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    Western Paintings Dominate Modern Art Auctions in Tokyo

    Shinwa Art Auction’s sale of modern art on May 19 realized ¥1.02 billion ($8.4 million), up considerably from the previous modern art sale total on March 31 of ¥588.76 million ($5.3 million).

    TOKYO–Shinwa Art Auction’s sale of modern art on May 19 realized ¥1.02 billion ($8.4 million), up considerably from the previous modern art sale total on March 31 of ¥588.76 million ($5.3 million).

    A total of 126 lots, or 85.14 percent, of 148 lots found buyers. The top lots were dominated by Western oil paintings, including Pablo Picasso’s Le Peintre et son Modèle, 1963, which fell for ¥310 million ($2.6 million), far above the estimated ¥60/80 million. Marc Chagall’s Jour et Nuit, 1945, went for ¥130 million ($1.1 million), more than double the estimated ¥60/90 million.

    Yoga, oil paintings by Japanese artists, also fared well. Tsuguharu Fujita’s Enfant au Chat, 1949, won ¥62 million ($511,500), well above the estimated ¥50/70 million; Sotaro Yasui’s Peaches in a Koakae-Style Bowl, 1949, fetched ¥42 million, or $346,500 (estimate: ¥30/40 million); and Ryuzaburo Umehara’s Cannes Landscape, 1965, went for ¥28 million or $231,000 (estimate: ¥25/35 million).

    Among the top lots in Nihonga, or traditional Japanese painting: Taikan Yokoyama’s Mount Fuji at Dawn, 1942, took ¥30 million, or $247,500 (estimate: ¥28/36 million); Chikkyo Ono’s Dawn, 1960, sold for ¥27 million, or $222,750 (estimate: ¥10/15 million); Matazo Kayama’s Cherry Blossoms, 1980, fetched ¥25 million, or $206,250 (estimate: ¥25/35 million).

    Totals Climb at AJC

    In AJC’s modern art auction on June 2, Western art again was the leader. It produced ¥314.47 million ($2.6 million), up from the previous sale on March 10, which brought ¥224.51 million ($2 million). A total of 164, or 84.9 percent, of 193 lots sold. Among the top sellers: Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Alexa Wilding, 1879, fetched ¥37 million, or $303,400 (estimate: ¥15/20 million); Chagall’s Esquisse pour libèration, 1952, took ¥30 million (estimate: ¥30/40 million); and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s small oil Nature morte, sucrier et citrons, brought ¥21 million, or $172,200 (estimate: ¥20/30 million).

    Top prices achieved for Yoga paintings included: Umehara’s Asamasan Aki, 1970, which earned ¥14.5 million, or $118,900 (estimate: ¥10/15 million); and Morikazu Kumagai’s Tsubo, 1971, which sold for ¥7.7 million or $63,140.

    However, Takanori Ogisu’s Une maison à Vanves (estimate: ¥16/22 million) did not find a buyer. (Prices do not include the buyer’s premium.)

    SUKI NAKAMICHI