New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANSlife) The Foxes, Franz Marc’s 1913 masterpiece, will be auctioned at Christie’s on March 1, 2022, with a pre-sale estimate on request (in the region of £35,000,000). It will be the centrepiece of Christie’s 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale, a key auction in Christie’s 20/21 Shanghai to London series that kicks off our major international sales in 2022.
The Foxes is a masterpiece of German Expressionism, filled with a vivid play of vibrant colour and prismatic form. It has graced several great collections over its life, most recently the Kunstpalast Museum in Düsseldorf, before its restitution to the heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi. It is one of the most accomplished of the artist’s pioneering avant-garde paintings, painted in 1913, at a critical time when Modernist movements were thriving across Europe. The Foxes reveals Marc’s revolutionary artistic idiom’s bold experimentation in the final full year of his artistic career, before his untimely death in the First World War.
It is a tremendous honour for Christie’s to be entrusted with the sale of a painting of such art-historical significance by the Grawi family.” Marc, along with Wassily Kandinsky, was a pioneer of the European avant-garde at the turn of the twentieth century, challenging and completely overturning many of classical painting’s accepted maxims. The Foxes encapsulates everything we admire about Marc’s work: dynamism, sensational colour, incredible balance, and a spirituality in its sublime subject that completely immerses the viewer in the painting.
Aside from its undeniable beauty, it is a work with an extraordinary history, both in terms of ownership and exhibitions, having appeared in so many important avant-garde shows over the last century. Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of handling several extraordinary Modernist paintings from this era, including Kirchner’s Berliner Strassenszene from 1913 and Modigliani’s Nu couché from 1918. This magnificent Franz Marc stands shoulder to shoulder with those celebrated paintings, both of which set extraordinary records when they were put up for sale in the last twenty years. This is a painting that will entice the world’s most affluent collectors.
Christie’s has a long history of selling the best German art in London, which will continue this March with the sale of Franz Marc’s The Foxes, a work that truly defines Modernism in the twentieth century. A Marc painting of this pedigree, date, and quality has not been seen on the open market in over fifty years. Marc is unquestionably among the masters of Western art, his visionary paintings paving the way for the artists who followed in his footsteps, from the 1920s to today’s contemporary artists. We are thrilled to be able to provide our colleagues and clients with the opportunity to see this iconic painting as it tours internationally for the first time in more than 20 years.
The Foxes depicts the important developments that were occurring in Marc’s oeuvre during this period by depicting a seemingly idyllic scene in which two foxes are woven together in a kaleidoscopic pattern of brightly-hued interpenetrating and intersecting lines. The penultimate year of one of the most daring, revolutionary epochs in art history, 1913, saw the seismic shifts that had transformed creative thinking since the turn of the twentieth century reach new heights.
Between 1910 and 1913, the European avant-garde was at its most inventive, from the Cubists and Orphists in France to the Futurists in Italy, the Rayonists in Russia, and the Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter movements in Germany. Marc, who co-founded Der Blaue Reiter with Kandinsky, was intimately familiar with all of these new movements, following their evolution and progress through exhibitions, avant-garde journals, and a vast network of friends and colleagues across the continent.
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