American icons and European masters star in Christie's Post-War art sale



2017-02-23 15:47:34

American icons and European masters lead the line up in Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art sale in London next month.

Headlining the auction is Mark Rothko's landmark work No. 1 1949, which comes to auction for the first time in its history.

Having remained in Rothko's personal collection until his death in 1970, No. 1 1949 is one of only three paintings from his historic 1950 solo show at the Betty Parsons Gallery to remain in private hands.

Further highlights from American artists will include Robert Rauschenberg’s 1963 work Transom, estimated at £4 - £6 million; Andy Warhol's Four Multicoloured Marilyns (Reversal series) estimated at £3 - £5 million; and Jean-Michel Basquiat's Untitled (1982), offered after 25 years in the collection of U2’s Adam Clayton with an estimate of £1 - £1.5 million.

Leading the way from across the Atlantic is Jean Dubuffet’s Être et paraître (To be and to seem), a major work from 1963 which marked the culmination of his ground-breaking Paris Circus series.

Unseen by the public for 40 years, and estimated at £7 - £10 million, Dubuffet’s painting "channels the spirit of the Parisian streets and captures the bustling rhythms of cosmopolitan society, buoyed by the Zeitgeist of optimism, freedom and euphoria that swept the globe during the 1960s".

Another important lot is Peter Doig’s 1994 work Cobourg 3 + 1 More, one of the artist's most iconic early works offered publically for the first time with an estimate of £8 - £12 million.

Notable European works on offer also include Concetto Spaziale, Attese, executed in 1961 by Lucio Fontana and estimated at £3 - £5 million; David Hockney’s 1996 work Sunflowers in a Yellow Vase,  estimated at £1.5 - £2.5 million; and Frank Auerbach’s 1966 portrait Head of Leon Kossoff, estimated at £600,000 - £800,000.

"With the United States of America on everyone’s lips, we are showcasing the rich diversity of the country’s artists, the radical marks, rich social commentary and defining moments they have achieved over the past 60 years," said Katharine Arnold, Head of the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction.

"From this side of the Atlantic we are offering masterpieces by key European figures Jean Dubuffet, Lucio Fontana, David Hockney and Peter Doig. Our focus has been on curating the sale with best quality, fresh material, taking advantage of our London location as a key competitive selling platform."

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction takes place in London on March 7.

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