ARTnewsletter Archive

Smaller Paris Houses Rock Too

Throughout the week of big, record-breaking auctions around Paris, smaller houses enjoyed their own successes.

PARIS—Throughout the week of big, record-breaking auctions around Paris, smaller houses enjoyed their own successes. On Dec. 16 at Versailles Enchères Perrin-Royère-Lajeunesse, strong prices were realized for French abstract artists Pierre Soulages and Georges Mathieu. Soulages’ 1959 oil-on-canvas Peinture 125 x 202, 24 juin 1959, sold for €1.5 million ($2.2 million), exceeding its estimate of €800,000/1 million.

In that same sale, Mathieu’s 1956 oil Capitulation du Vali Abou Thor, estimated at €150,000/200,000, fetched more than double its high estimate, at €427,511 ($627,300). Jean-Paul Riopelle’s 1973 painting Bouleau fetched €227,039, comfortably above its €200,000 high estimate.

At Piasa, on Dec. 14, an oil painting of a sleeping woman by Pierre Bonnard, Femme endormie, circa 1928, earned €1.16 million, or $1.7 million (estimate: €1/1.5 million). And a small bronze by Auguste Rodin, 1881-87, soared past its €60,000 high estimate to take €310,000 ($454,900).

At Artcurial’s first-ever Paris sale of modern and contemporary Indian art, abstract works by Sayed Haider Raza, currently one of the highest-priced Indian artists, fared well: Rajasthan, a canvas rare for its large format (70-by-70 inches) and filled with geometric shapes, took €490,896 ($666,931), well above its high estimate of €550,000. Another work by Raza, Bindu, 1984 (estimate: €120,000/150,000), a red acrylic painting with a black dot in the center, earned €223,056 ($303,044).

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