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Edvard Munch Featured at Sotheby's Sale of Prints
Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones, 1899.
LONDON.- Sotheby’s sale of Old Master, Modern & Contemporary Prints on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 will include a particularly strong selection of works by renowned Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944). The undoubted highlight of this large group of works is entitled Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones. This is an extremely rare early printing of this important woodcut, dating from 1899. The Lonely Ones is one of Munch’s most remarkable symbolist works, representing the themes of loss and separation that are central to his oeuvre. The work is estimated at £300,000 – 400,000.

Further highlights include On the Waves of Love which was executed in 1896, the year Munch moved to Paris and began to concentrate on printmaking. Rather than continuing to simply create graphic versions of his famous paintings, he began to execute motifs exclusively for prints. On the Waves of Love is one such motif which is unusual in that there is no record of a painted version and it carries an estimate of £60,000–80,000.

The sale also includes a magnificent selection of prints by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), highlighted by La Femme au Chapeau (left), a linocut dated 1963. Between 1959 and 1964 Picasso produced 200 works in linocut incorporating a wide range of subjects and adapting the medium to suit his more spontaneous approach. His interest in the linocut sprang initially from his involvement in poster design and he was fascinated by the possibilities offered by the linocut in pursuit of a raw, almost primitive, intensity of colour, brilliantly demonstrated in La Femme au Chapeau. The work is estimated at £50,000–60,000.

Additionally, the sale will offer a unique opportunity for collectors and museums to obtain iconic Pop Art images by the most influential, groundbreaking artists of the 1960s. Among important highlights is the highly renowned series synonymous of the movement, Andy Warhol’s (1928-1987) Campbell’s Soup II. The work’s repetition and everyday subject matter perfectly encapsulate the artist’s exploration of popular mass culture, such as advertising and consumer product packaging. The series is estimated at £80,000–100,000.

Also in the Pop section, in addition to works by leading American artists, there are a number of standout works by British proponents of Pop Art, including David Hockney (born 1937) and Richard Hamilton (born 1922). Hamilton’s Adonis in Y-front, dated 1963, is a monumental and unique work as it marks the artist’s return to printmaking in the early 60s after a five year hiatus. The work, estimated at £25,000–35,000, exemplifies Hamilton’s technique of exploiting sources drawn from the imagery of mass consumerism.

David Hockney’s Lithograph of Water Made of Lines and a Green Wash, 1978-80 is one of three works to be offered in the sale out of an important series of seven lithographs. Using his characteristic imagery of swimming pools, the series enabled Hockney to explore how the image changed with different lithographic washes and lines. The work is estimated to fetch £20,000–30,000.

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