Sotheby’s To Stage Modern Sculpture Exhibition

Sotheby’s has recently installed eleven pieces of artwork at the exclusive Isleworth Country Club in a showing that it has titled, “Monumental Masterpieces of Modern Sculpture.” This private exhibition is unprecedented for Sotheby’s, and puts on display an extraordinary collection of sculpture, featuring pieces by Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Jean DuBuffet, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro, among others. The total value of the offering is more than $20 million. These works of art will also be available for private sale.

Stephane Cosman Connery, Senior Vice President in Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department, said, “Sotheby’s is very pleased to present this inaugural exhibition of monumental sculpture on the breathtaking grounds of Isleworth. The special community that is Isleworth and their exceptional golf course, with its sweeping landscape and magnificent Cypress trees covered in Spanish moss, is the perfect setting for this selection of masterpieces which represent some of the best sculpture cast in the 20th century. Rarely are works of such quality and diversity featured in a single exhibition.”

Augute Rodin – Among the highlights is a grand bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin titled Balzac, conceived in 1898 and cast in 1971. This monolithic depiction of Balzac signified a departure from the allegorical sculpture of the nineteenth century, and introduced a language of abstraction that would come to define Modern form. Speaking of this work, which is one of the most remarkable testaments to Rodin’s creative genius, the artist said: “(Balzac is) the sum of my whole life, result of a whole lifetime of effort, the mainspring of my esthetic theory. From the day of its conception, I was a changed man.” The present work is one of only two casts of this extraordinary sculpture remaining in private hands.

Henry Moore – The exhibition includes three impressive figures by the British artist Henry Moore, whose work, Mr. Connery has noted, “essentially embodied Modernist aesthetic during the latter half of the 20th century.” His Reclining Figure: Arched Leg, executed as two separate pieces on one foundation, was conceived and cast in 1969-70. Regarding the composition, the artist has remarked, “Making a sculpture in two pieces means that, as you walk around it, one form gets in front of the other in ways you cannot foresee, and you get a more surprising number of different views than when looking at a monolithic piece.”

Another offering by Moore is Mother and Child: Block Seat, a bronze conceived and cast in 1983-84, which deals with a theme which deals with a theme that fascinated the artist…”From very early on I have had an obsession with the Mother and Child theme. It has been a universal theme from the beginning of time and some of the earliest sculptures we’ve found from the Neolithic Age are of a Mother and Child. I discovered, when drawing, I could turn every little scribble, blot or smudge into a Mother and Child.”

Henry Moore’s Upright Motive No. 5, conceived and cast 1955-56 in an edition of seven, is from a series of vertical works referred to as the Upright Motives. The artist was inspired by the juxtaposition of a single tree with the horizontal line of the building in front of it and experimented in his studio with balancing different forms one above the other. Moore referred to the result as “rather like the North West American totem poles…”

Jean Dubuffet – Jean Dubuffet’s colorful sculpture, Tour aux Figures, Maitre Modele, was conceived in 1968 and executed in 1985-86. This unique work was executed in resin epoxy and colored polyurethane as a study for the larger version on the Ile-St-Germain in Paris.

Barry Flanagan – An additional Contemporary work included in the exhibition is Barry Flanagan’s imaginative percussionist rabbit, The Drummer, was conceived and cast between 1989 and 1990. Regarding the subject of hares, the British Contemporary artist has noted that, “if you consider what conveys situation and meaning and feeling in a human figure, the range of expression is in fact far more limited than the device of investing an animal- a hare especially- with the expressive attributes of a human being. The ears, for instance, are really able to convey far more than a squint in an eye of a figure.”

Fernando Botero – Fernando Botero’s rotund bronze sculpture, Little Bird, was conceived and cast in 1990 as an edition of three. The Latin American artist, who is well-known for exaggerating the size of his figures, as referred to his sculptures as, “obviously a continuation of my paintings.” The figure measures 96 inches in height, 82 inches in depth and 111 inches in depth. Botero’s Reclining Woman with Fruit was conceived and cast in 1996, as an edition of three plus artist’s proofs. The artist himself noted, “In the history of sculpture, eighty percent of the subject matter has been a woman, either reclining, standing or seated. It is a great tribute paid to the most beautiful form in nature.”

Aristide Maillol – Aristide Maillol also celebrates the beauty of the classical female form with his sensuous, reclining nude, La Riviere Sans Socle, conceived in 1938-43 and cast after 1943. Other casts of this work are in the collection of the Musee Maillol, Paris and the Shimane Museum of Art, Japan.

Joan Miro – Another highlight is Joan Miro’s bronze biomorphic sculpture, Personnage, which was conceived in 1974 and cast in 1991. Mr. Connery noted that, “the offering of Miro’s Personnage is particularly exciting because quality, monumental sculpture by the artist is very rare on the market.”

Salvador Dali – Another important Surrealist work included in the exhibition is Salvador Dali’s Metamorphose topologique de la Venus de Milo traversee par des tiroirs. The artist’s interpretation of the iconic Venus de Milo in the Louvre, Paris was conceived in 1964 and cast in 1988.

“We are pleased to have these beautiful and wide ranging works of art set amidst our grounds for the enjoyment of our residents and guests,” stated Bernt Jorgenson, General Manager of Isleworth. “The families that call Isleworth home know what a special place it is and displaying sculptures of this quality just underscores the uniqueness that is Isleworth.”

Non-members can arrange to view this private exhibition through Sotheby’s offices in New York City, Miami, or Palm Beach.

About Isleworth Country Club – The premier Orlando residential country club is extremely exclusive and boasts an outstanding course conceived by Arnold Palmer and designed by Ed Seay and recently enhanced by Steve Smyers. The club has a lavish Mediterranean clubhouse with a new 7,000 square foot men’s grill under construction that boasts an indoor basketball court and putting green. The golf course was built on rolling terrain and features greens that are generous, undulating and fast. Located on the picturesque Butler Chain of Lakes, Isleworth has established itself as one of the world’s most prestigious luxury living communities, and is the principal residence for many of the world’s top professional athletes and entertainers.

Published in: on February 22, 2004 at 7:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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