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MoMA And Sotheby’s – A Taste Of “New York” Art.

July 14, 2009

When we were in New York last May, after visiting MoMA, N and I had the pleasure of viewing work at Sotheby’s prior to their May 12th auction. Because we know someone who works there, we also had the fortune to be guided on a most informative and interesting tour which consisted of  just N and I.

I had every intention of writing more about it and posting some of the art work I photographed then, but like many good intentions it somehow got put on the back burner until today. The works shown here are “pre-selected” by me because some of my favorite painters, mixed media artists and sculptors were on view in both places we visited, plus I could not have, nor did I have any interest in taking photos of everything on display.

At Sotheby’s – David Salle, “Passers-by” 2002  – oil on linen, 76″ x 132″

At Sotheby’s – Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Back of the Neck,” 1983

At Sotheby’s – Andre Butzer. “Wait N.”

At Sotheby’s – Anselm Kiefer. “Des Mahlers Atelier.” 1980

At MoMA – Anthony Caro’s “Midday,” Painted steel, 1960

At Sotheby’s – David Smith’s “Voltri,” welded steel 50 x 12 x 9 1/2 in. 1962

At MoMA – Martin Kippenberger’s “Santa Claus Lamp.”

At Sotheby’s – Deborah Butterfield,’s “Large Horse #4.”

At Sotheby’s, an as yet unknown artist (to me anyway). So if anyone could enlighten me that would be great.

At Sotheby’s – Jeff Koons’ “Baroque Egg with Bow.” High-chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating 83 ½ x 77 ½ x 60 in. Executed in 1994 – 2006, this is one of four versions each uniquely colored.

NEW YORK.- Sotheby’s May 12, 2009 evening sale of Contemporary Art in New York includes key examples by celebrated artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jeff Koons, Alexander Calder, David Smith, Cy Twombly, Joan Mitchell, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ellsworth Kelly and Andy Warhol. It also features an exciting group of property comprising important works by artists who rarely appear at auction. Led by Martin Kippenberger’s self portrait from 1988, Untitled, the evening sale will also include works by Robert Gober, Jeff Wall, Charles Ray, Christopher Wool, Yayoi Kusama and Juan Muñoz.

“This is obviously a very different market from just a year ago,” said Alex Rotter, Head of the Contemporary Art Department in New York. “Therefore, we decided on quite a different approach for this season’s sale. We wanted to ensure that we had an excellent representation of iconic names, which we achieved. We also wanted to include artists whose works have been somewhat scarce and whose appeal, as a result, has remained consistent, among them, Kippenberger, Wool, Gober, Wall and Muñoz, all of whom have been celebrated with recent exhibitions and major museum retrospectives. And so, together with their work, we have included rare and choice examples by Rauschenberg, Calder and Twombly.”

The top lot of the sale is a work from Jeff Koons’ Celebration series that has never before appeared at auction – Baroque Egg with Bow (Turquoise/Magenta) (est. $6/8 million). The Celebration series is comprised of an ambitious body of sixteen paintings and over twenty stainless steel sculptures focusing on toys, presents, and other small childhood objects, all rendered with spectacular attention to detail and phenomenal realism. The present work is an excellent example of the artist choosing an everyday, banal object — a chocolate Easter egg — and exalting it through an obsession with craft. As with many of his works, Koons creates a work of art that appeals to multiple senses, as astounding colors delight our vision and the tactile rendering of the blue foil and pink bow begs to be touched. Executed in 1994–2008, the present work is one of five versions, each of which is uniquely colored.

Read more about the auction at: – The First Art Newspaper on the Net

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