Modern and Contemporary Prints for Sotheby’s New York Sale

Sotheby’s autumn auction of Prints will be held in New York on 29 October, 2009, and will offer collectors a broad selection of modern and contemporary works from the 19th century to present day. Works from the sale, estimated to bring in excess of $7.8 million, will be on view at Sotheby’s New York galleries beginning 25 October at 1pm.

Jasper-JohnsThe auction begins with works by American artists, most notably the well-known George Bellows’ lithograph A Stag at Sharkey’s (est. $80/120,000), John Marin’s 1913 etching of the Woolworth Building (est. $175/250,000) and a wonderful group of Martin Lewis’ etchings portraying New York at night (est. ranging from $5,000 to $30,000).

Among the modern highlights of the sale is Pablo Picasso’s 1938-9 etching and aquatint Femme au Tambourin (est. $500/600,000), which depicts Picasso’s lover Dora Maar. One of the best utilizations of aquatint within Picasso’s body of work, Femme au Tambourin is also amongst the finest examples of Cubist and Modernist printmaking. Additional portraits by Picasso include two important linoleum cut images from 1958, Buste de Femme de Jeune Fille d’Apres Cranach le Jeune (est. $500/700,000) and a proof of the never published Portrait de Jacqueline au Fauteuil (est. $150/200,000).

Also featured in the modern offerings is a woodcut by Max Beckmann from 1923, Group Portrait, Eden Bar (est. $200/300,000). This very rare work depicts a trio at the Eden Bar at the Berlin hotel of the same name.

The contemporary portion of the auction is led by Jasper Johns’ 1973 Flags I (est. $350/550,000). The Flag is an icon of Jasper Johns’ imagery in all media and this richly layered screenprint represents the most elaborate example of the Flag within his printmaking oeuvre. Other important Jasper Johns’ images on offer will be lithographs from the late 1960s: Two Maps I and Gray Alphabets (est. $90/120,000 and $75/100,000 respectively).

The sale will also include Richard Diebenkorn’s Green, a large scale etching and aquatint from 1986 (est. $200/300,000).

Sotheby’s will also present an extraordinary set of nine engravings by Louise Bourgeois executed in 1947 and titled He Disappeared into Complete Silence (est. $120/180,000). Described by the artist as an exploration of the spiral into and recovery from depression, the proposed edition was 44, however only a small number of complete sets are known to exist and even fewer were assembled and issued at the time they were made.

Image: The contemporary portion of the auction is led by Jasper Johns’ 1973 Flags I (est. $350/550,000). The Flag is an icon of Jasper Johns’ imagery in all media and this richly layered screenprint represents the most elaborate example of the Flag within his printmaking oeuvre. Photo: Sotheby’s

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