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Christie's Prints & Multiples Sale presents a survey of exceptional works by Modern and Contemporary masters
Henri Matisse, Jazz (Duthuit books 22). the complete set of 20 pochoirs in colors, 1947, hors-texte, text in French, table of contents, justification, on Arches, signed in pencil on the justification, copy 88 of 100 (there was also a book edition of 250), the full sheets, pale light- and time staining, otherwise generally in good condition, within the original printed paper wrapper and gray paper-covered portfolio with paper label with artist's name and title (surface soiling and pale scattered foxing to the portfolio) 26¼ x 17¼ in. (667 x 438 mm.) album. Estimate 300,000 - 500,000 U.S. dollars. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced its spring Prints & Multiples sale in New York, taking place April 30-May 1. The sale encompasses a breadth of important examples from Modern masterpieces to works of German Expressionism, and includes a particularly strong representation of Post-War and Contemporary prints. With estimates that range from $1,000 to 500,000, the sale presents both new and experienced collectors with the opportunity to acquire a work that fits both their tastes and budget.

Encompassing 406 lots, the sale is highlighted by over 20 lots of exemplary Post-War prints from The Collection of Celeste and Armand Bartos. Their collection includes works by many of the twentieth century’s greatest artists including Henri Matisse, Fernand Léger, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol and demonstrates the couple’s discerning eye for quality. The Bartoses aesthetic is exemplified by Jasper Johns’ Saravin (estimate: $100,000-150,000). In the present work, Johns presents a coffee can with paint brushes in monumental scale in the foreground and his cross-hatch imagery in the background. Through his handling, Johns invoked the traditional art historical subject of an artist in his/her atelier or studio. Johns resisted painting a naturalistic self-portrait, and instead, he substituted himself with his instruments. The cross-hatch motif, used for the background, refers to the artist's work from 1973 in painting and 1974 as a print.

Leading the sale’s exceptionally strong group of eight Richard Diebenkorn prints, is High Green, Version I (estimate: $120,000-180,000). In 1992, a year before his death and the same year he produced the monumental graphic work, High Green, Version I, Richard Diebenkorn remarked to his daughter in the print studio: "I'm making my drawing in spite of the metal. There are unseen forces there and it's always a competition with them. I think I'm going to make a straight line, and it says, 'Oh, no you don't!'" The eight lots presented here are a strong representation of Diebenkorn as color printmaker working in his most celebrated theme, Ocean Park. Blue Surround (Estimate: $80,000-$120,00) and High Green, Version I more closely invoke the large-scale 'portal-format' of his Ocean Park paintings and his proximity to the Pacific.

Highlighting the sale is a selection of German Expressionist prints from the prominent collection of Nelson Blitz, Jr. The collection of Nelson Blitz, Jr. is widely recognized as one of the most prominent holdings of German Expressionist prints in the world. These selections offer key stylistic examples of many of the most prominent artists of Expressionism including key graphic works by: Erich Heckel, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Leading the collection is a self-portrait by Max Beckmann titled Selbstbildnis mit steifem Hut (Hofmaier 180) (Self- Portrait with Bowler Hat) (estimate: $100,000 - 150,000). Arguably his greatest achievement as a printmaker and portraitist, Beckmann radically revised the plate by adding and burnishing out entire elements of the composition. Beckmann’s Selbstbildnis mit steifem Hut (Hofmaier 180) is one of the most poignant images of the inter-war year, and one of the great self-portraits of the 20th century.

An exceptionally rare complete set of ten Andy Warhol soup can screenprints from 1968 will also be offered at the Spring Prints & Multiples sale. Campbell’s Soup I (estimate: $300,000-500,000), is an incredibly well-preserved edition with bright, fresh colors and will be sold with the original cardboard portfolio. Warhol’s famous printmaking abilities are embodied in these ten screenprints.



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April 23, 2013

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