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Christie's Launches Spring 2011 Season of Post-War and Contemporary Art with First Open
The sale includes notable many works including Jean Dubuffet’s explosive L'Erratique, 1961 (estimate $300,000-500,000). Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2011.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s New York announces First Open, an auction of Post-War and Contemporary Art to take place on March 10. The daring and innovative sale is robust with key works ranging from blue-chip artists such as Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg to standout auction newcomers, including Ion Birch and Michael Scoggins. First Open is geared toward both new and seasoned collectors, thus estimates for works of art in the auction range from the accessible to aspirational. Merce Cunningham’s Diptych No 6, for instance, has an estimate of $1,500-$2,000, while at the top end, Untitled, a seminal work by Rudolf Stingel has an estimate of $300,000-$500,000. First Open is expected to generate upwards of $8 million with 316 lots.

The sale will be led for the first time by Sara Friedlander, who was named Head of First Open in January 2011. “First Open is the perfect opportunity to begin collecting Post-War and Contemporary Art, while seasoned collectors can bid on formidable pieces that will continue to accrue in value,” noted Friedlander, who has been with Christie’s in Post-War and Contemporary Art since 2006. “We are seeing strength and continued value in works of art and are looking forward to kicking off the spring season with a spectacular sale.”

The sale includes notable many works including Jean Dubuffet’s explosive L'Erratique, 1961 (estimate $300,000-500,000), which the artist painted upon his return to Paris, inspired by the color, vigor and creative frenzy of the City of Light; as well as Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square: Sudden Spring, 1956 (estimate: $250,000-350,000) from the estate of James Pearson Duffy. Other standouts include a group of works from The Cunningham Dance Foundation to benefit the organization’s legacy plan. Pastoral (Runts), (estimate: $250,000-350,000) the 2007 work by Cunningham friend and collaborator Robert Rauschenberg, is a highlight from the Foundation. The collage is from the last series of collages by Rauschenberg before his death in 2008.

Additional highlights from Christie’s First Open Post-War and Contemporary Art sale include:

Rudolf Stingel
Untitled, 1996
Estimate: $300,000 – 500,000

Josef Albers
Homage to the Square: Sudden Spring, 1956
Estimate: $250,000 – 350,000

Ed Ruscha
Two Books , 2001
Estimate: $150,000 – 200,000

Thomas Struth
El Capitan (Yosemite National Park),
California, 1999
Estimate: $100,000 – 150,000

Robert Rauschenberg
Pastoral (Runts), 2007
Estimate: $250,000 – 350,000

Christopher Wool
Untitled, 2007
Estimate: $150,000 – 200,000

Andy Warhol
Self-Portrait, 1986
Estimate: $120,000 – 180,000

Sam Francis
Hello, 1970
Estimate: $5,000 – 7,000

Louise Lawler
Chandelier , 2007
Estimate: $15,000 – 20,000

Alighiero Boetti
Arazzi: Piegare e Spiegare (Fold and Unfold)
Estimate: $10,000 – 15,000

First Open Thursday March 10, 2011 at 10 am
Christie’s 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York

Viewings: Christie’s Rockefeller Center Galleries
Saturday March 5 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday March 6 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Monday March 7 10:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday March 8 10:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday March 9 10:00am – 2:00pm

*Estimates do not include buyer's premium

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