HomeNews[Christie's Shanghai-London March Joint Auction] Basquiat, Picasso, Zao Wou-Ki's Masterpieces

[Christie's Shanghai-London March Joint Auction] Basquiat, Picasso, Zao Wou-Ki's Masterpieces

25 Jan 2022, 15:25

SHANGHAI AND LONDON — After announcing the grand opening of the 20th and 21st Century Art Week in March, and connecting Shanghai and London through an innovative joint auction for the first time, Christie’s announced the Highlights of the Shanghai Evening Sale. Among them, three masterpieces from Basquiat, Picasso and Zao Wou-Ki, who can be regarded as masters in different periods of the eastern and western, will shine on the stage. 

The three masterpieces include: 

  • 'Il Duce' by Basquiat, a monumental work inspired by the artist’s epic trip to Modena;
  • Picasso’s 'Dormeuse (Marie-Thérèse Walter)', who was arguably his most iconic muse of all time;
  • Zao Wou-ki's 'Le soir à l’Hôtel du Palais (Palace Hotel by Night)', inspired by the stunning Atlantic coast in the southwest of France.

Basquiat's masterpiece leads Shanghai night auction 

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
Il Duce (1982)
acrylic oil pastel canvas
Estimate: RMB 80,000,000-120,000,000
USD 12,000,000-18,000,000

'Il Duce' is Basquiat's major work in 1982, inspired by Basquiat's legendary trip to Modena, Italy. The highly individual avatar on the background of the golden picture shows the most representative artistic style of the artist. The dramatic and passionate marks in the picture make this mysterious character full of original and visceral energy, presenting a picture full of energy. The multi-faceted paintings of mysterious meaning and personal associations reflect that Basquiat, as a new generation of artists in that era, developed portrait painting to a new stage, witnessed the artist's superb artistic achievements, and the radiant leader of the era. style.

Basquiat has been fascinated by gold since he began depicting the iconic crown in his work, and 'Il Duce' is a wonderful successor. With vibrant brushstrokes, rich layers of texture, and multi-layered painted and repainted patterns, the artist combines golden accents with his unique painting style, demonstrating Basquiat's unique style during this important period in his artistic career. Self-confidence and maturity to become a stunning representation of the artist.

Picasso's 1930s masterpiece debuts in Shanghai auction 

Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
Dormeuse (Marie-Thérèse Walter)
oil charcoal on canvas
Paris, January 8, 1937
Estimate: RMB 26,000,000-33,000,000
USD 3,900,000–4,950,000

The 'Dormeuse (Marie-Thérèse Walter)' is a masterpiece of the Western modern art master Picasso's portrait dedicated to his lifelong love and muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter. On 8 January 1927, Walter first met Picasso in front of the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, and this work was drawn 10 years after the first met. Looking at it now, this legendary encounter marked the beginning of a love story, and it became a decisive factor in Picasso's life and art in the years to come, allowing his works to inspire unprecedented creativity and profoundly affecting Picasso's artistic creation. of each field. In the painting, the protagonist Marie-Thérèse's head rests on her hands, and a simple arc depicts her closed eyes. Her head is like a crescent moon, shining brightly and brilliantly. 

Zao Wou-Ki explores poetic expression in his blue-themed aesthetic masterpieces 

Zao Wou-Ki (1920 - 2013)
Le soir à l’Hôtel du Palais (Palace Hotel by Night)
oil on canvas
Made in 2004
Estimate: RMB 11,000,000-18,000,000
USD 1,650,000–2,700,000

In 'Le soir à l’Hôtel du Palais (Palace Hotel by Night)' created in 2004, Zao Wou-Ki pinned his emotions on the sea, taking the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest of France as the theme, seeking an inner landscape and spiritual peace that surpassed the real representation. Standing in front of this work, a deep, soft and rhythmic energy rushes towards you, and the subtle color layers make the visual sense of the painting very rich. The light inspiration is like the sea breeze blowing in the world.

This way of expressing nature purely through color and brushstrokes can better present the inner realm that Zao Wou-Ki pursues. He combines the natural scenery and the inner realm into one, conveying the concept of the unity of man and nature in Eastern philosophy. And this inner peace power is also an elder's perception of life, as Hemingway said in "The Old Man and the Sea", "The love of the sea is too deep, and the time is too shallow." This is not only a visual display of the artist's contentment, but also a portrayal of a lifetime of memories.

SHANGHAI AND LONDON – Launching the 20/21 Marquee Sale Weeks in 2022, Christie’s March season will establish a dialogue between the cities of London and Shanghai. The 20/21 Shanghai to London series of auctions will take place on 1 March 2022, beginning with the 20th / 21st Century: Shanghai Evening Sale before moving to the 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale and concluding with The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale. This initiative continues Christie’s pioneering commitment to Shanghai with the auction inaugurating the new office and gallery spaces at BUND ONE, No. 1 East Zhongshan Road. Christie’s remains the only international auction house to be authorised to hold sales in Mainland China and this will mark our first in the city since the pandemic began. The 20/21 Shanghai to London series of sales will also be live and livestreamed to our salerooms in Hong Kong and New York.

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Source: Christie's