April 28, 2006 22:27
Some of the best-known paintings of Pablo Picasso will be auctioned off in Korea next week. But before the auction, the five works are being shown to the public until May 1, offering a rare glimpse of the creations of one of the most-recognized artists of the 20th century here.
Of the five Picasso works on display here, the most expensive starting price is around W8 billion (US$8 million). By painting his face black with thick brushwork, the work "Painter Paints on His Model" hints at Picasso's death, according to the curator.
Picasso produced several works In the 1960s featuring himself and his last wife Jacqueline Roque. The works blend the delightful with the horrible, contrasting darkness and light.
Another piece starting at $1.7 million is called "Owl on a Chair." The work from 1947 portrays the horrors of war. It was the only one out of the five pieces submitted by a Korean owner. The other four works came from individual collectors in Italy.
"The Korea World Trade Center branch of Hyundai Department Store went through a renovation for the first time in 10 years. So to mark the occasion, we wanted to show something special to our customers. This is the first time that two of Picasso's original oil paintings are being shown in Korea,” a Hyundai Department Store staffer said.
The auction is grabbing headlines in Korea due to the huge monetary value of the works being offered. The most-expensive piece of art to go under the hammer in Korea so far was a 17th-century porcelain vase that went for $1.6 million in 2005.
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