Auctions | April 20, 2015

Warhol, Basquiat & Robert Indiana Among Highlights of Swann Galleries’ May 12 Auction


New York—On Tuesday, May 12, Swann Galleries will conduct an auction of Contemporary Art, which is replete with cutting-edge prints, paintings, drawings and sculptures by the biggest names in contemporary art.

Extraordinary unique works include Robert Indiana’s The Mother of Us All, a mixed-media collage on board from 1976, which was the original maquette for the same-titled poster for a 1976 production of the pop opera about suffragist Susan B. Anthony. Indiana also designed costumes and sets for the show. This piece was a gift from the artist to the current owner and is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000).

Also estimated at $40,000 to $60,000 is a circa 1955 watercolor with pen and black ink on paper of a Tattooed Woman by Andy Warhol, which is related to the artist’s offset lithograph Tattooed Woman Holding a Rose.

Additional Warhol highlights include Liz, offset color lithograph, 1964; Grapes (Special Edition), unique color screenprint with diamond dust, 1979 ($30,000 to $50,000 each); and Flower, offset color lithograph, 1964 ($20,000 to $30,000).

Fashion and art collide in several rare examples of 1980s graffiti art, such as four jackets and a leather purse tagged by Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Revolt, Cey Adams, and others. This wearable art comes from a private collection via famed New York City nightclub Danceteria and Basquiat’s first solo exhibition at the Mary Boone Gallery in 1984.

Among print highlights are two monumental works by Roy Lichtenstein from his 1988 Imperfect series, Imperfect 67 5/8"x91 1/2" and Imperfect 44 3/4"x103", each a color woodcut, screenprint and collage on 3-ply paper, and each estimated at $20,000 to $30,000.

Jasper Johns’s 7, a very scarce early lithograph from 1963 ($30,000 to $50,00) is featured, as are Yves Klein’s triptych Monochrome und Feuer, set of three color screenprints in blue and pink on card, 1961 ($12,000 to $18,000); Alex Katz’s screenprints Gray Day, on Arches, 1992 ($20,000 to $30,000) and White Roses, on board, 2103 ($15,000 to $20,000); and Sam Francis’s King Corpse, color screenprint on Arches Cover, 1986 ($12,000 to $18,000).

A run of works by Keith Haring includes two Untitled felt-tip pen drawings from 1985, one in black and red ink, the other just black ($15,000 to $20,000 each); and The Blueprint Drawings, screenprint, 1990 ($12,000 to $18,000).


Among pieces of note by female artists are Lisa Yuskavage’s Truly Yours, oil on linen on panel, 1990 ($10,000 to $15,000); Helen Frankenthaler’s Bilbao, color lithograph, 1998 and Solar Imp, color screenprint, 2001 ($5,000 to $8,000); Vija Celmins, Constellation—Uccello, etching and aquatint, 1983 ($5,000 to $8,000); and works by Louise Bourgois, Jenny Holzer and Lee Krasner.

Rounding out the sale are pieces by Josef Albers, Francis Bacon, Alexander Calder, Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, Ellsworth Kelly, Willem de Kooning, Robert Longo, Robert Rauschenberg, Wayne Thiebaud, Cy Twombly and many others.

The auction, will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12. The works will be on public exhibition Thursday, May 7 and Friday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, May 9, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 6p.m. and Tuesday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

An illustrated catalogue is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Todd Weyman at (212) 254-4710, ext. 32, or via email at

Live online bidding is also available via

First image: Leather jacket tagged by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and graffiti artists Crash and Daze. From Basquiat’s first solo exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery, 1984. Estimate: $30,000 to $50,000.

Second image: Helen Frankenthaler, Bilbao, color lithograph, 1998. Estimate: $5,000 to $8,000.