Image:Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004) Study Mouth for Smoker Sale 2341 First Open Christies New York
Christie’s announced the fall 2010 edition of First Open, a sale of edgy Post-War & Contemporary Art to be held on September 22, 2010 in New York. The offering runs the gamut with works by artists — such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney, Donald Judd ,Yayoi Kusama, Frank Stella, Thomas Struth, John Wesley and Lisa Yuskavage — and is geared to appeal to both seasoned and novice collectors alike. The auction to feature 249 lots is expected to realize upwards of $5 million.
“As the bellwether Post-War & Contemporary Art sale of the Fall season, First Open signals the shape of market and looks to define the November auction to come,” said Koji Inoue, Head of First Open at Christie’s. “With an exciting and diverse selection of Post-War & Contemporary art, the sale aims to highlight the importance of both broadly recognized movements as well those that aren’t perennially in the spotlight. This First Open sale captures movements and mediums including Abstract Expressionism, European Modernism, Color Field, Minimalism, the Pictures Generation, Post-War & Contemporary Collage, Pop Art, Mail Art, Appropriation and much more. First Open promises a stimulating experience that bridges connections across the 20th and 21st century timeline and it is at this intersection that burgeoning collectors as well as the established can experiment and grow their collections with artists that continue to push the envelope.”
The sale’s top lot is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Plaid, 1983 (estimate: $300,000-500,000). Basquiat’s work epitomized the temperament of the 1980’s fusing collage and imagery, such as in this acrylic-saturated paper collage on canvas. Unique to Basquiat, Plaid is fully executed in paint and was created at the height of the artist’s career showcasing his artistic energy both physically and emotionally.
Harvesting Near The Road To Thwing by David Hockney, 2006 (estimate: $250,000-350,000); is a key feature in the sale. He is one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. This work is a leading example of the en plein air landscapes Hockney has completed throughout his career, and characterizing his recent work upon his return to the English countryside.
The cover lot of the sale is John Wesley’s Breton Sailor, 2002 (estimate: $150,000-200,000). Wesley’s paintings continue to establish themselves as timeless referential pieces of Contemporary Art as he is associated with multiple 20th century movements including Pop art and minimalism and has been an important artist influence to painters from the 1980’s onward. This work depicts a chimera — a fusion of Donald Duck and Popeye.
Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Nets, circa 1979-1981, From the Collection of Michael Crichton (estimate: $50,000-70,000), represents the work she began to produce after her move to New York in the late 1950s. The repetition of application of paint and all over composition creates a surface of intricate texture that is striking at both close and distant views. Kusama’s work continues to inspire contemporary artists of today while the large breadth of her work in the Minimalist, Performance, and Pop movements is highly esteemed.
Highlighting the photography section of the sale is Thomas Struth’s Drammen I, 2001 (estimate: $35,000-45,000). A breakthrough artist, Struth’s photographs contain both themes of beauty as well as an intimacy with the figures pictured. This work features a vast night skyline, but with a closer look, the outline of Struth’s own shadow brings an immediate connection to the moment the photograph was taken.
Also a standout is a piece by Gilbert & George titled Night Monster, 1981 (estimate: $40,000-60,000). Beginning to create art together in 1967 in London, they developed a new style of large scale format works which are extremely striking and powerful. The work featured in this sale uses strong direct colors including black, red, yellow, and blue, both intimidating and drawing the viewer closer.