Leading the sale is the After Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Ascent, Olympic, Leeches, and Liberty print published by Pace in 2017. These four screenprints were made in collaboration with the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat and bear the signature of estate administrators Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Heriveaux. The images themselves are taken from paintings created in 1982-1983 and are imbued with recognizable Basquiat iconography. Basquiat is well knowing for his synthesized urban, Afro-Caribbean influences, and Neo-Expressionist style which, when combined, created a revolutionary visual language that defied what had previously been displayed in fine art spaces. Ascent, Olympic, Leeches, and Liberty embodies the same essence of the masterpieces he painted in the 1980s, which remain some of the most timeless and challenging in art history.
Banksy presents a visual homage to Basquiat with his 2019 work Banksquiat (Gray). Created as an homage to street art royalty, Banksy replaces the carriages of a Ferris wheel with Basquiat’s famous crown symbol, further connecting street art in an urban context to the commercial fine art world. Banksy chose the color gray for the Ferris wheel, which also happens to be the name of Basquiat’s experimental band. Basquiat was very active in the downtown music scene before he became a painter – another nod to the intwined world of music, street art, and the contemporary art scene of 1980s New York.
Jumping from 2D to 3D, this sale celebrates the multidimensionality of prints and multiples with works such as Robert Rauschenberg’s Sling-Shots Lit #4, from Sling-Shots Lit, Sasumu Kamijo’s Dance For Me In The Dusk, and Richard Artschwager’s Four Approximate Objects. Rauchenberg’s Sling-Shot Lit highlights the complexity of concept and fabrication, creating an interactive, layered composition on an immersive scale which pushes the boundaries of what is considered a print. Within an illuminated lightbox, SlingShot Lit #4’s lithographs are printed on a multitude of substrates, such as sailcloth and mylar, and the viewer can physically manipulate the layers via draw cord to create a varied and dynamic final image.