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Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale in NY Expected to Exceed $240 Million
A representative of auction house Christie's walks past a painting by US artist Andy Warhol's entitled 'Campbell's Soup with Can Opener' during a press preview. The artwork is estimated to fetch 30 to 50 million US dollars, and will be auctioned as part of Christie's New York of Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale 2010 in New York, USA on 10 November 2010. EPA/YM YIK.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s will present one of the greatest rosters of master works in a single auction. The Post-War and Contemporary Evening sale, which will take place in New York on November 10, 2010, comprises seminal works by the foremost artists of the period including acclaimed masterpieces by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons and Rothko, as well as one of the finest examples from Gerhard Richter’s revered Candle Paintings Series. In addition to such masterpieces, Christie’s has been chosen to sell all of the three major estates on offer this season —the collections of computing pioneer Max Palevsky, actor Dennis Hopper, gallerist and taste-maker Robert Shapazian and philanthropic art collector Nancy Epstein. This auction is estimated to realize upwards of $240 million.

“From the remarkable works hailing from premiere private collections such as Warhol’s Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable), to gems from major corporate collections such as Balloon Flower (Blue) by Jeff Koons, this sale contains the high quality, rarity and provenance that creates fireworks at auction,” said Robert Manley, Head of the Post-War and Contemporary Department at Christie’s New York and Head of Evening Sale. “Collectors are vying for the best works by the major artists of the last sixty years and Christie’s Evening sale is loaded with museum masterpieces.”

Pop Art masterpiece Ohhh...Alright…., 1964 by Roy Lichtenstein is the top lot in the auction (estimate upon request; pictured page 1) and is expected to realize more than $40 million. This work characterizes the artist’s captivation and inspiration with techniques of commercial printing and reproduction articulated in his signature Ben-Day dots. As with all of Lichtenstein’s iconic images, Ohhh...Alright... is at once striking and subtly and humorous. The stunning blue-eyed, flame-haired beauty that fills the frame has been lifted from the pages of a romance comic and rendered larger-than-life. Perhaps giving into an unrelenting suitor for a date, the red-haired girl forms part of the iconic cast of dream-girls painted between 1961-1965 that saw Lichtenstein attain international prominence as one of America's most exciting and controversial artists.

Andy Warhol’s Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable), 1962 (estimate on request) leads an extraordinary selection of the artist’s key works offered by Christie’s New York this fall. Warhol’s hand-painted masterpiece, Big Campbell's Soup Can with Can Opener (Vegetable), 1962 is an icon of Pop Art and is one of the largest examples of Warhol’s most famous and beloved image of a Campbell’s Soup Can — a subject matter that helped shape the course of art history in the 1960s. The work is estimated to fetch over $30 million.

Warhol’s soup cans challenge the traditional boundaries of art and life as well as art and business. Warhol believed anything could be touched by art: from the mundane, such as the humble Campbell’s soup can and Brillo boxes, to ubiquitous public figures and celebrities such as Jacqueline Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. The Campbell’s Soup can is the ultimate everyman consumer product. It is completely accessible and recognizable, making it a key icon of Pop Art. In this work, Warhol’s signature static soup has been pierced by a can opener against a seamless background.

German painter Gerard Richter’s timeless poem to life and hope, Zwei Kerzen, 1982 (estimate: $12,000,000-16,000,000) is another jewel in the Evening Sale. Depicting two lit candles, the painting is executed in oil on canvas in the celebrated photorealist style that Richter has championed since the 1960s. The work is one of the largest of Richter’s series of candle and skull paintings that he created when he turned 50, and was contemplating his own mortality. It is one of the most monumental and iconic pictures ever painted by the artist and transcends every traditional border for collecting.

Jeff Koons’ magnificent Balloon Flower (Blue) will highlight Christie’s New York’s November 2010 Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale. The important outdoor sculpture executed from 1995-2000 (estimated: $12,000,000 -16,000,000) is one of Koons’ most important sculptures and belongs to his acclaimed Celebration series, which has contributed to the artist’s global status and taken his market to the highest level at auction. In July 2008 Koons’ Balloon Flower (Magenta), 1995-2000, another version of this sculpture, broke a world record for the artist at auction, selling at Christie’s London for $25,752,051. There are only five Balloon Flowers, each a different color. Hailing from the renowned Daimler Art Collection, Balloon Flower (Blue) was acquired directly from the artist and has for many years graced Berlin’s famous Potsdamer Platz. The proceeds from the sale of Balloon Flower (Blue) will be used to develop the Daimler Art Collection’s commitment to art and securing its long term future.

The auction will feature many rare works such as Jackson Pollock’s Eyes in the Heat II, circa 1947 (estimate: $6,000,000-9,000,000), in oil and aluminum paint on canvas, a rare example of Pollock’s drip technique. Blue Composition by Sam Francis (estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000), is a prime example of an early abstraction by the artist in his signature color. The work was created at a crucial point in the artist’s career when he brought life, color and energy into his work, which earlier consisted of muted whites and grays. On the heels of Christopher Wool’s world record at auction set at Christie’s New York in May 2010 for Blue Fool, 1990 — which realized $5,010,500 —Christie’s is proud to offer another Wool triumph, Hole in Your Head, 1992 (estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000), in acrylic on aluminum.

Other Evening Sale highlights include:

• Willem De Kooning, Untitled (estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000), one of the best examples of the late paintings by the leading Abstract Expressionist to come to auction.

• Jasper Johns’ vibrantly-hued 0 through 9 (estimate: $9,000,000-12,000,000) executed in encaustic, newsprint and paper collage acrylic, on masonite. It was acquired from the artist’s second exhibition in Paris in 1961. In May, Christie’s set a new world auction record for a work by Johns with Flag, 1960-1966, which sold for $28,642,500.

• Richard Diebenkorn’s Berkley #55, 1955 (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000) is a mosaic-like composition of interlocking forms from property of two charitable foundations established by the family of Nancy Epstein in Los Angeles. The dextrous lines vie for attention with large planes of color in this painting in which the artist clearly pays homage to his beloved Matisse.

The November 2010 Post-War and Contemporary Evening sale includes property from three stupendous collections, including:

The Collection of Max Palevsky
Post-War and Contemporary highlights from the collection of the computer systems pioneer include works by Alexander Calder, Donald Judd, Richard Lindner, Roy Lichtenstein and Frank Stella. Calder’s Red Curlicue, 1973, (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000), a stabile-painted sheet metal sculpture standing at 162 x 162 inches is a key feature of the collection.

The Dennis Hopper Collection
Highlights from the Hollywood icon cum art insider include: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled 1987, executed in acrylic, oil stick and graphite, (estimate: $5,000,000-7,000,000). The stylized composition is coated in numerous images such as figures, visages, text and mixed media and Andy Warhol, Portrait of Dennis Hopper, 1971 (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000).

The Collection of Robert Shapazian
Shapazian’s masterful collection comprises of 69 works of art reflecting on his passion for the arts and life-long dedication to the field. Highlights include a group of works by Andy Warhol with representing nearly every iconic theme from Warhol’s career: Campbell’s Soup, Marilyn Monroe, The Electric Chair, Jacqueline Kennedy, Grocery Boxes, and the Dollar Sign: as well as Marcel Duchamp’s Monte Carlo Bond, 1924 (estimate: $400,000-600,000)

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