On Monday, April 12, Christie’s will take the wraps off a 1927 Piet Mondrian painting in Hong Kong. The work will be offered in the house’s 20th Century art evening sale on May 11 in New York without an estimate, but the whisper number is around $25 million. After a three-day sojourn in Hong Kong, Composition: No. II with Yellow, Red and Blue (1927) will be transported to London where it will be on view from April 20–22.
The work is a prime example of Mondrian’s famous “neo-plastic” style. It has been some time since a work so recognizable in the popular imagination as a Mondrian has been on the market. The last time a similar work was offfered was when Christie’s sold Composition No. III Red, Blue, Yellow and Black, made in 1929, for $50.6 million in May 2015. That sale also happened to set the record price for a painting by Mondrian. Another painting by the artist, titled Composition with Yellow and Red, similar in size, date and composition to the one announced today was sold in London in 2003 for £2.15 million ($3 million). In the nearly 20 years since then, the overall price level of the art market has increased dramatically.
The Mondrian joins a Waterloo bridge painting by Claude Monet with expectations of achieving $35 million and a Picasso Marie-Thérèse portrait from 1932 that has an estimated at $55 million as lead lots in the May New York 20th Century art evening sale.