Published: November 14, 2023
Review by W.A. Demers; Photos Courtesy Of Doyle New York
NEW YORK CITY — Doyle set a new world auction record for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1983 print “Back of the Neck” on November 1. International bidding drove the large-scale, hand-colored screen print soaring over its estimate to achieve $1,119,000 — a record price for the print. The year 1983 was an important one for Basquiat. He had been featured in solo shows at the Annina Nosei Gallery in New York and Gagosian in Los Angeles the year before and was included in the Whitney Biennial. From an edition of 24 prints and three artist’s proofs, “Back of the Neck” was consigned by the estate of a prominent New York chef. An East Coast buyer participating via the telephone made the purchase. From the same collection was Basquiat’s untitled (Jackie Robinson), 1983, oil stick on paper, which sold for $346,500.
The firm’s auction of prints and multiples included New York City’s 1980s and followed preview exhibitions in Doyle’s galleries on both coasts. The sale total was $3,313,920, above its high estimate, with 84 percent of the lots sold.
“We were honored to bring to auction two important works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, including the monumental and rare-to-the-market ‘Back of the Neck’ for which we set a new world auction record,” said specialist Cynthia Klein. “Additionally, we were particularly thrilled that Doyle had the most expensive print sold at auction by any house this season.”
Robust competition throughout the auction sent the sale total beyond expectations and achieved auction records for several other artists. A 1985 mixed media collage by Buster Cleveland (American, 1943-1998), “Condensed Mao,” 1985, a visual riff on Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup” series, was estimated $800-$1,200, but did much better, finishing at $4,725. Within the artist’s frame, it was signed and dated “Buster Cleveland 85” on the reverse and measured overall 18 by 15 inches.
A 1984 print by Rammellzee (1960-2010) set a world auction record for any print by the artist at $4,410. Titled “Palladium Protractor, Chase to Assassination, (Gothic Futurism),” the abstract color aquatint, drypoint and soft ground etching on wove paper, signed in gold ink, was numbered 22/35 verso, in pencil, printed and published by Crown Point Press, San Francisco. Also, a 2009 color screen print by Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) set a world auction record for the print at $24,890 against a $6/8,000 estimate. On wove paper, with the artist’s ink stamp signature and numbered 46/128 in pencil, it was printed by Brand X Editions, New York, and with their ink stamp verso, published by Lincoln Center/List Art Poster and Print Program, New York.
Several works by Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) were entered in the sale, the top seller being “Nude Reading” (Corlett 288), a 1994 color relief print on Rives BFK paper that commanded $126,000. It was signed, dated and numbered 20/60 in pencil, from “Nudes,” published by Tyler Graphics, Mount Kisco, N.Y. It had been purchased by the consignor directly from Tyler Graphics.
A dynamic color screen print in yellow, green, red and blue by Keith Haring (1958-1990) also came from the estate of a prominent New York chef. “Growing #4,” 1988, on Lenox museum board was signed, dated and numbered 16/100 in pencil, published by Martin Lawrence Limited Editions, New York. It left the gallery at $63,000.
Fetching $44,100 was Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) “Marilyn Monroe” (Marilyn) (Feldman/Schellmann II.21), his pink, yellow and chartreuse confection of 1967 on wove paper, signed, dated and inscribed a.p. in pencil verso. The color screen print was an artist’s proof aside from the edition of 100, published by Factory Additions, New York, to announce the publication of the “Marilyn portfolio.”
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house.
Collectors will have another bidding opportunity at Doyle’s auction of Impressionist & Modern art/postwar and contemporary art on Wednesday, November 15, at 11 am. Highlighting the sale is an important oil on canvas by Kenneth Noland from 1959 titled “Chalice,” which was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The next auction of prints and multiples / ‘80s NYC will take place in April 2024. For information, www.doyle.com or 212-427-4141.
December 5, 2023
December 5, 2023
December 5, 2023
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