Fresh-to-Market Ernst leads Bonhams Impressionist & Modern Art sale on November 14

Max Ernst (1891-1976) Ohne titel (Sedona Landschaft) 1957, oil on masonite (estimate: $500,000-700,000)
2017 Bonhams 1793 Ltd. All rights reserved

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) Woman standing with a bun, Designed circa 1953-1954, bronze Estimate: $500,000-700,000
2017 Bonhams 1793 Ltd. All rights reserved

The November 14 Bonhams Impressionist and Modern Art Sale will be led by works by Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti and Diego Rivera. These freshly released pieces showcase a 55-lot sale that includes compelling works from across the period, including a notable Latin American section.

“We are delighted to present a core of works from international private collections that have never been auctioned before,” said William O’Reilly, Vice President, Impressionist and Modern Art at Bonhams New York. “The sale is particularly strong in the modern period, showing artists like Ernst, De Chirico and Giacometti exploring the possibilities of art in the mid-twentieth century. We also celebrate the enduring popularity of Latin American art, with works by Diego Rivera from the Dean Martin Collection and the José Ferrer Collection.

The top lot of the sale, Title Ohne (Sedona Landschaft) is a superb image painted by Max Ernst in 1957, during his stay in Sedona, Arizona, after the war (estimate: $500,000-700,000). The painting was gifted by the artist to Dr. Kenneth Brilhart, chief surgeon at nearby Cottonwood Hospital, and has remained with his family and in Arizona ever since. Last seen by the public at an exhibition in 1961, this powerful and dramatic landscape features the rich orange tones of the rocks of Sedona with a falcon to the right of the composition, replacing the alter-ego of the man- Ernst’s bird, Loplop. The work is a classic example of the surrealist style of Ernst and the decal technique, in which puddles of paint are pressed between a smooth surface and the paint, then separate them in a rapid motion to reveal a guide for composition.

From the Estate of Dean and Jeanne Martin, Diego Rivera (1886-1957) Hilando (La tejedora) 1936, watercolor and graphite on paper (estimate: $200,000-300,000)
2017 Bonhams 1793 Ltd. All rights reserved

David Sylvester described the numbers as “like petrified trees or the tapering columns of Persepolis. They come out of the ground as if rooted. And they’re ready to fly like medieval saints charging complacently skyward. They are deities, distant, imperious, untouchable

Another fresh job in the market is Figurine [Femme debout au chignon] a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti (estimate: $500,000-700,000), from the collection of the late William and Mary Seavey, known for bringing a 19th-century vineyard to life in Saint Helena, California, by creating the vineyard Seavey. William trained as a lawyer and was an avid collector of modern art: two themes that came together in 1980 when he represented Galerie Maeght and Joan Miró. It was through this relationship that William acquired the Giacometti, as well as the Miró sculpture Head ($150,000-200,000), also in this auction. The Giacometti was designed around 1953-1954 during a period of great exploration which opened the door to his famous Women of Venice series from 1956. This uncluttered study of his wife, Annette, is a classic example of Giacometti’s quest to depict living form in constant motion, changing, like a static object.

Other highlights include a classic cityscape by Giorgio de Chirico, a lush painting of Balinese elephants in a bamboo forest by Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias, an impressive scale ancient landscape by Louis Valtat and four works Cuban concrete artists. Los Diez Concretes.

The Bonhams Impressionist & Modern Art auction will take place on November 14 at 5 p.m. in New York. The auction will premiere at Bonhams from November 9-14, with highlights November 3-8.

A full catalog is available at

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