Streams

Do I Hear $40 Million for the Warhol?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Andy Warhol used the late Elizabeth Taylor as his muse for 'Liz #5,' which he completed in 1963. Phillips de Pury auctions off the masterpiece on May 12. Andy Warhol used the late Elizabeth Taylor as his muse for "Liz #5," which he completed in 1963. Phillips de Pury auctions off the masterpiece on May 12. (Courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company)

For buyers of 19th, 20th and 21st century art, spring means one thing: auctions.

The New York branches of Sotheby's and Christie's hold their star-studded Impressionist and Modern sales this week, followed by Contemporary and Post-War sales the second week of May. Also this month, Bonham's, Phillips de Pury and Doyle auction off Modern and Contemporary works.

Many of the Warhols, Picassos and Monets on the chopping block will go for millions. But some works will sell for less this spring.

"The beauty of the art market--especially the auction art market--is that there's a painting for every purse," said Mike Moses, a retired N.Y.U. professor who created his own fine arts index. "No matter how much you earn, you can find a painting."

Most of us can't afford to buy, but we can browse what's for sale in the days leading up to this spring's auctions. Here's a guide to who's selling what this season:

Impressionist and Modern Art sales at Sotheby's The big works of this spring's Impressionist and Modern sale at Sotheby's will be auctioned off this Tuesday night. Highlights include ten paintings by Pablo Picasso, including Lot 21: "Femmes lisant (Deux Personnages)," a 1934 oil portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter. The work is estimated to sell for up to $35 million. Lot 8 may also be of interest: Paul Gauguin's sculpture made of tamanu wood, pasted paper, red coral and shell called "Jeune tahitienne." The sculpture was carved during Gauguin's first trip to Tahiti between 1890 and 1893. The work has, according to Sotheby's, not been seen in public in 50 years and is estimated to sell for up to $15 million. Lot 12, Alexej von Jawlensky's "Frau mit grünem Fächer (Woman with a green Fan)" from 1912, is expected to sell for between $8 and $12 million. Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art evening sales takes place at 7 P.M. on Tuesday, May 3, and at 10 A.M. on Wednesday, May 4.

Impressionist and Modern Art sales at Christie's Highlights from the Christie's Impressionist and Modern sales include Maurice de Vlaminck's "Paysage de banlieue," an oil on canvas expected to go for between $18 and $25 million and a Claude Monet oil painted in 1891, "Les Peupliers," which could sell for as much as $30 million. A signed Picasso oil, "Les enfants et les jouets," is expected to go for between $5.5 and $7.5 million. The evening auction at Christie's kicks off at 7 P.M. on Wednesday May 4. On Thursday, May 5, bidding begins at 10 A.M.

Modern and Contemporary Art sales at Bonham's Bonham's New York's modern and contemporary auctions will be simulcast in Los Angeles. "Leading lots include a solid gold mini trash can by James Rosenquist, a rare example of the Impressionist portraiture by Eva Gonzales, and an Isamu Noguchi sculpture that marks a redirection of his artistic practice," Tate Dougherty, a specialist at Bonham's, wrote to WNYC in an e-mail. $200,000 will get you the Gonzales pastel on canvas, "Une mariee." The Noguchi 1945 wood and bone sculpture is expected to go for up to $400,000, while the James Rosenquist 18-karat gold "Calyx Krater Trash Can" is expected to sell for between $20,000 and $30,000. The sale starts Monday, May 9 at 1:00 P.M.

Contemporary Art sales at Sotheby's At the Sotheby's contemporary evening sale, Lot 10, Jeff Koons' "Pink Panther" sculpture, is expected to sell for up to $30 million. The porcelain work was created in 1988 and is 41 inches tall. Lot 21, Andy Warhol's "Sixteen Jackies," is expected to go for $30 million, too. He made the silkscreen with acrylic paint and ink in 1964. Willem De Kooning's made "Untitled VII" in 1986. The oil painting is expected to sell for between $4 and $6 million. Sotheby's evening contemporary art sale starts at 7 P.M. on Tuesday, May 10. Bidding for the day sale on Wednesday, May 11 starts at 10 A.M.

Post-War and Contemporary Art sales at Christie's Works up for auction at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary art sales include two Warhol self-portraits--one from 1964 and one from 1986. Together, the Warhols are valued at $70 million. Also on the auction block are Mark Rothko's red and orange "Untitled No. 17," which is expected to sell for between $18 and $22 million, and Robert Rauschenberg's 1957 "The Tower," hoped to go for $18 million. The sales are stretched over two days, beginning on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 P.M. and ending Thursday May 12 after the 10 A.M. auction.

Contemporary Art sales at Phillips de Pury At Phillips de Pury's contemporary sales, highlights include the Andy Warhol works "Liz #5," a silkscreen of the late Elizabeth Taylor, and "Flowers," which is expected to net up to $12 million. Also expected to go for millions are Roy Lichtenstein's "Still life with Mirror" from 1972; Richard Prince's "Crashed (Wayward Nurse)," which was made in the last decade; and "Green White" by Ellsworth Kelly. Buyers with $500,000 can bid on Lichtenstein's "New Born," which was made in 1988 or John Wesley's 1982 "3 Sunbathers." The evening contemporary sale at Phillips takes place at 7 P.M. on Thursday May 12. The contemporary day sale starts at 10 A.M. on Friday, May 13.

Modern and Contemporary Art sales at Doyle New York Rounding out the month of May's major sales, is Doyle's Modern and Contemporary sale. Highlights include Marino Marini's 1953 "Small Dancer," which is expected to get between $50,000 and $70,000; Theodore Stamos' signed 1952 "Stamos (II), hoped to sell for up to $60,000; and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's "Zwei Akte im Wald," which is expected to sell for between $20,000 and $30,000. Bidding starts at 10 A.M. on Wednesday, May 25.

To see a slideshow of spring auction highlights, check out the slideshow below.

All prices listed exclude auction house fees.

Paul Gauguin's
Courtesy of Sotheby's
Paul Gauguin's "Jeune tahitienne" is for sale at Sotheby's on May 3. The house estimates it will sell for up to $15 million.
Also for sale on May 3 is Alexej von Jawlensky's
Courtesy of Sotheby's
Also for sale on May 3 is Alexej von Jawlensky's "Frau mit grünem Fächer (Woman with a green Fan)." The painting is expected to sell for up to $12 million.
Ten works by Pablo Picasso are up for sale at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art sale, including this oil painting,
Courtesy of Sotheby's
Ten works by Pablo Picasso are up for sale at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art sale, including this 1934 oil painting, "Femmes lisant (Deux Personnages)," worth $35 million.
Maurice de Vlaminck's
Courtesy of Christie's
Maurice de Vlaminck's "Paysage de banlieue," an oil painted in 1905, is expected to get between $18 and $25 million at Christie's.
Courtesy of Christie's
"Les Peupliers," painted in 1891 by Claude Monet, may go for as much as $30 million.
Picasso's
Courtesy of Christie's
Picasso's "Les enfants et les jouets" from 1901 is likely to sell for between $5.5 and $7.5 million.
Courtesy of Bonham's
"Une mariee" from 1879 by the French artist Eva Gonzales. The pastel on canvas is Lot 1012 at Bonham's May 9 Modern and Contemporary sale. It's expected to get $200,000.
Lot 1119 is Isamu Noguchi's 1945
Courtesy of Bonham's
Lot 1119 is Isamu Noguchi's 1945 "Bone Sculpture." The piece is expected to go for between $200,000 and $400,000 at Bonham's on May 9.
James Rosenquist's
Courtesy of Bonham's
James Rosenquist's "Calyx Krater Trash Can" is an 18-karat gold sculpture made in 1976. Bonham's hopes to get up to $30,000 for the piece.
This porcelain sculpture by Jeff Koons called
Courtesy of Sotheby's
This porcelain sculpture by Jeff Koons called "Pink Panther" is expected to sell for upwards of $30 million at Sotheby's on May 10.
Last fall, Warhols did well at auction. On May 10, Andy Warhol's
Courtesy of Sotheby's
Last fall, Warhols did well at auction. On May 10, Andy Warhol's "Sixteen Jackies" from 1964 goes up on the chopping block. Sotheby's is expecting to get between $20 and $30 million for it.
Willem De Kooning's oil
Courtesy of Sotheby's
Willem De Kooning's oil "Untitled VII" is expected to net up to $6 million at Sotheby's Contemporary Art evening sale.
Warhol's
Courtesy of Christie's
Warhol's "Self-Portrait" signed by the artist on 1986 is expected to sell at Christie's for up to $40 million.
Another Warhol
Courtesy of Christie's
Another Warhol "Self-Portrait" signed by the artist in 1964. This one is expected to sell at Christie's for up to $30 million.
Mark Rothko's oil on canvas
Courtesy of Christie's
Mark Rothko's oil on canvas "Untitled No. 17" will go for between $18 and $22 million at Christie's.
Courtesy of Christie's
"The Tower," made by Robert Rauschenberg in 1957, will be auctioned off for $18 million at Christie's.
Courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company
"Crashed (Wayward Nurse)" was made between 2006 and 2010 by Richard Prince. It's expected to sell at Phillips de Pury for between $4 and $6 million.
Elsworth Kelly's
Courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company
Elsworth Kelly's "Green White" from 1968 is expected to net up to $4 million.
Buyers willing to put down $8 million may get Roy Lichtenstein's
Courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company
Buyers willing to put down $8 million may get Roy Lichtenstein's "Still life with Mirror" at Phillips de Pury on May 12.
Andy Warhol's
Courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company
Andy Warhol's "Flowers," which he finished in 1964, is expected to go for up to $12 million at Phillips de Pury.
John Wesley's
Courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company
John Wesley's "3 Sunbathers," done in 1982, is expected to net between $250,000 and $350,000 at the Phillips de Pury sale.
Courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company
"New Born" by Roy Lichtenstein. The 1988 sculpture is up for auction on May 13. Phillips de Pury estimates it will sell for between $300,000 and $500,000.

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