, grey and blue, and its "values" are juxtaposed and tightened, instead of moving away and spreading out [...] Even following in Cézanne's footsteps, a Vlaminck remains original," wrote Maurice Genevoix in 1954.

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