Modern Art Sets Sail

On 19 November 2020, by Philippe Dufour

From Dufy to Angarola, the program was rich and during the lockdown a journey through painting is a tempting invitation.

Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), The "Marie-Christine" Casino in Le Havre, 1910, signed, oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm (18.12 x 21.66 in).
Result: €422,400

Everything about this painting dating from around 1935, Voiliers dans le port de Deauville (Sailboats in Deauville Harbor)—the brisk, light strokes, boldly outlined colors and light-flooded composition—characterizes the unmistakable style of Raoul Dufy (1877-1953). He has been dubbed "the painter of joy", and it is easy to understand why. Exuding a real lust for life, this refreshing work fetched €422,400. It was in good company: the sale ended with a total result of €1,429,504. Still in the maritime vein, Le Poisson noir (The Black Fish, 33 x 41 cm, i.e. 13 x 16.15 in) by Georges Braque (1882-1963), a 1942 oil on laminated paper, sold for €76,800. It belonged to the writer and critic Jean Paulhan and, later, to his second wife’s descendants. A sun-splashed canvas by Charles Camoin (1879-1965), En chemin vers Ramatuelle (On the Way to Ramatuelle, 65 x 81 cm, i.e. 25.6 x 31.89 in), obtained nearly the same result: €74,240.

Anthony Angarola (1893-1929), Truck Drivers’ Cafe, 1929, oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm (31.89 x 39.38 in).Result: €32,000

Anthony Angarola (1893-1929), Truck Drivers’ Cafe, 1929, oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm (31.89 x 39.38 in).
Result: €32,000

French Records
The second highlight was a rare group of four paintings by American artist Anthony Angarola (1893-1929), who died at the age of just 36 and is little known in Europe. The reasonable estimates—between €6,000 and 12,000—were multiplied by three or four: his 1929 Truck Drivers’ Café fetched €32,000, 1920 Shady Rest €30,720, 1928 Kansas City Hills (89 x 112 cm, i.e. 35.04 x 44.01 in) €29,440 and 1926 From a Milwaukee Window (87 x 72 cm, i.e. 34.26 x 28.35 in) €25,600. These results, ranking second, third, fourth and fifth on Artnet, and setting French records, will help make the artist’s work better known. Angarola, who spent most of his career in the Mid-West, left behind a very personal body of work that some people compare to that of Edward Hopper for the way he takes possession of the subject.

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