Created in 1929 by Mrs Rockefeller and two of her friends, the Museum Of Modern Art has a difficult start due to local reluctance to changes. Moving to more spacious premises the MoMA plans a new inauguration in May 1932 with an exhibition titled Murals promoting American painters and photographers.
Six weeks before the great re-opening each invited artist is required to create a large size painting and a triptych. The Chinese-born American Yun Gee aged 26 is the youngest of the selected artists.
It was a good choice : painter, musician and dancer, Yun Gee had been in contact with the avant-gardes, first in the Chinatown of San Francisco and then in Paris before he settled in New York in 1930. Taking advantage of this multiple culture he sought to develop a total art mixing expressive colors and movement and embracing past and future to define the new life.
The triptych made for the MoMA was sold for HK $ 10.8M including premium by Sotheby's on October 5, 2014.
The masterpiece of Yun Gee is his other work for the MoMA, oil on canvas 214 x 122 cm titled Wheels: Industrial New York. Wheels means the circles of human activities turning into vertigo under the skyscrapers.
Yun Gee's surrealist synthesis of the avant-gardes around his belief in progress makes Wheels a tour de force. The abundance of the activities is displayed in an expressionist style, the shaking of the perspectives is cubist, the circular merry go round of the polo team in the foreground is futurist, the warm colors are fauvist under a haunting sun and the theme is by itself constructivist.
Kept until now in the artist's family, Wheels: Industrial New York is estimated HK $ 80M for sale by Sotheby's in Hong Kong on September 30, lot 1017. Please watch the video shared by the auction house in which the CG technology promoted by Sotheby's for new visual effects highlights the expression of movement in the composition.
SOLD for HK$ 105M including premium