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Pierre Alechinsky. Untitled, 1990's-2000's. Est.: € 20000-30000

23 April Live auction:

From Ensor to Emin, Modern I & II

PDF version of printed catalogue
For sale in our online store

Viewing days
18 – 22 April

Live auction
23 april
2PM | From Ensor to Emin, Modern I (lots 1-195)
7PM | From Ensor to Emin, Modern II (lots 200-349)

In April, Bernaerts Auctioneers focuses on the Modern Masters. The offering is qualitative and diverse and spans the decades, from the turn of the century to the 2000s.

The following is a chronological anthology, comprehensive but not exhaustive.

Lovers of Art Nouveau will set their mind on a sculpture in marble and gilded bronze by Affortunato Gory or two magnificent brooches in cellular fusion, with the effigies of a dragonfly and a winged elf. By Rik Wouters, we present some original drawings that have never been on sale (NB: will be featured in the Works on Paper auction of 25 April, more info here). Furthermore, you can also bid on two lady portraits by Fernand Toussaint, a beautiful forest view by Gustave De Smet, a depiction of the Antwerp Kipdorp bridge anno 1929 by fellow Antwerp resident Louis Van Engelen or a 1932 dated ‘Middelburg’ by Reimond Kimpe.

Affortunato Gory. Salomé, c. 1910. Est.: € 15000-20000

The 1930s are further represented by a collection of Keramis vases, Belgian pride from La Louvière. A silver Georg Jensen dining set is also offered in the same line. Also collectible is the rare ‘three deer in cornfield’ vase by Danish Axel Salto. If it can be any rarer, a sculpted walrus jaw is also on offer. This standing figure, made in Thule (present-day Qaanaaq in Greenland), was placed on the prow of a kayak to ward off evil spirits and enemies. According to tradition, this piece is said to come from the estate of Danish prince Knud, whose father is believed to have received it himself as a gift from the village of Thule.


Another special feature, of an entirely different nature, is the monumental bas-relief by Oscar Jespers. Commissioned by the Belgian government, Jespers cut a four-by-12-metre ‘map of Belgium’ in lime wood for the 1935 World’s Fair in Brussels; the giant bas-relief, which he polychromed, was placed in architect Victor Bourgeois’ model station. Jespers succinctly portrayed his country’s cultural and economic history. The composition is defined by two diagonals, which separate High, Central and Low Belgium. To characterise city or region, the sculptor chose a symbol. Thus, the region between Spa and Namur is represented by a hunter and St Hubertus, Ostend by sunbathers and Antwerp by the ‘Boerentoren’.

As for the 1940s, several still lifes by Walter Vaes are on offer, where he masterfully brushes mussels, meat or the ingredients for a vol-au-vent, among others.

Walter Vaes. 'Ribbestuk'. Est.: € 3000-4000

After all this beauty, we finally arrive at the second half of the 20th century. Again, the offer remains abundant. As such, we switch to the late surrealism of Rachel Baes, who is represented in this auction with three oil paints and a gouache. Furthermore, there is work on offer by Louis Van Lint, Joseph Willaert (as could be seen last year in the exhibition at the Venetian Galleries in Ostend), one of the famous seed pouches by Jef Geys (in this case: maize) or yet a monumental Jef Verheyen of 182 x 182 cm (excl. frame) from his series ‘Zonnebogen’, exploring the colour effect of iridescence. The latter two artists will also be on display at Wiels and KMSKA at the time of the viewing days.
The 1960s auction lots culminate in an eye-catching design piece, namely Max Ingrand‘s “2248” maquillage stand for Fontana Arte. Within the design section, the choice is extensive as well. A sample of the range: the ‘Side 2’ chest of drawers by Shiro Kuramata Vittorio Introini, several lots of ‘Ant chairs’ by Arne Jacobsen and multiple lamps by Vico Magistretti or Joe Colombo, alongside some cabinets and tables by USM Haller, a recliner by Poul Kjaerholm or two ‘Less’ meeting tables by Jean Nouvel.

Pablo Atchugarry. Untitled, 1990's. Est.: € 8000-12000

Meanwhile, we are approaching the end of 20th century. Important here is Karel Geirlandt‘s significant collection. More than 30 lots from his estate will come under the hammer (N.B.: some of them will be offered within the Works on Paper auction of 25 April). We cite, among others, an early 1986 work by Robert Devriendt, or two typical marbles by Jan Dries, alongside a hypnotic collage of textiles and brocade by Miriam Schapiro.

Almost à bout de souffle: an acrylic on canvas by Pierre Alechinsky, a sculpture in ‘rose du Portugal’ marble by Pablo Atchugarry, a large canvas by Philippe Vandenberg (100 x 190 cm) and an engaging ‘Homme Brisé’ by Zoran Music. After a recognisable 1999 Sam Dillemans, we leave the 20th century behind.

Remaining are some Contemporary Masters: Peter Rogiers, represented with two epoxy sculptures, alongside five assemblages by Denmark (including some from his well-known pressed books and newspaper series). The Works on Paper auction (25 April) will also feature ‘Scotch Gambit’ by Panamarenko and the offset lithograph ‘Right decisions, slight modifications and fresh etymology’ by Michael Borremans.

For more info on the Works on Paper session of 25 April, click here.

Nearby underground parking: Kooldok or Steendok (5 min walking distance)

Collecting your goods
By appointment, between Monday 29 April and Wednesday 8 May, between 9am-12 and 1pm-5.30pm and on Saturday 4 May between 10am and 1pm.
Wednesday 1 May, Thursday 9 May and Friday 10 May Bernaerts will be closed due to Labour Day and Ascension Day respectively.

Frequently asked questions

You can place bids in four different ways:

  1. In our room Platform, Verlatstraat 18, Antwerp.
    You receive a bid number after registration at the front desk, from 30 minutes before the start of the auction.
    Commission = 25%
  2. Online: you can submit a ‘prebid’ or you can bid along ‘live’ during the auction.
    There are 3 platforms you can use: Bernaerts Live or the app ‘Auctioneers Bernaerts’, Invaluable of Drouotonline
    During the auction, you log in to follow the auction live and to place your bids.
    Commission = 28%
  3. Place an absentee bid via the online catalogue or mail a completed form to info(at) at the latest 12h prior to the live auction. The auctioneer will try to acquire your lot at the most advantageous price possible.
    Commission = 25%
  4. Request a telephone line via the online catalogue or mail a completed telephone bid form to info(at), at the latest 12h prior to the live auction. One of our team members will call you during the auction to bid live.
    Commission = 25%