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    Private Collections Shine at Paris Contemporary Auctions

    Two contemporary art sales at Drouot-Richelieu in Paris, with works from two high-profile collections, yielded strong results for artists including Yves Klein, Eduardo Chillida, Joan Miró and Mark Tobey.

    PARIS—Two contemporary art sales at Drouot-Richelieu in Paris, with works from two high-profile collections, yielded strong results for artists including Yves Klein, Eduardo Chillida, Joan Miró and Mark Tobey.

    On April 4, the Millon & Associés auction house presented part of the collection of Belgian industrialist Philippe Dotremont, one of Europe’s leading collectors of both American and European art, who died in 1966.

    The top lot of the sale, by Klein, was an untitled Monogold (MG 26), 1960, a painting in gold leaf on wooden panel dated 1960. Estimated at €800,000/1 million, it set a world record for the artist at €2.2 million ($3 million).

    Other top sellers included an oil painting by the French abstract painter Auguste Herbin, No. II, 1951, which fetched €182,700 ($243,370), more than three times its high estimate of €60,000, and Untitled, 1945, a painted, glazed earthenware sculpture by Miró, which sold for €153,720 ($204,760), against an estimate of €10,000/20,000. Antonio Saura’s Anta, 1961, an oil painting, sold within its €100,000/150,000 estimate, for €126,000 ($167,842).

    Two tempera works on paper by Tobey also surpassed their estimates—Multiple World, 1958, sold for €119,700 ($159,450) against an estimate of €8,000/12,000 and Genesis, 1954, estimated at €15,000/20,000, sold for €100,800 ($134,275).

    Other works, from various owner consignments, that also did well included Family Portrait, 1962, a diptych by the French, Haitian-born painter Herve Telemaque, which brought €403,200 ($537,095) against an estimate of €180,000/250,000; Telemaque’s Escale, 1964, oil on canvas, which fetched €126,000 ($167,842), selling within its estimate of €100,000/150,000; and an oil on canvas by French abstract painter Georges Mathieu titled La Mort anthropophagique de l’Evêque Sardinha, 1959, which surpassed its €150,000/200,000 estimate to sell for €277,200 ($369,253).

    On March 27, the auction house Camard presented 133 works from the well-known collection of French couple Geneviève and Pierre Hebey, a former attorney turned writer whose holdings included works by Mimmo Paladino, Niki de Saint Phalle, Roberto Matta, Arman, Wifredo Lam, and Marc Chagall, the latter of whom was represented by 26 offerings in this sale. Several did well, including a portrait of a circus equestrienne, Écuyère, 1976, which exceeded its estimate of €800,000/1 million to sell for €1.13 million ($1.5 million). The oil painting La Route a Cranberry Lake, 1944, dedicated to the artist’s wife, was acquired for €863,586 ($1.14 million) by the Marc Chagall Museum in Nice. Les deux visages ou Couple, 1953, a marble sculpture also by Chagall, sold for €320,000 ($425,062), tripling its low estimate of €100,000.

    Le journal, 1932, by Fernando Botero, sold for €320,000 ($425,062), missing the low end of the €350,000/400,000 estimate. Concetto spaziales, Attese, a red slash painting by Lucio Fontana, sold for €250,000 ($332,000), against an estimate of €150,000/180,000, and a mixed-media work by the recently deceased Antoni Tapies, Trenversé avec collage, marron sur noir, 1952, sold for €190,000 ($252,380) on an estimate of €150,000/180,000.

    Roberto Matta’s oil painting Sept fuites d’une morphologie, 1967–69, fetched €160,000 ($212,531), on an estimate of €100,000/120,000, while a polyester, 1965 “Nana” sculpture by de Saint-Phalle and Jean Tinguely sold for €185,000 ($245,739) on an unpublished estimate.

    An untitled 1978 gouache by Bram van Velde fetched €175,000 ($232,456), against an estimate of €35,000/40,000, and a 16-piece mixed-media work by Gilbert and George titled Love Lake, 1982, sold for €165,000 ($219,173), against an estimate of €80,000/100,000.

    In perhaps the greatest surprise of the sale, an ink drawing on amate paper by Chillida, Gravitation, 1989, sold for €105,000 ($139,474), more than ten times the low end of its €10,000/15,000 estimate.