Contemporary Art: Featuring the Collection of Norman Dolph — June 8, 2023 Auction Highlights

Lot 213: Jasper Johns, False Start II, color lithograph, 1962. Estimate $50,000 to $80,000.

Our spring auction of Contemporary Art will showcase a variety of exceptional works in all media including painting, sculpture, drawing and limited editions ranging from mid-20th century Abstract Expressionism through to the current day. The auction encompasses various art movements with an emphasis on Pop Art, Minimalism, Op Art, Neo Expressionism, Fluxus, Photorealism and Urban Art.

Highlights include a stunning impression of Jasper Johns’ scarce, early False Start II, dating from his first years as a printmaker, in which he cleverly juxtaposed linguistic and visual references. This early work by Johns is complemented by an exceedingly early and equally scarce lithograph, Bean Salad, 1977, made by Keith Haring a couple of years before his entry into the New York art scene and subsequent international fame, while he was working as a short-order cook in Pittsburgh; the lithograph is making its first-ever appearance at auction. There is also a strong selection of work by female abstract artists including Helen Frankenthaler, Yvonne Thomas, Louise Nevelson, Mary Abbott and Anni Albers, among others. Highlights among the more recent lots in the auction include works by Robert Longo, Wayne Thiebaud and Kara Walker.

Lot 230: Roy Lichtenstein, Crying Girl, color offset lithograph, 1963. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.
Lot 83: Alexander Calder, Black and White Mountains, brush and ink on paper, 1960. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.

We are especially pleased this season to offer works from the collection of the late Norman Dolph, of New York and Connecticut, who was, along with Andy Warhol, among the key producers of the legendary album The Velvet Underground & Nico, recorded in 1966 and released in 1967. Trained as an electrical engineer, Dolph was among the first in the U.S. to operate a mobile DJ company. Through this enterprise Dolph became friends with Warhol and a host of other artists including Marcel Duchamp, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Artschwager, Tom Wesselmann, Sam Middleton, Malcolm Morley, Tony Berlant and many others. His relationships with leading artistic figures and his own creative sensibilities as a music and recording business executive created an immense passion for art. Dolph put together a carefully curated collection over a span of more than four decades which we will present at auction for the first time. 

Left: Lot 157: Andy Warhol, Flowers, color screenprint, 1970. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000; right: Lot 153: Andy Warhol, Cow, color screenprint diptych, 1966. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.
Lot 176: Richard Artschwager, Portrait of Holly, acrylic on Celotex, 1972. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.

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From left to right: Lot 14: Helen Frankenthaler, Mary, Mary, color screenprint, 1987. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000; Lot 107: Anni Albers, GR I, color screenprint, 1970. Estmate $6,000 to $9,000; Lot 255: Robert Indiana, A Garden of Love, set of six color screenprints, 1982. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.

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