Saturday, May 20, 2017

Contemporary Art: Spring Auctions 2017 - A Visit @ Christie`s, New York

(Drivebycuriosity) - It´s auction season again. This week the global auction houses had their huge spring auctions in New York City. My wife and I went to Christie`s, one of the global mega art traders  (christies). The place looks like a huge museum and could easily compete with New York´s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) and other prestigious art institutions. As usual they displayed the art work to be auctioned on several floors (galleries @ 20 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan).

Their catalogues has more than 300 items, a very impressive survey of contemporary art. I spotted many of my favorites, but also discovered some new & fascinating artists. I display here just my favorites from the exhibitions of Post War & Contemporary Art, a very subjective selection as usual. On top of this post you can see "Julian" by Urs Fischer (2014, paraffin wax, microcrystalline wax, encaustic pigment, oil paint, steel, wicks).

The spectacular abstract "Untitled II" by Willem de Kooning, which had an estimate of $25 million - $35 million, was withdrawn short before the auction, but we could admire it anyway.

But they had more blockbusters, including Cy Twombly’s "Leda and the Swan" (1962). The painting had a pre-sale estimate of $35 million–$55 million, and sold for $52.9 million.

and Roy Lichtenstein`s "Red and White Brushstrokes".

plus Francis Bacon’s "Three Studies of George Dyer". The work had a pre-sale estimate in the region of $50 million, and sold for $51.8 million.

                                                       Superstar Of The Season

There also were some paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat, who seems to be the superstar of the season (he had a record sale @ Sotheby`s). Above "La Hara" followed by his "Untitled (Half-Moon).

The pop artist Tom Wesselmann also belongs the usual suspects who appear on every auction. Here with his painting "Study for Nude Aquatint".

George Condo`s funny & surreal paintings seem to be equally popular. Above his "Three Figure Composition".

Cindy Sherman´s selfies are inevitable as well. Above her photographic self portrait "Untitled #205".

And there was of course Robert Rauschenberg. Above his "Peppermint Steer (Anagram (A Pun))" (1998, inkjet pigment transfer on polylaminate).

There were some more or less provoking art works including Maurizio Cattelan`s "Untitled" (2007, resin, paint, human hair, clothing, packing tissues, wood and screws) followed by Eric Fischl`s "The Visit II" (1981, oil on canvas) & Damien Hirst`s "Beautiful the Death of God the Birth of the New Universe Painting".

Believe it or not. The image above is a painting:  Rudolf Stingel`s "Untitled (After Sam) (2006, oil on canvas).

                                                  Frau Mit Butterbrot

There were of course my favorite German artists. Above Gerhard Richter`s "Schober" (1984, oil on canvas) followed by Sigmar Polke`s Frau mit Butterbrot" (1964, casein, household laquer and oil on canvas) & Georg Baselitz`s "Strandbild 10 Night in Tunesia II  (Beach Picture)".

I was also happy to see a work by Mark Tansey, who`s surrealist story telling paintings I adore. Above his "Study for Shades of Mont Sainte Victoire".

I am a fan of Adrian Ghenie as well. The Romanian belongs to the small group of up-and-coming artists (here my report from his show @ Pace Gallery driveby). Above you can see his "Nevada Landscape".

Above David Salle`s "Footmen" followed by Henry Taylor`s  "What can I say?" & Njideka Akunyili Crosby`s "Harmattan Haze";

I have never heard from Charline von Heyl. But her work "Darling" caught my eye.

I also love Dana Schutz`s "Fire on the Horizon".

Above another work by Urs Fischer, called "Sodium" (2015, aluminum panel, aramid honeycomb, tow-component polyurethane adhesive, two-component epoxy primer, galvanized steel rivet nuts, steel screws, steel dowels, washers, acrylic primer, gesso, acrylic ink, acrylic silkscreen medium, acrylic paint) followed by Sterling Ruby`s "BC (3983)" & "SP302" & "BC (3983); Hellen Frankenthaler`s "Gateway"; Sam Francis`"Untitled" & James Rosenquist`s "Feng Shui".

Francis Picabia`s "Adam et Eve" was painted already ca. 1941-1942 and not really contemporary anymore but the painting fits well into the amazing selection.

It`s very kind to allow humble spectators like us to visit and enjoy all the precious displays. And they didn`t mind that I took a lot pictures there to get my personal image collection.

To be continued.

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