From the classic allegory of Jean Souverbie to the dynamic colors of Günther Förg, modern and contemporary arts express its variety.
Günther Förg (1952-2013), Untitled, 2007, acrylic and chalk on canvas, 195 x 300 cm /76.8 x 118.1 in.
Dated 2007, this work, called Untitled, made the November 6 cover of the Gazette. It dates from the last years of the output by German artist Günther Förg (1962-2013), when, having achieved what he had set to do, the painter allowed himself more freedom and his brushstrokes grew softer. Major works of his are few and far between in the French market. This one, as bright as a constellation, set a French record (source: Artnet)—perhaps a portent of more to come. The rest of the afternoon focused on 20th-century artists, both figurative and abstract. Alongside works by the Giacometti brothers, an imposing painting by Jean Souverbie (1891-1981) from around 1927, Le Bonheur du marin (The Sailor’s Happiness), fetched €236,500—the second-highest price yet achieved by a work of his at auction (Artnet). It pays tribute to a certain kind of joie de vivre that brings to mind classical Greek antiquity, which he deeply admired. In his youth, Souverbie witnessed the genesis of the 20th century’s key movements, starting with Fauvism, whose chromatic exuberance struck a chord with him, and Cubism, which he chose for his earliest works, made around 1924-1925. During that time he tirelessly depicted divinities, evoking an ideal classical past with pure, powerful and peaceful-looking forms.