Phillips' April Editions Auction to feature prints and multiples by modern and contemporary masters

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Phillips' April Editions Auction to feature prints and multiples by modern and contemporary masters
Rashid Johnson (140640), Broken Men, 2019. Estimate $15,000 – 25,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips’ Editions auction on 20-22 April is set to be one of the largest in company history. Featuring 175 artists, spanning 414 lots, to be auctioned in an evening sale and three day sessions. The sale will include a breadth of material for collectors of all genres, including evening highlights by Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Louise Bourgeois, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Diego Rivera, Jasper Johns, Kara Walker, Kerry James Marshall and David Wojnarowicz and day sale highlights by Henri Matisse, Frank Stella, Alexander Calder and Alex Katz. The final session on 22 April features a contemporary group of 21st century artists starting with Genieve Figgis and ending with Takashi Murakami.

Cary Leibowitz and Kelly Troester, Worldwide Co-Heads of Editions, said, “The demand for rare editions and works on paper remains as strong as ever. The strength of our April auction is a testament to the exceptional work of past, present and future printmakers and the thriving global art market. This sale brings together some of the most important names in 20th and 21st Century art, with works that will be of interest to collectors of all levels and backgrounds.”

Roy Lichtenstein’s Nudes Series, the final major print series completed before his death in 1997, demonstrates the artist’s distinctive Pop dialect. Physically the largest of the series, Roommates features Lichtenstein’s recurring blond comic book-esque protagonist in the foreground and utilizes a saturated color palette and bold patterns to reframe the art historical tropes of interiors and of the female nude. Originally a gift from the artist to a friend, this impression of Roommates was purchased from Leo Castelli gallery and has remained with the same contemporary private collection for the last 20 years.

Another top lot of this sale is Portfolio I, a set of four screenprints after Jean-Michel Basquiat. Untitled (Head), Untitled (Per Capita), Untitled (Rinso), and Untitled (Ernok) hail from a distinguished California collection. Emblematic of Basquiat’s signature imagery, Portfolio I remains Basquiat’s most sought after print portfolio to date.

A total of 33 works by Andy Warhol will be offered in the auction, which span the entirety of the artist’s career. The earliest work is Christmas Card, to George Klauber, a rare tempera on paper from 1948; this work and others from this time period rarely come to market. Warhol’s Camouflage, a portfolio of 8 screenprints, three of which are unique color trial proofs, represents Warhol’s late work; the screens of which were made by Warhol, himself, while the editioning of the prints was completed shortly after his death.

Jackson Pollock’s Untitled Portfolio (O’Connor/Thaw 1091-1096), 1951, is among the Modern highlights in the sale. Pollock created this rare, complete set of all six screenprints with his brother, Sanford McCoy, in his commercial printshop using photo stencils of chosen Black paintings he made in 1951. They were shown at an important exhibition at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York City where the portfolios were also offered for $200. However, they were not well received and, subsequently, Pollock did not care about signing and numbering each image. This set comes from the Estate of Howard Mendes, New York City, and has one signed, dated and numbered plate which appears to be the most typical configuration. Until now, there have only been single images at auction, making the set offered this April all the more rare.

Two rare, complete portfolios by Joan Miro - Les Pénaltiés de L’Enfer ou Les Nouvelles Hebrides, 1974 is a collaborative treasure trove containing Miro’s lithographs, Robert Desnos’ Surrealist text and the most exuberant typography by Michel Otthoffer all made extra special by this example Miro gave to one of the printers and is one of only 15 sets that includes seven additional different lithographs all signed by Miró. The other is Série Mallorca, 1973, the rare complete set of 10 large scale etchings inspired by the people and landscape of Miro’s beloved home island and the only prints he published in Mallorca.

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