Mao is at its best

A. Warhol. нБП. 1972. Screening. Estimate £350 000–450 000. Old Masters, Modern and Contemporary Prints. Sotheby’s. London, October 2

Sotheby’s London department – On October 2, the Old Masters, Modern and Contemporary Prints auction will take place. It will cover more than four centuries of the world graphic art. Among 313 lots there are works by such artists as E. Munch, E. Warhol, P. Picasso, A. Durer, A. Matisse.

The auction catalogue indicates the consumer’s demand: graphic art of the 20th century is more popular than Old masters. The most expensive lot in this category is a collection of 22 graphic sheets by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. It is estimated at £150 000-200 000. This collection is on the fifth place among the Sotheby’s top lots. Moreover, Albrecht Durer’s magnificent etching “Nemesis” (£20 000-30 000) dated 1502 is at the 42 place. The rating of Sotheby’s top lots consists of various graphic works of modernism.

Andy Warhol’s work is to be the most expensive one. There are 55 works made by this master at the auction. “Mao” is of the highest estimate. It will be put up for sales estimated at £350 000-450 000. The buyer will receive all 10 copies of the multi-coloured chairman signed and dated 1972.

The following Warhol’s top work is “Beethoven” which is similar to the previous one except that the great composer is offered only in four colour variants. A series, dated 1987, will be sold by auction for £100 000-150 000.

The Norwegian artist Edward Munch and his 7 works, five of which are among ten top lots is the Warhol’s main competitor. The engraving “Abundance” was estimated at £350 000-400 000 having taken the second place of the auction sales. The xylography painted by hand was created in 1900 as a preliminary work for the picture with the same name. The work is unique in the absence of emotional tension and the hypertrophied expression typical to Munch’s work. The colour xylography The Vampire II (apprx. 1895 – apprx. 1902) is estimated at £300 000-400 000. The well-known black-and-white engraving The Melancholy III will be put up for sales estimated at £150 000-200 000 while the graphic sheet The Moonlight II is on the sixth place in the rating of top lots. It is estimated at £120 000-180 000. Another highlight is the etching The Girl on the Bridge estimated at £80 000. Most of Edward Munch’s engravings at this auction are from the collection of Norwegian collector Harald Holst Halvorsen.

The fourth artist in the top list is Roy Lichtenstein, Warhol’s contemporary and the follower. His work Nude with Blue Hair will be put up for sales estimated at £70 000-100 000. The relief print was made in 1994 by the New York Tyler Graphics Ltd. printing house in the number of 40 copies. The presented copy is the 30th in the series. It has a date and the artist’s signature.
Another interesting work of pop art is the album of 11 works by such authors, as Alan d’Arcangelo, Jim Dine, Gerald Lang, Roy Lichtenstein, Peter Phillips, Mal Ramos, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, John Wesley and Tom Wesselman. The album was published by the New York Original Editions publishing house under the edition of the artist Max Kozloff in circulation of 200 copies. One of these copies will be put up for the forthcoming auction sales estimated at £70 000-90 000.

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Published in: on October 22, 2008 at 8:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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