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Swann Galleries announce highlights from their spring auction of Contemporary Art
Mel Ramos, Ode to Ang, watercolor, 1974, $30,000 to $50,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- On Tuesday, May 13, Swann Galleries will hold their spring auction of Contemporary Art, which features drawings, paintings, three-dimensional works, collages and prints by major artists working in Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Color Theory, Pop Art and more.

The lot with the highest pre-sale estimate is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled (Artifical (sic) Flavors), color oilsticks on paper, titled and annotated in black and with a partial color oilstick transfer on the back showing Untitled (Venus Velvet Drawing). It is estimated at $80,000 to $120,000.

There is a Mel Ramos watercolor, Ode to Ang, from 1974, which was a gift from the artist to the current owner. This image of a female nude is an homage to the work of 19th-century artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, specifically his 1856 painting La Sourre, 1856 ($30,000 to $50,000) and an untitled Sol Lewitt gouache on paper, 1999, which was a Christmas gift from the artist ($10,000 to $15,000).

Also among featured paintings are Serge Charchoune’s In Mont Salvat Gennannt N°6, oil on canvas, 1955, which will be included in the forthcoming supplement to the catalogue raisonné of paintings by Charchoune ($12,000 to $18,000); Karel Appel’s Clown, oil on carved wooden board, 1977, acquired directly from the artist by the current owner ($15,000 to $20,000); an untitled oil on canvas by Josh Smith, 1997 ($3,000 to $5,000) and a 2004 untitled acrylic on canvas by Louise Fishman ($6,000 to $9,000).

Significant drawings include an untitled Willem de Kooning pen and ink ($15,000 to $20,000); Lucio Fontana’s Senza titolo, pen and black ink on wax paper mounted to card stock ($10,000 to $15,000); and a Keith Haring sketch of a running figure, which is a fragment of a larger drawing that was destroyed by a falling ladder during a New York exhibition, 1981 ($4,000 to $6,000).

Another unique highlight is Robert Mapplethorpe’s Gloria Swanson/Queen Kelly, photographic collage with acrylic and spray paint on paper, 1974, once in the collection of a fellow student at Pratt Institute ($8,000 to $12,000).

Top print highlights include Jasper Johns’s Savarin 3 (Red), color lithograph on Richard de Bas paper, 1978 ($30,000 to $50,000); Francis Bacon’s Man at a Washbasin, color aquatint and etching on Arches paper, based on the same-titled painting, 1977-78 ($20,000 to $30,000); and several examples by Roy Lichtenstein, such as Crying Girl and Shipboard Girl, offset color lithographs, 1963 and 1965 ($20,000 to $30,000 and $15,000 to $20,000 respectively) and a very scarce, early color woodcut Knight with Lady (Knight and Lady), 1951, which has only appeared at auction once in the last 25 years ($6,000 to $9,000).

Additional notable prints by artists associated with Pop Art are Andy Warhol’s You Can Lead a Shoe to Water but You Can't Make It Drink, offset lithograph with hand coloring in watercolor, circa 1955 ($15,000 to $20,000); David Hockney’s Water Pouring into Swimming Pool, Santa Monica, color lithograph on Japon nacré paper, 1964 ($10,000 to $15,000); and Wayne Thiebaud’s Country City, color etching and aquatint on Somerset paper, 1988 ($7,000 to $10,000).

Abstract Expressionist works include David Smith’s Don Quixote, a scarce, early lithograph, 1952 ($12,000 to $18,00); Richard Diebenkorn’s Cup, Saucer, Fork and Knife, color lithograph, 1965 ($15,000 to $20,000); a Jackson Pollock untitled screenprint on Strathmore paper, 1951, printed 1964 ($7,000 to $10,000); and Philip Guston’s Untitled #11 (Open Washes), lithograph, 1966 ($6,000 to $9,000).

Also featured are Numbers, the Robert Indiana portfolio with 10 color screenprints, 1968, one of 250 numbered copies, signed by both Indiana and poet Robert Creeley ($10,000 to $15,000); and a Fluxus lot, a group of seven Fluxkits, from the avant-garde movement founded by George Maciunas, each a mixed-media work in a labeled plastic box, among them Maciunas’s Excreta Fluxorum, 1973; Ben Vautier’s A Flux Suicide Kit, 1967 and George Brecht’s Games and Puzzles (Name Kit), 1961-70 and Geoge (15,000 to $20,000 for the entire set).

The auction, will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13. The works will be on public exhibition Thursday, May 8 and Friday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, May 10, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Monday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Tuesday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to noon.

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