Sculpture of Hitler, 2 Fauve paintings go on the block

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Sculpture of Hitler, 2 Fauve paintings go on the block

NEW YORK - A sculpture of a kneeling Hitler and two rare Fauve period paintings are among the offerings at the impressionist, modern and contemporary evening art auctions in New York this week. Many of the works are fresh to the market, like a group of Alexander Calder sculptures at Christie’s and a Francis Bacon diptych at Sotheby’s.

“We’ve really gone out looking for individual works which are going to be appealing to the top level of collectors,” said Brett Gorvy, head of Christie’s post-war and contemporary art.

Among the works is Frida Kahlo’s “Two Nudes in the Forest (The Earth Itself),” estimated at $8 million to $12 million at Christie’s on May 12.

Christie’s starts off the auction week on Sunday with a themed sale titled “Bound to Fail,” that features “Him,” a controversial sculpture of a praying Hitler by Maurizio Cattelan estimated between $10 million and $15 million.

On May 9, Sotheby’s will offer two masterpieces from the Fauve movement, distinguished by its use of saturated colors and simplified forms as a way to express the artist’s emotions. Fauvism lasted a short three years and only four major Fauve paintings have come to auction since 2010. Andre Derain’s 1906 view of the River Thames, “Red Sails,” carries a $15 million to $20 million estimate. Maurice de Vlaminck’s 1905 landscape near Paris, “Underbrush,” has a $12 million to $18 million estimate.

At the same sale, Auguste Rodin’s marble sculpture of embracing lovers, “Eternal Springtime,” could bring $8 million to $12 million.

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