Christie's has announced that a rare Kandinsky study will provide the first important addition to its November sales in New York.
The piece, entitled Studie fur improvisation 8, is recognised across the art community for its importance in the advancement of abstract art. A fully realised study, it provides a precursor to the last painting in Kandinsky's pioneering series "Improvisations".
According to Christie's, only two works from Kandinsky's 1909 series have appeared at auction in recent years, and the majority of studies for the works are now housed in museums or other public institutions.
The auction house has previously offered Studie zu improvisations 3, which achieved an impressive $16.9m in 2008 to become the second-highest selling piece from the artist ever seen at auction. On November 7, Studie fur improvisation 8 hopes to top the $20.9m record achieved by his 1914 piece Fugue in 1990. It has a $20-30m estimate.
"Through these paintings, Kandinsky was pushing the traditional limits of artistic expression in order to advance radical new theories about form, color, subject matter and most of all, artistic impulse. All of our contemporary notions of abstract art evolved from pioneers like Kandinsky, who truly blazed the trail for so many to follow," said Brooke Lamply, head of impressionist and modern art.
The remarkable piece is being offered by Swiss charitable trust the Volkart Foundation. Since joining the charity, the work has been loaned to Switzerland's Kunstmuseum Winterthur and displayed at the Tate Modern, Kunstmuseum Basel and Fondation Beyeler among others.
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