Amedeo Modigliani, Head, 1911-1912

While Modigliani is perhaps most famous for his portraits and nude paintings, he was also a celebrated sculptor. A single series of works, carried out in a burst of creativity, between 1911 and 1914, includes nearly 25 heads carved in stone, which the artist made in Montparnasse. Head is a captivating portrait with a meditative presence, which, like the other faces in the series, is imbued with an expression of calm. 

This 1911-12 work will be on offer at Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art sale on May 13th and is estimated between $30-$40 million.

Modigliani is the third most expensive sculptor in the world, behind Brancusi and Giacometti, thanks to the sale of a stone head auctioned at Christie's in 2014 for $70.7 million.

Louise Bourgeois, Spider, 1996

We have waited a long time for one of Louise Bourgeois' famous, large-scale spiders to appear in the auction room. A handful of her eight-legged works were sold in 2018, but none of them equaled the size and importance of Spider, a monumental sculpture that will be auctioned at Christie's on May 15, with an estimate of $25-35 million. 

Gracefully perched in a threatening pose, Spider seems poised to attack at any moment, while one of the legs stretches forward to reach its prey. Triggering a panel of emotions ranging from childish reverie to primary fear, the spider is a deeply personal creation for Bourgeois, who has associated the arachnid with the maternal figure.  

Bourgeois is the second most expensive woman artist in the art market after Georgia O'Keeffe. One of her monumental spiders sold for over $28 million in 2015. Could a new record be in store?

Pierre Legrain, Middle Table, circa 1924

The decorator, illustrator and cabinetmaker French Pierre Legrain came to fame as the main decorator of couturier Jacques Doucet's Parisian apartments in the 1920s and exhibited at the Salon des artistes decorateurs of 1921 and 1924. 

He has designed the homes of many famous personalities, such as Robert de Rothschild and Princess Grace of Greece. This middle table, which will be sold by Artcurial on May 21, is characteristic of his corpus of works after 1921, when he first participated in the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, with its more simple and geometric shapes, as well as a synthesis of materials. 

Estimated between 200,000 and 300,000 euros ($224,000-336,000), it comes from the house of his wife Marie Legrain and consists of lacquered wood, a blue glass slab night, and a base with four legs mid-cylindrical mid -hexagonals enhanced with white gold leaves. 

Cecily Brown, Confessions of a Window Cleaner, 2000-2001

Confession of a Window Cleaner, which dates to 2000-2001, is the epitome of contemporary British artist Cecily Brown's oeuvre, mixing abstraction and figurative allusions. This oil on canvas takes its title from the 1974 erotic comedy, directed by Val Guest, and reflects Brown's taste for "popular art in its purest vulgarity". 

Through the sensuality with which Brown has covered the surface, the work evokes the presence of the human figure, with its bright reds, pinks and ochre, which perfectly reflects her desire to reveal "a presence human without having to depict it completely."

It is estimated at $3-4 million, however it could go for far more: last year, one of her works was expected to sell between $1.8-$2.5 million and ended up fetching $6.8 million at Sotheby's.

Cartier, nephrite frame from 1915

This photo frame by Louis and Pierre Cartier was inspired by the creations of Fabergé, who had exhibited a remarkable selection of decorative objects during the Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris. The two brothers took cues from the Russian jeweler to create an objet d'art that harkened to the tastes of the 18th century. 

With this frame, the duo Cartier renewed the use of traditional Oriental materials and merged them with European artistic and decorative trends. The object will pass under the hammer at Phillips in Hong Kong on May 27, with an estimate of $64,000-76,000.

Kehinde Wiley, Alegoria at lei do Belly Book, 2009

We end with Alegoria a lei do Ventre Book, a work by the American artist Kehinde Wiley, who through his work, reimagines art history's classic artworks with African American figures, often from hip-hop culture. In 2010, Wiley painted a portrait of Barack Obama, which is now held at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. 

The Geneva auction house Piguet will present, during its sales on May 21, 22 and 23, an oil on canvas from 2009 estimated between $50,000-60,000.

The record of the artist was achieved last February at Phillips, with Untitled (The World Stage: Brazil) selling for $150,000.

Continue the search for art on Barnebys!