Jean Souverbie & Günther Förg Hit the Heights

On 11 December 2020, by Anne Doridou-Heim

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.
Result: €520,000

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.

Jean Souverbie (1891-1981), Le Bonheur du marin (The Sailor’s Happiness), c. 1927, oil on canvas, 81 x 60 cm (approx. 31.9 x 23.6 in).Resu

Jean Souverbie (1891-1981), Le Bonheur du marin (The Sailor’s Happiness), c. 1927, oil on canvas, 81 x 60 cm/approx. 31.9 x 23.6 in.
Result: €236,500

The Giacometti Brothers in the Spotlight

On 14 December 2020, by Anne Doridou-Heim

Family ties and friendship came together to send the prices of two creations the Giacometti brothers gave Brassaï sky high.

Diego Giacometti (1902-1985), pair of chairs, Maeght Foundation model in black iron and bronze with a brown, green-shaded patina, fawn leather cushion, c. 1962, 93 x 35 x 42 cm (approx. 36.62 x 13.78 x 16.54 in).
Result: €305,500

The Gazette predicted that this pair of chairs by Diego Giacometti (1902-1985) and lamp by his brother Alberto (1901-1966) once owned by Brassaï (1899-1984) would cause a stir. And so they did. The bronze and black iron chairs designed around 1962 and the bronze lamp, called Tête de femme (Head of a Woman) or Figure, cast and signed by Susse, fetched €305,500 and €201,500, respectively. The brothers had given them as gifts to their friend Brassaï, whom they had met in the early 1930s. The photographer took many photographs of Alberto’s studio, located in an artists’ estate at 46 rue Hippolyte-Maindron in the 14th arrondissement of Paris. He also photographed him with his wife Annette and made portraits of Diego for a 1948 article in Harper's Bazaar, the first American magazine to publish a piece on the elder brother. Their friendships were long, their artistic exchanges intense. Diego’s Maeght chairs got their name because he designed them especially for the café of the eponymous foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, along with tables, stools and lamps, in 1962. The garden also boasts a rare group of sculptures by Alberto. Sometimes lightning does strike in the same place.

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