The star quotient will be dizzyingly high at Sotheby’s London Contemporary Evening sale on June 28th. With landmark pieces by some of the best names of postwar European art – Bourgeois, Klein, Fontana, Constellani – to more recent works by brilliant younger artists – Saville, Banisadr, Ghenie, Förg – the auction is sure to turns many heads.
Tremendous works by tried-and-true American icons like Warhol, Twombly, Haring will also be available. Let’s take a look at some of the remarkable works up for auction at the end of the this month!
Andy Warhol, Four Marilyns (Reversal Series), 1979–86. Estimate £1,800,000–2,500,000
With typical conceptual brilliance, the King of Pop Art imbued the repeated visage of this quintessential American icon with a very sombre aura in this work. Highlighting shadows and plunging mid-tones into darkness, Warhol managed to dematerialise his celebrity subject, ultimately redirecting the viewer to his own oeuvre (his early Marilyns and silkscreens) and his own obsession with fame and mortality.
Louise Bourgeois, Untitled, 1947–93. Estimate £900,000–1,200,000
Comprising approximately 80 entirely unique wooden iterations created during the late 1940s and early 1950s, this body of work signalled the first great achievement of Bourgeois’s mature artistic practice. In conversation with the prevailing Modernism of the previous generation, Bourgeois’s totems evoke the influence of Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column and echo the towering monumentality of Alberto Giacometti’s wraith-like forms.
Jenny Saville, Shift, 1996–97. Estimate £1,500,000–2,000,000
Succulent and tactile, this painterly tour de force on an epic scale envelops the viewer in unflinchingly honest detail. A quintessential Young British Artist head-turner, this piece clearly deals with Saville’s bêtes noires, the history of female objectification by male painters and the storied tradition of idealisation in Western art.
Keith Haring, The Last Rain Forest, 1989. Estimate £2,000,000–3,000,000
Diagnosed with AIDS the year before, Haring created a post-apocalyptic landscape that was more virtuosic than any of his other works. Teeming with action and recognisable symbols – the pyramid, light bulb, television and radiant child, though in a telling upright, meditative pose – this painting stands as Haring’s last great masterpiece, blending the personal with the political, cruelty with frivolity, and fantasy with truth.