Japan opened a season with modernism

M. Kisling. Submontane Church. 1910(?)−1914(?). Oil on canvas. Lot sold for YEN 6 019 500. Modern & Contemporary Art. Mallet Japan. Tokyo, September 5

Tokyo – On September 5, the Mallet Japanese house held the first in this season auction of art of the 20th century. The catalogue of Modern & Contemporary Art comprises 278 works both by the modern Japanese artists and classics of the European modernism, such as Pablo Picasso and Mois Kisling. Mallet managed to sell only 195 lots, the sales totaled YEN 100 115 000. This considerable sum is less than the results of the July sales in the course of which a series of outstanding “million” works by Andy Warhol, Morris Utrillo and Kazuo Shiraga was sold.

The picture Submontane Church by the French painter Mois Kisling (1891−1953) became the top lot of this auction. The landscape was sold for YEN 6 019 500. There is no date on the picture, therefore one can assume that it was created during the period of 1910 – 1914. “Cezanne” textures and the principles of construction of the composition testify it. It was this short period when Kisling worked under the influence of work of the great postimpressionist. After that he started his searches of his own style. Notably, works by the masters of the Parisian school are popular among the Japanese collectors. It is proved again by YEN 16 627 500 spent for a city landscape by Morris Utrillo at July auction.

The photo Theatre in Ohio by famous Japanese-American artist Hiroshi Sugimoto (born in 1948) is among five best sales. The black-and-white photo of the ancient hall of the opera theatre was sold by auction for YEN 3 257 000. What is really interesting is that Sugimoto made his picture with a use of the forgotten technology of the early 20th century. It gave the photo a special expressiveness.

The picture by the French modernist Paul Aïzpiri (born in 1919) named Le Pichet Allemand was sold by auction for YEN 3 146 500. The sum puts it on the third place in the list of top lots of the auction. Expressive, monumental (130,5 x 195,5) still-life is a typical example of the artist’s work whose style developed under the influence of the heritage of the Parisian school and E. Munch’s expressionism.

The still-life Anemones on a Black Table made in 1988 by Bernard Cathelin, (1919–2004) was sold for YEN3 036 000.

Another Mallet’s highlight is the picture Pistils and Stamens by the Japanese-American artist Yayoi Kusama sold for YEN2 483 500.

In the course of the auction sales the whole series of works by such glorified masters, as Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall were exposed. However, they were not included among five top lots. Picasso’s etching Still-life with Lemon was sold by auction for YEN 972 300 while Chagall’s lithograph Red-Yellow Bouquet was

purchased by the unknown buyer for YEN 2 041 500. Unexpectedly the picture Work by the glorified Japanese expressionist Kazuo Shiraga was sold at a low YEN 1 820 500. Notably, in the course of the Mallet’s July auctions two his other pictures were sold at a price exceeding the estimate in twice (YEN 60 000 000).

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Published in: on October 20, 2008 at 8:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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