artnet Auctions Presents the Fine Modern Art Sale

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artnet Auctions is pleased to offer a special sale of Fine Modern Art, including paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures, featuring Crucifixion (1946), the striking painting by Milton Avery (American, 1885-1965).

Oil on Canvas by Xion, 1946 Painting

Crucifixion, 1946 Oil on canvas Signed, titled, and dated in oil 44 x 34 in. Est. US$500,000−700,000

artnet Auctions presents the Fine Modern Art sale, a selection of over 30 important 20th century works by luminaries such as Milton Avery, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Angel Botello, Raoul Dufy, Jean Dubuffet, Pablo Picasso, and Henry Moore.

Featured in the sale is Crucifixion (est. US$500,000–700,000), an oil on canvas by the American Modern master Milton Avery. The work was completed during a painting trip Avery took to Mexico in 1946. During his time in Mexico, he visited Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907–1954) and Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886–1957), among other notable artists, and was inspired by the colors and shapes of the country’s landscape. Focusing on simple compositions and the profound role of object placement, these canvases were “infused with a great deal of poetry,” according to Avery’s wife Sally, who accompanied him on the trip. Crucifixion is a masterful example of Avery’s work at what is perhaps the most interesting stylistic stage of his career. This work has an impressive exhibition history that includes the 1982 Avery retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. The work is Ex-Collection of the artist, the Milton Avery Estate, New York, and appears as illustrated plate number 147 in Robert Hobbs, Milton Avery, New York, 1990, p. 146–7.

One of the other major 20th century works in the auction is Portrait de Fautrier (Est. US$35,000–45,000), the amusing 1948 ink drawing by Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985). This portrait of the French Taschist painter and sculptor Jean Fautrier (French, 1898–1964) is a study for Dubuffet’s larger oil on canvas of the same title. Its humanistic approach and denial of traditional standards of beauty are characteristic of Dubuffet’s work. The piece is registered in Volume III, page 93, entry 139 of the Catalogue des travaux de Jean Dubuffet by Max Loreau.

Also included in the Fine Modern Art sale is an impressive group of five watercolors by the Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy (French, 1877–1953). Among his works is the lovely Intérieur aux instruments de musique (c.1940, est. US$60,000–90,000). This work is an excellent example of Dufy’s unique stenographic style of quick applications of thin washes of color. These cheerful Modern Art works depict optimistic, fashionably decorative scenes of cultural events, floral still lifes, and lush interiors. Each of these five works is recorded in Fanny Guillon-Laffaile’s supplement catalogue raisonné of watercolors, gouaches, and pastels by Dufy; all the pieces come with corresponding registration numbers and certificates of authenticity issued by Guillon-Laffaile.

The Fine Modern Art sale is live on artnet Auctions through July 26, 2012. View all of the lots at http://www.artnet.com/auctions/modern-art-sale/.

For more information, please contact:

  •     Shawna Brickley, Specialist, Impressionist and Modern Art, +1-212-497-9700 ext. 162, SBrickley(at)artnet(dot)com
  •     Eric Winkler, Specialist, Impressionist and Modern Art, +1-212-497-9700 ext. 144, EWinkler(at)artnet(dot)com

About artnet:
With 24/7 worldwide bidding, artnet Auctions is the world’s first online auction platform to buy and sell Modern and Contemporary paintings, prints, photographs, sculptures, and more. artnet has been online since 1995, and is host to approximately 2 million visitors each month. Through the artnet Price Database of all auction sales results worldwide since 1985 and artnet Galleries, artnet is the leading online resource for the international art market.

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Shawna Brickley, Eric Winkler
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