Modern & Contemporary Art: Juliette Roche and T’ang Haywen in the spotlight at two unseen sales

On the occasion of their upcoming sales, the Impressionist & Modern Art and Post-War & Contemporary Art departments are pleased to highlight two artists: Juliette Roche, a woman of the avant-garde, and T’ang Haywen, one of the most discreet Chinese artists of post-war Paris. These important collections will be presented in public exhibitions at Artcurial from 31st March 2023.


Juliette Roche et Albert Gleizes - New-York, 1915 © DR
Juliette Roche & Albert Gleizes, New-York, 1915 © DR

Modern Art: Juliette Roche, a woman of the avant-garde
Artcurial’s Impressionist & Modern Art department will dedicate a chapter in its sale on 4th April 2023 to the artist and woman of letters Juliette Roche. 47 of her artworks will be presented for the very first time at auction. Long overshadowed by her contemporaries, this important figure of the 1920s is now enjoying renewed interest, particularly regarding the reappraisal of women artists of the 20th century and their essential contributions to the avant-gardes.


At the heart of the Parisian avant-garde
Born in Paris in 1884, Juliette Roche was an early member of the artistic and literary elite. Her artwork L’Académie Ranson, which will be presented at the auction, and which is estimated at €2,500 - 3,500, transcribes in a style reminiscent of Van Gogh’s interiors the nude classes she attended at the Académie Ranson in 1911. The artist was then quickly adopted by the Nabis group, whose aesthetic influences she retained before discovering Cubism in 1912. She developed the decorative arts by becoming friends with the Delaunay couple and married Albert Gleizes in 1915. That same year she participated in Dada activities with Marcel Duchamp and Francis Picabia.


Juliette Roche Hacoir, 1917 Oil and paper pasted on cardboard 53 × 43,5 cm  Estimate: €8,000 – 12,000
Juliette Roche (1884-1980)
Hachoir, 1917
Oil and paper pasted on cardboard
53 × 43,5 cm
Estimate: €8,000 - 12,000

Between New York and Barcelona
As convinced pacifists, the couple fled the war and took refuge in New York and Barcelona, where the festive districts inspired the artist’s artwork Les loges de Music-Hall, estimated at €2,000 - 3,000, or Sur les Ramblas, estimated at €3,000 - 5,000. However, it was New York that inspired her most committed paintings. With Hachoir, the leading lot of this sale, estimated at €8,000 - 12,000, she openly criticised the imminent entry of the United States into the World War One. LesVitrines à New York, estimated at €4,000 - 6,000 and €3,000 - 5,000, although attractive and colourful, testify to her unease with the growing consumer society.


She disappeared in 1980 and was active until the death of her husband Albert Gleizes in 1953. Her work reflects her many political commitments and synthesizes the pictorial evolutions of modernity while at the same time dusting off the traditional genres of painting. Little exhibited during her lifetime, her work is preserved at the Albert Gleizes Foundation, which she created to guarantee the artist’s influence and ensure the continuity of MolySabata, an artist’s residence created by the couple in 1927. Juliette Roche's personal work is now being reconsidered and recent retrospectives have been devoted to her at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Besançon, the MASC in Sables-d'Olonne, and the Musée Estrine in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The presentation of her artworks at auction is an unprecedented event.


Contemporary Art: T’ang Haywen, the most discreet Chinese artist in post-war Paris

On 5th April, Artcurial’s Post-War & Contemporary Art department will offer 50 abstract and figurative artworks by the Franco-Chinese artist T’ang Haywen, ranging from 1955 to 1990. Inks, watercolours and gouaches in the form of single works, diptychs and triptychs will enable visitors to discover the world of the artist, whose studio holdings have been entrusted by the State to the D.N.I.D (Direction Nationale d’Interventions Domaniales). T’ang Haywen’s artworks can now be found in major collections such as the Menil Collection in Huston, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Musée d’Art Moderne of Paris and the Musée Guimet, as well as the M+ Museum in Hong Kong. In 2024, a retrospective exhibition will be held at the Musée Guimet, which should increase its desirability in the market.


T’ang Haywen  Sans titre - 1983-84  Aquarelle, encre et gouache sur carton (diptyque)  Signé en bas à droite  29,70 x 42 cm  Estimation : 1 500 - 2 000 €
T’ang Haywen (1927-1991)
Untitled, 1983-84
Watercolour, ink and gouache on cardboard (diptych)
Signed lower right
29,70 x 42 cm
Estimate: €1,500 - 2,000


T’ang Haywen, the butterfly artist
Born in 1927 in China, T’ang Haywen moved to Paris in 1948 in order to escape his family’s restrictions and to fulfil his artistic vocation. Although he never learned Western painting at the academy, he did benefit from a thorough training in calligraphy, which is particularly evident in his inks on paper or cardboard. On his arrival in France, T’ang Haywen took drawing classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and was soon attached to the group of “Chinese artists abroad”, alongside Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun. For T’ang Haywen, Paris was a peak: that of his emancipation. Self-taught, he evolves like a “butterfly”, driven solely by a spirit of freedom in his artistic career and personal life, as the artist’s expert Philippe Koutouzis describes it.


Works at the crossroads of the two worlds
In his creative process, T’ang Haywen looks to the Western masters and is sometimes inspired by their compositions, but without losing the spontaneity and depth of the Chinese individualists of the 17th century. A hunter of visions like the impressionists, he wants to fix them on paper and transmit them as quickly as they appear to him, using some of the classical conventions of Chinese painting, but with his eccentric calligraphy brush. A formal artistic education would probably have prevented him from “writing” so freely all his ink landscapes or his coloured compositions, whose palette echoes expressionism, but in a more peaceful way and connected to reality. Finally, his intention is both the most traditional, through his attachment to the medium of water, and the most revolutionary, when he invites us to an introspection in front of the transparent mirror of his painting.


A magnificent diptych, estimated at €1,500 - 2,000, will be presented at the sale, alongside the 49 other artworks in the selection, honouring the most discreet artist of post-war Paris.



Upcoming auctions
Modern Art, 1900-1950
Tuesday 4th April 2023 – 2pm

Contemporary Art, 1950 to Present
Wednesday 5th April 2023 – 2pm


From 31st March to 3rd April 2023, 11am – 6pm
Closed on Sunday 2nd April


Modern Art
Elodie Landais
Tél. +33 1 42 99 20 84


Contemporary Art
Vanessa Favre
Tél. +33 1 42 99 16 13