In comparative terms, moderist works on paper seem somewhat undervalued in the fine art market. The two pieces selected here are by significant artists who contributed to the scope and direction of modernism and also its eclecticism which continues to inform many aspects of contemporary art.
Francis Picabia shifted between important art movements of his time, absorbing elements from Cubism, Surrealism, Dada, and the conceptual methodologies of Marcel Duchamp and others. Dated from the nineteen twenties, Nu debout (standing figure) incorporates a deftly economical line contrasted against a cut out silhoette style shadow. The overall effect is an illusion whereby the figure floats slightly forward, out from the page. In combination with missing hands and feet, the floating figure defies easy categorisation and induces a mild sense of disorientation or vertigo, perhaps. Auction estimate (GBP 22,000 – GBP 26,000)
Price realised at auction GBP 32,760
Erika Giovanna Klein studied at the Vienna School of Applied Arts and became one of the leading figures of the avant-garde movement known as Kineticism. Her watercolour and pencil work, Schleifer (grinder) combines expressive sensitivity with the dynamism of an increasingly machine oriented world. Completed prior to the Second World War, it motivates us to reflect upon the economic rationalism behind certain types of progress as well as the associated deprivation in many aspects of human affairs. Auction estimate (GBP 22,000 – GBP 26,000).
Price realised at auction GBP 27,720.