Friday, April 23, 2010

Weird coincidence - my book is open to a page with André Derain and I'm ready to write something about his work and the encouragement he received from his dealer, Ambroise Vollard. But in my scattered Friday morning mindset I decide to check email first, and there is a link sent by my friend Beth. And it's about the works of Derain and others that will be auctioned by Sotheby's. Many have not been seen in decades. Click here for the complete article from Here's an excerpt:

The extraordinary trove of treasures was discovered in 1979 in a bank vault at the Société Générale in Paris. The works had been deposited there during 1939, soon after Vollard’s death, by Erich Slomovic, a young Yugoslav and associate to Vollard to whom the dealer had consigned the works. Soon after depositing the works, Slomovic fled to Yugoslavia where he died at the hands of the Nazis at the end of 1942. As a result, the contents of the vault remained untouched for 40 years. On 21st March 1979, the bank was permitted under French law to open the vault and to sell any contents of value in order to recoup some 40 years of unpaid storage fees. As a result, the collection was consigned for a sale to be held at Hotel Drouot in Paris in March 1981. The announcement of the sale, however, was swiftly followed by legal challenges as a result of which the sale was cancelled. Those challenges now finally resolved, the works will now be sold by agreement among the legal beneficiaries of the Vollard Estate and will finally make their long-anticipated appearance on the market at Sotheby’s sales in London and in Paris in June.

Here is La Tamise et Tower Bridge (1906), with the kind of intense colors Derain and fellow student Maurice de Vlaminck experimented with. Dealer Vollard suggested Derain go to England to see what this approach might yield in those environs.

Lately I've been spending more time thinking about those 4 corners and how to play them - he's got interesting stuff going on in all of them, doesn't he?

Your eye
just moves from one place to another - And who would try those two red boats to the left of the Tower Bridge? But they work as one unit, anchoring the space, I think. Looking at the water where those two boats touch the surface, he's chosen more moderate tones of soft blue and ochre; they seem really important to calming down the effect, don't you think? Otherwise the painting would just be screaming at you.

Get your paddles ready. Here's one from the long-hidden cache, Arbres a Collioure (1905), ready for auction:

1 comment:

  1. La Tamise et Tower Bridge: What deLight!

    Bravo, Suzanne on another Loverly Post!