Important Works by Richter, Warhol, Kippenberger, Poliakoff and Other Contemporary Masters

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Launch Slideshow

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction on 27 June offers a fantastic array of works from the post-war period to the present, bringing together seminal pieces by acclaimed and highly sought-after artists. The sale is led by a standout red Dollar Sign by Pop stalwart Andy Warhol, a fantastic early red Abstraktes Bild by the German Master Gerhard Richter and iconic examples from artists such as Martin Kippenberger, Keith Haring, George Condo, Robert Indiana, Frank Stella and Damien Hirst. Click the image above to view the slideshow.

Important Works by Richter, Warhol, Kippenberger, Poliakoff and Other Contemporary Masters

  • Andy Warhol, Dollar Sign, 1982.
    Estimate £400,000–600,000.
    Dollar Sign perfectly captures Andy Warhol’s extraordinary ability to appropriate, subvert, and reinvent the motifs of consumer culture using his inimitable Pop aesthetic. Forming part of the iconic Dollar Signs that were started in 1981, the present work is a magnificent explication of one of Warhol’s primary, career-long, concerns: the social, cultural and creative potential of the American dollar as a signifier of status and wealth.
  • Serge Poliakoff, Composition Abstraite, 1964.
    Estimate £300,000–400,000.
    A profound stillness emanates from Serge Poliakoff’s paintings, where interlocking combinations of colour and form exist in harmony. Drawing on his fascinations with religion and the natural world, Poliakoff reaches abstract transcendence. With bursts of volcanic red and washes of Atlantic blue, Composition Abstraite exemplifies Poliakoff’s ability to transform the canvas into a landscape of complete serenity.
  • Andy Warhol, Self Portrait (Pair), circa 1982.
    Estimate £250,000–350,000.
    Executed in 1982, Self Portrait (Pair) firmly positioned Andy Warhol as the heir to a rich lineage of great masters from Art History tackling the subject of self-representation, ranging from Albrecht Dürer and Rembrandt, to Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon. Through his self-portraits, Warhol confronted the grand tradition of self-portraiture in a manner unprecedented within art history.
  • Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1981.
    Estimate £400,000–600,000.
    Abstraktes Bild, created in 1981, on the cusp of Gerhard Richter's transition from figurative Photo Paintings into his revolutionary body of vibrant abstract works, is a visually and conceptually important work in the precept of abstract painting.
  • Martin Kippenberger, Untitled, 1995.
    Estimate £300,000–400,000.
    Executed in 1995 Untitled is utterly idiosyncratic of Martin Kippenberger’s iconic, spirited style. Composed over four connected canvases, the present work depicts a boisterous scene, which completely immerses the viewer in the background chatter of a bar with a striking self-portrait placed in the lower centre of the composition. This close-up, which is surrounded by a bustling crowd, is reminiscent of a film still and gives the painting an overwhelmingly cinematic feel.
  • Keith Haring, X Man, 1987.
    Estimate £300,000–400,000.
    Radiating with the energy of the New York art scene in the 1980s, Keith Haring’s work brims with kinetic gesture and confidence. Seeing the role of artist as antagonist, Haring’s art is direct and confrontational, laced with emotion and history. His brief, but intensely productive career synthesised a new populism; like contemporary hieroglyphics, Haring constructed his own visual language to communicate with a wide-stretching audience. Expanding on the legacy of Pop Art as it united street culture and high art, X Man is a striking example of Keith Haring’s universally recognised style.
  • Damien Hirst, The Death of Saint John, 2003.
    Estimate £250,000–350,000.
    The Death of Saint John is an exceptional example of Hirst’s Instrument Cabinets, combining the artist’s philosophical, Romantic investigations into death, religiosity and science with the iconic taxonomies of his Medicine Cabinets.
  • Marlene Dumas, Both Sides, 2001.
    Estimate £250,000–350,000.
    Carnal and commanding, Both Sides is a testament to Marlene Dumas’ reclamation of the female form. Akin to other provocative paintings by the artist, Dumas breaks down the image of her subjects, they diffuse into fluid forms with her gestural use of paint. Her models command the canvas, their bodies almost bursting through the frame.
  • Andy Warhol, Portrait of John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal, 1986.
    Estimate £200,000–300,000.
    For Andy Warhol, immortalisation was not bound by biology; with the snap of a polaroid and a silkscreen print, a celebrity could live forever. His iconic portraits are a defining thread in his expansive body of work. Capturing stars in their golden hour, Warhol transformed fame into relics of the modern era. Portrait of John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal is one of his final celebrity portraits, completed just a year before the artist’s death. Warhol’s incarnation of the couple at the height of their popularity is evidence of his deep understanding of celebrity and the symbolic power that comes with it.
  • Antony Gormley, Push II, 2011.
    Estimate £250,000–350,000.
    PUSH II is an example of Gormley’s Propper series of sculptures. The genesis of this language can be traced back to his Blockworks of 2001. In these sculptures the space displaced by the artist’s body was materialised in ‘physical pixels’ made from steel blocks.
  • Gilbert and George, Staggering, 1972.
    Estimate £100,000–150,000.
    "The grids are a natural part of making large photo-pieces. It is like a week has to be divided into day, for convenience. A house has to be made of bricks. You can’t make a house from one big brick. You cannot make a skyscraper with one enormous sheet of glass. Everything is in sections” (George cited in: Gilbert & George, Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures 1971-1985, London 1997, p. 153).
  • Jeff Koons, Soccerball (Molten), 1985.
    Estimate £180,000–250,000.
    A precursor to the artist’s use of fabricated inflatables, Jeff Koons’s Soccerball (Molten) is a seminal bronze from his iconic Equilibrium series. As Koons explains “inflatables, of course, are metaphors for people and they are metaphors of life and optimism for me” (Jeff Koons in conversation with Ruth Lopex, in: Chicago Magazine, June 2008, online).
  • Rashid Johnson, Flowers for a Lady, 2013, £70,00–100,000
    Rashid Johnson’s Flowers for a Lady is a superb example of the artist’s unique ability to transform culturally loaded objects of everyday life into powerful, lyrical compositions. Sold to benefit Human Rights Watch, the proceeds of this work will support the charity’s defence of the human rights across the globe. Human Rights Watch investigate human rights abuses, exposing them to public condemnation and pressing those in power for change.
  • Sol LeWitt, Colors from the Center, 1987, £18,000–25,000
    This vibrant and captivating Sol LeWitt forms part of the esteemed collection of Idamae B. and James H. Rich. With the artist’s inimitable highly structured visual language and playful use of colour, Colors from the Center perfectly reflects the adventurous and truly instinctual spirit of the collection.
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