In the late 1970s, New York was a city in decline. Half-deserted, broke and rundown, it was the perfect breeding ground for a revitalised creative scene that reasserted the citys position at the centre of the art world. The Pictures Generation, graffiti art, hip hop, post-punk, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Neo-Expressionism, second wave feminism and gay right activism: suddenly a socio-political consciousness returned to the forefront of a new contemporary art practice.
forthcoming Contemporary Art Evening Auction in London on 26 June will be led by an exceptional group of 10 works which speak to this exciting moment and its legacy.
Spanning nearly four decades of artistic production, the collection will see some of the most famous names in contemporary art, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cecily Brown and Richard Prince, presented alongside Kara Walker, who has made only rare appearances in Londons Contemporary art evening sales, and Eric Fischl and Ellen Gallagher, for whom this will be a London Contemporary art evening sale debut.
Channelling a fierce socio-political contemporary angst, the collection signifies a creative call to arms borne of a specific moment in the history of New York City.
Issues of race, sexuality, gender and identity politics permeate the collection, beginning with early pieces by Richard Prince, navigating the meteoric ascent of Jean-Michel Basquiat, revelling in the eroticism of Cecily Brown, and arriving at the urgent racial discourses of Ellen Gallagher and Kara Walker.
All 10 works will be appearing at auction for the first time.
13 further works from the collection will open Wednesdays Contemporary Art Day Auction, including a very early spot drawing by Damien Hirst and works from Laura Owens, Mark Grotjahn and Richard Prince. The combined estimate for all 23 works is £11.916.1 million.