Auction Highlights: Contemporary Art — November 16, 2023

Swann’s Contemporary Art auction on November 16 spans the last fifty-plus years of artistic creativity, encompassing mid-century Abstract Expressionism to the present day, with compelling examples in all media, including painting, sculpture, drawing and prints.

Abstract Expressionism

The auction begins with a strong selection of Abstract Expressionist works by artists including Adolph Gottlieb, Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Louise Nevelson and others.  

Lot 20: Helen Frankenthaler, West Wind, color screenprint, 1997. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
From left to right: Lot 29: Robert Motherwell, Put out All Flags, color aquatint and lift-ground etching, 1979-80. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000; Lot 33: Lee Krasner, Free Space (Green), color screenprint and collage, 1975. Estimate $5,000 to $8,000.

European Artists

From left to right: Lot 47: Jean Dubuffet, Dame au parc, color pencils, crayon, felt-tip pen & ink, and collage, 1974. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000; Lot 66: Leon Golub, Head VII, oil on canvas, 1959. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

Left: Lot 99: Stephen Antonakos, Untitled Construction, found metal and wood elements, dowels, paint and sewn fabric, 1961. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.

The sale continues with a wide variety of works by European artists such as Jean Dubuffet and Pierre Soulages, as well as American artists including Leon Golub and Philip Guston, and Op Art and color theory works by Bridget Riley, Josef Albers, and Yves Klein.  There is also a fine run of limited editions by Alexander Calder.

From left to right: Lot 118: Anni Albers, Connections 1925/1983, portfolio with complete text & 9 color screenprints, 1984. Estimate $12,000 to $18,000; Lot 126: Bridget Riley, Untitled (Chicago 8), color screenprint, 1971. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.

Pop Art

From left to right: Lot 145: Andy Warhol, Legs, brush and ink, circa 1958. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000; Lot 148: Roy Lichtenstein, Crying Girl, color offset lithograph, 1963. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.

The ever-popular section of Pop Art and related works includes drawings by Andy Warhol, multiple editions by Roy Lichtenstein spanning the length of his storied career, and colorful works by James Rosenquist, Robert Indiana, Ed Ruscha, and Keith Haring.

Lot 220: Keith Haring, Pop Shop VI, complete set of four color screenprints, 1989. Estimate $50,000 to $80,000.

Color Field Artists

From left to right: Lot 197: Ellsworth Kelly, Colored Paper Image XV (Dark Gray and Blue), colored and pressed paper pulp, 1976. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000; Lot 199: Gene Davis, Untitled (P 146), acrylic on canvas, 1984. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

A strong selection of abstract, minimalist and Color Field artists follows, including signature examples by Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin and Kenneth Noland.

Works from the 1980s

Right: Lot 245: Richard Hambleton, Kaerhmu (Shadowman), acrylic on canvas, 1982. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.

Moving into the 1980s and the next two decades there are works by artists including Alex Katz, Martin Kippenberger, Barbara Kruger, Eric Fischl and Jennifer Bartlett, as well as an early “Shadowman” oil on canvas by Richard Hambleton.

From left to right: Lot 224: Alex Katz, Brisk Day, color aquatint, 1990. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000; Lot 233: Eric Fischl, Untitled, oil on Chromecoat paper, 1986. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.
Lot 241: Martin Kippenberger, Das Ende des Alphabets (Prototype for the Edition), three-part sculpture of inflatable rubber on wood, cork on wood and acrylic on wood, 1989. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

Lot 317: Golnaz Fathi, Untitled, mixed media, 2018. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.

The auction concludes with an array of paintings, sculpture and limited editions from the past two decades by a bevy of international artists including Cecily Brown, Peter Doig, Kehinde Wiley, Shepard Fairey, Damien Hirst and others.

From left to right: Lot 267: Callum Innes, Exposed Painting Schevening Black, Red, Violet, oil on linen, 2002-03. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000; Lot 268: Phil Sims, Untitled (Red Spectrum), oil on linen, 2001. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
From left to right: Lot 296: Kehinde Wiley, Louis XVI, The Sun King, cast marble, dust and resin, 2006. Estimate $12,000 to $18,000; Lot 309: Barthélémy Toguo, Love Forest, color inks on canvas, 2018. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

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