Sotheby's To Sell The Collection Of Eleanore And Daniel Saidenberg On November 10, 1999 In New York
The Estate of the Owners of the Saidenberg Gallery, Picasso's American Representatives for nearly 20 years, Have Consigned 46 Works of Art
Femme Assise dans un Jardin, One of the Finest and Largest Depictions of Dora Maar Ever Painted, Will Be Sold
Sotheby's in New York will sell paintings and sculpture from the Collection of Eleanore and Daniel Saidenberg in a single-owner sale on November 10, 1999. Assembled by the owners of the Saidenberg Gallery, Picasso's American representative from 1955 until the artist's death in 1973, the sale brings to market one of the greatest portraits ever painted by Picasso, Femme Assise dans un Jardin. Among the group of 46 works are other paintings and sculpture by Picasso, Juan Gris, Fernand Leger and Georges Braque.
Speaking of the sale, Charles Moffett, Co-Chairman of Sotheby's Worldwide Impressionist department, said, "The Saidenberg Gallery occupied a central position in New York's cultural life for decades, and the Saidenbergs introduced a generation of American collectors not only to the works of Picasso, but to the works of many other great European modern masters, including Gris, Leger and Braque."
Eleanore and Daniel Saidenberg
The cellist and conductor Daniel Saidenberg, born in Canada into a family of musicians, married Eleanore Block, who had been born in Chicago to a founder of Inland Steel and trained as a dancer, in 1934. After their move from Chicago to New York in 1943 they began collecting modern paintings and sculpture and in 1950 opened the Saidenberg Gallery at 10 East 77th Street. In 1955 the Gallery rose to world prominence when Picasso's renowned dealer, Daniel Henry Kahnweiler, surprised the art world by choosing the Saidenbergs to be Picasso's chief representatives in America. On their buying trips to Europe they were often given first choice of the master's works because of the importance of the American market, and they also visited Picasso himself on several occasions. In addition, the Saidenbergs generously donated a Cubist collage by Picasso to the Museum of Modern Art and a major 1931 painting, entitled The Red Armchair, to the Art Institute of Chicago.
Femme Assise dans un Jardin
Femme Assise dans un Jardin, painted by Picasso in a single day, December 10, 1938, is one of the greatest and grandest depictions the artist made of his fascinating and remarkable mistress in the pre-war period. Measuring 51 1/2 by 38 1/4 inches, the arresting portrait of Dora Maar seated on a chair in a garden is a dense, complex and exuberantly colored image which reflects the challenging relationship which the artist had with his mistress who was a poet, painter, photographer and intellectual. Brigitte Leal, in an examination of the Dora Maar portraits, has written that "the innumerable very different portraits that Picasso did of her remain among the finest achievements of his art, at a time when he was engaged in a sort of third path, verging on Surrealist representation while rejecting strict representation and, naturally, abstraction." In the dynamic composition of Femme Assise dans un Jardin Dora is depicted larger than life like a pagan goddess seated on her throne which is surrounded by naively painted spring flowers. An extraordinary variety of stripes ornamenting both Dora and the chair on which she sits give the work a highly charged effect. The painting is estimated to bring in the range of $40 million.
La Statuaire is a key neo-classical work of 1925 which depicts a female figure posing formally beside a modelling stand on which rests a bust of an elderly man. The painting was executed while on a trip to Monte Carlo which Picasso made with his wife Olga Koklova and their young son Paulo at the invitation of Serge Diaghilev. It was painted at a transitional period in his personal life during which the artist's budding relationship with Marie-Therese Walter threatened the stability of his seven-year marriage to Olga. Picasso himself chose to include La Statuaire in a major exhibition of his work at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1932. The Saidenbergs acquired La Statuaire from Lee Block, Eleanore Saidenberg's brother, who was also a great collector. La Statuaire is estimated at $12 - 18 million.
Other Works in the Saidenberg Collection
George Braque's Bal, a collage dating from 1912, is the finest Cubist collage by the artist to come to auction in recent memory, and is a key example of Braque's work during this period (est. $1.75/2.5 million). Fernand Leger's Nature Morte a la Pipe is an oil on canvas dating from 1927 which the Saidenbergs acquired in 1955 (est. $800,000/1,200,000).
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