By Culturekiosque Staff
BASEL, SWITZERLAND, 10 MAY 2011 As specified by Ernst and
Hildy Beyeler in their wills, the Galerie Beyeler at Bäumleingasse 9 in
Basel is closing. Its holdings will be offered for sale by Christie's
International at an auction to be held on 21 and 22 June 2011 in London as
part of Christies major Evening and Day sales of Impressionist &
Modern Art. The entire proceeds of the auction will go to the Fondation
Beyeler to help cover the Swiss foundation's operating deficit and to
assure its long-term future.
Ernst Beyeler was one of the most successful art dealers of our time.
He was legendary for his committment to quality and for his exceptional
eye. He knew many important twentieth-century artists personally and was
thus allowed to select works directly from Pablo Picasso's stuido in
Mougins. He was also a friend of Jean Dubuffet, Francis Bacon, Alberto
Giacometti, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Mark Tobey and Roy Lichtenstein.
In addition to post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art, Ernst and
Hildy Beyeler were also avid collectors of African and Oceanic art. Over
the period of 60 years at his gallery, he mounted over 300 exhibitions and
sold about 16,000 original works of art to museums and private
collectors around the world.
Ernst Beyeler in his gallery office, 22 May 1982
Ernst Beyeler's carefully designed gallery catalogues and books about
artists are well-known and highly regarded in art circles. In 1987 he was
awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Basel and in 1998 he
became a knight of France's Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur.
In 1970 Ernst Beyeler was a co-founder of the international art fair
Art Basel and belonged to its committe for many years. At age 88, Ernst Beyeler
passed away on 25 February 2010, less than two years after his
Among the highlights of the upcoming Christie's auction sales are
significant works by Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, Pierre-Auguste Renoir,
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alexej von
Jawlensky, Oscar Kokoschka, Alberto Giacometti, Alexander Calder, Paul
Klee, Fernand Léger, Jean Arp, Jean Dubuffet, Mark Tobey, Frank Stella,
Roy Lichtenstein, Georg Baselitz, and Anselm Kiefer among others.
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903): Le Vallon, Tahiti
canvas, 1892, 42 x 67.5 cm, signed lower left
million (US$9-14 million)
Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2011
An intimate insight into Ernst Beyelers world will be provided by
several small jewels with which he and his wife Hildy lived and could
never conceive of selling during their own lifetime. These include the
celebrated Wood Stabile by Calder, which was executed in the same
year as Beyeler opened his gallery at Bäumleingasse 9 in 1945 and which
sat either on or beside his desk throughout his career. In this vein,
the sale will also include a Klee watercolor entitled
Parklandschaft which was executed at the peak of the artists
career in 1920 and hung above Beyelers bedside table in Basel for over 50
years. Amongst the works on paper is Giacomettis Portrait of James
Lord, a drawing of the celebrated author James Lord, which
Beyeler personally prized as one of the artists great portraits of the
1950s, and which was displayed in his home for several decades.
The highlights of Christies Evening Sale on 21 June will include
a late Monet Nymphéas executed between 1916 and 1919. Painted on
a grand scale, this painting is considered by some as a precursor to the
post-war abstractions of Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Sam Francis.
The auction will include Picasso's Buste de Françoise, a
colorist portrait of 1946 with an estimate of £7-10 million (US$10-15
million). Other masterpieces include Gauguins Le Vallon Tahiti
of 1892, Toulouse-Lautrecs Miss May Belfort of 1895, Renoirs
Nu allongé of 1902, and Légers Le Drapeau of 1919.
In addition to the above, the auctions will include a selection of
paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints as well as a group of 30
Picasso ceramics that will be featured in the Day sale portion of the
Impressionist and Modern Art auctions on 22 June.
A select group of highlights is currently on view at Christies
New York until 11 May 2011.
Related Culturekiosque Archives
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Text and Context: Jenny Holzer at the Beyeler
Giacometti in Basel: Too Rich, Not Thin Enough
Visual Encounters: Africa, Oceania and Modern
Eros in Modern Art
Giacometti Bronze Breaks Art Auction Record