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Trophy Hunting II: Post-War & Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s

April 14, 2012

LOT 27, FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION
ANDY WARHOL, 1928 – 1987, DOUBLE ELVIS (FERUS TYPE) silkscreen ink and spray paint on canvas, 81 3/4 x 48 in. 207.6 x 121.9 cm. Executed in 1963.
ESTIMATE $30-50 million. THE LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $33 MILLION or $37,042,500 INCLUDING THE BUYER’S PREMIUM

UPDATE – Head fake! The opening lot this evening, Alexander Calder’s Red Toothset off a feeding frenzy zooming past its $500,000-7000,000 estimate to hit a hammer price of $2.5 million ($2,882,500 including buyer’s premium).  But if you thought that was chumming the waters, well the evening promptly settled into a slow slog to the finish line. Not to say the evening was a disaster – the major lots performed well, but the atmosphere was nothing like the evening before at Christie’s.  Top five lots + five additional works with post sale results below and complete sale results here.

ORIGINAL POST -Together, the top five lots in the sale could set you back $124-162 million (not including the buyer’s premium).  No surprise, top priced lots include paintings by Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon, but finding the Cy Twombly “blackboard” painting at $15-20 million in the mix perhaps portends a new entrant into the realm of super-pricey artists.  Here are the top five works (by estimate) along with five additional works selected from catalogue of the entire 59-lot sale. The five additional include a very early Twombly painting and one by the sublime Robert Ryman.

LOT 19, PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED EUROPEAN COLLECTION
FRANCIS BACON, 1909 – 1992, FIGURE WRITING REFLECTED IN MIRROR, signed, titled and dated 1976 on the reverse, oil on canvas, 78 x 57 7/8 in. 198 x 147 cm.
ESTIMATE $30-40 million. THIS LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $40 MILLION or $44,882,500 INCLUDING BUYER’S PREMIUM.

LOT 16, FROM THE COLLECTION OF PHIL AND BEA GERSH
ROY LICHTENSTEIN, 1923 – 1997, SLEEPING GIRL, signed and dated ’64 on the reverse, oil and Magna on canvas, 36 x 36 in. 91.5 x 91.5 cm.
Executed in 1964, this work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue, raisonné being, prepared by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.
ESTIMATE $30-40 million. THIS LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $40 MILLION or $44,882,500 INCLUDING BUYER’S PREMIUM.

LOT 29, PROPERTY OF A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTOR
CY TWOMBLY, 1928 – 2011, UNTITLED (NEW YORK CITY), signed and dated 1970 on the reverse, oil based house paint and wax crayon on canvas, 56 1/2 x 70 in. 143.5 x 177.8 cm.
ESTIMATE $15-20 million. THIS LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $15.5 MILLION or $17,442,500 INCLUDING THE BUYER’S PREMIUM.

LOT 12, PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN COLLECTION
ANDY WARHOL, 1928 – 1987, TEN-FOOT FLOWERS
acrylic, silkscreen ink, and pencil on canvas, 114 1/2 x 114 1/2 in. 290.9 x 290.9 cm. Executed in 1967-68.
ESTIMATE $9-12 million THIS LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $9.5 MILLION or $10,722,500 INCLUDING BUYER’S PREMIUM.

Five additional lots of interest:

LOT 26, PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF THEODORE J. FORSTMANN
ROY LICHTENSTEIN, 1923 – 1997, SAILBOATS III, signed and dated ’74 on the reverse, oil and Magna on canvas, 70 x 80 in. 177.8 x 203.3 cm., Executed in 1974, this work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.
ESTIMATE $6-8 million. THIS LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $10.5 MILLION or $11,842,500 INCLUDING BUYER’S PREMIUM.

LOT 8, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, B.1955, UNTITLED (W38), signed, dated 1996 and inscribed W38 on the reverse, enamel on aluminum, 108 x 72 in. 274.3 x 182.8 cm.
ESTIMATE $4-6 million. THIS LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $4.5 MILLION or $5,122,500 INCLUDING BUYER’S PREMIUM.

LOT 10, PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN COLLECTION
GERHARD RICHTER, B.1932, ABSTRAKTES BILD, signed, dated 1992 and numbered 768-2 on the reverse, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 63 in. 200 x 160 cm.
ESTIMATE $8-10 million. THIS LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $15 MILLION or $16,882,500 INCLUDING BUYER’S PREMIUM.

LOT 37, PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED MIDWEST COLLECTION
ROBERT RYMAN, B.1930, DURATION, signed, titled and dated 88 on the reverse, lascaux acrylic on canvas mounted on fiberglass panel with four painted metal bolts, 40 x 40 in. 101.6 x 101.6 cm.
ESTIMATE $1-1.5 million. THIS LOT SOLD FOR HAMMER PRICE OF $1.4 MILLION or $1,650,500 INCLUDING BUYER’S PREMIUM.

LOT 41, CY TWOMBLY, 1928 – 2011, UNTITLED (NEW YORK CITY), signed and dated 1956 on the reverse (by the artist in New York in 1985), oil based house paint, wax crayon and lead pencil on canvas, 45 1/8 x 53 1/4 in. 114.6 x 135.3 cm.
ESTIMATE$4.5-6 million. THIS LOT SOLD WAS WITHDRAWN FROM THE SALE AND NOT SOLD.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 9:35 AM

    I went to see this work in the flesh on Saturday in New Bond Street

    In my opinion Sail boats III is a masterpiece. I stood in front of it for at least 15 minutes.

    The rest i could take or leave, even the bacon and he’s my favourite painter.

  2. April 16, 2012 6:27 PM

    Appreciate getting a report from the field.

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