Lot 10, "Ziege," by
Gerhard Richter, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 by 71 inches, 1984
10 is the best work by Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) (see The City Review article on the artist.) at
this season's auctions. Entitled "Ziege," it is a 1984 canvas
that measures 78 3/4 by 71 inches.
6, "A. B. St. James," by Gerhard Richter, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 by 102
3/8 inches, 1988
The catalogue provides the following commentary:
"An electrifying example of masterful coloration and superb painterly
is archetypical of a vital moment of conceptual transition in Gerhard
Richter's inimitable career....Captivating in their dynamic
juxtaposition of vibrant color, complex space, and explosive
mark-making, these works are strident affirmations of their creator's
technical abilities as a master paiuter....In a pyrotechnic explostion
of primary and secondary color, Ziege
transmits a visual dynamism that has become a hallmrk of Richter's
early abstract paintings. Painted between 1980 and 1986, these
complex pioneering works broadcast space as an illustion constructed
through the repetitive layering of soft diffusive marks, geometric
shapes, and free-hand strokes...Unlike the wild abandon of his
Neo-Expressionist contemporaries, Richter approached his abstract
paintings with painstaking care, obsessively seeking the conceptual
boundary between purpose and chance in painting."
The lot has an estimate of $8,000,000 to $12,000,000. It sold for $8,986,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.
Richter's "A. B. Still," which had
been acquired at Sotheby's in 1991 for $264,000, sold for $33,900,000,
nicely over its $30,000,000 high estimate.
6 is a larger and darker oil on canvas by Richter that measures 78 3/4
by 102 3/8 inches. It was painted in 1988. The catalogue
devotes 14 pages to the lot, which has been widely published. It
is one of 13 works that the artist named after the St. James section of
London and towers of the Chapel of Westminster Abbey and the Tower of
"Like a sunset, glorious and lumiscent in reflecting the chromatic
intensity of stunning optical effects, Richter's canvas evokes the
beauty frequently called forth by the contingency of natural phenomena:
'amid the paintings' scraped and layered pigments' describes Robert
Storr, 'shoals, riptides and cresting waves' reinforce an impression of
venturing beyond abstraction," the catalogue entry notes.
It now has an estimate of $20,000,000 to $30,000,000. It sold for $22,737,500 to Dominique Levy.
Lot 7, "Untitiled," by Willem de
Kooning, oil on canvas, 55 by 59 3/8 inches, 1977
7 is a very lush abstraction punctuated by bright strong reds, whites
and dark greens by Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) (See The City Review on a de Kooning exhibition.)
An oil on canvas, it measures 55 by 59 3/8 inches and was painted in
1977. It was once in the collection of the Bellagio Gallery of
Fine Art in Las Vegas and was illustrated in the catalogue of the 2011
de Kooning show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The catalogue entry remarks that it engulfs "the viewer in a glorious
tumult of light, sound, touch, and color" adding that the artist's
paintings of this period "with their massively congested, luminous
color, their contrasts between flowing and broken forms, attain
at their best a total painterliness in which marks and image coalesce
completely and every inch of canvas quivers wtih teeming energy."
"Untitled XXXIX," by Willem de Kooning, oil on canvas, 70 by 80 inches,
The lot has an estimate of $8,000,000 to $12,000,000. It sold for $10,362,500.
4, "Untitled XXXIX" is a 1083 abstraction by de Kooning that is an oil
on canvas that measures 70 by 80 and hung in The White House from 1993
to 2001. It has an estimate of $8,000,000 to $12,000,000. It sold for $9,800,000.
Lot 18, "Unitited #9," by de
Kooning, oil, charcoal, and pencil on paper mounted on canvas, 20 1/8
by 15 3/8 inches, 1958
18 is a very strong but small abstraction by de Kooning that is
entitled "Untitled #9." An oil, charcoal and pencil on paper
mounted on canvas, it measures 20 1/8 by 15 3/8 inches and was painted
in 1958. It was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art
in 1983. It has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. It sold for $1,332,500.
9, "Dein Aschenes Haar, Sudamith," by Anselm Kiefer, oil and straw on
canvas, 51 1/4 by 67 inches, 1981
Lot 9 is a large and good work by
Anselm Kiefer (b. 1945) entitled "Dein Aschenes Haar, Sudasmith."
An oil and straw on canvas, it measures 51 1/4 by 67 inches and was
created in 1981. It reflects the artist's admiration for Paul
Celan, a Romanian Jew, who wrote a haunting allegory on the horrors of
war while he was in a concentration camp and the title of the painting
reflects the poem's last lines. The golden straw at the lower
left is meant to be a metaphor for Aryan identity and the rest of the
field represents the dark hair turned ashen from smoke of the
Jews. The lot has an estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. It passed but was
later put up again and sole for $1.75 million to applause.
"Untitled #29," by Robert Ryman, oil on unstretched sized linen, 10 3/4
inches square, 1963
Lot 8 is a nice oil on unstretched sized
linen by Robert Ryman (b. 1930) that is entitled "Untitled #29."
It measures 10 3/4 inches square and was created in 1963. It has
an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. It sold for
Lot 14, "Untitled," is an
acrylic and artificial resin on polyester fabric by Sigmar Polke, 60
3/4 by 52 7/8 inches, 1998
14 is a large untitled work on fabric by Sigmar Polke
(1941-2000). It measures 60 3/4 by 52 7/8 inches and was created
in 1998. It has an estimate of $2,500,000 to $3,500,000. It sold for $3,132,500.
"Untitled (Study for Gate)," by Jim Hodges, various chains, 69 by 62
Lot 2, "Untitled (Study for Gate)," is a
spider-web like work of various chains by Jim Webb (b.1957). It
measures 69 by 62 inches and was created in 1962. It has an
estimate of $600,000 to $800,000. It sold for $1,332,500.
Lot 36, "Brother's Sausage," by Jean-Michel Basquiat, acrylic, oilstick and paper collage on canvas, 48 by 187 1/2 inches, 1983
the auction of the Steven and Ann Ames Collection November 17, 2016,
Sotheby's will hold its regular Contemporary Art Evening Auction, which
is highlighted by large works by Basquiat, Hockney, Stella and
28, "Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year," by Mark Bradford,
mixed media and collage on canvas, 102 by 143 3/4 inches, 2007
Lot 36 is "Brother's Sausage" by
Jean-Michel Basquiat 1960-1988) which is an acrylic, oilstick and paper
collage on canvas that measures 48 by187 1/2 inches. It was
painted in 1983 and has been widely exhibited and published.
The catalogue entry provides the following commentary:
"Set against a backdrop of Basquiat's unique symbolic lexicon - an
alternative reality inhabited by mythic beasts, cartoon heroes and food
packaging - and filtered through his unique experience as a black
artist of rising fame, this expressive panorama offers a
psychologically coded evocation of the painter's direct cultural
milieu: the artistic hub of downtown Manhattan in the pivotal
year of 1983. Expressing the coalescence of a burgeoning
avant-garde art scene amidst an urban landscape bedecked with
street-art and the ephemeral detritus of consumerism, Basquiat gives
cinematic form to the heterogeneous vigrancy of a new creative
epicenter, underscored by the infant rhythms of hip-hop and the clatter
of metropolitan life."
It has an estimate of $15,000,000 to $20,000,000. It sold for $18,650,000.
28 is a darkly combustible work by Mark Bradford (b. 1961) that is
entitled "Let's Make Christmas Mean Something This Year." A mixed
media and collage on canvas, it measures 102 by143 3/4 inches and was
created in 2007.
Lot 43, "Woldgate Woods, 24, 25 and 26 October, 2006," by David Hockney, oil on canvas, two parts, 72 by 144 inches overall
The catalogue provides the following commentary:
"Drawing from the constant proliferation of ad-hoc signs, leaflets and
printed commercial advertising that surround him in South Central Los
Angeles, Bradford weaves an expressive civic tapestry. Marrying
geometric abstraction and organic forms he furiously overwrites, erases
and reveals both word and image through successive gestural
layering. His result is a labyrinthrine web of collaged paper
that provides an investigative metaphor for the regenerative vibrancy
of metropolitan life."
The lot has an estimate of $3,000,000 to $4,000,000. It sold for $4,737,500.
43, a two-part oil on canvas by David Hockney (b. 1937), is entitled
"Woldgate Woods, 24, 25 and 26, 2006," and measures 72 by 144 inches
overall. The catalogue entry notes that the artist "transforms
the bucolic North of England itno something visionary: an Edenic
panorama of chromatic wonder that radiates with pure ebullience."
The entry also noted that "Hockney's renown as Britain's greatest
living painter will only be further cemented with the openiung of his
comprehensive career retrospective at the Tate Britain in February
2017. The lot has an estimate of $9,000,000 to $12,000,000. It sold for $11,712,500.
34, "Study for Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)," by David
Hockney, graphite, gouache, tape and paper collage on paper, 13 7/8 by
18 3/4 inches, 1972
earlier and much smaller Hockney is Lot 34, "Study for Portrait of an
Artist (Pool with Two Figures)." The graphite, gouache, tape and
paper collage on paper was created in 1972 and measures 13 7/8 by 18
3/4 and the artist reportedly created the image by accident when two
photographs happened to be next to one another on his floor. The
study is for one of the artist's iconic and well-known paintings that
is in a private collection. The lot has an estimate of $700,000
to $1,000,000. It sold for $2,052,500.
Lot 51, "Pratfall," by Frank Stella, acrylic on canvas, 129 1/2 inches square, 1974
51 is a large acrylic on canvas by Frank Stella (b. 1936) that is
entitled "Pratfall." It measures 129 1/2 inches square and was
painted in 1974. It was once in the Gund Collection in New York
which sold it at Sotheby's New York May 13, 2003 for $624,000. In
2013, it was sold again, at Christie's New York, for $2,853,000.
At this auction it has an estimate of $3,500,000 to $4,500,000. It sold for $8,900,000.
Lot 40, "Moonshine Sonata," by Hans Hofmann, oil on canvas, 78 by 84 3/8 inches, 1961
40, "Moonlight Sonata," by Hans Hofmann is a large and dashing abstract
oil on canvas that measures 78 by 84 3/8 inches. It was painted
in 1961. It has been very widely exhibited and published.
It has an estimate of $1,800,000 to $2,500,000. It sold for $3,492,500.
Lot 42, "Untitled," by Mark Rothko, oil on canvas, oil on paper laid on canvas, 52 by 40 1/2 inches, 1969
42 is a good black and deep blue, untitled, abstract oil on paper laid
on canvas by Mark Rothko (1903-1970). It has an estimate of
$3,500,000 to $4,500,000. It sold for $4,512,500.
Lot 53, "L'Adieu a la Fenetre," by Jean Dubuffet, oil on burlap, 35 by 45 3/4 inches, 1949
53, "L'Adieu a la Fenetre," is an oil on burlap by Jean Dubuffet
(1901-1985) that measures 35 by 45 3/4 inches. It was painted in
1949. It has been widely exhibited including a show last June at
the Acquavella Galleries in New York. It has an estimate of
$1,800,000 to $2,500,000. It sold for $2,892,500.
Lot 47, "Lenin," by Andy Warhol, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 72 1/4 by 48 inches, 1985
47 is an acrylic and silkscreen ink portrait of "Lenin" on canvas by
Andy Warhol (1928-1987). It measures 72 1/4 by 48 inches and was
painted in 1985, about a decade after the artist's portraits of
Mao. It has an estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000. It sold for $8,112,500.
Lot 38, "Self-Portrait," by Andy Warhol, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 80 by 76 inches, 1986
38 is a large self-portrait by Andy Warhol that is an acrylic and
silkscreen ink on canvas that measures 80 by 76 inches. It was
painted in 1986. It has an estimate of $20,000,000 to
$30,000,000. It sold for $24,425,000.
Lot 55, "Turista che mangia un panino," by Michelangelo Pistoletto, silkscreen on stainless steel, 47 1/4 by 90 1/2 inches, 1975
55 is a silkscreen on stainless steel by Michelangelo Pistoletto (b.
1933) that is entitled "Turista che mangia un panino." It was
painted in 1975 and measures 47 1/4 by 90 1/2 inches. It has an estimate of $1,000,000 to $1,500,000. It sold for $1,572,500.