The pre-auction exhibition features a Toyen painting that is on public view after 62 years

The pre-auction exhibition features a Toyen painting that is on public view after 62 years
The pre-auction exhibition features a Toyen painting that is on public view after 62 years

Commercial presentation Update: 24/04/2024 19:09
Issued by: 24/04/2024, 19:09

Prague – In the European Arts gallery in Prague, the Toyen painting The Secret of Places, which is on public display after 62 years, is on display at the pre-auction exhibition. The public could see the dark surrealist painting with a predator that kidnaps a white heart for the first and last time at the last solo exhibition of the Czech avant-garde painter in Paris in 1962. It will be auctioned on Sunday, the starting price of the painting from 1961 is 33 million crowns. The auction record for Toyen’s works is held by her painting Circus, which was sold for 79.56 million crowns in 2021. Sunday’s auction will also offer several other works for which interested parties will have to pay millions.

“On the threshold of the 1960s, Toyen achieved one of the most impressive paintings of her Paris period: they were characterized by well-thought-out lighting direction, unique symbolism, strong emotionality. The painting The Secret of Places is dominated by one of Toyen’s most beautiful and inspiring motifs, the heart carried away by a predator, which is so unique, that in such a concentrated form it only appears in this painting in her work, it becomes an ideogram that could represent her entire work,” said art historian Karel Srp.

The theorist and art historian Josef Vojvodík stated that the dominant symbol of the predator and the heart leads to romanticism, post-romanticism, the Neoplatonic philosophy of the 16th century, but also to Jan Amos Comenius. In his work The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart, the Pilgrim is given wings that give him the ability to ascend to god. “The lifting of the heart, the heart that is carried away, the heart as an organ of emotional vision. It is no coincidence that Comenius had the emblem of the seeing heart carried away by wings. The seeing heart, because it is the true vision of reality and the knowledge of God. This is a phenomenon that experiences a remarkable transformation in some secularized form, but a form no less urgent and no less fascinating,” said Vojvodík.

The auction at which the Secret of Places will be auctioned will take place in the Municipal House in Prague. In addition to the painting of the Czech avant-garde painter, it will also offer, for example, Portrait of a Girl by Alfons Mucha with a starting price of 3.5 million crowns, three works on paper by František Kupka, an oil by Maurice de Vlaminck for 1.8 million, an oil by Václav Špála with a starting price of 2.2 million or Jindřich Štyrský’s omnipresent eye and Karel Teige’s collage, whose prices start at 1.5 million crowns.

All works can be seen by interested parties at the pre-auction exhibition in the premises of the European Arts Investments auction house on Senovážné náměstí. They will still be on view on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

CR creative Toyen PHOTO

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