Works by Lynn Chadwick, Roy Lichtenstein, Francis Bacon Led Swann Galleries’ Auction of Contemporary Art

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New York—Active online bidding and a lively saleroom led to a high sell-through rate and some record prices at Swann Galleries’ Contemporary Art auction on May 13.

Todd Weyman, Swann Galleries Vice President and Director of Prints & Drawings, said, “Choice works by the big names in contemporary art—from Abstract Expressionist painters to Pop Artists—were eagerly sought after. Soaring past pre-sale estimates were outstanding examples of Robert Longo’s recognizable, life-size lithographic images of contorted figures, and works by English sculptor Lynn Chadwick, whose appeal has continued to rise since the Tate London retrospective of his work in 2003-2004. We saw approximately 25% of the lots sold in the auction go to those bidding live online, which is perhaps an indication of buyers’ increasing comfort with purchasing art online.”

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The sale’s top lot was a pair of bronze sculptures, Two Winged Figures, by Chadwick, which brought $43,750*. The Longo prints, James, 1999 and Tillman, 2000, sold for record prices of $16,250 and $13,750 respectively.

Another record-setting print was David Smith’s Don Quixote, lithograph, 1952 at $15,360.

Top print results also included several iconic examples by Roy Lichtenstein, such as Crying Girl, offset color lithograph, 1963, at $37,500; Still Life with Lobster, color lithograph and screenprint, 1974 and Shipboard Girl, offset color lithograph, 1965, $20,000 each; and Knight with Lady (Knight and Lady), color woodcut, 1951, $10,625.

Francis Bacon’s Man at a Washbasin, color aquatint and etching, 1977-78, brought $26,250; while Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair, color screenprint, 1971 and Frank Stella’s Feneralia, color screenprint, lithograph, etching, aquatint, relief and collagraph, 1995, sold for $16,250 each.

Among the unique works of note were an Untitled, pen and ink drawing by Willem de Kooning, $22,500; Karel Appel’s Clown, oil on carved wood board, 1977, $21,250; a Sol LeWitt Untitled gouache, 1999, $11,250; and Serge Charchoune, In Mont Salvat Gennannt Nº6, oil on canvas, 1955, $11,250.

The Lynn Chadwick sculptures weren’t the only compelling three-dimensional highlights, there was also a group of seven Flux Kits, each mixed-media in a plastic compartmentalized box with a label, which captured the ethos of the Fluxis movement, 1960s-70s, $15,625 and Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog (Red), metallic porcelain multiple, 1995, $10,880.

For complete auction results, an illustrated catalogue, with prices realized on request, can be purchased for $35 from Swann Auction Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or viewed online at www.swanngalleries.com.

To propose consignments to upcoming auctions of Contemporary Art, please contact Todd Weyman at (212) 254-4710, extension 32, or via e-mail at tweyman@swanngalleries.com

*All prices include buyer’s premium.

First image: Lynn Chadwick, Two Winged Figures, two bronze sculptures with gold faces. Sold for $43,750 (including buyer's premium).

Second image: Robert Longo, James, lithograph, 1999. Sold for a record $16,250 (including buyer's premium).

Auction Guide