World-Famous Western Contemporary Art Worth Up To US $ 19.2 Million Sold At Auction (Part 1) | Auction news | THE VALUE

Sotheby’s Hong Kong’s fall auctions will soon take place on October 9, with successful lots to be unveiled one after the other.

One of the highlights of the contemporary art night sale is brought to life by Basquiat’s masterpiece, Untitled (Red Warrior), established in 1982. It is estimated to be between 150 and 200 million HK dollars (approximately 19.2 to 25.7 million US dollars).

Basquiat’s works are the most expensive for an American artist. A bruise warrior (1982) sold for HK $ 323.6 million (approximately $ 41.5 million) dollars earlier in March, becoming the most expensive Western artwork ever sold in Asia.

At next month’s Sotheby’s sale, Untitled (Red Warrior) will be auctioned alongside works by contemporary Western and Eastern artists. Works by Joan Mitchell, Adrian Ghenie, and Roy Lichtenstein are among the most expensive contemporary Western works of art sold at auction, and will be discussed below.

This piece is one of two flagship art items sold at Sotheby’s auction – the first deals with contemporary western art, while the second deals with contemporary eastern art.


Western Contemporary Art

Jean-Michel Basquiat | Untitled (Red Warrior), acrylic and oil stick on linen canvas

Established in 1982
195.6 x 198 cm
Origin:

  • Larry Gagosian, Los Angeles
  • Private collection, United States
  • Fred Hoffman Gallery, New York
  • Vrej Baghoomian, New York
  • Acquired from it by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 150,000,000 – 200,000,000 (approximately US $ 19.2-25.7 million)

An emblematic portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat

Importance

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was one of the most famous American artists of the 20th century. Basquiat is best known for his work entitled Untitled (1982), representing a skull. It sold at Sotheby’s in New York for a record $ 110.5 million in May 2017, and became the highest price ever paid at auction for an American artist.

A bruise warrior (1982) sold for HK $ 323.6 million (approximately $ 41.5 million) dollars earlier in March, becoming the most expensive Western artwork ever sold in Asia.

Drawing inspiration from his Afro-Caribbean roots, Basquiat challenged Western stories by portraying influential figures in the African diaspora as heroes and saints. These figures included musicians and athletes, such as saxophonist Charlie Parker, as well as boxers Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali.

Untitled (1982) by Basquiat depicts a skull and was sold for a record $ 110.5 million | Sotheby’s New York, May 2017

The figures defended by Basquiat from the African diaspora including American boxer and world heavyweight champion Joe Louis in his work entitled St. Joe Louis Surrounded by Snakes (1982)

Auction Records – Hong Kong

Here’s a quick recap of Basquiat’s paintings also auctioned in Hong Kong this year for over HK $ 100 million ($ 12.8 million). Sorted by price, the first three are (photos below):

1. warrior| 1982 | Size: 183 x 122 cm | Sale price: HK $ 323,600,000 (approx. US $ 41.5 million) | Christie’s Hong Kong, March 2021

2. Untitled Wooden board triptych | 1985 | Size: 217.2 x 275.6 x 30.5 cm | Sale price: HK $ 289,316,000 (approx. $ 37.1 million) | Sotheby’s Hong Kong, June 2021

3. Untitled| 1982 | Size: 182.9 x 121.9 cm | Sale price: HK $ 234,290,000 (approx. $ 30.1 million) | Christie’s Hong Kong, May 2021

Dimensions

Blue warrior sold for HK $ 323.6 million (approximately US $ 41.5 million) dollars earlier in March, with a size of 183 by 122 cm and an average value of HK $ 14,494 (approximately US $ 1,862) per cm².

Red Warrior measures 195.6 by 198cm, which is 73% larger than blue warrior. Based on the value per cm² of blue warrior, the value of Red Warrior exceeds HK $ 560 million (US $ 71.9 million).

It remains to be seen whether this work of art can be sold at such an exaggerated price and become the most expensive Western contemporary art sold in Asia.

The protagonist of Warrior (1982) was painted mostly blue and black, Christie’s Hong Kong, March 2021

The protagonist of this warrior (1982) was painted mainly red


Joan Mitchell | Untitled, oil on canvas

Created in 1967
200x150cm
Origin:

  • Jean Fournier Gallery, Paris
  • Private collection
  • Christie’s, New York, May 11, 2004, Lot 23
  • Acquired from the above sale by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 50,000,000-60,000,000 (approximately US $ 6.4-7.7 million)

Mitchell’s Syrtis Painting (1961) | Sotheby’s Hong Kong, September 2018

Importance

Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) was one of the most important members of the American artistic movement Abstract expressionism, and one of his rare female artists to achieve international fame. Mitchell’s impressive career spanned over 40 years and saw her working in a wide range of mediums including oil on canvas, watercolor and pastel on paper.

This will mark Mitchell’s second auction appearance in Asia after his debut with Syrtis (1961) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in September 2018. It sold for HK $ 56.5 million (approximately US $ 7.2 million).

Iconography

Mitchell moved to a studio in the French town of Vetheuil in 1967. Inspired by the French countryside, she incorporated nature and landscape themes into her paintings.

The painting of the American artist, Untitled (1967), reflects the stylistic change in Mitchell’s abstract work as she began painting on larger canvases. They were mediums who carried his visual incidents, feelings, memories and associations. Although sensitive to the trees, flowers and fields that surrounded him, it was not simply the forms of nature that inspired Mitchell it was also light and air, the wind rustling the leaves, or the heat of a hot, windless day.


Adrien Ghenie | The Death of Charles Darwin, oil on canvas

Established in 2013
280x260cm
Origin:

  • Pace Gallery, New York
  • Acquired from it by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 50,000,000-60,000,000 (approximately US $ 6.4-7.7 million)

Importance

The Romanian artist paints dark and disturbing canvases that weave personal and collective memories linked to the traumas of European history. The artist is concerned with ideologies such as communism and eugenics, throughout his work.

Exploring the idea of ​​self and identity in his paintings since 2010, Ghenie incorporates the recognizable forms of historical figures, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Charles Darwin in his paintings.

Iconography

Examining Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection as the trigger for a paradigm shift in history, Ghenie is particularly interested in Darwin’s legacy.

Developing Darwinism, Ghenie offers a way of interpreting the notion of survival. He delves into the theory of biological evolutionism and the ways in which it has been distorted to transform societies.

Self-portrait of Ghenie in 1945 (2015)


Roy Lichtenstein | Reflections: Mystical painting, oil and magna on canvas

Established in 1989
142.5 x 190.5 cm
Origin:

  • Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
  • Marieluise Hessel Collection (acquired in 1989)
  • Christie’s, New York, May 14, 2003, Lot 1232
  • Acquired from the above sale by the current owner

Estimated price: HK $ 30,000,000-45,000,000 (approximately US $ 3.8-5.7 million)

Importance

American artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) was the forerunner of a new artistic wave called Pop art.

He used a painting method called Point Ben-Day (named after American illustrator Benjamin Day Jr.) on large canvases, making his creations full of comics.

In Reflections: Mystical Painting (1989) The Screaming Man with Spy Glasses is from an X-Men comic book. American comics of the 1950s often used four simple colors: red, yellow, blue, and black. By arranging and stacking dots of different colors at different intervals, the effect of different tones is created.

Iconography

Reflections: Mystical Painting is an archetypal example of Roy Lichtenstein’s important series, Reflections Paintings (1988-1993). During this period, the artist continued his questioning of the perception and the abstract nature of reality.

Lichtenstein presents the image as if seen through a glass frame, using diagonal stripes that intersect the canvas to suggest reflection and refraction of light, prompting the viewer to make sense of his various fragments.

from Lichtenstein Think Thud! (1990)

Similar works

Thoughts on Thud! (1990) is one of Reflections series of paintings. This series of paintings focuses on the diagonal representation, which resembles a portrait mounted under a glass frame.

Onomatopoeia Noise (bang)! in the upper right corner of the screen is full of Lichtenstein’s cartoon flavor.


Auction details

Auction House: Sotheby’s Hong Kong
Date: October 9, 2021
Sale: Contemporary art evening sale
Location: Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery | 5 / F One Pacific Place

Preview of the exhibition

Date: October 7-9, 2021
Location: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center

Christopher S. Washington