Two Picasso works up for auction at Sotheby's

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NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) Two works by Pablo Picasso are up for auction at Sotheby's, a sculpture and a painting of important women in his life that could fetch 65 million dollars.

''Tete de femme (Dora Maar)'' is a 80-cm bronze bust made in 1941 that is estimated to sell for 20 million to 30 million dollars, the auction house said yesterday.

''La Lampe'' from 1931 features the likeness of his mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, and should bring in 25 million to 35 million dollars, Sotheby's said.

Both works come from Picasso's family and have never been offered at auction.

Before the November 7 sale in New York, the pieces will be on view at Sotheby's London on October 7-12 and in New York on November 2-7.

''Marie-Therese Walter and Dora Maar are the two women who inspired Picasso's art more than any others and their reigns in his life and oeuvre overlapped,'' director of sale Emmanuel Di Donna said in a statement.

Di Donna called the painting a ''vibrantly colorful ode to classicism'' that was produced as Picasso began to concentrate on Walter, who would become the primary focus of his art and a disruption in his marriage to Olga Khokhlova.

The sculpture of Dora Maar, his longtime companion, is a respectful and idealized portrayal ''without any of the abstraction that characterized his more menacing depictions of her as the weeping woman,'' Sotheby's said.

Sotheby's also announced the November 14 sale of Jeff Koons's ''Hanging Heart,'' a 1,600-kg, 2.7-metre sculpture estimated to sell for 15 million to 20 million dollars in a sign that contemporary art can also bring in top dollar.

Reuters SG DB0927

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