June – July : An extensive programme of sunny sales

On June 30 and July 1, the greatest modern and contemporary artists will be in the spotlight from Fernand Léger and Andy Warhol to Robert Combas and Chu Teh-Chun.

At Parisian auction house Tajan, collectors and art lovers are in for a treat: two sales of modern and contemporary art on June 30 and July 1. While the modern art session will be highlighted by the great Fernand Léger and Francis Picabia, the selection of contemporary art will present major artists like Robert Combas and Andy Warhol.


Modern Art

Among the 40 lots that make up the catalog, one of the highlights is La Danseuse (The Dancer), an exceptional composition by the Cubist Fernand Léger dated 1929. The monumental female figure, to which the work owes its title, occupies the entire left part of the painting and seems frozen, as if weightless, on a yellow background bordered with black. It coexists with objects thrown randomly on the canvas, in a sort of play of aerial forms where each element retains its own autonomy. “I took the object, I blew up the table, I put this object in the air, without perspective, without support,” commented the painter.

This set of objects, shapes and colors retains a certain homogeneity: the different masses are organized around an axis of symmetry, while the yellow resembles the parameter of a carpet, defining the space more clearly.

On the border between Cubism and naïve art, Fernand Léger’s paintings give a decidedly joyful impression. The good humor of his colorful and plump characters, like this dancer, explains their universality. “For me the human figure, the human body are no more important than keys or bikes. It is true. These are for me plastically valid objects and to dispose according to my choice. […] I know that this very radical conception of the figure-object revolts quite a lot of people, but I can do nothing about it,” declared the artist.




Very early on, Francis Picabia distanced himself from the pictorial conventions of his time. In the years between 1940-1943, he found his subjects in erotic magazines, painting fictional characters based on already existing visual and social codes. This is the case of Profile of a blonde woman on a blue background, the subject of which is not painted after a live model. With this woman with platinum blond hair, star makeup and a tanned complexion, Picabia plays with the canons of beauty of the time, which govern the images found in mass media and magazines. He even had fun reproducing the film coating on the glossy covers of magazines. The work responds to a period when painting is no longer the primary form of image creation in Western culture.




Dadaist Jean Arp considered painting as a “complementary polychromy for wood reliefs”, which were made under his instructions by carpenters. Although classified by critics as a painter, Arp produced few two-dimensional works, working his sculptures with the utmost discretion before gradually revealing them to the public. Experts believe that the transition between the two disciplines took place with his “torn papers”, small pieces of paper glued according to “the law of chance” on a sheet of cardboard.

Torso of a young girl, Juliette Vary, by Louis Anquetin, is a gouache that was also made in an oil paint version and caused a sensation at the Seventh Salon of the Society of Independent Artists in 1891. Arriving in Paris in 1882 to join the workshop of Léon Bonnat, Louis Anquetin became friends with Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and willingly accompanied him to the Montmartre cabarets. This work dates from his so-called “linear” period, when he gradually moved away from “reflective” painting influenced by Émile Bernard, in favor of more worldly painting. Juliette Vary lived on the same street as Toulouse-Lautrec, who had noticed her, and obtained permission from her parents for Anquetin to make her portrait.


Contemporary art

Robert Combas is represented in the contemporary art sale with It swarms, it tears the gums in blood from the trumpeter, and C Drapeau the guitar player and Mimi the Baptist!, a painting with a psychedelic atmosphere testifying to his deep attachment to music. The work, produced in 1988, features three musicians in full performance in a setting excessively dotted with details, objects and characters of all kinds. With poetry and humor, Combas forcefully expresses his passion for music, undoubtedly the most recurrent theme of his work. As he once explained, “music, painting, whatever, I have things to say, they are expressed almost despite myself, I can’t believe it!”




Pope of pop Andy Warhol introduced the iconic motif of flowers in the mid-1960s when he was looking for a more abstract approach to the subject. The iconography of the Flowers series comes from pictures of seven hibiscus flowers taken by Patricia Caulfield to illustrate an article in the journal Modern Photography inJune 1964. The motif, apparently simple, nevertheless had a complex meaning for Warhol and demonstrates his desire to create a truly “popular” art. The square format of the work was chosen to give one four options for hanging it. As Warhol himself said: “I like painting on a square”.




According to the French art critic, journalist and writer Pierre Cabanne, “to enter a painting by Chu Teh-Chun is to surrender to it, it is to embrace one’s breathing, to adhere to direct, impulsive language, sustained and punctuated by the richness of color.” Tajan will present a superb set of nine works by Teh-Chun, acquired directly from the artist by Sacha and Paulette Klerx.

The artist and the Klerx family have been friends for over 30 years. The first meeting took place in 1958, when Sacha Klerx was artistic director of the Galerie du Haut-Pavé, and marked a turning point in the painter’s career.




The session dedicated to Modern Art will be held on June 30 and Contemporary Art on July 1.

Source : Barnebys