Pioneering Pop Art Leads London Contemporary

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An early self-portrait by Andy Warhol will lead the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on 28 June. Alongside Self-Portrait, 1964, two collaborative canvasses by the twentieth century's most iconic figures – Warhol, and his protégé Jean-Michel Basquiat will be offered for sale, from the collection of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. Basquiat's Untitled, 1982, recently set the auction record for the artist at Sotheby's in New York. These exciting paintings, which bring together familiar motifs from both artists, will be accompanied in the saleroom by works by other titans of contemporary art such as Tom Wesselmann, Roy Lichtenstein and Gerhard Richter. Click ahead to see highlights from the sale. 

Contemporary Art Evening Auction
28 June 2017 | London

Pioneering Pop Art Leads London Contemporary

  • Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1963-64.
    Estimate: £5,000,000–7,000,000.
    Self-Portrait comes from a concise series of nine similarly titled works, each made in the same scale using silkscreen prints enlarged from the same shred of photographic source material. In the latter part of the twentieth-century, Andy Warhol joined the ranks of Rembrandt van Rijn, Vincent van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso to take his place amongst the most important and influential self-portraitists in the history of art.

  • Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1983.
    Estimate: £4,000,000–6,000,000.
    Recalling the sequential progression of a classical frieze in its grand scale and rich communicative power, Jean-Michel Basquiat's breathtaking Untitled demonstrates the artist’s creative reimagining of the weighted genre of history painting. Underscored by the nascent rhythms of hip-hop and the clatter of metropolitan life, this work gives cinematic form to the new creative epicentre emerging out of downtown New York. 

  • Roy Lichtenstein, Two Paintings with Dado, 1983.
    Estimate: £2,400,000–3,000,000.
    From the very outset, Roy Lichtenstein dedicated his career to making art about art. Lichtenstein exhibited a number of art historical icons rendered in the same hard-edged graphic style as his comic book paintings. Juxtaposing art historical icons and unifying them via the author's own borrowed aesthetic, Two Paintings with Dado at once reaffirms and furthers Lichtenstein’s position at the very forefront of appropriation art.

  • Keith Haring, Untitled, 1982.
    Estimate: £600,000–800,000.
    Haring's oft-repeated pyramid and UFO motifs are here articulated in neon pink and vivid green paint. Offering a pulsating viewing experience that echoes the sonic rhythms and drum machines of nascent hip-hop, this painting utterly encapsulates the vibrant and liberal spirit of the underground New York club scene during the early 1980s.

  • Richard Prince, School Nurse, 2005.
    Estimate: £3,500,000–4,500,000.
    Based on the uncredited cover art of dime-store romance novels, the Nurses offer a transgressive scrutiny of idealised modes of feminine portrayal as popularised in the later Twentieth Century. Marking a reformulation of the iconic blonde bombshell trope as elevated into the realm of high-art by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Prince's Nurses assimilate and pick apart erotic stereotypes and gender constructs.

  • Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, New Flame, 1985. Estimate: £1,700,000–2,200,000.
    Despite the distinct stylistic differences between the two artists, New Flame evinces a vibrant meeting of two of the most revolutionary minds in contemporary art. A vibrant medley of iconography and colour, the contrast between the artist’s two most iconic mediums – Warhol's consciously flat graphically inspired imagery and Basquiat’s coarse, textured oilstick draughtsmanship – is here completely subsumed by the pictorial blend of Warhol and Basquiat's style.

  • Tom Wesselmann, Great American Nude #87, 1967.
    Estimate: £1,500,000–2,000,000.
    Tom Wesselmann's Great American Nudes are among the quintessential icons of American Pop art. Instantly recognisable, they are as emblematically representative of the movement as Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe silkscreens. Like Rauschenberg, the foundations of Wesselmann's art lay in collage and the inclusion of found objects, and this influence carries through into this painting. Hard outlines and clearly defined fields of colour give the impression of objects superimposed upon each other.

  • Cecily Brown, The Girl Who Had Everything, 1998.
    Estimate: £800,000–1,200,000.
    A luscious fusion of painterly abstraction and tantalising figurative representation, The Girl Who Had Everything is a paradigm from the pivotal body of work that brought Brown to the forefront of contemporary painting.

  • Gerhard Richter, Split (Rubble), 1989.
    Estimate: £3,500,000–4,500,000.
    Gerhard Richter's Split (Rubble) epitomises the extraordinary negotiation between photography, representation, and abstraction that positions the Abstrakte Bilder among the most significant contributions to the history of twentieth-century painting. Richter's abstract paintings undoubtedly sign-post the furthest most point in an artistic inquiry that spans over fifty years.

  • Christopher Wool, Untitled, 2003.
    Estimate: £1,400,000–1,800,000.
    Wool's drive to experiment with a plethora of artistic languages established his practice alongside other contemporary visionaries, such as Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, who likewise dared to challenge the status quo of painting from within the medium itself.

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