Helen Frankenthaler and Andy Warhol Works Lead Bonhams Fall Prints Auction

. November 1, 2011 . 0 Comments

Bonhams October 25 Fine Prints sale in San Francisco, simulcast to Los Angeles, was a great success with results exceeding $1.7 million and with works from Helen Frankenthaler and Andy Warhol leading the auction.

Frankenthaler’s Tales of Genji I, 1998, signed and woodcut in colors, was the top lot of the sale, taking in $40,000, exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $25,000-35,000. Frankenthaler created the woodcut print in homage to the novel The Tales of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, and her work, one of a series of different prints, speaks to her appreciation for the story.


Helen Frankenthaler (American, born 1928), Tales of Genji I, 1998. Woodcut in colors on TGL handmade paper, signed in pencil and numbered 21/30, with the blindstamp of the publisher/printer, Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York, the full sheet, framed. Sheet 42 x 47in. Sold for $40,000; Pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000. Photo: Bonhams.

According to Judith Eurich, the Fine Prints Department Director at Bonhams, “The auction exceeded our expectations, especially with the most valuable lots in the sale, and with some of the outstanding old master prints.”

Several Andy Warhol works highlighted the sale, including Bald Eagle, from Endangered Species, a 1983 screenprint in colors that brought $37,500 (pre-sale est. $30,000-50,000); Liz, a 1964 offset lithograph in colors that brought $35,000 (pre-sale est. $25,000-30,000); and One Plate, From Mick Jagger, a 1975 screenprint in black that brought $25,000 (est. $20,000-30,000).

The sale experienced more success with top lots such as Unterhaltung, a 1917 woodcut by Emil Nolde that brought $35,000 (est. $20,000-30,000) and Nadia au Regard sérieux, a 1948 aquatint by Henri Matisse that claimed $32,500 (est. $18,000-25,000).

Top highlights by Pablo Picasso included Femme Endormie, a 1962 linocut in colors that hammered at $22,500 (est. $20,000-30,000) and Les Danseurs au Hibou, a 1959 linocut in colors that brought $20,000 (est. $15,000-25,000). An After Pablo Picasso, Nature Morte au Citron et au Pichet Rouge, a 1960 aquatint in colors, also did well, bringing $20,000 (est. $10,000-12,000).

From around the same period, successful sales by Marc Chagall included Le Square de Paris, a 1969 colored lithograph that brought $31,250 (est. $15,000-20,000) and Daphnis et Lycénion, from Daphnis and Chloé, a 1961 colored lithograph that brought $25,000 (est. $10,000-15,000).

Additional highlights of the sale came from earlier centuries, such as Knight, Death and the Devil, a 1513 engraving by Albrecht Dürer that brought $27,500 (est. 7,000-10,000) and Peasant Family on the Tramp, a 1652 etching and drypoint by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn that brought $25,000 (est. $7,000-8,000). Another of Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn’s pieces, Self Portrait with Saskia, a 1636 etching, also did well, bringing $18,750 (est. $20,000-30,000).

Category: Fine Art News

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