Sanyu, Nu endormi, executed in 1950s

Sanyu, Nu endormi, executed in 1950s, oil on board, 50 x 100 cm, est. HK$ 20 – 30 million / US$2.56 – 3.84 million. Lot Sold 46,877,500 HKD (4,852,969 EUR)Courtesy Sotheby’s.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s unveiled highlights from its Evening Sales of Modern Art and Contemporary Art, both of which will be held on 31 March at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The auctions will be led by a line-up of Western Contemporary and Modern Art, as well as an array of rare works by Modern and Contemporary Asian masters. The two Evening Sales, offering over 90 lots, have a combined estimate in excess of HK$640 million / US$82million*. 

In 2017, Sotheby’s Hong Kong introduced Western Contemporary Art as part of our Evening Sale, with an auction record set by Andy Warhol’s Mao in April^ and a stunning 100% sell-through rate in October. This season, we are delighted to expand the category to include a selection of Western works from the Modern period, alongside fresh-tomarket works by Asian Modern and Contemporary artists. This latest addition is part of our 20-year industry-leading effort to grow Asia’s appreciation of the Western Art - through overseas auctions' previews, curating selling exhibitions and transacting through private sales, to introducing Western works to our Hong Kong auctions. This month, we are also thrilled to present three exciting selling exhibitions – ‘Face-Off: Picasso / Condo’, ‘Game Changers: José-María Cano’, and ‘Panorama – A New Perspective’, as part of the strategy to entice and fulfil the growing demand in Asia.” - Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia.

Leading the Modern Art Evening Sale is Sanyu’s Nu endormi, an important oil painting from the pinnacle of the artist’s career. A portrait of one of Sanyu’s lovers – who was also the muse of one of Zhang Daqian’s ink portraits – this 1950s work will make its auction debut on 31 March after being held in private hands for the past 60 years. Nu endormi carries exceptional provenance, having been in the collection of the prominent Lévy family who shared close ties with the artist in his later years. In additional to being featured in the artist’s final solo exhibition, the work has also been extensively published, and was included in the grand retrospective exhibition of Sanyu in Taipei’s National Museum of History in 2001. The work measures a remarkable size of 50 x 100 cm. Other oil paintings of similar sizes by the artist have sold for over HK$80 million at auction in recent years. 

24.04.62 is one of Zao Wou-Ki’s finest works from his 1960s Hurricane Period. Executed on a monumental-sized canvas, the painting is a reflection of the young artist’s unbounded creativity and self-confidence. Similar works of this size by Zao have repeatedly surpassed the HK$80 million mark at auction. Chu TehChun’s Rouge lourd et vert leger is representative of the artist’s early abstractionist works. Dated 1959, a pivotal year in which the artist established his status in the Parisian art world, this painting marks the best example of the artist’s 1950s works of this size and coloration. 

Zao Wou-Ki, 24


Zao Wou-Ki, 24.04.62, 1962, oil on canvas 97.4 x 194.8 cm. Est. HK$ 60 – 80 million / US$ 7.68 – 10.24 millionLot Sold 85,263,500 HKD (8,826,859 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Chu Teh-Chun, Rouge lourd et vert leger, 1959

Chu Teh-Chun, Rouge lourd et vert léger, 1959, oil on canvas, 87 x 116 cm Est. HK$ 50 – 60 million / US$6.4 – 7.68 millionLot Sold 61,554,500 HKD (6,372,398 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby’s.

This sale also marks the first time that works by Western Modern masters take the stage at a Sotheby's Hong Kong Evening Auction. Painted during his residence in the South of France, a formative period for the artist, Pablo Picasso’s Juan-les-Pins belongs to a rare series of only four to five similar examples that capture his home using an Eastern-style composition. In Sotheby’s New York Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in November 2017, Chagall’s monumental Le Grand Cirque (1956) was purchased by an Asian private collector for US$16 million, setting the second highest auction price of the artist (US$14.9million) #. In the wake of this, Sotheby’s Hong Kong will present the Chagall’s circus painting Soleil au cheval rouge. A late period painting featuring a pair of entwined lovers, the lyrical work is emblematic of the artist’s two great loves and his nostalgia for the past. This season’s auction will also features Walter Spies’ Berge und Teich (Mountains and Pond), an extremely rare, museum-quality masterpiece from the peak of the artist’s career. The work has been in private hands for over 20 years and represents Spies’ legacy in Bali. 

Pablo Picasso, Juan-les-Pins, 1924

Pablo Picasso, Juan-les-Pins, 1924, oil on canvas, 22.2 x 35.7 cm, Est. HK$ 5 -8 million / US$ 640,000-1.03 millionCourtesy Sotheby’s.

Marc Chagall, Soleil au cheval rouge ,oil on canvas, 1977

Marc Chagall, Soleil au cheval rouge, 1977, oil on canvas, 88.9 x 116.2 cm, Est. HK$ 16 – 24 million / US$2.05 3.07 millionCourtesy Sotheby’s.

Walter Spies, Berge und Teich (Mountains and Pond), 1938

Walter Spies, Berge und Teich (Mountains and Pond), oil on canvas, 1938, 71.5 x 59.5 cm, Estimate Upon Request. Courtesy Sotheby’s. 

Other Modern Highlights:

Zao Wou-Ki, Sans titre, 1958

Zao Wou-Ki, Sans titre, 1958 oil on canvas, 54.5 x 64.5 cm. Est. HK$ 8 – 12million/ US$ 1.03 -1.54 million (Property From Carnegie Museum of Art). Lot Sold 13,320,000 HKD (1,378,946 EUR)Courtesy Sotheby’s. 

Zao Wou-Ki, Quand il fait beau, 1955

Zao Wou-Ki, Quand il fait beau, 1955 oil on canvas, 73 x 92cm. Est. HK$ 15 – 25million/ US$ 1.92 – 3.2 million. Lot Sold 44,619,500 HKD (4,619,211 EUR). Courtesy Sotheby’s. 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale 7pm, 31 March 
Iconic fresh-to-market works by Lucio Fontana, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg are amongst the offerings of Contemporary Art. Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Attese is a classic example of the artist’s Tagli series, rendered in the highly sought-after crimson colour, while Lichtenstein’s The Conversation is one of the artist’s most important sculptures inspired by great legacies of art history. Rauschenberg’s Cartoon rounds out the group; pushing the traditional boundary between painting and sculpture, this three-dimensional work is a magnificent summation of the artist’s seminal career.  

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1965

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1965, waterpaint on canvas, 72 x 60 cm, est. HK$ 15 – 24 million / US$1.92 – 3.07 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s. 

(774) Roy Lichtenstein, The Conversation, 1984

Roy Lichtenstein, The Conversation, 1984, painted and patinated bronze 123.2 (H) x 104.1 x 29.8 cm, Est. HK$ 16 - 24 million / US$ 2.05 – 3.07 millionCourtesy Sotheby’s.

Robert Rauschenberg, Cartoon, 1962

Robert Rauschenberg, Cartoon, oil, wood, and metal on canvas, 1962 182.9 (H) x 91.4 x 14 cm, Est. HK$32- 40 million / US$4.09 – 5.12 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Also featured are large-scale fresh-to-market works by the best-known Asian artists. Lee Ufan’s With Winds is the largest work from the artist’s Winds series ever to appear at auction, while Shimamoto Shozo’s Untitled – Bottle Crash, coming from a distinguished private American collection, is a rare large-scale bottle-crash masterpiece executed in the 1960s. In You, In Me, a unique work over three-metres wide by Singaporean artist Jane Lee, is the largest painting by the artist to ever come to auction. The work was exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale in the critically acclaimed ‘Frontiers Reimagined’ collateral show. Lastly, Peach Blossom in the Spring Once Again (diptych) by Zhou Chunya, specially commissioned and inspired by traditional literati scrolls, is the largest painting by the artist ever to appear at auction. 

Lee Ufan, With Winds, 1988

Lee Ufan, With Winds, 1988, oil and mineral pigment on canvas, 218 x 291 cm, Est.HK$ 6,800,000-9,800,000/ US$ 870,000-1.26 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s. 

Shimamoto Shozo, Untitled – Bottle Crash, 1962

Shimamoto Shozo, Untitled – Bottle Crash, 1962, glass and oil on canvas, 162 x 130 cm, Est. HK$8-10 million / US$1.03 – 1.28 millionCourtesy Sotheby’s. 

Jane Lee, In You, In Me, 2015

Jane Lee, In You, In Me, Acrylic paint, acrylic paste, pigment,epoxy, reflective mirror on wood, 2015, 220 x 326.5 x 23 cm, Est: HK$ 780,000 – 1,300,000/ US$ 100,000-167,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s. 

Zhou Chunya, Peach Blossom in the Spring Once Again (diptych), 2013

Zhou Chunya, Peach Blossom in the Spring Once Again (diptych), 2013, oil on canvas, overall: 100 x 500 cm, Est. HK$10 – 15 million / US$1.28 – 1.92 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Other Contemporary Highlights

Cai Guo-qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang, Project to Extend the Great Wall of China by 10,000 Meters: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 10 (in 5 pieces), 2000, gunpowder and ink on paper, each: 303 x 401 cm, overall: 303 x 2005 cm, Est. HK$15-25 million / US$1.92 – 3.2 millionCourtesy Sotheby’s.