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Monet, other art from big collectors lead auctions
NEW YORK (AP) — Works from the estates of heiress Huguette Clark, Edgar Bronfman and other major collectors are among the highlights leading the spring art auctions in New York City, including a Monet painting that's been out of the public eye for decades.
The anticipated auction season begins Tuesday evening with the sale of impressionist and modern art at Christie's, which expects to raise a total of more than $245 million.
Among the top lots is Claude Monet's shimmering "Water Lilies." The 1907 work of Monet's beloved garden in Giverny, France, has not been publicly exhibited since 1926 and is estimated to sell for $25 million to $35 million.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir's "Young Women Playing Badminton" is another highlight expected to sell for between $10 million and $15 million.
Both works belonged to Clark, a Montana copper mining heiress who died at 104 in 2011. Her father, U.S. Sen. William A. Clark, founded Las Vegas. Christie's is selling hundreds of items from her collection after a feud over her estate was settled in the fall. The auction house is scheduled to sell other pieces from the collection June 18.
Also on tap at Tuesday's sale are two works appearing at auction for the first time, a work by Picasso and another by Wassily Kandinsky.
Picasso's 1942 portrait of his mistress in a purple dress titled "Portrait of Dora Maar" is estimated at $25 million to $35 million. The auction record for a Picasso is his "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," which brought $106.5 million in 2010.
Kandinsky's 1909 abstract work "Beach Scene" has a presale estimate of $16 million to $22 million. The auction record for a work by the Russian-born artist is his "Study for Improvisation 8," which sold in 2012 for $23 million.
Both the Kandinsky and the Picasso come from the estate of German collectors Viktor and Marianne Langen.
The Christie's sale also includes works by Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse and Picasso from the collection of the late billionaire Edgar Bronfman, who led Seagram Co. for almost two dozen years and was a longtime president of the World Jewish Congress. Bronfman, a Canadian-American businessman, died late last year.
On Wednesday evening, the scene moves to Sotheby's. The auction house is offering four sculptures and one oil painting by Alberto Giacometti. Leading the selection is the artist's "City Square," a multi-figural sculpture that is estimated to bring $12 million to $18 million.
Giacometti's "Large Thin Head (Large Head of Diego)," a sculptural representation of the artist's younger brother, brought $50 million at auction last year. The auction record for any Giacometti work is $103.9 million.
Sotheby's also has three works by Joan Miro that had languished in a vault in New York for 50 years. The Spanish artist created them for the filmmaker and photographer Thomas Bouchard and his daughter Diane. One of the works, "Untitled, 1947," depicting colorful anthropomorphic forms on a rich blue background, is estimated at $4 million to $6 million. The other two works are set to go under the hammer at Sotheby's day sale Thursday.
Next week, both houses are offering works by postwar and contemporary artists.
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