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Christie's First Open sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art includes a strong presence of female artists
Helen Frankenthaler, White Makes Four. Estimate: $250,000-350,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s First Open sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art on September 19 will offer a stimulating selection of approximately 200 works of art. First Open is the perfect opportunity for new and established collectors who are eager to discover emerging artists and ready to explore lesser-known works by established artists. Now co-directed by Charlie Adamski and Charlotte Perrottey, the First Open September 2012 session will feature an exceptionally strong selection of female artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Helen Frankenthaler and Cindy Sherman. Also included are works from Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Baldessari, Alexander Calder and Joseph Albers, among others and will be preceded by a public exhibition at Christie’s Rockefeller Center Galleries from September 15 to 18.

“First Open continues to present exciting and diverse works from across the Post War and Contemporary period. This season we are proud to offer a particularly strong selection of works by leading female artists: Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, Yoko Ono, Mary Heilmann, Roni Horn, Niki de Saint Phalle, Nan Goldin, Laurie Simmons, Susan Rothenberg, Kiki Smith, Hannah Wilke, Lynda Benglis, Helen Frankenthaler, Janet Fish, Louise Nevelson, Cindy Sherman, Katharina Fritsch, Marilyn Minter, Shirin Neshat, Laura Owens, Rebecca Horn, Sherrie Levine, Sturtevant, Jennifer Bartlett, Janet Fish, Maya Lin, Sharon Lockhart, Lina Leal, Eva Rothschild, Sophie Calle, Mary Bauermeister and Judith Rothschild ” declared Charlie Adamski and Charlotte Perrottey, specialists in charge of the First Open sale.

Coinciding with the major retrospective at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, Christie’s is delighted to offer an early important painting by Yayoi Kusama, Red Nets, No. 19 which was acquired from the artist by the present owner, circa 1960s. The delicate veil of painted swoops and swirls that sweep across the surface of Red Nets, No. 19 are an early example of Yayoi Kusama's iconic Infinity Net paintings that helped to launch her career as one of the leading artists of the Post-War period. Estimated $400,000 to $600,000, Red Nets, No. 19 comprises of a series of short, red scalloped brush strokes that are repeated almost ad infinitum across the surface of the canvas, resulting in a near hypnotic effect as we are pulled into the folds of the composition.

Two other works by the artist will be also offered at auction, Wave of Sea a wall relief, dated 1996 (estimate: $60,000-80,000) and Untitled, a spray enamel on paperboard executed in 1978 and estimated $8,000-12,000.

Louise Bourgeois’s Spider Home (estimate: $500,000-700,000) is delicately perched on eight spindly legs, a female spider stands protectively over her offspring by, whilst above them hangs a beautiful web containing the body of a fly caught within its silken threads. This dichotomy between maternal love and death, as depicted by the entombed fly, mirrors the difficult familial relationships the artist had with her own parents and the close bond she formed with her mother who died when the artist was just a young woman.

Christie's is honored to present a selection of paintings and sculpture from the Gihon Foundation Collection, this foundation contribute to the cultural, spiritual and intellectual development of society while simultaneously recognizing the important role women play in that development. The Gihon Foundation housed a permanent art collection for many years that encompassed from the Impressionist influence in the work of Mary Cassatt's to the contemporary art of today. Four "Works by Women" will be part of the First Open sale, featured works by Janet Fish, Helen Frankenthaler, Lynda Benglis and Louise Nevelson.

Helen Frankenthaler's broad sweeps of color in White Makes Four, estimated $250,000-350,000 reflects her desire to take the style of her abstract expressionist forebears and free it from the egocentric gestures that dominated the work of her male counterparts. White Makes Four is an outwardly simple composition in which Frankenthaler demonstrates her innate ability to absorb influences, yet remaining true to her own vision. This work shows the influence of Jackson Pollock's drips and splashes, as well as the big brush painterly passages favored by de Kooning, but has the unerring color sense and touch that is uniquely her own.

In Knossos, Lynda Benglis uses 24ct. gold leaf on the surface of this wall sculpture to create a piece that suggests both ongoing energy and permanence (estimate: $50,000-70,000)

The power of light is wielded masterfully by Janet Fish in Red Vase and Yellow Tulips (estimate: $40,000-60,000). Fish paints exactly what she sees, while lifting the mind's eye to the light reflected in her still lifes of glassware, flowers and fruit.

Louise Nevelson's Rain Garden II (estimate: $50,000-70,000) is an excellent example of her assemblages usually made out of wood painted black, and consisting of intricate forms often grouped within box-like frames.

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