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Christie’s Annouces Picasso Works from The Norman Granz Collection

New York – WEBWIRE
Pablo Picasso, Baigneuses et crabe, pen and India ink on paper, 1938, (Estimate: $1.2 – 1.8 million).
Pablo Picasso, Baigneuses et crabe, pen and India ink on paper, 1938, (Estimate: $1.2 – 1.8 million).

 This May, Christie’s is pleased to present a remarkable collection of drawings and prints by Picasso from the Collection of Norman and Grete Granz. A Close Friendship: Picasso From The Collection of Norman and Grete Granz will be offered across 20th Century Week (estimate $4 - 6 million). The collection is led by Pablo Picasso’s Baigneuses et crabe, 1938 (estimate: $1.2 – 1.8 million) – pictured right, which will be included in the Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on 13 May and a robust group of works by the master draftsman will lead the 14 May Impressionist and Modern Art Works on Paper sale.

An impresario of 20th century American jazz music, Norman Granz was responsible for some of the century’s most iconic recordings including the 1956 Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald rendition of “Cheek to Cheek.” In 1944, the progressive-minded would-be music producer launched a jazz concert series dubbed “Jazz at the Philharmonic” that played throughout the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain and focused on allowing for racially integrated bands and audiences, neither standard for the time.

By 1968, Granz and Picasso developed a friendship that lasted until the artist’s death in 1973, the same year Granz established his final record company which he named “Pablo,” in homage to his dear friend. Highlights from the Granz collection in The Works on Paper sale include the powerful female portraits: Buste de femme couchée, 1969 (estimate: $700,000 – 1,000,000) – pictured above and Femme nue couchée, 1965 (estimate: $500,000 – 800,000). Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque is portrayed through her distinctive curved profile in Tête de femme, 1967 (estimate: $300,000 – 500,000) pictured right — Roque, was Picasso’s final great muse, who along with the artist, holidayed with Granz. 

Allegra Bettini, Head of Works on Paper and Online SalesImpressionist and Modern Art remarked:“Assembled through a remarkable friendship between Norman Granz and Picasso, the Granz Collection represents a rich grouping of works on paper by the artist, spanning his career from the intricately drawn Baigneuses et crabe from 1938 to the bold, seductive Buste de femme couchée from 1969. There is truly a Picasso for everyone from playful sketches to the more significant examples of his draughtsmanship. The majority of the works from the Granz collection were acquired directly from the artist and many include dedications from Picasso ‘to my friend Norman.’ It is our true pleasure to offer this collection as the cornerstone of the Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper Sale, demonstrating our continued commitment to this segment of the market.”

Granz founded five record labels throughout his career and worked with such industry greats as Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charlie Parker, among others. A friend to many in the industry, the Granz Collection also presents the colorfully alluring Portrait of George Gershwin by Ira Gershwin, 1930 (estimate: $1,000 – 1,200) – pictured left, and a unique pencil Sketch for Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin (estimate: $600 – 800), both of which were gifted to the record producer by Ira Gershwin in December of 1959.

About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2018 that totalled £5.3 billion / $7 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.

Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.

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