Ahead of its New York sales this week, Sotheby’s has unveiled an abstract painting by Wassily Kandinsky that will be auctioned during its Impressionist and modern art evening sale in London on June 29. Tensions calmées (1937) will be on view to the public at Sotheby’s New York headquarters until May 12, then travel to Dubai, Taipei, and Hong Kong before its final stop in London.
The work was in 1964, at a Sotheby’s sale of 50 Kandinsky paintings from the collection of the artist’s friend Solomon R. Guggenheim. Since then, it has remained in the same private American family collection. Coming to auction after 57 years in private hands, it is expected to fetch a price between $25 million–$35 million.
The artist completed the painting after his move to Paris in 1933, a time in which he made some of his most important works that relate to music. Tensions calmées was included in the 1947 memorial exhibition that Guggenheim organized after Kandinsky’s death in 1944.
“If there is one pairing which epitomizes the connectedness between art and music, it is the chance encounter between Kandinsky and composer Arnold Schoenberg at the start of the 20th century,” Helena Newman, Sotheby’s worldwide head of Impressionist and modern art, said in a statement. “This great masterpiece of abstraction stands as one of the most important works by Kandinsky to come to auction in the last ten years.”
If the work reaches its low estimate, it will be among the top three most expensive works by the artist sold at auction. The current record auction price for the artist is $41 million, paid for Painting with White Lines (1913) in 2017 at Sotheby’s in London.