Juan Gris' 'Nature morte' could break artist's auction record

Juan Gris' Nature morte a la nappe a carreaux is expected to provide the lead lot at Christie's Modern Masters: Works from an Important Private Swiss Collection sale next month.

The metre-high work from 1915 will break the Spanish artist's world record of $28.6m if it achieves its £18m ($29.5m) high estimate.

That mark was set by his Violon et Guitare from 1913 at Christie's in 2010.

Gris' (1887-1927) cubist works are characterised by his use of vibrant colours. He was both a student of, and rival to, Picasso.

The collection of 22 works, which includes Piet Mondrian's £12m ($19.7m)-estimated Composition No. 2 with Blue and Yellow from 1930, will be sold across four Christie's London impressionist and modern sales on February 4-5.

Theo van Doesburg's Contra Composition XX from 1928 carries a £1.5m ($2.5m) high estimate, while Georges Vantongerloo's Composition emanant de l'hyperbole de Oel will arrive with a £350,000 ($574,016) valuation.

"In all my 50 years at Christie's, this is a collection which stands out," says John Lumley, an honorary chairman at the auction house.

"It has faultless historical credentials, it provides insights into the personalities of the artists and the collectors, and it also reflects their daring, now justified support of modern art itself, ranging across cubism, purism and surrealism."

The owners of the collection have chosen to remain anonymous, letting their taste in art speak for itself.

For more previews of February's impressionist and modern auctions in London, sign up to our free newsletter.

View our art collection for sale here.

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