artnet Auctions Presents: Top of the Pop

Live On artnet Auctions from February 18 Through 27, 2014

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Roy Lichtenstein Sweet Dreams Baby!, 1965 Screenprint 35.63 x 25.56 in. 90.5 x 64.9 cm. Signed and numbered Edition 49/200 Est. US$100,000-125,000

New York/Berlin (PRWEB) February 19, 2014

artnet Auctions is pleased to announce the highly anticipated Top of the Pop print sale, which features over 50 classic Pop prints by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Robert Rauschenberg, and Tom Wesselmann. This dazzling, curated selection of iconic Pop prints is perfect for both new and seasoned Pop Art collectors.

Among the sale’s highlights is one of the most famous Pop prints of all time, Roy Lichtenstein’s 1965 Sweet Dreams Baby!, estimated at US$100,000 to 125,000. With its irreverent comic book character on the business end of a knock-out punch, Lichtenstein challenges the reigning Abstract Expressionist movement’s anti-figure aesthetic and emotional intensity, and instead finds inspiration in the popular press. Another Lichtenstein print in the sale, Foot and Hand (1964), estimated at US$15,000 to 20,000, also draws inspiration from a violent comic book image, this time of a boot stepping on a hand reaching for a pistol. The work shows the development of the artist’s visual shorthand, which would define his work for the next 33 years. The sale also features superb examples of Lichtenstein’s later work, including his portrait of Lady Liberty, I Love Liberty (1982), estimated at US$35,000 to 45,000, and The Oval Office (1992), estimated at US$40,000 to 45,000. To recreate the interior of the Oval Office, the artist researched the White House archives and incorporated authentic decorative details, such as the paintings that had originally hung on the walls, and surreptitiously included an image of his own.

Andy Warhol (American, 1928–1987) was also developing his own original vision of Pop Art in the mid-1960s, appropriating photographs directly from newspaper articles. In Birmingham Race Riot (1964), estimated at US$5,000 to 7,000, the artist cropped and reproduced a well-known photograph of the violent 1963 race riots in Alabama. By intentionally blurring the image, Warhol raises questions about the role of art in accurately depicting real-life events, and turns the notion of what constitutes an original artwork on its head. Warhol also gained early notoriety by selecting banal subjects such as Campbell’s Soup cans, declaring them worthy of artistic attention. Campbell’s Soup Can (ca.1979), estimated at US$60,000 to 80,000, is a rare, unique silkscreen on paper that depicts a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, but the can is curiously printed askew, transforming the object into a graphic symbol. In the brilliantly colored $ (Quadrant) (1982), estimated at US$75,000 to 100,000, Warhol simplifies his fascination with consumerism to its most basic representation: the dollar sign.

One of the most sought-after prints in the auction is Warhol’s 1983 Grevy’s Zebra from his Endangered Species series, estimated at US$40,000 to 60,000. The stunning contrast of the zebra’s black and white stripes against a brilliant blue background emphasizes the exotic nature of Warhol’s wildlife portraits, which he described as “animals in makeup.” Also offered in the sale are a number of Warhol’s renowned Pop portraits of celebrities. Warhol’s Marilyn Announcement (1981), estimated at US$4,000 to 6,000, is a miniature, hot pink version of Warhol’s famous 1967 Marilyn. The artist’s portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, Liz (1964), estimated at US$30,000 to 40,000, is one of the now-scarce impressions that is hand-signed by the artist.

The sale also includes several Pop works that celebrate the winter Olympics, most notably, Andy Warhol’s 1983 Speed Skater, estimated at US$7,000 to 9,000, a work that was specially commissioned for the 1984 games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, and Peter Max’s Hockey Skate (1996), estimated at US$5,000 to 7,000, an actual hockey skate that is extensively hand-painted and decorated by the artist.

Another highlight of the sale is a rare and exquisite artist’s proof of Tom Wesselmann’s Seascape Portfolio. Estimated at US$30,000 to 35,000, this set of five prints takes images associated with the artist’s most innovative period in the 1960s, in which he fragmented, isolated, and reassembled the nude into provocative body parts, including a breast, a foot, and a mouth.

Other Pop artists, such as Keith Haring (American, 1958–1990), are also well represented in this sale. Haring’s 1988 brilliantly colored graphic work, Pop Shop Quad II, a quartet of the artist’s iconic dancing figures, is estimated at US$15,000 to 20,000. His popular Best Buddies image is also offered in the sale in the form of a rare Christmas card, and is estimated at US$5,500 to 7,500. Also on offer is a print by Robert Rauschenberg (American, 1925–2008), Kennedy for Senate (2000), estimated at US$2,500 to 3,500. This print was created by the artist to fund the late Ted Kennedy’s 2000 senate campaign. The work comes directly from the collection of Mrs. Edward Kennedy.

Top of the Pop is live on artnet Auctions from February 18 through 27, 2014, and is on view at http://www.artnet.com/auctions/search/?q=keyword-tpop_2014-category-all-artworks-active-auctions-only/.

For more information about this sale, please contact artnet Auctions specialists:
Deborah Ripley
Senior Specialist, Prints
+1-212-497-9700 ext. 174
dripley(at)artnet(dot)com

Alex Benrimon
Associate Specialist, Prints
+1-212-497-9700 ext. 147
abenrimon(at)artnet(dot)com

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