Jasper Johns’s 1973 screenprint Flags I features a richly colored and intricately layered surface of dripping marks that allude to the buildup of brushstrokes. Large in scale and technically complex, Flags I required 31 screens for its production. Sotheby’s upcoming Prints & Multiples auction (26–27 April, New York) presents the opportunity to acquire this work, the artist’s most famous print and an icon of contemporary printmaking.
With iconic works by Mary Cassatt, Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol, Sotheby’s upcoming Prints & Multiples sale offers exceptional examples from over a century of printmaking. Highlights range from a large-scale textile collaboration between Henri Matisse and designer Zika Ascher to a portfolio by thirteen contemporary artists made on behalf of the Obama Victory Fund. Ahead, view these works and ten others selected by our New York Prints specialists. Prints & Multiples 26–27 April | New York
From comic books to the kitchen sink, for Pop artists emerging in the 1950s and 1960s the objects of daily life served as artistic inspiration. Reacting against the overt seriousness of Abstract Expressionism, artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselman and Claes Oldenburg captivated public attention with witty, brightly hued artworks derived from the imagery of popular culture. Their irreverent creations ignited critical debate and forever altered the understanding of what art could be. Below are some facts about Pop art and its continued impact today.
Comparing two Superman images by Andy Warhol in the upcoming Prints & Multiples auction (26–27 April, New York), Sotheby’s specialist Hadley Newton explains the difference between numbered editions and unique trial proofs, both captivating parts of the artist's œuvre.
In Océanie, la mer, Henri Matisse employs his signature “cut-outs” to bring to life his travel in Tahiti and the vivid seascape that he found there. The work recently arrived at Sotheby's, and Specialist John Maher took a moment to discuss the history and importance of the artist's largest editioned piece. The work will be a highlight of Sotheby's upcoming auction of Prints & Multiples. (26-27 April, New York).
Sotheby’s Prints & Multiples Online (2–16 March, Online) features several pieces of art memorabilia by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, two of the most famous exponents of the Pop movement. Economic prosperity and a shift towards a Keynesian economic approach led to unprecedented wealth and the rise of consumerism in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. This new consumer culture inevitably resulted in the growth of the advertising and media sectors. Pop artists were fascinated with American consumerism. They appropriated everyday objects and imagery and employed the aesthetic vernacular of advertising. The repetitive nature of printmaking was well suited to Pop art. Screenprinting and offset lithography, commercial printing techniques, minimised the importance of the artist’s hand and alluded to the assembly-line manufacturing of coke bottles or soup cans. By elevating the mundane to the level of high art, these artists blurred the line between fine and commercial art.