The Collection of Dennis Hopper Auction at Christies New York January 11/12th 2010


Image:Andy Warhol (1928-1987) in collaboration with Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) Mao: one plate (F. & S. II. 99) screenprint in colors, 1972, on Beckett High White, signed in ball-point pen on the reverse, stamp-numbered 144/250 (there were also 50 artist’s proofs), co-published by Castelli Graphics and Multiples, Inc., New York, with the artist’s copyright stamp on the reverse, the full sheetS. 36 x 36 in. (914 x 914 mm.)

Dennis Hopper shot two bullet holes through an Andy Warhol portrait of Mao Zedong but instead of earning the wrath of the artist, Warhol called the “Easy Rider” star a collaborator.

Warhol’s “Mao” is among 300 works of fine art and memorabilia owned by the late actor-director of the 1969 counterculture film up for auction at Christie’s January 11/12th.

Most of the items adorned the actor’s Venice Beach, Calif., home.
Hopper began collecting in the 1960s after the venerable actor, Vincent Price, himself an avid collector of Impressionist art, told him: “You need to collect, this is where you need to put your money,”

Hopper, a photographer and painter himself, became immersed in the West Coast artist scene and pop art movement, becoming close friends with Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and many of the other artists he collected.

While eclectic, “there is some depth of certain artists” among the fine art works in the collection, including those by Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner and George Herms.

The shooting incident involving “Mao” occurred sometime in the early 1970s at Hopper’s Los Angeles home, said Alex Hitz, a family friend and a trustee of the estate.

Hopper’s four children are selling the collection because “it was Dennis’ wish to sell everything,” said Hitz.

“How do you cut a Warhol and all those other wonderful pieces by four,” he added.

Elkies said Hopper’s Venice Beach house was filled “literally from floor to ceiling with art, and realistically they (the children) couldn’t take that on.”

She said the family was holding on to the more sentimental pieces, including Hopper’s own photography and paintings.

Posters from the movies he starred in, including “Apocalypse Now,” ”Blue Velvet” and “Speed,” are estimated to sell for $200 to $500.

A 158-page unbound “Easy Rider” script, with extensive handwritten notes on the back of two pages is being offered at a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$3,000. A three-sheet poster from the film, which also starred the then unknown actor Jack Nicholson, is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.

Christie’s offered 30 works from the Hopper collection in November when a 1987 Jean-Michael Basquiat mixed media work, “Untitled,” sold for $5.8 million. Via:[Art Daily]

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About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad

3 thoughts on “The Collection of Dennis Hopper Auction at Christies New York January 11/12th 2010

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