Bonhams New York to auction a rare and important collection of works by Alexandre Noll

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Bonhams New York to auction a rare and important collection of works by Alexandre Noll
Alexandre Noll (1890-1970), Pedestal Desk of Alexandre Noll, circa 1935, oak. Estimate: $30,000-50,000. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- On December 12, Bonhams presents the dedicated sale of Nature & Form: Highlights from the Estate of Alexandre Noll, which encompasses a remarkable selection of furniture, sculpture, paintings, and works on paper. Comprising of over 50 lots, this collection is from Alexandre Noll’s grandson and includes many works that include never-before seen in public works that span the life and career of the artist. Highlights range from an important monumental traverse to an early bowl, and rare paintings and works on paper.

Benjamin Walker, Bonhams Global Head of Design, comments: “Alexandre Noll is one of the most highly regarded sculptor-craftsman of the 20th century and we are thrilled to bring this most important and rare collection, that spans his entire career, to auction. We welcome both collectors and admirers of modern design to our free and public exhibition in New York for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity see such a complete body of his work.”

Alexandre Noll (1890–1970)
Originally from a banking family based in the Alsace region of France, Alexandre Noll moved to the suburbs of Paris after serving in the First World War. Abandoning the security of the family business he set about life as an artist, initially focusing his interest in watercolors, engravings and wood-block prints. By the mid-nineteen twenties he found himself carving intricate designs into parasol handles and clogs for firms such as Perugia which introduced him to a commercial viability existing as an artist working in wood. This evolved through the 1930’s to see him produce lighting and table objects that were more derivative of the prevailing Art Deco style, while allowing him to form a strengthening bond with the material. This was a period for him to explore the rich varieties of exotic species; in particular ebony, palmwood and mahogany, that were being imported from the French colonies. He discovered in the essences and natural values of wood a direct link to nature, the earth and life; an antidote to the imperialistic oppressions, mechanization and industrial production that was building during this time, and that destroyed so much during the Second World War. This resonated with him deeply. After the war ended and spirited by poetic and philosophical movements that had permeated into the work of other artist and designers such as Charlotte Perriand, Jacques Adnet, Andre Arbus, Jean Prouve, Noll dedicated himself to working on larger scale works of ‘Furniture Sculpture’. But he was driven by a purer intensity than his peers that saw his work transitioned cabinet making with sculpture, allowing for both art and invention, artistry and craftsmanship. For the next 20 years he explored these transitions and relationships through truly unique works of furniture and sculpture from this workshop and home in Fontenay-aux-Rose, often joined by his daughter, Odile, and his grandson, Dominique.

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