Auctions | April 19, 2017

Spectrum of Original and Scarce Media at Swann Galleries' Contemporary Art Sale

247-Hockney copy.jpgNew York—On Thursday, May 11, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of Contemporary Art, offering original works and rare multiples by leading artists from the last 75 years.  

The sale is led by an important early sculptural work by Roy Lichtenstein titled Composition (Picture without a Frame), 1955, which will be included in the artist’s forthcoming catalogue raisonné. In 2005, The New York Times quoted Lichtenstein describing his 1950s paintings as "Taking the kind of stodgy pictures you see in history textbooks and redoing them in a modern-art way."  These early paintings are important thematic and stylistic precursors to the artist's iconic comic strip-inspired subjects from the early 1960s onward. The multimedia piece, which includes collage, metal screws and wooden slats, is valued between $30,000 and $50,000.

A selection of portraits by Andy Warhol features iconic colorblock screenprints of Geronimo, 1986, and Richard Nixon in Vote McGovern, 1972 (each $20,000 to $30,000).

Original works include stunners by well-known artists in their prime. Willem de Kooning’s pencil drawing Untitled (Seated and Reclining Women), circa 1965-70, is valued at $25,000 to $35,000. A unique mixed-media with color monotype by Robert Motherwell, Untitled (Imaginary Landscape) (EW.XVI), was completed in Surrealist artist Kurt Seligmann’s New York studio in 1941 ($20,000 to $30,000). An original gouache painting by Alexander Calder, titled Calvair Breton de Traguier, 1965, which features the primary colors and bold graphic shapes for which the artist is known, is valued at $20,000 to $30,000. A run of back and white ink works on paper by William Nelson Copley (“CPLY”) is each valued at $5,000 to $8,000. Also available are one-of-a-kind pieces by Jennifer Bartlett, Robert De Niro, Sr., Keith Haring and Paul Sharits.

Sculptural multiples by Jeff Koons, Julian Opie, Omar Rayo, George Rickey and Jesús Rafael Soto are joined by a unique untitled cedar work by Ursula von Rydingsvard, 1981 ($15,000 to $20,000). Petite Venus Bleue, 1956-57, by Yves Klein, is a bronze brooch with the artist’s signature International Klein Blue pigment suspended on an original gold leaf Perspex backdrop, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000. Also available is Christo’s Look magazine wrapped in transparent Polythylene and cord, titled Look Magazine Empaqueté, 1965, valued at $5,000 to $8,000.

Vik Muniz is represented in the sale by a chromogenic print from his Pictures of Color series. After Van Gogh, 2004, a limited edition photograph of a collage of Pantone swatches, is valued between $6,000 and $9,000. Other photographic works include the complete portfolio Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 2000, by David Levinthal ($3,000 to $5,000).

Print highlights include David Hockney’s The Artist and Model, 1974, and Cy Twombly’s lithograph with mixed media Natural History, Part I, Mushrooms: No. IV, 1974 ($20,000 to $30,000 and $8,000 to $12,000, respectively). Vibrant works by Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Tom Wesselmann and Zou Wou-Ki are complemented by subdued palettes by Richard Diebenkorn, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg and Christopher Wool.

Notable portfolios will be offered, including the limited edition of William S. Burroughs’s The Seven Deadly Sins, 1991, with seven color screenprints and woodcuts printed from blocks shot by the artist with a 12-guage shotgun.

The auction will be held Thursday, May 11, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The auction preview will be open to the public Saturday, May 6, from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, May 8 through Wednesday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to noon.

An illustrated auction catalogue is available for $35 at

For further information and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Todd Weyman at 212-254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at

Image: Lot 247 David Hockney, The Artist and Model, etching, 1974. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.