85 works by Spanish surrealist artist, Joan Miro to be auctioned at Christie’s
Covering seven decades of Miro’s work
The collection is reported to have been acquired by the Portuguese government from a failing bank. Portugal took ownership of the 85 Miro works when it nationalised the struggling Banco Portugues de Negocios during the 2008 global banking crisis. BPN was later sold to Angolan-Portuguese Banco BIC.
The collection is also said to cover seven decades of Miro's career, Christie's auction house said Friday the collection is "one of the most extensive and impressive offerings of works by the artist ever to come to auction". The Barcelona-born artist is renowned for being influential in the surrealist movement in the 1920s and developed his signature colourful style, full of squiggles and symbols, during a long career that lasted until his death at 90 in 1983.
Among the collection at auction is the 1968 oil painting "Women and Birds" - two recurring motifs in Miro's work - which has an estimated sale price of 4-to-7 million pounds ($6.5 million to $11.5 million); and the 22-by-197 centimetre (8 ½ inches by 78 inches) oil-on-canvas "Painting", valued between 2.5 million and 3.5 million pounds ($4 million to $5.7 million). Also included in the sale are works on paper and a series of painting on Masonite from the 1930s. The lowest marked items start at about 10,000 pounds ($16,400). Oliver Camu, Christie's deputy head of Impressionist and modern art, said the sale gave collectors with a wide variety of budgets a chance to "celebrate and engage with the creative genius and joyous immediacy of Miro's work." The works will be sold during three auctions at Christie's in London February 4 and 5. The current auction record for a Miro is almost $37 million that took place in 2012 for "Painting (Blue Star)".