On 20 November, French auction house Tajan is inaugurating a prestigious sale with decorative arts of the 20th century, and a catalogue featuring the greatest creators from this great artistic and architectural time in history.

Janine Janet (1913-2000) is an artist inseparable from the golden age of haute couture. She created enigmatic and anthropomorphic works, including statues of part-woman, part-tree, and she created costumes for the dancer Ludmilla Tcherina and for works for the ocean liner Elizabeth II. Her creations consist of rockery, mother-of-pearl, wood and tweed, and they mix the animal and the human to invent a hybrid and spooky universe.

André Borderie (1923-1998) was a multi-faceted artist who, after working on painting, sculpture and tapestry, distinguished himself in the field of ceramics, a passion that came from his collaboration with the Szekely and which continued until the late 1970s. Most of his works are baked in Senlis, and took on a exponentially barer and minimalist appearance over time. All his works dated before 1958 are signed with the monogram of Borderie and Szekely, while his following works are signed individually.

Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann (1879-1933), famous French designer of the 20th century, is also known as ‘Le Riesener de l’Art Déco’ (‘The Riesener of Art Deco’), a sobriquet attributed to him for the immense quality of his creations. "He was enamoured by pure forms, slender, finely punctuated, he tasted lovingly, almost sensually these precious materials he harmonised on the outside as well as inside his furniture," said  art critic René Chavanne. In 1922, Ruhlmann designed a commode called ‘Meuble au Char’, which remained as one of the major works of his career, as well as his design of the Pavilion Hotel Collector and reception office of the Ministers of the Colonies.

The auction also includes two works by Eugene Printz , a French decorator and cabinetmaker who has had many institutional and aristocratic clients during his career, such as the Mobilier National, the City of Paris, and the Princess of the Tour d'Auvergne.

François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Owl of Meryll’, bronze sculpture. Photo: Tajan François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Owl of Meryll’, bronze sculpture. Photo: Tajan

On 27 November, Tajan’s auction is dedicated to painting and contemporary sculpture. It includes the works of François-Xavier Lalanne, Manolo Valdés, Mario Merz and Maurice Esteve.

Manolo Valdés, 160cm Wood and Iron Sculpture, 1982. Photo: Tajan Manolo Valdés, 160cm Wood and Iron Sculpture, 1982. Photo: Tajan

Manolo Valdés (b. 1942) is a Spanish painter and sculptor who feeds on his heritage when creating. He is particularly inspired by the work of Velásquez, Manolo Millares and Antoni Tàpies. If the image of Menin is recurrent in his body of work, his other sculptures are immediately recognisable and consist of various materials. Valdés draws heavily on his predecessors, but his work is not a simple reinterpretation of art history: he has also presented drawings on transparent paper and paintings with surprising and experimental textures.

Mario Merz, ‘Bison’. Photo: Tajan Mario Merz, ‘Bison’. Photo: Tajan

The Italian artist Mario Merz (1925-2003) was a major exponent of Arte Povera, which explored expressionist-abstract painting, utilising an informal treatment of the picture plane. He used materials such as neon tubes, altering the surface of his canvases and experiments to create three-dimensional assemblages which he called ‘volumetric paintings’.

Henry Valensi, ‘Through the Sahara’, 1925. Photo: Tajan Henry Valensi, ‘Through the Sahara’, 1925. Photo: Tajan

The sale of prestigious items at Tajan continues on 28 November with an auction dedicated to the masters of modern art, such as Henry Valensi, Fang Junbi, Georges Braque and Artistide Maillol.

Henri le Sidaner, ‘View of the Douai Canal’, 1931. Photo: Tajan Henri le Sidaner, ‘View of the Douai Canal’, 1931. Photo: Tajan

From 1900, Henri Le Sidaner (1862-1939), a French expressionist painter, devoted himself to an intimate type of painting that was completely devoid of the human figure. Instead, he represented gardens, tables waiting for their guests, or quiet corners. His silent and peaceful vision is mingled with a post-impressionist technique and a warm-colored chromatism which generates an impression of sweetness and mystery to the scenes he paints.

Georges Braque, ‘Le Compotier’, 1942. Photo: Tajan Georges Braque, ‘Le Compotier’, 1942. Photo: Tajan

Georges Braque (1882-1963) is often associated with his production of ceramics and fantastic jewellery, but his practice of painting is just as powerful. He was influenced by Matisse and André Derain, and he methodically studied the work of Paul Cézanne to create compositions with lines and slight interruptions. Using geometric shapes to build his still lifes he completely broke with the classical vision in 1908, and he positioned himself as a true ‘thinker’ of Cubism.

Don’t miss the opening of Tajan's end-of-year auctions, all of which are full of promise.

Discover all lots at Tajan right here

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