T o mark 50 ground-breaking years in Asia, Sotheby’s is honoured to present a landmark celebratory sale of works by Eastern and Western Masters, encompassing the very best of Contemporary art. Led by Yoshitomo Nara’s 2012 masterwork, In the Milky Lake, our prestigious 50th Anniversary Contemporary Evening Auction will inaugurate the global achievements of some of the most pioneering and influential artist of the last century. From a singular work by Pop master and 20th century icon Roy Lichtenstein to seminal examples of the epochal oeuvre of Zeng Fanzhi, we are thrilled to present a distinguished collection of works this April.
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Yoshitomo Nara 奈良美智
In the Milky Lake《乳白色湖中》
Estimate: 80,000,000 - 120,000,000 HKD
50 Years New in Asia: Yoshitomo Nara's Message of Peace and Compassion
Leading our 50th Anniversary Contemporary Evening Auction is the immediately captivating In the Milky Lake by Yoshitomo Nara. Sumptuous in scale, In the Milky Lake is a monumental example of Yoshitomo Nara’s mature artistic output and features the most recognisable Nara heroine rendered in meticulous detail; the little girl in a green dress emerges from a pearlescent neutral background, her legs submerged in a rippling puddle.
A major motif in the artist's work and after which Nara named his first major solo exhibition in 1995, In the Deepest Puddle, In the Milky Lake traces an overarching thread in the artist’s practise. Beautifully detailed through meticulous layering of pigment, the eyes of this work are the soul of the painting and articulate the artist’s move away from the early mischievous stare of his figures to his later ethereal dreamy gaze. Universal and timeless in its message of peace and compassion, it is the first time that the enigmatic In the Milky Lake has been offered at auction.
Roy Lichtenstein 羅伊·李奇登斯坦
Estimate: 55,000,000 - 78,000,000 HKD
Expert Voices: Barbara Bertozzi Castelli on Roy Lichtenstein’s Figures
Sotheby’s is also thrilled to present Roy Lichtenstein’s Figures as a highlight of our upcoming Evening Auction. A personal favourite of Lichtenstein, Figures draws together the full spectrum of twentieth-century image making and is one of the finest examples of Roy Lichtenstein’s works from his highly acclaimed ‘Surrealist’ period.
With examples of Lichtenstein’s Surrealist paintings from 1977 and 1978 held in some of the most important museums and institution sin the world, this series represents the inventive mind of a mature artist at the creative apex of his extraordinary career. Extensively exhibited in a number of the artist’s most important exhibitions, including the 2010 Roy Lichtenstein: Meditations on Art at La Triennale di Milano, Milan, Figures is an exemplary example of Lichtenstein’s contribution to 20th century art history.
50 Years New in Asia: Roy Lichtenstein’s Enigmatic Tableau of 21st Century Image-Making
Zeng Fanzhi 曾梵志
Mask Series no. 6《面具系列1999第6號》
Estimate: 16,000,000 - 26,000,000 HKD
Leading the contemporary Chinese section of our anniversary sale is Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask Series no. 6 from 1999. A monumentally important work from the artist Fanzhi’s Mask Series, this piece belong to a body of work that would ultimately become one of the most significant ever created in the history of Chinese contemporary art. Skilfully juxtaposing highly symbolic motifs to construct his enigmatic and allusive compositions, Mask Series no. 6 (1999) not only unravels a pervasive sense of doubt and uncertainty that belie a seemingly celebratory moment in China’s history at the turn of the millennium, but also documents Zeng Fanzhi’s own inner struggle in understanding the convoluted modern world. A breakthrough composition, the dazzling and mature Mask Series no. 6 was the first in the series to depict Zeng’s central character – possibly the artist himself - standing on a peak, a setting that would go on to be a major motif in later iterations.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong is thrilled to be offering several iconic pieces by the revered Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. This microcosm of her artistic career, spanning motifs that first emerged during her early years in New York, up her rise to pre-eminence in the late-1990s and beyond, traces some of the artist's greatest achievements. From two monumental, museum-worthy sculptural works from the artist’s mature aesthetic to the spectacular Infinity Nets (QNTBH), a testament to Yayoi Kusama’s most celebrated corpus of paintings, this is a selection of outstanding works by the artist.
Kusama’s Pumpkin (L) (2014), a rare example of the artist’s highly coveted sculptural pumpkins beautifully materialised in bronze, is offered alongside a pristine iteration of the artist’s pumpkin canvases, A-Pumpkin [BAGN8] from 2011. My Heart is Flying to the Universe (2018) is a magnificent, sophisticated example of Kusama’s iconic Infinity Mirror Rooms, and the first Mirror Room to be offered at auction in Asia. This dazzling light display is a beautifully manifestation of the artist’s obsession with cosmic infinity. Soul (2013) is a brilliant example of Kusama’s unique style from the celebrated My Eternal Soul series of paintings, is a rarity for the series, including not one but two of Kusama’s archetypal motifs within one composition; a meticulously rendered red Infinity Nets and the artist’s ubiquitous yellow and black colours of her pumpkin paintings and sculptures.
This sale includes extraordinary examples of 20th and 21st Century Contemporary masters, from an exceedingly rare and enigmatic four panelled painting from the height of Gerhard Richter’s abstract practice, to a dazzling example of Alexander Calder’s seminal mobiles. Encompassing a number of groundbreaking works by some of the most significant artists working today, the 50th Anniversary Evening Auction will be offering outstanding works by Adrian Ghenie, George Condo, Cecily Borwn and Stanley Whitney.
Offering a refined selection of works by some of Asia’s most celebrated contemporary artists, the 50th Anniversary Contemporary Evening Auction will feature an enigmatic work from Liu Ye’s deeply enchanting and hypnotic oeuvre, as well as an expansive work by Duan Jianyu, the largest to ever be offered at auction. Expertly filtering traditional Chinese techniques, themes, motifs, and conventions are beguiling works by Hao Liang and Huang Yuxing, with dazzling works by Yoshitomo Nara and Mathew Wong completing this arresting selection.
The 50th Anniversary Contemporary Evening Auction highlights a spectacular selection of widely-coveted, iconic works by emerging and established international talent. The first work by Jenny Saville to be offered in Asia as part of a Contemporary Evening Auction, the captivating Ashes from 2015-16 is a rare example from a decisive moment in the artist’s prodigious career. This illustrious Auction will include works by the vanguard of contemporary art, including Jonas Wood, Julian Nguyen, Scott Kahn, Shara Hughes, Anna Park, Issy Wood, Lucy Bull and Lynne Drexler, all of whom have universal appeal that has won them dedicated collector bases around the world.