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Saura and Kusama lead Contemporary Art & Design Sale at Bonhams in London and New York
Marc Quinn’s Caryatid, estimated at £50,000 – 70,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Bonhams contemporary art and design sales this autumn will provide a feast for the senses with works by renowned artists and designers from across the world. Works of art including Marc Quinn’s Caryatid, estimated at £50,000 – 70,000, Antonio Saura’s ‘Retrato Imaginario de Felipe II’ estimated at £120,000-160,000 and cutting-edge items by leading designers including Alessandro Mendini and Mark Brazier-Jones will lead the Contemporary Art & Design sale in London on 11th October.

An important private collection of works on paper from the 1950s by the renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama will be among the highlights of the Contemporary Art sale in New York on 12th November 2012, as well as a magnificent work by Willem de Kooning, estimated at £190,000 – 320,000 ($300,000 – 500,000) and a striking oil painting by Pierre Soulages estimated at £320,000 – 440,000 ($500,000 – 700,000).

Both Saura and Kusama were subversive artists working against the rigidity of their countries’ attitude to art. While Kusama is known for breaking away from the traditional Japanese approach and the master-disciple system, Saura was working against the confines of the Spanish authorities, following the Spanish Civil War.

Saura’s ‘Retrato Imaginario de Felipe II’ is a stunning portrait of Spanish monarch Philip II, which shows the artist at the pinnacle of his career. Battling with the emotional turmoil of the difficult years following civil war conflict, Saura injects the emotions of the time into his painting, representing the monarch, not as a grandiose public figure, but as a man with emotions bubbling beneath the surface. His exuberant and at times aggressive painting style is often attributed to the turbulent background to his work.

Kusama’s works on paper from the 1950s, which will be on view in London between Sunday 7th until Thursday 11th October at 1pm are delicate, abstracted natural forms, typical of her work during this time and unlike the bolder polka-dot designs she has been known to produce more recently. Estimated at £16,000 – 22,000 ($25,000 – 35,000) each, they show soft undulating forms, represented in materials such as pastel, gouache, ink and charcoal. Kusama’s works included in New York’s Contemporary Art sale on 12th November are all from the same private collection.

Another somewhat subversive work included in London’s sale on 11th October is Marc Quinn’s ‘Caryatid’, a unique sculpture showing Kate Moss doing yoga in a leotard. She is one of the artist’s greatest muses and he considers her to be a timeless icon for our age. In 2006 he said that "she is a contemporary version of the Sphinx” and that “when people look back at this time she'll be the archetypal image, just as Louise Brooks was in the 1920s”. The sculpture was created in 2008 and although it was originally part of an edition of 7, this work is the only example with red painted lips.

Other highlights in the Contemporary Art & Design sale on 11thOctober in London include Vasarely’s Oltar BMB, estimated at £50,000-80,000 and cutting edge design by Alessandro Mendini and Mark Brazier-Jones. One of the most striking pieces of Mendini’s design is an armchair entitled ‘Poltrona di Proust’, estimated at £20,000 – 30,000. The piece was privately commissioned by the present owner, directly from Mendini for the stage production of Antonio Syxty’s play ‘Famiglia Horror’. Mendini liked to develop an image of a surface and the shape of an object, starting from a literary point of view. After reading about and researching Proust’s world he designed an armchair referencing his descriptions and the time in which he was living.

Bonhams is also offering an interesting section of Italian Post War and Contemporary Art including works by Enrico Castellani, Alighiero Boetti, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Afro amongst others.

Alan Montgomery, Senior Specialist in the Contemporary department at Bonhams commented “The Contemporary Art & Design sale in London this autumn provides an eclectic and exciting selection of works. We are not only seeing stunning pieces of art by some of the greatest artists of our time, but an amazing selection of quirky and unusual items by the most forward-looking designers of our age. Kusama’s works which are coming over to London for a special preview will only add to the excitement around the sale. It’s a great opportunity to show collectors how contemporary art and design can not only provide a backdrop to our lives, but can truly define the way we live.”

Today's News

September 21, 2012

Museum Kunstpalast offers new and unusual perspectives on Andreas Gursky's works of art

Major 2013 loan exhibition at the British Museum announced: Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum

Archaeologists find unique tombs in a 1,000-year-old village on a jungle-covered mountaintop in the Philippines

An important collection of Martin Kippenberger self-portraits to be offered at Christie's

Edward Hopper oil painting of a Cape Cod autumn scene heads to New York City auction

Christie's to offer a seminal early work by Richter and the largest Bullfight painting by Barceló

Adam Pendleton's first solo United Kingdom exhibition opens at the Pace Gallery

Saura and Kusama lead Contemporary Art & Design Sale at Bonhams in London and New York

Ray K. Metzker: Pictus Interruptus and Ruth Thorne-Thomsen: Expeditions at Laurence Miller Gallery

Sotheby's Hong Kong to hold Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art Autumn Sales on 9 October 2012

"Paved Paradise": Group exhibition including 18 artists on view at DC Moore Gallery in New York

New York Public Library approves construction of additional book storage at 42nd St. building

Kerry James Marshall opens first exhibition in Austria at Vienna's Secession

Bonhams announce appointment of Gareth Williams as Head of Contemporary Art and Modern Design

Western Australian Museum hosts significant Aboriginal art exhibition

Bonhams continues to innovate with Chinese Painting Sale

Quilt exhibition gives new meaning to 'political coverage'

The Print Club of Cleveland hosts the 28th Annual Fine Print Fair

Pussy Riot art exhibit disrupted by protest

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