Jacqueline Le Jeune and her husband Mark began buying art in the late 1960s. Jacqueline resolved to support practicing artists, and built what would become a major collection of both Belgian and international works. Jacqueline’s passion would also have a formative impact on her descendants. Their collection is similarly diverse, ranging from works by Banksy and Gilbert & George to Yoshitomo Nara, and a major pastel by Nicolas Party, as well as a large number of Belgian artists.
Pauline Haon, Senior Specialist, 20th/21st Century Art, Christie’s Belgium, said: “Le Jeune, A Collecting Legacy celebrates the ground-breaking vision of a collecting dynasty whose guiding principle was to support emerging artists, spanning multiple generations. Forging deep friendships with those whose works they acquired, their collection includes early examples by pioneering artists who would go on to become hugely influential. Christie’s is honoured to showcase the diversity of this collection in a series of our 20th/21st Century sales, beginning in London during Frieze Week.”
Lucio Fontana and Gunther Uecker represent pioneering European Modernism with examples from the early 1960s presented by both artists. Concetto spaziale, Attese (1961, estimate: 1,000,000-1,500,000 pounds) is a pure and elegant example of Fontana’s celebrated ‘tagli’ with four pristine strokes. Gunther Uecker’s Organische Struktur (1962, estimate: 400,000-600,000 pounds) is from a series of 12 works that represent an important chapter in the evolution of Uecker’s early Nagelbilder (Nail Paintings).
Bien sur le petit bateau (1963, estimate: 400,000-600,000 pounds) is a subversive celebration of sun, colour and beauty by Martial Raysse. The painting depicts a woman posing on a beach, taken from a swimwear advertisement, which was photocopied and blown up to monumental scale before being laid down on canvas and overpainted.
Keen to continue engaging artists across multiple generations, they were driven by discovery, focusing on early moments in the careers of contemporary artists. Nicolas Party’s Landscape (2016, estimate: 500,000-700,000 pounds) is a vivid, otherworldly vision drawing together the legacies of Surrealism, biomorphic abstraction and European landscape painting.
Yoshitomo Nara’s Girl with a Knife (1999, estimate: 250,000-350,000 pounds) is an early example of the artist’s graphic, punk-inspired aesthetic. His cast of children, with distinctive exaggerated features, would become global icons, often styled as tiny rebels carrying miniature weapons.
Luc Tuymans’ De Wandeling (The Walk) (1991, estimate: 700,000-900,000 pounds) represents a touchstone in Tuymans’ early oeuvre, capturing his complex dialogue with themes of history and memory.
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