20th / 21st Century: Evening Sale Including Thinking Italian, London, coinciding with Frieze Week, brings together iconic works by artists from the 20th century whose defining influence can be seen on the artists and artistic movements that subsequently followed in the 21st Century. Together, across the two centuries, these artists radicalised artistic practice, challenging what had come before to continually diversify the trajectory of art throughout the last 140 years.
Katharine Arnold, Co-Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, Christies, Europe: Frieze week is a time when London celebrates the best of 20th and 21st century art and we are delighted to be welcoming collectors back in person to the city and to Christies. In our galleries, we will be showcasing more than 70 years of art history, headlined by our 20th / 21st Century: Evening Sale Including Thinking Italian. The auction kicks off with Cecily Browns Therell be bluebirds, 2019, fresh from her Blenheim Palace show and being offered as part of Artists for ClientEarth: a landmark new collaborative initiative between Christies and the Gallery Climate Coalition, designed to propel the art world in the fight against climate change. The sale continues with the fresh talent of Julie Curtiss, Shara Hughes, Hilary Pecis, Emily Mae Smith and Claire Tabouret. It also features three important British paintings by David Hockney, Peter Doig and Hurvin Anderson. These are placed alongside Italian masters Lucio Fontana, Alighiero Boetti, Alberto Burri and Piero Manzoni. Alongside our Day Sale and First Open auctions, we will also be presenting No Regrets: The Collectors Edition, an online sale with works starting at £100, making contemporary art fun and accessible to everyone. At the same time as our auctions, we are hosting a series of collaborative exhibitions: Aindrea Emelife has curated Bold, Black & British, a survey of Black British artists, spanning the 1980s through to recent graduates; Christine Eyene presents 1-54: Redefining the Trend Histories in the Making, providing visitors with an overview of contemporary African art practise and Radioheads Thom Yorke and artist Stanley Donwood offer an immersive experience at Christies with paintings, lyrics and digital artworks based on the album artwork from Kid A. It will be an exciting start to October and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to King Street.
JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIATS DIALOGUE WITH LEONARDO DA VINCI
Jean-Michel Basquiats Because it Hurts the Lungs (1986, estimate: £7,000,000-10,000,000) is a multimedia work depicting a life-size green figure with a russet, cyclopean skull against a white ground. Basquiat has applied sheets of his own drawings and text to the background, among them a cryptic extract from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci that lends the work its title: Why the thunderbolt kills a [man and] does not wound him, and if the man blew his nose he would not die. Because it hurts the lungs. Further collage and pigment adorn two boxes that protrude from the surface, including a drawing of the Lester Young Quartets 1944 jazz record Afternoon Of A Basie-ite, Japanese script, snatches of dialogue from Sophocles Greek tragedy Ajax, and a grinning, eyeless black head wearing a mitre-like crown.
DAVID HOCKNEYS DEEPLY PERSONAL VISION
David Hockneys Guest House Garden (2000, estimate: £5,000,000-7,000,000) originates from Lart à fleur de peau Collection, with more than 100 works being offered in Paris in a dedicated sale on 13 October 2021. Guest House Garden belongs to a small group of paintings and drawings depicting the artists garden, which he began during the summer of 2000 in London while exhibiting at the National Gallery, and continued back in Los Angeles.
A SURVEY OF FEMALE ARTISTS: 1972 2019
Halcyon 2 (1972, estimate: £1,500,000-2,000,000) by Bridget Riley is a vibrant, hallucinogenic work, unseen in public for almost half a century. A glowing large-scale example of Paula Regos celebrated pastels, Portrait of FB is an exquisite tribute to the artists friendship with writer and curator Fiona Bradley. Executed in 1997 (estimate; £250,000-350,000), it marks the year that Bradley co-curated Regos acclaimed retrospective at Tate Liverpool. A compelling, enigmatic sculptural presence, Untitled (2002, estimate: £500,000-700,000) exemplifies the material and psychological power that defines Louise Bourgeois practice.
Painted on a summer residency in Vejby, Denmark in 2009, Me Me Me (estimate: £100,000-150,000) is a vivid example of the complex, playful interior scenes that first propelled Shara Hughes to worldwide acclaim. An ethereal, monumental vision bathed in otherworldly light, Les Madones (2014, estimate; £250,000-350,000) is a lyrical example of Claire Tabourets distinctive figurative language. A blazing constellation of red dots bound together by an intricate painterly web, Infinity-Nets (GKT) (2015, estimate: £800,000-1,200,000) is a vivid example of Yayoi Kusamas celebrated Infinity Nets. Paint While Screaming (2017, estimate: £20,000-30,000) is a witty self-portrait: the stick-like character is Smiths personal avatar, adapted from the anthropomorphised broom in The Sorcerers Apprentice sequence in Disneys Fantasia (1940). Julie Curtiss Hairy Hat (2017, estimate: £150,000-200,000) conjures a range of surreal precedents, from Méret Oppenheims fur teacup to Domenico Gnolis fetishistic close-ups of fabric and coiffure. Meticulously rendered with vivid, hyper-real clarity, Kaba on a Chair (2019, estimate: £40,000-60,000) captures Hilary Pecis debt to the aesthetics of Fauvism and Pop Art, as well as the bright, luminous world of Los Angeles where she currently lives and works. Created for Cecily Browns ground-breaking 2020 installation at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, Therell be bluebirds (2019, estimate: £500,000-700,000) is an explosion of bold colour and elusive, unstable form in the artists signature abstract-figurative idiom.
BANKSYS GIRL WITH BALLOON
A poignant two-part version of what is perhaps Banksys most iconic image, Girl with Balloon (Diptych) (2005, estimate: £2,500,000-3,500,000) is a vision of innocence and hope. The work consists of two canvases, each on an intimate 30 x 30 cm scale. In one stands a small girl, stencilled in black against the white background, with her hand upraised; in the other, a red, heart-shaped balloon drifts away into the sky.
BORED APES: FIRST NFT TO BE OFFERED BY CHRISTIES IN EUROPE
Christies will offer an exceptional, clean red laser beams Bored Ape along with its corresponding M1 and M2 Mutants as a group lot in the Evening Sale, the first time that Christies will offer an NFT in Europe. The estimate is currently unknown.
HURVIN ANDERSON AND PETER DOIG:
Peter Doigs Hill Houses (Green Version) (1991, estimate: £3,500,000-4,500,000), an early exploration of the artists celebrated cabin motif, is being sold by the Estate of Donald R. Sobey. Proceeds of the sale will support the promotion and exhibition of contemporary indigenous art from Canada around the world. Painted in 1998, and unseen in public since its acquisition the following year, Audition (estimate: £1,000,00-1,500,00) is a rare and remarkable rediscovery that captures the virtuosic flourishing of Hurvin Andersons early practice. Audition is a vast, cinematic panorama viewed from an elevated vantage point, offering a glistening depiction of a public swimming pool, its waters alive with human activity.
CECILY BROWN: ARTISTS FOR CLIENTEARTH
In partnership with the Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC), and environmental charity ClientEarth, Christies are launching a new collaborative initiative, Artists for ClientEarth, designed to propel the art world in the fight against climate change. Exceptional works by major international artists, including Cecily Browns Therell be bluebirds (2019, estimate: £500,000-700,000), will be offered in a series of sales.
Having remained in the same collection since 1973, Lucio Fontanas Concetto spaziale, Attese (1964-65, estimate: £3,000,000-5,000,000) is an impressive white example of the artists concetti spaziali. Its radiant surface is punctured by an exceptionally high number of ten cuts, each opening onto a void of darkness beyond. Mappa (1988-89, estimate: £1,200,000-1,800,000) by Alighiero Boetti sees the continents adrift in striking pale blue ocean, framed by a multi-coloured border. Piero Manzoni created his Achromes by dipping creased canvas in kaolin, a white china clay, and allowing it to dry; producing works that were free from narrative and representation. Achromes (1958, estimate: £1,200,000-1,800,000) is an early example. Superficie rigata (1962, estimate: £350,000-500,000) is from Enrico Castellanis distinctive series of shaped striped canvases, one of only seven works using found commercial material that he pulled over a wooden scaffold. Held in the same private collection for more than six decades, Ferro (1959, estimate: £250,000-350,000) is a powerful creation from Alberto Burris celebrated series of Ferri (Irons), in which he manipulated sheets of cold-rolled steel straight from the mill. The group is completed by Giorgio de Chirico, and Jannis Kounellis.