Adrien Jean Le Mayeur De Merpres

HONG KONG - A selection of superb paintings by Southeast Asian masters as well as outstanding works by contemporary artists will be offered at Christie’s Modern & Contemporary Southeast Asian Art sale in Hong Kong on 27 May.  The auction promises to be a visual fiesta celebrating the vivacious style and dynamics of the art of the region. The sale also features sumptuous pieces from prestigious private collections, featuring works by Le Mayeur, Affandi and Le Pho.  In this Spring auction series, Christie's Hong Kong will introduce a real-time multi-media auction service Christie’s LIVE™, becoming the first international auction house in Asia to offer fine art through live online auctions.

A Private Collection from London featuring Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès (1880-1958).  “Except for a few journeys to the Far East, I never left the island.  Why should I? Sir, I am an impressionist.  There are three things in life that I love: beauty, sunlight and silence. Now could you tell me where to find these in a more perfect state than in Bali?” – Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merprès.

True to his spirit as an Impressionist and painter-traveller, Le Mayeur sought light, color and beauty – a quest which took him to faraway places all over the world. Finally at the age of 52, he discovered his ideal location, the Indonesian island of Bali.  There he married his favorite model Pollock, a young Balinese girl.  Bali became a rich stimulant for Le Mayeur, and he devoted himself to depicting his immediate surroundings: the Balinese people, the luxuriant flora, the beach and the sea that are all bathed in shimmering light.

Christie’s is proud to present in this season a private collection from London featuring rare works by Le Mayeur including Women around the lotus pond (Lot 38, Estimate: HK$8,000,000-10,000,000/ US$1,120,000-1,282,100).  Le Mayeur was the consummate Impressionist. Differing effects of color and light on a subject captivated him throughout his career.  Compared to his pre-war Balinese works, the figures in the present lot are smaller and less the centre of attention.  Instead, attention is given to the arrangement of foliage and the wide array of lighting effects from the tropical sun, and spaciousness is enhanced by the inclusion of the sea and beach in the background.  Measuring 150 x 200 cm, Women around the lotus pond is extraordinary, as it is one of the only six paintings by Le Mayeur of this size known to exist.

A Centennial Celebration – A Private Collection of a Gentleman from America featuring Affandi (1907-1990). This year, 2007, marks the 100th birthday of Affandi, a renowned Indonesian artist.  It is a privilege and honour for Christie’s to present 11 works by Affandi from the private collection of a gentleman from America at this time. Affandi had an extremely prolific career and was active from the 1950’s up until his death in 1990.  He painted some of the most memorable icons of Indonesian modern art and is considered the “people’s artist” – all this from a boy who used to paint with mud and water on the kitchen floor at the tender age of one.  Affandi is a true Expressionist, injecting his works with great passion and vigor. His use of color and brushstroke technique never fail to amaze his viewers.

About Christie’s

Christie’s is the world’s leading art business with global auction sales in 2006 that totaled £2.51 billion / $4.67 billion.  This 36% increase over 2005 marks the highest total in company and in art auction history. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service, and international glamour.  Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful.  Christie’s offers over 600 sales annually in over 80 categories. Prices range from $200 to over $80 million.  Christie’s has 85 offices in 43 countries and 14 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Dubai and Hong Kong. Most recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging markets such as China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Dubai, Mumbai and Russia. Christie’s also offers its clients worldwide access to its sales through Christie’s LIVE, its unique, real-time online bidding service.  Visit : www.christies.com

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Cocteau on Artists Speaking

"An artist cannot speak about his art any more than a plant can discuss horticulture."