Israeli & International Art (Sotheby’s New York) was led by Marc Chagall’s deeply poignant and personal painting, Juif à la Thora, which realized $1,632,500, and saw record prices achieved for two of Israel’s top emerging artists, Tal Mazliach and Ronen Sharabani. A 1937 Self Portrait by renowned Israeli artist Reuven Rubin achieved $312,500, leading a group of 10 works by the artist that all found buyers.
Details: Sotheby’s Israeli and International art sale is headlined with a magnificent Chagall, Juif à la Thora, which exemplifies Chagall’s love of his Jewish heritage and his new found optimism following the dark years of the Second World War. The fully realized composition, painted in glowing oils, is based on a 1947 drawing. Among the highlights of Israeli art are important works from the modern state’s foundational decade of the 1920s. Reuven Rubin’s Boy with Goldfish expresses the excitement felt by the artist in a land teeming with new life and in harmony with nature. Moshe Castel’s Father and Son is a rare early work coming from the Ben Uri Gallery and Museum in London, one of three important Castels from this collection. The Ben Uri Collection also includes a vibrant Self-Portrait by Reuven Rubin from the mid-1930s. The auction spans the 100-year history of Israeli art and includes significant examples from all major periods, including an important work by Mordecai Ardon, Parable of 1 x 1, excellent examples by New Horizons artists Joseph Zaritsky and Avigdor Stematsky, as well as cutting-edge contemporary photography and video. The International section of the sale also includes works by Mane-Katz, Chana Orloff and Bruno Schulz.