1916 Purified Art by Malevich
2018 SOLD for $ 86M including premium
The second exhibition of his group, from mid-December 1915 to mid-January 1916, includes his Black Square on White Background, the first great shock from this new art. Malevich's aim is aesthetic. He finds for this new approach the designation of Suprematism.
The Black Square is his first flagship but it is not enough. The emotion must not be brought only by the freedom of the elements but also by the colors. Painted in 1915, the 18th Composition is a stack of almost rectangular non-transparent shapes in various colors. This artwork already invites to rotate the canvas for an observation in the four possible orientations. It was sold for £ 21.5M including premium by Sotheby's on June 24, 2015.
After the closing of the exhibition 0.10 in January 1916, Malevich restarts his search for the ultimate expression of colors. Suprematist Composition, oil on canvas 89 x 71 cm painted in 1916, was sold for $ 60M including premium by Sotheby's on November 3, 2008, lot 6. It will be sold by Christie's in New York on May 15, lot 12 A.
I described and commented it as follows in 2008:
The painting for sale no longer produces an illusion : it is a composition based on about fifty colored beams spread over a white background. The size, the proportions and the colors are varied. The angular positions show an opposition between the big purple beam and most of the others.
Malevich has succeeded here in his approach to an art that completely escapes nature and feeling, to retain only the aesthetics of color and geometry. He wanted his art to be understandable in the same way in all countries.
Please watch the video shared by Christie's. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1915-1916 Vegetal Screens by Wu Changshuo
2017 SOLD for RMB 210M including premium by Poly
narrated in 2020
Through his original training as a seal engraver, Wu understood the importance of allowing a free movement to his hand. He specializes in images of plants, with a brushstroke inspired by the emotional art of the calligrapher. He likes to express the density of the foliage. His spontaneity made him compared to Bada Shanren, the great non-conforming artist of the early Qing.
Wu innovated by the simplicity and liveliness of the line and by the use of bright colors. When Qi Baishi moved to Beijing in 1917, Wu encouraged him to modernize the Chinese pictorial art forever.
On December 17, 2017, Poly sold for RMB 210M including premium a set of twelve screens 133 x 53 cm each painted in black ink by Wu Changshuo in 1915-1916, lot 2638. This plant anthology includes peony, narcissus, pomegranate, lotus, pine, plum, bamboo, chrysanthemum, orchid, wisteria, cabbage and one that my source forgot to list, each with a text or a poem.
All of them are illustrated as the second entry in the article shared by The Value after this very important sale, alongside the twelve landscapes by Qi Baishi sold for RMB 930M including premium.
1916 Houses at Unterach by Klimt
2006 SOLD for $ 31.4M including premium by Christie's
narrated in 2020
He does not work from a photo, but his removal of the perspective seems to be independent of Cézanne's deconstructions. He finds textures and geometric elements in the landscape, using a viewfinder made up of a hole in a cardboard. Later a friend will give him an ivory eyeglass.
After choosing his elements, Klimt reassembles them in square formats. His villages can be compared to the accumulations of houses in Krumau by Schiele. Both artists thus obtain a personification of the buildings in their compositions with no characters. Their final effect, however, is in opposition. Schiele wants to annihilate his haunted city but Klimt is on holidays : his colors are happy.
Klimt spends every summer at the residence of Emilie's family in Litzlberg on the Attersee. Unterach is a very picturesque village at the other end of the lake. To avoid any temptation of perspective and horizon, the artist takes his view with a telescope from the other side of the lake.
A view of Unterach, oil on canvas 110 x 110 cm painted circa 1916 and coming from the Bloch-Bauer restitution, was sold for $ 31.4M including premium by Christie's on November 8, 2006 over a lower estimate of $ 18M, lot 52. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
1916 Portrait by MODIGLIANI
2022 SOLD for $ 17.6M by Sotheby's
Madame Dorival was the wife of an actor. In her portrait by Modigliani, the shape of the head and the elongated neck are directly in the follow of the 1911-1912 stone busts. The eyes are nearly closed without a visible pupil. The head is tilted to her right and the sensuous lips are bright red.
This oil on canvas 61 x 46 cm in rich tones of green, ochre, black and burgundy was sold for $ 17.6M from a lower estimate of $ 10M by Sotheby's on May 17, 2022, lot 28. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
2013 SOLD for £ 6.8M by Christie's
A head portrait of Guillaume was executed in 1916 for the use of the sitter. This oil on cardboard laid down on panel 53 x 37.5 cm was sold for £ 6.8M by Christie's on June 18, 2013, lot 22.
As usual in Modigliani's paintings of that time, the head is tilted to the sitter's right. A slight dyssymmetry adds some intimacy. Mouth and moustache are diminutive in the broad face.
Le Photographe Dilewski
2021 SOLD for £ 4.4M by Christie's
Portrait du photographe Dilewski, oil on canvas 73 x 50 cm painted by Modigliani in 1916, was sold for £ 4.4M from a lower estimate of £ 2.2M by Christie's on March 23, 2021, lot 29.
The symmetric face is elusive, including empty blue almond shaped eyes in the new signature style of Amedeo.
#AuctionUpdate Amedeo Modigliani's 'Portrait du photographe Dilewski' (1916) realised £4,402,500, more than double its low estimate. The strongly characterised portrait displays the signature traits of the male facial type that #Modigliani developed during this period.⠀ pic.twitter.com/3q24Em8PLP— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) March 23, 2021
1916 Krumauer Landschaft by Schiele
2003 SOLD for £ 12.7M by Sotheby's
1916 Guitare sur une Table by Gris
2013 SOLD for $ 9.1M by Christie's
This oil on canvas 92 x 59 cm was sold for $ 9.1M by Christie's on November 5, 2013, lot 11.
1916 A Swirl of Colors by Goncharova
2010 SOLD 6.4 M£ including premium
She early met Diaghilev, and designed for years sets and costumes for his Ballets Russes. Diaghilev was the producer of a total show combining music, dance and visual arts, as Aeschylus two thousand years before him.
Inspired by a project for the Ballets Russes, Goncharova painted a Spanish dancer, circa 1916. The long dress and mantilla are made of bright colors and decorative patterns forming a cubist swirl around the extremely simplified head.
This oil on canvas, 130 x 80 cm, estimated £ 4 million, is for sale by Christie's on February 2 in London.
It is tempting to draw a parallel with the beautiful futuro-cubist ballerina of Severini, dating from 1915, which was sold for £ 15M including premium at Sotheby's on June 25, 2008.
POST SALE COMMENT
It was clearly seen. This Spanish dancer is a masterpiece of Goncharova, without reaching the artistic importance of the ballerina of Severini.
The market establishes its excellent position within the barometer of auction results: £ 6.4 million including premium.
1916 Kandinsky in Moscow
2015 SOLD for £ 6.3M including premium
Yet before the 1920s and the emulation provided by the Bauhaus, he did not really become an abstract artist and willfully ignored Malevich's Suprematist developments.
Kandinsky had developed his art and his theories in Germany. Driven out by the war, he arrived in Moscow in December 1914. Like in Murnau, he is passionate about the light and colors of the city that he did not know quite well, having spent his youth in Odessa.
On February 3 in London, Sotheby's sells Moskau II, oil on canvas 53 x 38 cm painted in 1916, lot 22 estimated £ 6M.
Moskau II is a nice example of the ambiguity of the boundaries between abstract and figurative. The main theme is undeniably the evocation of Moscow's colors.
Moskau II is not an abstract work but an evolution of an urban landscape entitled Moskau I in which perspective was highly shaken. The proportions of the buildings have been conserved between both artworks, but the detailed design of the facades and of the sun, very readable in Moskau I, disappeared in Moskau II. Depriving the viewer of his figurative marks, Moskau II offers a strange poetry.