Christo Collage, Pop Art Prints at Swann Galleries


New York—On Thursday, May 16, Swann Galleries will auction more than 215 examples of Contemporary Art, including unique pieces and multiples. The sale comes on the heels of the Frieze Art Fair and other spring art events in New York.

The lot with the highest pre-sale estimate is a late 1960s Untitled painting of a horse by Maqbool Fida Husain, the modernist Indian painter. This grand and powerful piece exhibits the finest qualities of Husain’s celebrated horse paintings—sweeping, bold brushstrokes, a chiseled white horse with rich black contours brilliantly set against a muted background. It is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000.

Another unique highlight is a two-part collage with fabric, thread, color pencils, color crayons, charcoal and maps by Christo for Wrapped Reichstag, his installation from 1995. It took three decades for Christo and wife Jeanne-Claude to plan and execute the wrapping of the Berlin landmark, and this diptych contains annotations, construction notes and dates for the project ($50,000 to $80,000).

A fine example of Yves Klein’s monochromes is Monochrome und Feuer, a triptych with blue and pink screenprints, and a third coated with gold foil and gold leaf applied by the artist, published on the occasion of the artist’s 1961 retrospective, held just a year before his death ($20,000 to $30,000).

Among works by Ellsworth Kelly is an Untitled (New York State Award), color wool wall hanging, commissioned in 1967 by then Governor Nelson Rockefeller, and produced in an edition of 20 to be given to arts and cultural projects and institutions recognized by the New York State Council of the Arts ($15,000 to $20,000).


A 1981 Sam Francis gouache, watercolor and ink on handmade paper, Untitled (Ten Puffs), stand out among the abstract works ($30,000 to $50,000); as do Willem de Kooning’s Figures in Landscape VI, color offset lithograph, 1980 ($10,000 to $15,000); and Robert Motherwell’s Red Sea I, color aquatint and lift-ground etching and aquatint on Arches, 1976 ($10,000 to $15,000).

The sale offers more than a dozen prints by Andy Warhol, most notably the offset color lithographs Liz, 1964 ($15,000 to $20,000) and Flowers, 1964 ($20,000 to $30,000); two impressions of the 1971 color screenprint Electric Chair, one in orange and blue, the other purple and gold ($10,000 to $15,000 each); and Mao, color screenprint on Beckett High White paper, 1972 ($30,000 to $50,000).


A related item is Richard Pettibone’s Andy Warhol, Cow, a synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas reproduction of Warhol’s famous image, by an artist known for his appropriations of famous works of art into a smaller, lower quality format ($20,000 to $30,000).

Other significant Pop Art prints are Roy Lichtenstein’s Crak!, offset color lithograph, 1963-64 ($12,000 to $18,000) and Bull VI, color lithograph, screenprint and line-cute on Arjomari paper, 1973, Lichtenstein’s own take on another artist’s work—in this case, Picasso’s Bull lithographs ($15,000 to $20,000); and Keith Haring’s Double Man, color lithograph, 1986 ($8,000 to $12,000).

A unique Pop Art highlight is James Rosenquist’s Drawing #14 for Heart Time Flowers, watercolor and acrylic on paper, 1980 ($8,000 to $12,000).

Desirable portfolios include a deluxe edition of 1¢ Life, with 62 signed color lithographs on handmade paper, by artists including Francis, Lichtenstein, Warhol and Tom Wesselman, 1964 ($25,000 to $35,000); Richard Estes’s Urban Landscapes No. 3, with eight color screenprints, 1981 ($7,000 to $10,000); Robert Indiana’s The American Dream, with 30 colored screenprints, 1997 ($7,000 to $10,000); and William Kentridge’s Stereoscopic Suite, with six stereoscopic photogravures and stereopticon, 2007 ($15,000 to $20,000).

Choice sculptural material features a pair of  metal wire sculptures by Ruth Asawa, two-lobed single-layer continuous forms made from 14-gauge galvanized steel wire, 1950s ($20,000 to $30,000).

The auction, will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16.

An evening preview and cocktail party will be held at Swann on Tuesday, May 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Please RSVP to 212-254-4710, extension 305 or

The works will be on public exhibition Saturday, May 11, from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, May 13 through Wednesday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to noon.

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: Maqbool Fida Husain, Untitled (Horse), oil on canvas, late 1960s (estimate: $100,000 to $150,000).

Second image: Richard Pettibone, Andy Warhol, Cow, synthetic polymer and silkscreen ink on canvas, 1970 (estimate: $20,000 to $30,000).          

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