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Sotheby's Contemporary Art Sale features works by Grotjahn, Guyton, Oehlen, Kusama and Thiebaud
Wayne Thiebaud, Deviled Eggs, est. $250/350,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- On 21 September 2012 in New York, Sotheby’s Contemporary Art auction will include works of art by some of the most celebrated artists from the post-war period through today including Wade Guyton, Charline von Heyl, Enoc Perez and Yayoi Kusama. Among the 381 lots, estimates range from $5,000 to $300,000, ideal for both experienced and new collectors to discover emerging artists as well as find gems by well-established masters. All of the works go on view on Friday, 14 September at Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters.

Among the highlights of the sale is Wayne Thiebaud’s 1962 Deviled Eggs (est. $250/350,000). The Sacramento-based painter burst onto the New York art scene in the early 1960s with his sumptuous paintings of delectable sweets, cakes, pies, hamburgers, roast beef, and as in this painting, deviled eggs. Each still life was presented as a celebration of the assortment of foods consumed by the new American Middle-Class. This classic canvas was executed in 1962, the same year Thiebaud had his first one-man show in New York, a watershed moment in his career.

Mark Grotjahn’s elegant 2001 composition, Untitled (Blue Butterfly) (est. $350/450,000) is one of the earliest and most significant breakthroughs for the artist. Known for his extensive and celebratory exploration of the butterfly motif, Grotjahn’s work is composed of three inner bands which make up the “body” of this butterfly painting, one of the rarest and most desirable features of this early composition.

One of the most celebrated young artists of the 21st century, Wade Guyton is a conceptual painter who has challenged our notion of what it means to place pigment onto canvas by removing his paint brush and rendering his works using an inkjet desktop printer. His most familiar iconography is the letter X inked in black, as seen in this sale with Untitled (est. $150/200,000). The ink is richly saturated and the diagonal intersecting lines form an almost perfectly aligned target. The present work appears on the market at a key moment as the artist will be the subject of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art this October.

Also offered in the sale is Untitled (1) (est. $350/450,000) by Albert Oehlen, which is a stunning monochromatic painting from his important black and white Computer Paintings. He conceived this painting using a mouse, Photoshop, and inkjet plotters rather than the traditional paint brush, oil, and canvas. Subsequently he painted over the digital images by using acrylics and oil paint.

Currently the subject of a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Yayoi Kusama is represented by three works in the sale including Infinity-Nets (Pink) (est. $60/80,000). The nets within the composition trace back to trauma from her childhood and depict hallucinations she experienced, in which her field of vision was glazed over with disturbing visual patterns. This piece, created in 1990, is testimony to the durability of this motif in her work.

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