02 April 2019
Modern 20th Century Works and Coveted Pop Art Prints
Lead Phillips’ Auction of Editions & Works on Paper
Sale to be Held on 23 April in New York
NEW YORK – 1 APRIL 2019 – On Tuesday, 23 April, Phillips will host its first Editions & Works on Paper sale of the season in New York. Offering over 340 lots, the auction will be comprised of examples that represent the milestones of artistic achievement over the last hundred years. Works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee, Helen Frankenthaler, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, among others, will be offered across the Day, Afternoon and Evening sale sessions.
Kelly Troester and Cary Leibowitz, Phillips’ Worldwide Co-Heads of Editions, said, “Following the Editions department’s record-breaking year in 2018 and exceptional performance this January in London, we are delighted to host our first New York sale of the year. We have seen a tremendous amount of enthusiasm in recent seasons from collectors across the globe for rare and high-quality prints and multiples. Our April sale offers a broad and wonderful selection of modern and contemporary editions for collectors of all levels and interests. We are especially pleased to offer fourteen master prints from an Important East Coast Collection throughout the Evening Session.”
Pop Art Treasures and Rare Sets Lead a Strong Group of Post-War American Art
Post-War works of art figure prominently in the sale, with a particularly strong selection of Pop Art. Roy Lichtenstein’s Reverie and Sweet Dreams Baby! are two of fourteen works being sold from an important East Coast Collection and were created for the 11 Pop Artists portfolios (Volume II and III respectively). These edgy compilations of fresh prints from then-emerging artists represented a new center of gravity in America’s art history. The two images being offered in April signaled the meteoric rise of Roy Lichtenstein and have endured as two of the greatest prizes in all of Post-War printmaking. Phillips is pleased to offer Reverie in addition to one of Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn images this season after setting new world auction records for Reverie as well as for any single Warhol print of the iconic actress during the fall 2018 season.
H.C. Westermann is an American artist with a growing cult following. His set of seventeen lithographs, SEE AMERICA FIRST, was created at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Hollywood. Prior to the project, Westermann had taken a cross-country road trip with his wife, which served as the artist’s inspiration for the portfolio. With images of scorched landscapes and rising seas, this expansive and tightly choreographed portfolio was both a love letter to America as well as a warning about protecting the environment of the country that he held dear. A noted sculptor, Westermann constructed wooden boxes by hand to encase the portfolio. Phillips’ April sale marks the first time in 30 years that a complete set will be offered at auction, an occasion made more momentous by the fact that this set is accompanied by the original handmade wooden box.
Another important and complete set that Phillips is proud to offer this season is Robert Indiana’s The Book of Love. Executed in 1996, this full set of twelve screenprints and twelve poems has become universally recognized Pop iconography.
Six works by Helen Frankenthaler will also be offered including Freefall, her most monumental and challenging print, as well as two unique monotypes from two series made between 1981 and 1991. Collectors will also have an opportunity to acquire Jasper Johns’ Gray Alphabets, among Johns’ largest prints. The work required a complex printing process and is now regarded as one of the artist’s greatest technical feats.
The Contemporary Section Featuring Important Works by Female Artists and Keith Haring’s Final Print
Among the more contemporary highlights is Keith Haring’s Best Buddies, 1990, the artist’s last print before his passing that year. Haring created the work at the request of Anthony Shriver, the nephew of President John F. Kennedy and founder of Best Buddies, a non-profit organization that enlisted university students to help create opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. Haring’s prints helped to leave a lasting gift for Best Buddies and the many lives touched by it. Phillips is pleased to offer this last impression from the publisher.
Important works by female artists also feature strongly; the sale’s cover lot is Yayoi Kusama’s Soaring Spirit, a stainless steel and wire construction that is one from a series of at least 10 unique versions exhibited within the artist’s 2006 exhibition at Robert Miller Gallery. On the back cover is Louise Bourgeois’ wonderful and joyous 2004 etching with extensive hand-work, Together.
Additional contemporary works of art to be offered are Robert Longo’s iconic Meryl and Jonathan, a wonderful selection of prints by Ed Ruscha including Jet Baby and Miracle, several works by Richard Serra and a group of Ellsworth Kelly prints consigned by a member of the artist’s family, with some bearing dedications.
Modern Works of Art
The sale’s modern highlights include Paul Klee’s Ältliches Kind II (Elderly Child II) from the famed Ralph F. Colin Collection and Henri Matisse’s Hindoue à la jupe de tulle (Hindu Woman with a Tulle Skirt). A strong selection of prints and ceramics by Pablo Picasso as well as works by Wassily Kandinsky, Alberto Giacometti, Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet and Jean Cocteau will also be among the works offered on 23 April.
Miró Masterworks Begin the Modern Works of Art Evening Session
The first five lots within the evening session of the April Editions auction will present a group of mature and masterful etchings by Joan Miró that date from the artist’s most advanced period. Depicting characters encountered throughout a life spent traversing France and Spain, his prints are representative of friendships, imagination and memories. Le Permissionnaire (Soldier on Leave) portrays an off-duty and elated young soldier like one that Miró would have encountered throughout his travels during the great wars. Other late-career etchings continued Miró’s legacy of depicting wide-ranging personalities with dimensionality though his unique eye of interpretation. More than 60 intaglio prints were made between 1974 and 1975 alone, a testament to the vitality that Miró took from his work in the medium. Examples of his very last completed works from 1981 are also featured in the auction.
Auction: Tuesday, 23 April 2019
Auction viewing: 15-23 April
Location: 450 Park Avenue, New York
Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of 20th Century and Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world. In addition to providing selling and buying opportunities through auction, Phillips brokers private sales and offers assistance with appraisals, valuations, and other financial services.
Visit www.phillips.com for further information.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium; prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium.
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