For one New Yorker who attended the 1965 event, the key revealed a Roy Lichtenstein drawing that Christie’s auction house estimates will fetch around $1 million at its May 11 auction.
“Kiss V” is a study for one of Lichtenstein’s major paintings of the same name, which is in a private collection and belongs to his dream-girl series created between 1961 and 1965. Measuring 6 inches by 6 inches, the study is a comic book-inspired close-up of a man and woman, executed in graphite and wax crayon.
The artist, who died in 1997, was famous for his cartoon-inspired style that helped launch — along with Andy Warhol, Jasper John and others — the pop art movement.
“Happenings,” spontaneous and fun arts and performance events, sprung up all around the city during the heady days of the 1960s.
The March 1965 one was organized by a group of emerging pop artists. It invited participants to come to the Hotel Chelsea — home to numerous legendary writers and artists — to enter into the $10 lottery for a key to about 20 lockers at the old Penn Station, which was then being torn down.
Thirteen artists participated in the Artists’ Key Club event. Besides Lichtenstein, they included Warhol, Christo and Arman.
“It was a large party for artists and people who were part of a hip downtown group having fun,” said Christie’s postwar and contemporary art expert Brett Gorvy. Later, he said, the group partied at a restaurant on the proceeds from the event.
Participants did not know which key opened which locker. And not everyone was as lucky as the woman who claimed the Lichtenstein drawing.
“One artist put up a group of very pungent cheeses” for his conceptual piece and another “had spices and herbs as his art work,” said Gorvy.
In 1965, the Lichtenstein drawing would probably have been valued at about $50. The current owner, who declined to be identified, decided to sell it because she had it recently appraised and was shocked to find out how much it was worth, Gorvy said.
Gorvy said Lichtenstein’s “Crying Girl,” a drawing of similar size and from the same series, sold at Christie’s in 2007 for $1.7 million. He said he expected “Kiss V” to surpass its pre-sale estimate of $800,000 to $1.2 million because of its unique provenance.
Lichtenstein was a “marvelous draftsman, who took the comic image and made it very much his own,” said Gorvy.
The auction record for Lichtenstein is $42.6 million for his “Oh … Alright,” a comic book image of a forlorn woman clutching a telephone. It sold at Christie’s in November.
Source: The Associated Press.
Hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen has reportedly enlisted Phillips de Pury to auction off the portrait of the late screen star.
He is asking for at least $20m at its major sale of contemporary art on May 12 in New York, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
The 1963 silkscreen, “Liz #5,” depicts the actress – who died on Wednesday, aged 79 – during her “BUtterfield 8” heyday, her red lips forming a serene smile and her eyelids swathed in blue eyeshadow. The work comes from Warhol’s signature 1960s series of pop-culture icons such as Marilyn Monroe and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
Near the market’s peak four years ago, Christie’s sold actor Hugh Grant’s 1963 Warhol portrait of Taylor, “Liz,” for $23.5 million.
The auction house has tried to leave as little as possible to chance. It has arranged for outside investors to guarantee Cohen an undisclosed price for the painting unless another bidder offers even more during the auction – an arrangement called a third-party guarantee.
The current auction record for Warhol was set four years ago when Christie’s got $71.7m for the artist’s 1963 “Green Car Crash.”
On the evening of 10 May 2011, Sotheby’s will offer one of the most important works by Jeff Koons ever to have appeared at auction. Pink Panther from 1988 draws on many of the themes that have come to define Koons’ output and stands as one of the outstanding achievements of his illustrious career. The porcelain sculpture is the artist’s proof from an edition of three with the other examples in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and a prominent private American collection, and belongs to the artist’s iconic Banality series that includes Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Bear and Policeman and Ushering in Banality. Pink Panther will appear on the front and back covers of the sale catalogue for the spring Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York and is estimated to fetch $20/30 million.
“Together with Balloon Dog and Bunny, Pink Panther is a 20th-century masterpiece and one of the most iconic sculptures of Jeff Koons’s oeuvre,” commented Tobias Meyer, Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s.
Representing the highest tier of Jeff Koons’ artistic achievement, Pink Panther is immediately identifiable as a masterpiece not only of the artist’s historic canon, but also of the epoch of recent Contemporary Art. It conflates the classic themes that define the artist’s output – materiality and artificiality, eroticism and naivety, popular culture and rarefied elitism – and is the model expression of one of the most innovative and influential artists of our times. Initially unveiled at Koons’ seminal show Banality, held at the Sonnabend Gallery, New York in 1988, Pink Panther has been emblematic of this remarkable series ever since, which is itself regarded as a landmark of Koons’ oeuvre.
In Pink Panther, the display of the woman’s semi-naked body is sensual. However, with the bizarrely incongruous cuddly Pink Panther toy clinging to this literal embodiment of carnal desire, Koons strikes an outrageous contrast between the competing powers of adult and childhood associations. Although the Pink Panther cartoon character was initially created by Hawley Pratt for the opening sequence of the eponymous 1963 film starring Peter Sellers as the bungling Inspector Clouseau, it was only after becoming the protagonist of its own 1960s television show that it entered the mainstream consciousness as a contemporary Pop icon.
The artist’s painstaking selection of media is central to the conceptual project, contributing directly to the importance of the work. The terms of its execution are flawless: the contrasting textures of the porcelain surfaces are rendered in dazzlingly vivid colours that reinforce the object’s artificiality, while the transparent glazes simultaneously evoke the fragility of thin glass and the ethereal nature of a reflective liquid.
The ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) Gala Party in conjunction with made.com have joined forces in an upcoming event featuring several customized pieces of art work based on utilitarian products. Such well-known artists such as Damien Hirst and Chinese artist Ai WeiWei have come on board to work their personal styles over items such as bicycles. Other artists involved have been given mediums such as Piggy Bags, Arche Lamps, Champion Pro Football Tables and Hollander Bikes for their own interpretation. A full list of artists and information can be seen over at made.com. The preview exhibition will be held from March 23 – 27 at the ICA with a fundraising auction on March 29.
With hopes for recovery in fine art prices running high, attention is trained on second-tier markets such as Russian collecting for signs of renewal. Sotheby’s conducts the season’s first Russian art sales next week, led by a pair of important collections including one of 86 works by Ukrainian avant-garde artists being sold as a single lot. The auctions come on the heels of strong Asia Week sales at both Sotheby’s and rival Christie’s in New York, and last month’s Hong Kong results, where salesrooms were filled to capacity, estimates were exceeded and records fell.
“This market has been booming for quite some time” and is seeing a renewed confidence, said Sonya Bekkerman, Sotheby’s director of Russian paintings.
The financial crisis that struck in 2008 made collectors “more selective, but they’re buying consistently,” she added. The relatively recent phenomenon of Russian collecting has drawn widespread attention, as oligarchs emboldened with seemingly limitless cash snapped up top works at auction at often astounding prices for established and newer mid-emerging artists.
Bidders gasped in 2006 as an anonymous bidder paid more than $95 million for Picasso’s “Dora Maar with Cat.” The mystery man, unknown to even auction regulars, had not even secured a seat at Sotheby’s and conducted his audacious bidding from the standing area at the rear. Reports, unconfirmed by Sotheby’s, have since focused on a Russian mining magnate as the buyer.
Philip Hoffman, founder and CEO of The Fine Art Fund Group investment house, said that while the Russian market is somewhat unpredictable, “collectors have become more savvy and are doing more research. The wealthy people coming into the market have the confidence now to do it, and they have the money,” he said.
Bekkerman concurred that “there is a level of sophistication that’s very different from when this market began to boom. They’ve caught up.”
Accordingly, Sotheby’s has estimated its two star collections conservatively, with the single-lot Yakov Pereman collection estimated at only $1.5 million to $2 million for all 86 works. The late actress Ruth Ford’s collection of art by Pavel Tchelitchew, who was her brother’s companion, is expected to fetch about $2 million.
Other works by Russian masters including Boris Grigoriev and Natalia Goncharova raise the sales’ total expectations to $11 million to $15 million. An exhibition, including many pieces never seen in the U.S., begins on Saturday ahead of next week’s auctions.
Bekkerman, who just returned from Moscow and Kiev, said the offerings had generated great interest in Russia, the Ukraine, and in the U.S. and among Americans of Russian descent. Taken with the Asian sales results, the Russian auctions could generate heat going into next month’s critical sales in New York.
“This market is a gateway,” Bekkerman said. “The collectors have an interest in their own heritage and artists, then channel into other areas such as modernism and post-impressionism.”
Christie’s, announces the availability of a new mobile application that extends the company’s online experience to a global audience of Apple mobile device users. Beginning July 15, Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users can enjoy optimized mobile access to Christie’s online features, including previews of all sales and lots, real-time sales results, and more. This free application will be made available to the one million plus unique visitors to Christies.com each month via http://www.christies.com/on-the-go/iphone, the company’s Facebook and Twitter audiences, and to visitors of the iTunes App Store.
Michael O’Neal, director of Digital Media at Christie’s comments: “The Christie’s app ensures our existing and potential buyers are always in touch and informed of our latest offerings, no matter where they may be. New advancements in mobile devices now allow for a very rich visual experience perfectly suited to viewing Christie’s broad array of offerings, including fine art, jewels, decorative objects, furniture, and fine and rare wines.
As our global audience grows increasingly reliant on mobile communication devices, Christie’s is leading the way as the first international fine art auction house to launch a mobile access strategy, so that our clients may select the communications medium best suited to their needs at any given moment. The Christie’s app ensures that our clients continue to enjoy the enhanced online services they’ve become accustomed to with Christies.com, as well as take advantage of new custom features that leverage the revolutionary unique features and functions of the iPhone and iPod Touch.”
The Christie’s App was developed in partnership with Kargo, a leading independent mobile media and technology partner that specializes in producing breakthrough entertainment and information applications. With the Christie’s app, buyers and sellers around the world can:
Browse any Christie’s auction, anywhere in the world: Search by Category, Location, or Area of Interest, so you can easily find items of interest while on the road, or with a client.
As the first step in Christie’s broader mobile access strategy, the new app is an example of the company’s continuing commitment to leveraging best-in-class digital technologies to enrich the client experience. In addition to its mobile offering, Christie’s remains the only international fine art auction house to offer online bidding capability via Christie’s LIVE™, a real-time multi-media bidding application. In 2008, Christie’s LIVE™ generated $82 million in online sales and direct underbidding. Online sale registrations per sale grew 138% in 2008 and the percent share of all lots sold through remote bidding channels grew 33%.
Christie’s presents the mid-season Prints & Multiples sale on July 22. Comprised of a cross section of movements and styles, this well selected offering includes work by James Jacques, Joseph Tissot, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Paul Gauguin, Joan Miró, Sam Francis, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha and Rachel Whiteread, among others. This sale is the ideal opportunity to begin or expand collections for new bidders and seasoned print enthusiasts alike. A broad selection of Pop and abstract art complete the Prints & Multiples sale. A unique example is A Dedicated Follower of Fashion (estimate: $3,000-5,000) by Richard Hamilton, a founder of the Pop movement in Britain.
L’Eté (estimate: $2,500-3,500) by Tissot, is a classic Belle Époque image, embodying the romantic French style of the late 1800’s that glamorized upper class life by depicting the refinement and elegance of the society subject. With an emphasis on opulent decorative details, this image highlights the young woman’s sophisticated and intricate parasol, lace gloves, floral brooch, high collar, and idle gaze. The drypoint technique further embellishes the refined scene as it gives the print a rich, velvety texture. An icon of French academic art, Tissot will be celebrated in an upcoming exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art from October 2009 – January 2010. The abstract art selection is highlighted with prints by Brice Marden, Frank Stella, Richard Serra, Grace Hartigan, and Sam Francis.
The sale also includes a complete signed set of 12 offset lithographs by Marcel Duchamp (estimate: $3,000-5,000). Bright orange, blue, green, red and black colors are printed on both sides of six cardboard disks or Rotoreliefs. When spun on a record player they create the illusion of threedimensional space. Typifying his interest in visual phenomena, the animated Rotoreliefs demonstrate Duchamp’s whimsical ingenuity and inventiveness both graphically and in material choice.
In addition, the sale features fifteen Pablo Picasso earthenware pieces ranging in estimates from $800-5,000. Picasso demonstrated interest in pottery early on in his life but it was not until a vacation to Vallauris, France during which he visited the Madoura Pottery Studio that he fully engaged the medium. The studio invited Picasso to design and create earthenware pieces that were then reproduced under his supervision in the years from 1946 to 1971. The themes explored in these pieces are classic Picasso motifs, including female figures, bull fights, and a cavalier and horse. After the recent success of Picasso’s Mousquetaire à la pipe, which sold for $14.6 million in Christie’s May 6 Evening Sale, the Prints & Multiples sale offers the prime opportunity to collect a Picasso Musketeer on a smaller scale with, Face no. 130 (estimate: $1,200-1,800).
There are also prints by Robert Indiana, including seven of his iconic Love prints (estimate: $2,500-3,500), in addition to prints by Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein, and a cast iron multiple by Claes Oldenburg. Contemporary Pop artists in the sale include Jeff Koons, Alex Katz, Jim Dine, and James Rosenquist.
Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction took place this evening and realised £19,063,350 / $31,778,604 / €22,513,816 selling 88% by lot and 86% by value. The top price was paid for Night Playground by Peter Doig (b.1959), 1997/98, an exemplary large scale painting described by the artist as one of his own favourites. It was offered at auction for the first time and realised £3,009,250 / $5,016,420 / €3,553,924, the second highest price for the artist at auction (estimate: £1.5 million to £2 million). A particularly rare urban view, the painting shows night falling on a city playground and portrays the contrast between nature and the man-made. At this evening’s auction, 4 works of art sold for over £1 million / 11 for over $1 million, and buyers (by lot / by origin) were 65% UK and Europe, 29% Americas and 6% Asia.
Francis Outred, International Director and Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christie’s Europe: ‘We are delighted with the results of our sales tonight which continued the trend of strong sold rates seen in the first 6 months of this year at our international auctions. This evening, an active market saw 86% of lots find buyers in a sale that achieved strong prices – in particular, the outstanding result for Peter Doig’s ‘Night Playground’, which made the second highest price ever achieved for the artist at just over £3 million. What was most interesting was that 80% of works sold within or above their pre-sale estimates, and that we welcomed bids from a significant number of new collectors.’
Further highlights of the sale:
1025 Farben (1025 Colours) by Gerhard Richter (b.1932) realised £1,385,250 / $2,309,212 / €1,635,980, and was offered at auction for the first time having been in the ownership of the present European owner since 1974, the year in which it was painted. From a series considered to coincide with the most fruitful period in the artist’s career, the work sold this evening is from the last and most accomplished group of colour charts which he painted.
Country Nurse, 2003, by Richard Prince (b.1949), one of the largest works created for the artist’s celebrated and highly coveted Nurse series, sold for £1,721,250 / $2,869,324 / €2,032,796. For the Nurse series, Prince mined his own extensive collection of trashy romance novels from the 1950s and 1960s, lifting the protagonists and titles from their lurid covers and immersing them in layers of pigment. An exploration of female stereotypes, the series was subject to great attention in 2003 when Prince photographed Kate Moss for W magazine in front of one of his pictures while she was wearing a suggestive nurse’s outfit.
The auction offered 3 works by Jeff Koons (b. 1955) which represented three distinctive moments from the artist’s career, and all of which were offered at auction for the first time. Moustache, 2003, from the artist’s Popeye series sold this evening for £1,105,250 / $1,842,452 / €1,305,300. Flowers, 1986, from the artist’s Statuary series which also included his masterpiece, Rabbit, sold for £337,250 / $562,196 / €398,292; and Walrus (Blue), executed in 1999, sold for £361,250 / $602,204 / €426,636.
Untitled, by Cy Twombly (b.1928) realised £802,850 / $1,338,351 / €948,166, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £500,000 to £700,000. This important work was executed in 1961, a watershed year in the artist’s career during which he created a number of masterpieces including the Ferragosto series which was recently united in an exhibition dedicated to the artist at Tate Modern last year.
· Rosso Gilera 60 1232 Rosso Guzzi 60 1305 by Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994) sold for £713,250 / $1,188,988 / €842,348 against a pre-sale estimate of £280,000 to £350,000 setting a record price for the artist at auction. Further artist records were established by Transiente by Julie Mehretu (b.1970) which realized £229,250 / $382,160 / €270,744; and Golden Independent Heart, 2004, a 4.5 metre tall, rotating heart made of plastic cutlery by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (b.1971) whose work has never before been offered at an international auction and which sold for £163,250 / $272,138 / €192,798 (estimate: £80,000 to £120,000).
A “musketeer” painted by Pablo Picasso was one of the big attractions at an auction of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s held in London, where it sold for 5.7 million pounds ($9.3 million). The 1969 work, “Homme a l’Epee,” was the second most expensive lot of the session, after Monet’s “Au Parc Monceau,” that went for 6.3 million pounds ($10.3 million). Painted on canvas, the Picasso work shows an exhuberant and colorful swordsman in a scene that mixes thick brush strokes in which red and yellow predominate. Just by chance the rival auction house Sotheby’s is offering this Wednesday to the highest bidder another musketeer – this one painted on wood – by Picasso, executed on July 25, 1969, one day before the one sold at Christie’s. Both works figured in the famous 1970 exhibition at the Palace of the Popes in Avignon, France, together with other musketeers, lovers and gentlemen, all charged with energy and a contagious humor.
Another important Spanish artist, Joan Miro (1893-1983), led the bidding Tuesday at Christie’s, where his “Peinture (Femme se poudrant)” sold for 3.9 million pounds ($6.4 million).
Giovanna Bertazzoni, Director and Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, Christie’s London: “During the last 6 months, our auctions of Impressionist and Modern Art in London, Paris and New York have produced consistently solid results and this evening’s sale confirms that collectors, both new and established, have confidence buying works by established artists in this category. We see consistent demand throughout and overall the prices of individual works remain stable. At the top end of the market we continue to see strong interest and bidding as collectors seize opportunities to acquire rare and beautiful works of art.”
The top price was paid for Au Parc Monceau, 1878, by Claude Monet (1840-1926), an important painting from the vintage years of Impressionism which realised £6,313,250 / $10,284,284 / €7,392,816. It had been sold at auction only once before when it realised £3.7 million in June 2001 in London. At this evening’s auction, 2 works of art sold for over £5 million / 9 for over £1 million. Buyers (by lot / by origin) were 83% UK and Europe, 14% Americas and 3% Asia.
Further leading highlights of the sale included:
Painting, 1949, by Joan Miró (1893-1983), one of an outstanding group of pictures described as being among the most important of the artist’s career which sold for £3,961,250 / $6,452,876 / €4,638,624 against a pre-sale estimate of £2.2 million to £2.8 million.
Elsewhere in the sale, Hélène by Alexej von Jawlensky (1864-1941) sold for £1,721,250 / $2,803,916 / €2,015,584; Mohn by Emil Nolde (1867-1956) realized £1,273,250 / $2,074,124 / €1,490,976, and Composition by Fernand Léger (1881-1955) sold for £1,217,250 / $1,982,900 / €1,425,400.
Further highlights included Buste de Diego sur tige, a bronze by Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) which sold for £1,026,850 / $1,672,739 / €1,202,441 (estimate: £750,000 to £950,000) and Mont-roig, le pont, an important early landscape by Joan Miró (1893-1983) which was painted in 1917 near his family home in Catalonia and which sold for £541,250 / $881,696 / €633,804 (estimate: £400,000 to £600,000).
The issue of Art News November issue provoked some debate on the internet not so long ago with the cover story reading “Street Art Gets Hot”. Here is more info on the magazine which features the article from Carolina Miranda which covers some of our favourites with Barry McGee, Swoon and Blue which you can read the whole story here.