Andy Warhol first photographed Muhammad Ali in 1977. The photographs of the heavyweight boxing champion would be used as references for Warhol’s 1977 Athletes series. As Warhol lifted his camera, Ali had only one question: “Do I look fearless?” One of Warhol’s original portraits of Ali is highlighted in the upcoming Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, presented by Christie’s. The piece comes to auction directly from the collection of Richard L. Weisman. Weisman originally commissioned Andy Warhol to create the 1977 Athletes series, keeping a few, including this portrait, for himself.
Warhol collectors can also consider a piece from his Flowers series. It began in the 1960s when curator Henry Geldzahler became disturbed by Warhol’s fixation on death. Geldzahler suggested Warhol change his focus and pointed, at random, to a photograph of flowers in a 1964 issue of Modern Photography. The result was more somber than Geldzahler expected. “[T]hey present a distillation of much of the strength of Warhol’s art,” wrote curator John Coplans, “the flash of beauty that suddenly becomes tragic under the viewer’s gaze.”
Several of the auction’s lots come from Warhol’s fellow Pop artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. His paper collage piece titled The Mosque is among the key lots. The work includes several references to religion and the afterlife, including the titular mosque and the phrase “GOING TO HEAVEN,” with two arrows pointing to the empty space above.
Also included is untitled work by Sigmar Polke. The piece available in this auction was created with Polke’s raster-dot technique. The artist photographed an image that appeared in a newspaper or magazine, then copied the photograph out on canvas with dots. Imperfections would emerge, including smudges, but Polke left them as-is, acknowledging them as part of the process. View each of these lots and register to bid on Christie’s website.
# of Lots:57
Price Range:$104,480 - $7,836,000
Interesting lots include:
|Item Image||Item Name||Estimate|
|Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) The Mosque||
|Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Muhammad Ali||
|Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) Untitled||
|Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Knives||
|Yoshitomo Nara (b. 1959) Dead of Night||
|Andy Warhol (1928-1987) Flowers||
|Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Untitled||
|Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) Raging, Psychotic||
- 20th Century
- Drawings & Watercolors
- Fine Art
- Pop Art
- Sculptures & Carvings
- Andy Warhol
- Ed Ruscha
- Jean-Michel Basquiat
- Sigmar Polk
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