Under the hammer of Claude Aguttes, the first painting by Pierre Soulages to be sold at auction after the artist's death, fetched 1,228,500 euros* on 2 November 2022. There were other great names such as Bernard Buffet, César, Georges Mathieu, Anna-Eva Bergman, Olivier Debré, Pierre Vasarely, Robert Combas... A not-to-be-missed event for art lovers, this auction totalled €3,200,000 in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

​Pierre SOULAGES (1919-2022)
Peinture 102x81 cm, 30 mai 1981, 1981
Oil on canvas, signed and titled on the back
102 x 81 cm
Estate of Jacques and Ester Topiol, former Jaquester Gallery, Paris
Private collection, Paris
Soulages, Kunstbygning, Arhus - Charlottenborg, Copenhagen - Travelling Exhibition, 1982, no. 47
Pierre Soulages, The Seibu Museum of Art, January 2 - February 15, 1984
Pierre Encrevé, Soulages, L'œuvre complète, Peintures, III. 1979-1997, Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 1998, page 100
Pierre Daix and James Johnson Sweeney, Pierre Soulages - L'œuvre 1947-1990, Ides et Calendes, Neuchâtel, 1991, reproduced

"At 4:34pm on 2 November 2022, €1,228,500* was the winning bid at Aguttes for the first painting by Pierre Soulages to go on sale immediately after the artist's death. A true link between the artist's different creative periods, this work pays tribute to a major figure in 21st century art. The Aguttes teams were able to present this work to the greatest number of people on the international scene and thus attract their attention. Five bidders fought it out over the phone. Once again, we have proven our ability to adapt with agility to the calendar and to the art market's current events in order to defend the best interests of our sellers."
Ophélie Guillerot - Contemporary Art Director Aguttes, in charge of the auction

Pierre Soulages, a major figure of abstraction
On November 2, 2022, this work by Pierre Soulages, which five bidders bought over the phone for up to 1,228,500 euros, joined a French collection. This small format, presented by Aguttes in Neuilly-sur-Seine, follows the artist's chromatic scheme since 1979: brown, beige and black tones compose a harmony inherent to his style. Produced in 1981, this canvas adopts the horizontal and vertical lines corresponding to the painter's search for black and light, and is thus part of the continuity of a perpetual artistic research, which finds its source in his relationship with light, and which will then lead to the unique use of Outrenoir on canvas.

Although present in more than 110 museums on all continents, the artist was rare in auction rooms, and the sale of one of his paintings was in itself an event in the art market. It was with great emotion that the Aguttes teams orchestrated this sale, which had been planned for several weeks, in the wake of the death of this great artist.

TOP 5 of this session crowned with two world records

Bernard BUFFET (1928 - 1999)
Bégonias, iris et anémones, 1977
Oil on canvas, signed on the right and dated lower left
65 x 54 cm
25 19/32 x 21 17/64 in.
A certificate of authenticity from the Galerie Maurice Garnier, dated 11 July 1990, will be given to the buyer.
Galerie Hurtebize, Cannes
Private collection, Paris

1 – Lot 46 – Pierre Soulages (1919-1992), 1 228 500 €
2 – Lot 18 – Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) – Bégonias, iris et anémones, 1977, 149 500 €
3 – Lot 49 – ​Mahieddine Baya (1931 - 1998) - Femmes et enfants autour d'une petite table, c. 1950, 145 600 € ​- Record mondial pour l’artiste.
4 – ​Lot 17 - Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) - ​Grand bouquet de soucis, 1976, 143 000  €
5 – Lot 15 - Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) - ​Bouquet de roses, 1963, 130 000 €

All prices are inclusive of fees.
See the complete results of the sale

After the Pierre Soulages painting, a Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) painting came second in the Top 5 of this sale. The series of works by this major 20th century French artist totalled €529,150. It is a reminder of the continuing enthusiasm of art lovers for this major artist, who is a central figure in the Expressionist movement. Two other oil paintings by this great painter were among the best results of the sale: lots 18, 17 and 15 fetched €149,500, €143,000 and €130,000 respectively. Faithful to figuration while the fashion was for abstraction, the artist enriched his palette, which became more colourful and shimmering, from the end of the 1950s. He never stopped painting landscapes and bunches of flowers, which marked the rhythm of his entire career.

Mahieddine BAYA (1931 - 1998)
Femmes et enfants autour d'une petite table, c. 1950
Gouache on paper
65 x 100 cm
Collection of Mrs. Marguerite Benhoura then passed down through the family
"Baya", Galerie Maeght, Paris; November 1947 "Baya",
Musée Cantini, Marseille; November 1982 - February 1983
Catalogue de l'exposition "Baya", Musée Cantini, Marseille ; novembre 1982 - février 1983 ; oeuvre répertoriée page 25

In third place is a gouache on paper (lot 49) by Mahieddine Baya (1931 - 1998) which, at €145,600, sets a new world record. A great success, this amount represents almost double the previous record. Spotted by Aimé Maeght, this artist with an often fantastic register gave her first solo exhibition in Paris at the age of 16, and André Breton wrote the preface to the catalogue. With a refined, delicate and unrepentant line, the artist's gouaches depict female characters, sometimes at the water's edge, in settings of luxuriant and imaginary vegetation.
Another new world record, for a second female artist! Untitled, 1995 (lot 50), a painting by Shirley Jaffe (1923 - 2016), sold for €97,500. The art of this major contemporary artist is characterised by her energetic gestures and vivid colours in large flat tints. Her pictorial vocabulary, related to lyrical expressionism, is gradually moving towards abstract art. Sensitive to the forms that structure her work, Shirley Jaffe develops a personal pictorial style that is geometrically abstract.

Georges MATHIEU (1921 - 2012)
​GIF, 1965
Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right, titled on the back
72.5 x 46 cm
Work acquired from Galerie Christian Meyer, Paris in 1991
Private collection, Toulouse region

A fine group of four works by Georges Mathieu will have caught the attention of art lovers and totalled over €300,000. Purchased in the 1990s, they come from the same private collection in the Toulouse region. GIF (lot 28), which highlights the speed and virtuosity of the artist's gesture, fetched €117,000.

Next meeting
Guy Boyer Collection
For an art library in Marseille
November 17, at 2.30pm
Aguttes Neuilly

Monday 7 to Wednesday 16 November: 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5.30pm
(except on 11, 12 and 13 November)

Grégoire Lacroix
Directeur du département Tableaux & Dessins anciens
+33 (0)1 47 45 08 19 -

Pierre-Alban Vinquant
Directeur du département Art impressionniste & moderne
+33 (0)1 47 45 08 20 -

Ophélie Guillerot
Directeur du département Art Contemporain
+33 (0)1 47 45 93 02 -