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Francis Bacon's Triptych Leads Sotheby's

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Andy Warhol’s monumental Mao, painted in 1972 and exhibited in Berlin, Turin and Paris soon thereafter, returns to the world stage after remaining out of public view since 1974 (estimate $30/40 million). One of only 11 works in this 82-by-60-inch format, this remarkable portrait juxtaposes the deified image of the Chinese leader with an art form that fetishizes consumerist objects. Each of the other ten Mao paintings of this size are held in prestigious public and private collections worldwide, including the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, and the Brand Foundation, Greenwich, among others. One of the most iconic images of the 20th century, Warhol’s Mao manifests the same commanding presence as the state portrait that inspired it, and remains as powerful today as it was in 1972. From the most-celebrated series of her career, Louise Bourgeois’s Spider IV, the largest of the wall-mounted spiders, will make its auction debut on 16 November with a pre-sale estimate of $10/15 million. While spiders are prevalent in Bourgeois’s oeuvre, and arguably the artist’s signature theme, the present spider with its dynamic and complex configuration is perhaps the most recognizable iteration: it is Spider IV that is pictured in the iconic portrait by Peter Bellamy of Louise Bourgeois, in which Bourgeois wraps her arms around two of the arachnid’s legs. Jean Dubuffet’s Maison Fondée from 1961 is a vibrant and joyous depiction of the streets of Paris that vibrantly encapsulates the pinnacle of Dubuffet’s iconic and influential artistic practice (estimate $12/18 million).

Maison Fondée is one of the first works from the celebrated series of Paris Circus paintings, other examples of which hang in some of the world’s most prestigious institutions including the Tate Museum in London, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Inspired by the frenetic urban bustle and vibrancy of post-war Paris, Maison Fondée captures the joie-de-vivre of a rejuvenated city, evident in the painting’s variegated surface and tangible vitality. Acquired just months after it was painted, and cherished in a private New York collection for 40 years, Roy Lichtenstein’s Female Head is a superb example of the artist’s most iconic subject matter (estimate $10/15 million). Lichtenstein’s iconography and technique, including the signature blonde, the Ben-Day dots, the brushstroke, the mirror and the picture frame, weave together Cubism, Surrealism and Pop with unparalleled energy and imagination. (separate release available) Jean-Michel Basquiat is represented by a number of works in the auction, most notably Cabra and Flash in Naples. Emerging from the collection of Ms. Yoko Ono, with a portion of the proceeds from the sale benefiting the Spirit Foundations, Cabra celebrates Muhammad Ali’s historic triumph over undefeated heavyweight boxer Oscar “The Bull” Bonavena in December 1970 and, more broadly, pays tribute to the black athlete’s heroic ascent to power. Acquired from Tony Shafrazi Gallery in 1993, the painting will make its auction debut on 16 November with a pre-sale estimate of $9/12 million (separate release available). Flash in Naples is also archetypal of the artist. Inspired by cartoons and comics, the present work depicts the Flash, a popular superhero in the 1960s and 1970s, whom the artist considered to be one of his personal heroes. Remarkable for its rarity, chromatic brilliance and painterly surface, Flash in Naples carries an estimate of $7/10 million.

 

Hailing from the Edwin & Cherie Silver Collection – distinguished collectors of non-Western art whose selection of African, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian, and American Indian Art will be offered in a dedicated sale on 13 November – Alexander Calder’s Untitled is a superb example of the artist’s signature hanging mobiles (estimate $3/4 million). Measuring 91 inches in wingspan, this monumental work is an artistic triumph that balances 13 components of organic, triangular and crescent shapes in bright primary colors along a vibrant red wire. Acquired from the Earl Stendahl Gallery in 1973, Untitled has been dutifully cared for in the Silver Collection for over 40 years. Exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in its acclaimed retrospective, Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting, Nero Plastica L.A. will also be offered at auction for the first time (estimate upon request). The largest work from the series ever to come to market, Nero Plastica L.A. is comparable to examples in or promised to international museums including Galleria Nazionale d’Arte, Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Collezione dei Premi Marzotto and the Museum of Modern Art. (separate release available) MICHAEL SCHUMACHER’S AWARD-WINNING FERRARI The Evening Auction will also include Michael Schumacher’s Grand Prix-Winning Ferrari – the first time a collector car will be offered at a Sotheby’s art auction (estimate $4/5.5 million). Curated by RM Sotheby’s, the Ferrari F2001, chassis no. 211 is the most important modern Formula 1 race car and is amongst the most significant and most valuable competition cars in any collection worldwide, having been piloted to victory by the greatest-of-all-time driver – Michael Schumacher, at the most important and prestigious automobile race in the world – the Grand Prix de Monaco.






  • 16.10.2017 - 16.11.2017
    Auktion »
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus »

    New York at 6:30pm on 16 November



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  • 9713 Francis Bacon, Three Studies of George Dyer SMALL
    9713 Francis Bacon, Three Studies of George Dyer SMALL
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • roperty from a Private New York Collection Roy Lichtenstein Female Head Signed and dated 77 on the reverse Oil and magna on canvas 60 by 50 inches Estimate $10/15 million © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
    roperty from a Private New York Collection Roy Lichtenstein Female Head Signed and dated 77 on the reverse Oil and magna on canvas 60 by 50 inches Estimate $10/15 million © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Property from the Collection of Yoko Ono Jean-Michel Basquiat Cabra Signed, titled and dated 81-82 on the reverse Acrylic and oilstick on canvas 60 1/4 by 60 1/4 inches Estimate $9/12 million © 2017 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS
    Property from the Collection of Yoko Ono Jean-Michel Basquiat Cabra Signed, titled and dated 81-82 on the reverse Acrylic and oilstick on canvas 60 1/4 by 60 1/4 inches Estimate $9/12 million © 2017 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Property from an Important Collection Jean Dubuffet Maison Fondée Signed and dated 61; signed, titled and dated mars/avril 61 on the reverse Oil on canvas 45 3/4 by 35 in Estimate $12/18 million © 2017 ESTATE OF JEAN DUBUFFET / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, NY
    Property from an Important Collection Jean Dubuffet Maison Fondée Signed and dated 61; signed, titled and dated mars/avril 61 on the reverse Oil on canvas 45 3/4 by 35 in Estimate $12/18 million © 2017 ESTATE OF JEAN DUBUFFET / ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK, NY
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
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