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Editions sale to include an important set of 10 Donald Judd woodcuts
Donald Judd, Untitled, 1988. Estimate: £150,000 - 200,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

LONDON.- Phillips’ Evening & Day Editions sale in London will unite Contemporary artists including Banksy, Gerhard Richter and Thomas Schütte alongside Modern icons of 20th century printmaking from Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat to Pablo Picasso and David Hockney. Exhibiting a variety of media, artists and fundamental stages of Modern and Contemporary art history this sale explores Editions in their many shapes and forms. Taking place at Phillips London on 24 January, the sale will feature 290 lots and is expected to realise in excess of £2,000,000.

Leading the sale is a set of 10 Donald Judd woodcuts. Printed in ultramarine, Untitled comes to this sale from a Private London Collection. Judd first began to experiment with woodcuts in 1953 when he turned to his father, experienced wood worker Roy Judd, for assistance. Throughout the 1960s Judd explored methods by which abstract shapes and straight lines could be cut across the grain to create the sharp, clean lines demonstrated in this work.

Modern highlights in the sale include a rare Henri Matisse self-portrait, dedicated to his friend and collaborator André Rouveyre, and a group of ten works by Pablo Picasso. The Picasso works in the Evening sale provide a fascinating overview of his involvement in making Editions in all media, from silver to clay, etchings, linocuts and lithographs. Highlights include a 1962 linocut titled Grand nu de femme (Large Nude Woman). A technique that he explored in the late 1950s and early 1960s with the printer Hidalgo Arnéra in Vallauris, linocut forms a virtuostic and rare corner of Picasso’s oeuvre.

Works by David Hockney to feature in the sale include an iconic swimming pool lithograph and one of his most complex prints ever produced, An Image of Celia. An Image of Celia hails from the artist’s Moving Focus Series, and depicts his friend and muse of fifty years, fellow Royal College graduate and textile designer Celia Birtwell.

Building on the success of the collection of Pop inspired Editions sold in London in June, also featuring in this sale are a group of works by Andy Warhol. Red Lenin and Rebel Without a Cause (James Dean), from Ads present the viewer with Warhol’s characteristic pop and social history commentary. The sale will feature a total of twenty works by Warhol, including dollar signs to dictators and a rare unique colour trial proof of his portrait of Beethoven.

A highlight of the sale is a group of 27 etchings by Thomas Schütte. Schütte challenges traditional art genres through his emotive sculptures, prints, installations, drawings, watercolors and photographs. This group of etchings from 2006 incorporates Schütte’s characteristic social commentary on memory told through architectural imagery, text and figurative shapes.

Contemporary highlights include Gerhard Richter’s Souvenir (illustrated right). This work is one of 64 unique parts from the painting CR 813-1. In 1994, Richter used a carpet knife to cut up a freshly painted work, formerly CR 813-1. His intention was not to destroy (as with some 98 of his other canvases) but to distribute, transforming the canvas into editions by dividing it into sixty-four equal squares. This fragmentation created a series of intimate works forever connected to the now lost larger painting yet with individual, distinct compositions and narratives. The works were sold at Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London to mark their exhibition Gerhard Richter: Painting in the Nineties, 1 June – 4 August 1995.

A unique section of the sale titled con(TEXT) will feature editions that play on text. Lots 65 to 106 present some of the various ways that Modern and Contemporary printmakers use letters, numbers and words as the central communication vehicle in their visual expression. Jean-Michel Basquiat’s sequence Ascent; Olympic; Leeches; and Liberty display Basquiat’s exploration of human experience through street culture, religious iconography and cultural history. Barbara Kruger’s Untitled exhibits Kruger’s insistent, declarative statements on power and identity to a society of objectification and consumerism. The artists included in this selection ask us to look at the surface of language and remind us of the malleability of its meaning.

Also on offer are a number of works by Yayoi Kusama, the highlight of which is her portfolio Amour pour Toujours, comprising ten screen prints in vibrant colours with glitter, all encased within the original portfolio with an elaborate embossed red leather cover decorated with her trademark infinity net design. Each print is dedicated by the artist to the French master screen printer, Eric Seydoux, who produced this set. This auction marks the first time the portfolio has been offered for sale in Europe.

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