Sothebys vs. Christies - 2012 Impressionist and Modern Spring Art Auction Preview

The Scream Edvard Munch

I went to see both Sotheby’s and Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Previews today for their upcoming auctions.  All the hoopla has been about The Scream.  Sotheby’s called it the second most important painting ever after the Mona Lisa .  Which The Scream are they referring to? The one they are auctioning or the three others?  Or are they all considered the same work?  I guess that makes more sense.  Apparently it was a pivotal work because it is “rooted in psychological experience rather than visual.”  

I think lots of painters paintings are rooted in psychological experience, I know mine are.  I guess I must have Munch to thank according to Sotheby’s.

Needless to say The Scream had the front and center spot.  But other than it, there were not too many super works, if you ask me.  I did like the Red Bellboy by Chaim Soutine as well as his other one of a boy in navy blue with red cheeks and red ears.  I think they are both fabulous.

Then there were all the usual suspects.  The reason I like to go to these previews is that you get to see things that aren’t in museums and so it is often a one and only chance to see them. 

Chiam Soutine Le Chasseur 1941


Christie’s didn’t have anything as big as The Scream.  Their big draw was a watercolor of The Card Player by Cezanne.  But if you ask me, their best thing by far was this little gem of a Rembrandt.  I was trying to take a photo of it with my phone and got nervous and this is what I got instead of the fabulous little Rembrandt self-portrait that glowed like a gem on a dark background: 

I had it turned the wrong way!

Here are a few other paintings:

This was painted by Van Dongen.  Not sure what it’s called.  But I thought it was interesting because I thought he usually always did people.

And, here is a Modigliani.  It was pretty nice.  I love his work.  I used to copy his paintings when I was teaching myself how to paint. It always strikes me how he got such power from such thin paint.  I read that he used thin paint because he was so poor.  He didn’t have a lot of variety in the paints he used either I don’t think, but he sure made the most of what he had.

Don’t know the names of these - sorry.  

I’m not usually a Marc Chagall fan so much, maybe it’s the colors he usually used, but I really like this painting of a vase of flowers - again I don’t know the name.

These three were at Chrisites. Three Women 2005 Oil on Linen 36” x 24” (detail - Mother) 

At least there weren’t a zillion Warhols this time. I’m tired of Warhol, even if we do have one in our bathroom!  My spouse met Andy and they partied  with some Texans and Andy was swilling Vodka straight.  Anyway, he drew him a picture on his hankie.  It has boobs and a penis with squirts coming out that end at “Love Andy Warhol”.  We had it in our closet for years, then had it meticulously restored in Hong Kong by some expert - apparently the hankie had been soiled! Unfortunately it’s not super super valuable because it is personalized to my husband - and he is not famous.  If it were the same thing but it said to John Wayne it would probably fetch millions!

originally published: May 1, 2012

© Trixie Pitts 2009