Joan Miró Aubusson tapestry sells online for €200,000 +
An Aubusson tapestry, Personnages Rythmiques, designed by the Catalan surrealist artist Joan Miró, sold for €204,000 ($280,800) including buyer`s premium to a telephone bidder on 29 November 2013 at the Auctionata Fine Art Auction in Berlin, setting a new world record for a tapestry sold online. Reportedly it was bought by a New York gallery.
Hand-woven in Aubusson, and measuring 194 x 177cm .it has an expressive composition of organic lines and emblematic black figures typical of the Catalan artist. That is appealing in itself; however it is likely to be the work’s impressive and unbroken provenance that made a significant contribution to this result.
Marie Cuttoli, Parisian collector and important patron of modernist art textiles, commissioned the weaving in 1934, having also introduced other artists and friends such as Picasso, Léger and Matisse to the medium of tapestry. The work was part of the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art’s Director of the Department of Architecture, Philip Johnson, and adorned the wall of his sparsely furnished office. Johnson studied under Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius, organised Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier’s first visits to America and, in 1979, was awarded the first Pritzker Architecture Prize in recognition of his talent, vision and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment.
The work made its way into the museum’s collection – on the reverse it still bears the MoMA item number label. As documented in the still-present invoice, it went on to sell, in 1973, to a private buyer via the prestigious and world-famous Galerie Beyeler in Basel, a name with which many of the most important artworks of the 20th century have been associated. It has remained in private hands ever since. This history links the buyer to a staggering assortment of some of the most famed and cutting-edge creative characters of the 20th century.