After a tour of the sale rooms, Sarah Greenberg chooses some of her favourite works from this evening's Impressionist Modern auction at Christie's.
This forest of blue trees (lot 15), a recently rediscovered painting from the artist's first trip to Tahiti, has a mesmerising concentration of colour in its mix of cool and warm tones and a dream-like quality.
Signac has turned up at both Sotheby's and Christie's this season, but the luminous view of Istanbul (lot 9) at Christie's is truly spectacular, with its tessellated waves of water and jewel-like colours that seem to glisten in the light.
Kandinsky, like Signac, is on the block at both Sotheby's and Christie's this season. Of the three at Christie's, I particularly love lot 48 (Heavy between Light) an elaborately painted watercolour from 1924, which works out his ideas of abstraction while still incorporating elements of landscape. He painted it while he was teaching analytical drawing at the Weimar Bauhaus, so we can see him working out his ideas about spirituality, harmony and abstraction that influenced the his own art and much art of the twentieth century. Kandinsky's fusion of lyrical and analytical, of abstract and figurative elements is more resolved in his painting Loosely in Red (lot 52), a striking painting.
Magritte's painted bottle made me smile the minute I saw it and reminds me of one of my favourite works in the Tate collection (The Future of Statues, 1937, a statue's head painted with clouds).
'I paint men where you don¹t expect to see them,' Magritte said of his motif of men in the clouds, and he no doubt enjoyed creating a tension between the containment of the bottle and the limitless sky he painted on it (lot 68). This is one of around 25 surviving bottles painted by Magritte and comes from the collection of Barnett Hodes, a Chicago-based collector of Surrealism.