Contemporary Stars: Bacon, Twombly, Warhol and More

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Launch Slideshow

The spring season is a time of great excitement. In the weeks leading up to the Contemporary Art Evening auction, a selection of extraordinary works will travel to our Los Angeles, London and Hong Kong locations, before returning to New York where they go on view for 12 days in our galleries. Expect the great artistic innovators: Cy Twombly, represented by two paintings including a rare Blackboard canvas; Jasper Johns, whose Untitled study in grays is anything but monochromatic; and Francis Bacon and Andy Warhol, both captured in a powerful self-portraits. Click ahead to discover those highlights and more from the Contemporary Art Evening auction.

Contemporary Art Evening
11 May | New York

Contemporary Stars: Bacon, Twombly, Warhol and More

  • © 2016 Cy Twombly Foundation
    Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City), 1968. Estimate Upon Request.
    Acquired directly from the artist in the year that it was painted and remaining in the same private European collection until its appearance here at auction, Untitled (New York City) is an exceedingly rare example of Cy Twombly’s iconic Blackboard paintings, being the only one of the series to bear vibrant blue loops across its gray ground.

  • © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved. / DACS, London / ARS, NY 2016
    Francis Bacon, Two Studies for a Self-Portrait, 1970. Estimate $22,000,000–30,000,000.
    Dynamic and compositionally stunning, Francis Bacon’s Two Studies for a Self-Portrait is one of only three self-depictions by the artist executed in the diptych format. The work has impeccable provenance, having been acquired by the current owner the year it was made; moreover, as testament to its superb quality and visual power, Two Studies for a Self-Portrait was chosen to grace the cover of the 1996 book on Bacon’s portraiture with a definitive text by novelist Milan Kundera.

  • © 2016 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Alexander Calder, Untitled, circa 1942. Estimate $3,000,000–4,000,000.
    Alexander Calder’s singularly elegant untitled standing mobile from circa 1942 comes to auction with a fascinating history. In the mid-1960s, Calder himself gave the work to Alfred H. Barr, Jr., the visionary first director of The Museum of Modern Art , who was a prodigious collector and a longtime friend of the artist.


  • © 2016 Sam Francis Foundation, California / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Sam Francis, Summer #1, 1957. Estimate $8,000,000–12,000,000.
    The marvelous Summer #1 is a monumentally scaled painting by Sam Francis from the most celebrated period of his career. Executed in 1957, this work perfectly demonstrates Francis’s distinctive interpretation of Abstract Expressionism. The archetypal example of the his oeuvre, Summer #1 was chosen to grace the cover of the artist’s catalogue raisonné, published in 2011.

  • © 2016 Cy Twombly Foundation
    Cy Twombly, Untitled [Bacchus 1st Version V], 2004. Estimate Upon Request.
    Cy Twombly’s expansive Untitled [Bacchus 1st Version V] is one of six  paintings in the Bacchus series, which is one of the artist’s most important groupings of late-career works.


  • © Estate of Joan Mitchell
    Joan Mitchell, Untitled, 1971. Estimate $5,000,000–7,000,000.
    Joan Mitchell’s Untitled broadcasts the full range of the artist’s painterly technique across its vast surface. Mitchell painted the canvas in her Vétheuil studio, where she worked from 1968 until her death, in 1992. The profound affinity that Mitchell felt for the physical atmosphere of Vétheuil is imbued into each affectionately applied stroke of paint that twists across the surface of Untitled.


  • © 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
    Jean Dubuffet, Georges Dubuffet au Jardin, 1956. Estimate $1,500,000–2,000,000.
    Jean Dubuffet’s Georges Dubuffet au Jardin is a formally complex and extraordinarily vivacious portrait of the artist’s father. The work, formerly in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, was executed in Dubuffet’s distinctive assemblage technique.


  • © 2016 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (Ars), New York
    Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait (Fright Wig), 1986. Estimate $7,000,000–10,000,000.
    Completed just months before Warhol’s untimely death in 1987 and first shown in a now-legendary exhibition at Anthony d’Offay gallery in London, Self-Portrait (Fright Wig) remains one of the most iconic instances of 20th-century self-portraiture. This haunting and instantly recognisable image was previously in the collection of the great arts patron and collector Gunter Sachs.

  • Art © 2016 Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York
    Jasper Johns, Untitled, 1991. Estimate $1,500,000–2,500,000.
    Executed in Jasper Johns’s signature encaustic, Untitled is a quintessential example of the artist’s distinctive technique and exemplary of his proclivity for exploring the possibilities of working exclusively within a spectrum of gray hues.

  • © 2016 The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY
    Louise Bourgeois, Spider III, 1995. Estimate $4,000,000-5,000,000.
    Louise Bourgeois first explored what was to become her most enduring and celebrated series when she created a small drawing of a spider in 1947. Almost 50 years later, she began her sculptural investigations into the theme. This Spider from 1995 is an intimately scaled yet indelibly powerful expression of Bourgeois’s work at its very best.

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