NEW YORK, NY. - Christie’s First Open Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art on March 6th will offer an exciting selection of 343 works of painting, photography and sculpture. The First Open sale invites both new and established collectors to explore key pieces by both established and emerging artists. Now directed by Ed Tang, the First Open March 2014 session will start with 30 works generously offered by foremost artists and gallerists to help and support The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. First Open will showcase works by some of the most sought-after contemporary artists including Wade Guyton, Mark Grotjahn, Lucien Smith, Jacob Kassay, Carol Bove and Thomas Houseago. There are also works by Andy Warhol, Ken Price, On Kawara and Hans Hofmann, among many others blue-chip Post-war artists. Within the sale, there will be three works by Jean-Michel Basquiat from the Collection of Alexis Adler, which will be part of a month-long public exhibition at Christie’s Galleries at the 20th floor from March 1 to 28.
The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is celebrating its 65th anniversary with an auction at Christie’s New York on March 6th . Chaired by Barbara Gamson, the auction includes thirty lots by some of the foremost contemporary artists working today. The proceeds from this sale will help to support a dynamic program of special exhibitions and a wide range of related public programs.
Among the thirty lots are works by noted artists including Ashley Bickerton, Tom Burr, Ann Craven, Jules de Balincourt, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Roe Ethridge, Keltie Ferris, Mark Flood, Theaster Gates, Rodney Graham, Jim Hodges, Jonathan Horowitz, James Hyde, Jennie C. Jones, Paul Lee, Bjarne Melgaard, Robert Mangold, McDermott & McGough, Jason Middlebrook, Marilyn Minter, Angel Otero, Baker Overstreet, Enoc Perez, Rob Pruitt, Cordy Ryman, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Pat Steir, and Sam Taylor-Johnson.
JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT - WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF ALEXIS ADLER
Before Jean-Michel became Basquiat, and could afford studios and canvases, he painted all over his apartments — on walls, doors, refrigerators, clothes and any other bare surface he could find. In 1979, the artist began transforming the East Village apartment he was sharing with Alexis Adler, just such a living installation. The three major works, a glyph-like work on plaster that reads Olive Oyl (estimate: $400,000-600,000), a door titled within as Famous Negro Athletes (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000) and Milk painted on a radiator (estimate: $300,000-500,000) will highlight the First Open sale.
Highlighting the sale is Wade Guyton’s Untitled (2005) – a striking and emblematic work by the New York based artist. Guyton describes himself as someone who makes paintings but does not consider himself a painter. His vocabulary such as the U’s combines the abstract motifs of Modernism and the language of the Pictures Generation artists such as Richard Prince and Christopher Wool. Estimated $250,000-350,000, a larger work from the same year was sold for a world auction record in the 2013 November Evening sale of Post-War and Contemporary art for $2.4million.
Additional First Open highlights include Lucien Smith’s Love Story / A Woman Under The Influence (estimate: $100,000-150,000). The work is part of his famous Rain Painting series which “plays into this idea of relationships – relationships between people and relationships between objects. The Rain Paintings in my head serve as backdrops for situations between people and/or objects, very much like backdrops in a play. They become activated when something is placed in front of them; only then do their scale and size come in to effect,” analyzed the artist.
The sale also features Andy Warhol’s Map of Eastern U.S.S.R. Missile Bases (Black and White) made in 1984-1985 when Warhol created a group of works called 'Ads and Illustrations'. Estimated: $100,000-150,000, the works were created by tracing original adverts by hand, which creates a looser, graphic quality. During the 1980s the U.S.A. was still in the depths of the Cold War. Within this context three themes emerge in these paintings: war, death and religion. This work directly relates to the U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s 1983 ‘Evil Empire Speech’, in which he called for a “Strategic Defence Initiative” to “defend America from Soviet Missiles”.
Ed Tang, 27 years old, has moved from London to New York to become the new Head of the First Open sale. Ed Tang grew up in Hong Kong and Tokyo, and holds a B.A. in History of Art and History from University College London. Having previously worked at another international auction house, Ed’s main area of interest ranges from Chinese Contemporary art to new developments in the art scenes of America and Europe. Since joining Christie’s in London in 2011, Ed has co-headed two consecutive October Day Sales and is Head of Thinking Big – an auction of contemporary sculptures and installations sold by the Saatchi Gallery in London. Ed has also worked with numerous charities to raise money through auction, including Women for Women, Valid Nutrition and he sits on the advisory board of the Chelsea and Westminster Arts for Life Health Charity. Beyond Christie’s, Ed works very closely with the Tate as an Ambassador of the Young Patrons; Ed also launched and Co-Chairs the First Futures group at the Whitechapel Gallery. With strong links to Asia, Ed speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English.