Tamara De Lempicka - La Dormeuse (Kizette) I 1933 oil on panel 12.25 x 16.125 inches (31 x 41 cm)
Well, it’s that time of year again! I love going to the auction previews. Although the work may not be the artists’ total finest, it’s great to to see works that are not usually available to the public. I enjoy seeing things that may not be ever seen again.
I am not really a Tamara De Lempicka fan. The straight severe edges and exactitude are not my cup of tea. But, this little gem (it is only 12 x 16 inches) is exquisite. It really did shine like a jewel! I give it my "best in show”!
Another piece I really enjoyed was something I wouldn’t have expected to particularly appreciate. It’s a sculpture in marble by Jacques Lipchitz. I gave it a second look, and am glad I did, mainly because the name rang a bell. I remember seeing and really loving a 1916 oil on canvas double portrait by Modigliani of Jacques Lipchitz and his wife Berthe.
Jacques Lipchitz - Femme Assise 1916/1971 marble height 60 inches
I don’t know about you, but I see a face! Eye, nose, mouth - how can you miss it!
You know, I think everyone knows what a genius Picasso was, and what a genius Matisse was. I don’t think everyone realizes how much they influenced each other. Basically, I don’t think anyone would dispute that Picasso used Matisse big time. I know how it is, (on a lesser scale!) - I share studio space - and sometimes am appalled how a certain fellow artist “repurposes” my ideas! I try to be like Matisse - and just go with it and be flattered! I don’t have room in my painting for negativity!
Henri Matisse - La Seancé de matin March 5, 1953 marble height 60 inches
Then there is always the ubiquitous Picasso:
Pablo Picasso - Femme Assise dans un Fautuil March 5, 1953 marble height 60 inches
I love this painting - I must confess, not for what it is, but for its date! I have this critical person who, bless her heart seems to me to be talented if she could ever overcome her insecurity and negativity. She is frequently seems to be trying to make me feel bad by making comments about how productive I am and how quickly I paint - usually in the guise of some sort of faint praise.
Okay SUE - if Picasso can paint a painting and date it March 5, 1953 - one day - then I can do it too! I’m sorry, but I am not like you and I am not going to sit there endlessly, scratching my chin looking at my painting trying to figure out how to make it better. Basically, I just believe you cannot “think” a painting better. I believe 100% and even more that good painting just happen if you let them, they don’t tget thought into existence.
The other artist that had an impact on me at this preview was one that I don’t usually get worked up about - Marc Chagall! There were three Chagalls - there may have been more, but there were three that I noticed. They were blue - very blue. I loved that - forget his folk business - the intense blue was like a magnet I don’t have such a great photo - because of glare - but so be it:
Coq Rouge dans la Nuit 1944 oil on canvas 27 x 31.25 inches
La Roi David 1953-56 gouache and brush and ink on card 30.125 x 22.5 inches
Here is the third Chagall, a self-portrait:
Le Peintre devant le Chevalet 1945-69(!) oil, colored ink and india ink on canvas 33 x 29.125 inches
One painting I was greatful to see was a landscape by Kirchner. It was bittersweet. I had just read that Kirchner committed suicide because he was so depressed about being labelled as a “degenerate artist” by the Nazis. To me, when I think of Kirchner, I think of very dark and angular figures. the painting on show however was a landscape, but instantly recognizable somehow as a Kirchner:
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Im Sertigal (In Sertig Valley) 1925 oil on canvas 47.25 x 39.375 inches
I have since been to the “Degenerate Artists” exhibit at the Nueue Gallery where they have other Kirchner paintings. It made me sad to know that he had beome depressed and committed suicide.
There were lots of other paintings at the Sotheby’s Preview, but I can only think of one other that had a big impact on me - besides the huge Gerhard Richer - that I didn’t take a photo of - and that is - a little landscape by Wassily Kandinsky, which I have never had any sense of affiliation other than that we have the same birthday! The little landscape is called: Skizze für Abend.
Wassily Kandinsky Skize für Abend 1901 oil on canvas 9.5 x 13 inches
To be quite frank, I might not look at this little gem above twice if I hadn’t noticed it was by Kandinsky! I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t looked. But, the one below was hard to miss because of its size and brightness.
There were also many modern works on display but I wasnt able to get photos. There was a huge Gerhard Richter squeegee style that was impressive and a Jeff Koons large sculpture of Popeye that I didn’t hate as much as I do most of his stuff. It was displayed well, in a room against a wall with three of the set of six mini Warhol Self-Portraits. The Warhols and the Popeye had similar colors and style. There was another Warhol, Electric Chair that I didn’t like, and a not so great Pollock and two large late De Koonings that were nothing to write home about. The Rothko they had was practically all black - and was painted not long before he killed himself, which was interesting. Not a lot else to mention.
Tomorrow … the Christies Spring Auction Preview!
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