Monday, May 22, 2017

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

(Drivebycuriosity) - I love contemporary art. Therefore I was looking forward to last week´s Spring auctions in New York City.  My wife and I went to Sotheby´s on New York`s Upper East Side, one of the huge global auction houses (sothebys).

They have on 10 floors exhibitions for the upcoming auctions, which can easily compete with the collections of big museums like New York´s MoMa - and the entry is free! We focused on the exhibitions for the day & evening auctions of Post War & Contemporary Art (day evening). I spotted there many of my favorites, but also discovered some new & fascinating artists. I display here just my favorites from the shows, a very subjective selection as usual.

The girl with the bag is admiring Robert Indiana`s "Love" (Estimate $500,000 — $700,000. Lot Sold for $2,052,500) which shared the wall with Tom Wesselmann`s "Smoker 21". The next image shows Joan Mitchell`s abstract "No Room at the End".

Jean Michel-Basquiat was the star of the spring auctions. His  "Untitled" (1982) had a pre-sale estimate in excess of $60 million, and sold for $110.5 million.

It´s a great painting but I prefer others including Roy Liechtenstein`s "Nude Sunbathing" which was sold for $24 million.

I was happy to find more works by my favorite artists, including 2 works by Mark Tansey, who`s surrealist story telling paintings I adore:"Study for Pit and Pile" followed by "Study for End of History Victory Party".

There was also a work by Adrian Ghenie, another favorite of mine. 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 "The second presentation room". The curators explain "inside Adrian Ghenie’s shadowed room, forces of brutality and beauty coexist. There is riveting painterly evidence of Ghenie’s physical assault on the canvas, where he has attacked the surface with loaded pigment using his palette knife to carve sensuous arenas of visual expression".  The painting had an estimate of $1 million — $1,5 million and sold for $2,172 million.

One wall caught especially my attention. There where 2 amazing works by Gerhard Richter (German) and the Austrian Gottfried Helnwein  brought together. Richter´s photography has the name "Annunciation after Titian (P12)2 (2015, Diasec-mounted giclée print on aluminium composite panel); Helnwein`s little girl is called "Untitled (Payton 5)" (2005, oil and acrylic on canvas).

Gerhard Richter had more works there, including "Grat 5".  Below that an image by Sigmar Polke, another German superstar, titled "Untitled".

I also love Lucio Fontana`s gorgeous "Concetto Spaziale, Attese" Estimate 2 million — 3 million
Lot Sold 3,132 million.

Above Robert Rauschenberg`s  fascinating collage "Untitled".

No auction without an Andy Warhol. Above his "Hammer and Sickle".

I have never heard about David Salle, but I really love his painting " Closer".

The same with José Bedia`s "Moana Tiene Belongo".

This couple is studying Mark Grotjahn`s "Untitled (Face 41.05)".

                                                              Have A Havanna

Liechtenstein`s "Nude" wasn`t left alone. Above you can see Tom Wesselman`s "Monica laying on blanket (black)", followed by Philip Pearlstein`s "Two female Models on Victorian Sofa"; George Condo`s "Nude with voices"; Mel Ramos`very explicit "Untitled (Have-A-Havanna)" (painted polychromatic resin)  & Keith Haring`s "Untitled (January 16, 1981).

Above Carrie Mae Weems`s gelatin silver print "Untitled (Black Love)".

                                                                 The Real Surprise

The real surprise of the auction season maybe Wolfgang Tillmanns` painting "Freischwimmer", which could more than quadruple the estimate (range $60,000 — $80,000) and sold for $324,500. Congratulations!

I am  grateful that they 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 expand my personal & virtual art collection.


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