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Sotheby's exhibits in Doha a selection of outstanding artworks by major international contemporary artists
Andy Warhol, Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz), 1963, est. $20/30m. Photo: Sotheby's.

DOHA.- Sotheby’s announced that from Friday 4th to Monday 7th October 2013 it will stage an important exhibition at Katara Art Center Building 5, Doha, featuring a selection of 15 works of art from the forthcoming Contemporary Art Evening Sale. Overall the exhibition has a combined estimate of $60-90 million. The selection of works on view includes outstanding examples by leading American post-war artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Cy Twombly and John Chamberlain from the high-points of their careers. Following the exhibition in Doha, the works will be offered as part of the Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 13th November 2013 in New York.

Alexander Rotter, Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art in New York, commented: “Following Sotheby’s record-setting $15 million Doha sale in April, we are delighted to once again showcase a superb selection of Contemporary Art here. Doha is an ideal audience for these artworks as it is home to the outstanding collection of Contemporary Art housed in Mathaf. For this exhibition we have chosen a range of works that is representative of the major sale that will follow in New York in November, and we have chosen pieces that are not only global in their appeal, but also reflect the international nature of Doha’s important arts scene and culture.”

Andy Warhol
The highlight of the Contemporary Art on view is Andy Warhol’s magnificent Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz) from 1963 (est. $20-30 million, above). This work is one of a rare series of thirteen paintings of Elizabeth Taylor that Warhol made on colored backgrounds. It is the only painting in the series that has a yellow background, and as with all but one of these works, Liz #1 measures 40 by 40 inches. This series of colored Liz paintings represents the apotheosis of Warhol’s creative vision, both as the technician of the revolutionary silkscreen process and as a monument to the vagaries of mortality, celebrity and fame. As with his images of Marilyn Monroe, Warhol’s depictions of Elizabeth Taylor display not so much his ambition to record the prose of physical likeness, but more his love affair with the drama and glamour of celebrity.

Further Warhol highlights include an outstanding work from the Death and Disaster series - 5 Deaths on Turquoise (Turquoise Disaster) (est. $7-9 million). The 1963 work depicts the harrowing and intensely violent aftermath of a brutal car crash as seen from the viewpoint of the innocent, uninvolved bystander. It is not coincidental that Warhol created the Death and Disaster works at the same time as his iconic portraits of superstars touched by death and disaster such as Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz). The uncertain interplay between anonymous suffering and broadcast exposure of personal bereavement are pervading themes permanently locked into 5 Deaths on Turquoise.

Painted the following year, Warhol’s Flowers (Five Foot Flowers) encapsulates the indisputably iconic profile of Pop Art (est. $10-15 million). The work was previously in the collection of John and Kimiko Powers, the renowned collectors who were foremost among Warhol’s earliest patrons, and represents the very essence of the artistic movement to which he is so indelibly integral.

Other highlights of the November auctions in this Doha exhibition include works from The Dia Art Foundation To Establish a Fund for Acquisitions. Cy Twombly’s Poems to the Sea, epitomizes the artist’s poetic dialect in a suite of 24 drawings that has long been widely recognized as among his foremost triumphs and a critical early touchstone for the subsequent evolution of his career (est. $6-8 million). Dia has been closely associated with John Chamberlain since it was founded in 1974 and retains one of the largest museum collections of the artist’s work. His crushed metal structures stand as one of the most distinctive and significant contributions to sculpture in the 20th century. Chamberlain works on view are led by Candy Andy from 1963 (est. $2/3 million), as well as Malaprop (est. $600/800,000), and Hi Jinks (est. $400/600,000).

The 1998 work Basis by Robert Rymam uses a textured flurry of white paint on a square canvas to create an effect seen throughout the artist’s most captivating paintings (est. $1.5-2 million). With his unwavering aesthetic theory and use of white on square canvases, Ryman is indubitably one of contemporary art’s most resolutely consistent artists with Basis archetypal of his most sophisticated painterly explorations in its seeming simplicity and dazzling beauty.

Cage by Robert Rauschenberg is a prime example of the artist’s transfer drawings (est. $800,000-1.2 million). In the 1958 work Rauschenberg melds imagery and materials into a rich, textured surface with white, yellow and blue paint merging with pasted scraps of torn paper to form a grid- like composition. The title of the piece alludes to the composer John Cage, a close friend and collaborator who Rauschenberg met in 1951 while holding his first solo show at Betty Parson’s Gallery. Cage was included in the critically acclaimed Rauschenberg retrospective at Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1997 and has also been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Other highlights on view include Stretcher Frame With Vertical Bars, a 1968 work by Roy Lichtenstein (est. $4-6 million) and an Untitled Cy Twombly drawing (est. $2.5-3.5 million).

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