The Surrealist market appears to be getting hotter still with Christie’s announcement today that its London “Art of the Surreal” auction on February 6 is poised to become its biggest ever, with a presale estimate of £30.88 million to £46.87 million. Leading the pack is Joan Miró’s “Ladder of Escape,” priced at £5 million to £8 million, and only now coming to light after 50 years outside of public view.
Elsewhere in the sale is one of Miró’s tabletop-sized bronzes, “Femme (Femme Debout),” (estimated at £3 million to £5 million), Paul Delvaux’s female nudes bathing in storm waters, “The Water Nymphs,” (£3 million to £5 million), an early prelude to Max Ernst’s signature “Birdman” figure (£1 million to £1.5 million), and nine works by Rene Magritte, including a painting of a nose, mouth, and eyes floating in the sky (£1.8 million to £2.5 million).
“Surrealist and Dada art — and specifically the works in this sale — provide an unparalleled bridge for collectors,” said the department’s deputy chairman, Olivier Camu, in a press release. “[F]or those who love Impressionist and Modern Art the works break new boundaries and look forcefully and creatively ahead; for collectors who love contemporary art they showcase the daring, challenging and innovative explorations of the artistic masterminds who set the foundations and context for many of the greatest contemporary and classic post-war artists,”
— Rachel Corbett
(Photos: Paul Delvaux, “The Water Nymphs,” 1966, at top, and Rene Magritte, “Everyday,” 1938, at bottom. Christie’s Images Ltd., 2013.)