Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney, Jackson Pollock and More Titans of Contemporary Art

Launch Slideshow

The highlights of the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York include Jackson Pollock’s iridescent and intimate masterpiece, Kerry James Marshall’s monumental and confrontational work Past Times and David Hockney’s dazzling view of California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Click ahead to see works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, Yayoi Kusama and more.

Contemporary Art Evening Auction
16 May | New York

Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney, Jackson Pollock and More Titans of Contemporary Art

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat, Flesh and Spirit, 1982–83. Estimate upon request.
    Executed on a soaring monumental scale across two hinged panels, the present work is the largest of an elite series of multi-paneled paintings the artist created in 1983; a work of unprecedented conceptual gravitas and ambition, Flesh and Spirit declares Basquiat’s arrival as a fully matured artistic force at the thrilling apex of his powers.

  • Jackson Pollock, Number 32, 1949. Estimate $30,000,000–40,000,000.
    An iconic exemplar of Jackson Pollock’s revolutionary drip paintings that forever altered the trajectory of painting in the Twentieth Century, Number 32, 1949 stands as a resounding and incontrovertible masterpiece of Abstract Expressionism and a touchstone for the canon of Contemporary Art.

  • David Hockney, Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica, 1990. Estimate $20,000,000–30,000,000
    David Hockney’s Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica is a culmination of the artist’s career-long mining of art history and a deeply personal evocation of his love of California. The present work was recently included in David Hockney, the retrospective that travelled to the Tate Britain in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

  • Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, 1991. Estimate $15,000,000–20,000,000
    Thrumming in chords of deep red pigment, and exploding across the monumental and perfectly square canvas, Abstraktes Bild epitomizes the brilliant resolution of Gerhard Richter’s ceaseless explorations into the limits of representation and nature of perception.

  • Barnett Newman, Galaxy, 1949. Estimate $9,000,000–12,000,000
    Executed at the height of Barnett Newman’s career, Galaxy from 1949 is the very first painting in which the artist featured two of his iconic and revolutionary ‘zips,’ the stylistic element that has defined the artist’s creative output.

  • Kerry James Marshall, Past Times, 1997. Estimate $8,000,000–12,000,000.
    A masterpiece of unparalleled formal rigor and graphic grandeur, Past Times is the definitive embodiment of Kerry James Marshall’s revolutionary painterly practice. Executed in 1997, the magnificent panorama of Past Times thunderously declares the arrival of Marshall’s mature artistic project: the utter and indisputable mastery of traditional art historical modes to counter the glaring absence of the black figure within the canon of Western painting.

  • Christopher Wool, Untitled, 1992. Estimate $7,000,000–10,000,000.
    In 1987, while walking the streets of his Lower East Side neighborhood, Christopher Wool encountered a truck that had ‘SEX LUV’ scrawled on it crudely rendered stenciled letters. Wool returned to his studio and made his very first text composition, stenciling the letters ‘SEX LUV’ in gleaming enamel on a single sheet of white-painted paper. This initial composition laid the groundwork for the series that would become Wool’s singular declaration of the continuing relevance of painting at the end of the Twentieth Century.

  • Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park #55, 1972. Estimate $7,000,000–10,000,000.
    Among the earliest iterations from this iconic series executed over nearly twenty years, Ocean Park #55 illustrates a glorious collision of sandy beach, nearby streets and buildings, furls of ocean and luminous atmosphere.

  • Yayoi Kusama, Untitled, 1962. Estimate $7,000,000–10,000,000.
    One of a mere handful of the artist’s “egg carton” reliefs from the early 1960s, the present work is a magnificent manifestation of the spatial compulsions that drive Kusama’s mesmeric creations. These exceedingly rare paintings are a unique synthesis of the artist’s multi-media practice during the 1960s, forging a powerful hybrid between the lyrical uniformity of the Infinity Net paintings and the compulsive physicality of the Accumulation sculptures.

  • Franz Kline, Green Cross, 1956. Estimate $6,500,000–7,500,000.
    Vigorously executed across an immense canvas, the energy of Franz Kline’s Green Cross builds into an urgent and arresting paradigm of Abstract Expressionism, culminating in a visual declaration of gestural force. A commanding masterpiece from one of the Twentieth Century’s most celebrated artists, Green Cross sits at the pinnacle of Kline’s most revered period, having been completed in the critical year of 1956.

  • Mark Bradford, Visible Giant, 2014. Estimate $4,000,000–6,000,000.
    A superb example of Mark Bradford’s groundbreaking abstract aesthetic, Visible Giant is exceptionally notable for its large scale, varied color palette, and dynamic composition. The present work is part of a 2014 series in which Bradford investigated the contemporary structures of power and politics in Hong Kong, the world’s most densely populated city.


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