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Big names at surprising prices

A Josef Albers for $1,000? A Yayoi Kusama or a David Hockney for $15,000? A selection of 11 works by the art world’s greatest names, offered in our First Open | Post-War and Contemporary Art and Contemporary Editions online auctions

  • 1
  • Alex Katz

Alex Katz (b.  1927), Seagull, 1989. Oil on masonite, 11⅞ x 15⅞ in (30.2 x 40.3 cm). Estimate $15,000-20,000. This lot is offered in First Open  Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

Alex Katz (b. 1927), Seagull, 1989. Oil on masonite, 11⅞ x 15⅞ in (30.2 x 40.3 cm). Estimate: $15,000-20,000. This lot is offered in First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

Now in his eighties, artist Alex Katz is garnering renewed, late-career attention, with major exhibitions in recent years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern and the National Portrait Gallery. Here, he depicts a seagull against a blue sky — an evocation of summer — in the flat, muted colours that are central to his artistic practice.

  • 2
  • Josef Albers

Josef Albers (1888-1976), SP VIII, from SP, 1967. Image 19½ x 19⅝ in (495 x 498 mm). Sheet 24⅛ x 24⅛ in (613 x 613 mm). Estimate $1,000-1,500. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Josef Albers (1888-1976), SP VIII, from SP, 1967. Image: 19½ x 19⅝ in (495 x 498 mm). Sheet: 24⅛ x 24⅛ in (613 x 613 mm). Estimate: $1,000-1,500. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Printed in 1967, SP VIII  is taken from Josef Albers’s best-known Homage to the Square  series, in which his minimal geometric compositions are combined with variations in colour and tone to create infinite possibilities. The hugely influential Albers was an important figure in the history of post-war printmaking in America, and was one of the first artists to create prints at Gemini GEL in Los Angeles and at Tyler Graphics in Mount Kisco, NY.

  • 3
  • Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara (b.  1959), Ohne Titel (Zwei Hunde mit den Särgen) (Untitled [Two Dogs with Coffins]), 1993. Acrylic on canvas, 23⅝ x 23⅝ in (60 x 60 cm). Estimate $70,000-100,000. This lot is offered in First Open  Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

Yoshitomo Nara (b. 1959), Ohne Titel (Zwei Hunde mit den Särgen) (Untitled [Two Dogs with Coffins]), 1993. Acrylic on canvas, 23⅝ x 23⅝ in (60 x 60 cm). Estimate: $70,000-100,000. This lot is offered in First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

An attractively priced work for an artist whose works regularly sell for over a million dollars at auction, Ohne Titel  combines the most recognisable elements of Yoshitomo Nara’s oeuvre: dogs, cuteness and the void.

  • 4
  • Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama (b.  1929), Flowers Sorrow, 1978. Enamel paint and ink on paperboard , 10¾ x 9½ in (27.3 x 24.1 cm). Estimate $15,000-20,000. This lot is offered in First Open  Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929), Flower's Sorrow, 1978. Enamel paint and ink on paperboard , 10¾ x 9½ in (27.3 x 24.1 cm). Estimate: $15,000-20,000. This lot is offered in First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

Described as ‘the world’s most popular artist’ in 2015, Yayoi Kusama has extended her global domination through 2017 with the blockbuster exhibition Infinity Mirrors, which has been attracting record numbers of visitors on its tour across five North American cities: Washington, D.C., Seattle, Los Angeles, Toronto and Cleveland. This work is relatively small in scale, although it delivers the same punch as her larger works through repetitive patterns that echo her signature ‘Infinity Nets’ and ‘Infinity Dots’.

  • 5
  • James Rosenquist

James Rosenquist (1933-2017), Study for Circles of Confusion GE, 1966. Oil on shaped canvas, diameter 15⅞ in (40.3 cm). Estimate $35,000-45,000. This lot is offered in First Open  Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

James Rosenquist (1933-2017), Study for Circles of Confusion GE, 1966. Oil on shaped canvas, diameter: 15⅞ in (40.3 cm). Estimate: $35,000-45,000. This lot is offered in First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

A critic of modern American consumerism, Rosenquist appropriates the General Electric logo in Circles of Confusion, ingeniously reproducing the circle with a shaped canvas and transforming it with a brilliant palette of red, blue and yellow.

  • 6
  • Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015), Untitled (Orange State III), 1988. Sheet 46⅛ x 45½ in (1171 x 1156 mm). Estimate $5,000-7,000. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Ellsworth Kelly (1923-2015), Untitled (Orange State III), 1988. Sheet: 46⅛ x 45½ in (1171 x 1156 mm). Estimate: $5,000-7,000. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Ellsworth Kelly’s prints focus on pure colours and simple forms, often with a single shape in one colour on a plain white background, as seen in Untitled (Orange State III). Kelly plays with spatial illusion, creating a completely flat space where the figure and background are on the same plane. In this work the blank background is as important to the composition as both the shape and colour.

  • 7
  • Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011), Against the Rules, 1983. Acrylic on paper, 20 x 26 in (50.8 x 66 cm). Estimate $30,000-50,000. This lot is offered in First Open  Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011), Against the Rules, 1983. Acrylic on paper, 20 x 26 in (50.8 x 66 cm). Estimate: $30,000-50,000. This lot is offered in First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

Lauded in a New York Times  review, Against the Rules was included in a landmark show at the Guggenheim Museum in 1985, where the current owner spotted it, fell in love with the work and offered to buy it outright from the artist. The acrylic bleeds outward across the paper in a masterful application of Frankenthaler’s staining technique — a method she pioneered in the 1950s to create a remarkable finished product.

  • 8
  • Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004), Bedroom Face #41, 1990. Image 50 x 58½ in (1270 x 1486 mm). Sheet 59¼ x 67½ in (1505 x 1714 mm). Estimate $10,000-15,000. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004), Bedroom Face #41, 1990. Image: 50 x 58½ in (1270 x 1486 mm). Sheet: 59¼ x 67½ in (1505 x 1714 mm). Estimate: $10,000-15,000. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Bedroom Face #41  exemplifies Wesselmann’s bold approach to colour and the female portrait, featuring the bright Pop palette and subject matter found in the landmark Great American Nude Series  that brought him acclaim in the 1960s.

  • 9
  • Hans Hofmann

Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), Untitled (Abstraction), 1954. Oil on canvas, 14 x 18 in (35.6 x 45.7 cm). Estimate $30,000-50,000. This lot is offered in First Open  Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), Untitled (Abstraction), 1954. Oil on canvas, 14 x 18 in (35.6 x 45.7 cm). Estimate: $30,000-50,000. This lot is offered in First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art, 11-20 July 2017, Online

As a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism who was pivotal in the development of many artists’ careers, including those of Louise Nevelson and Larry Rivers, Hofmann is either the perfect addition to a post-war collection or an impressive means of starting one. Painted in 1954, Untitled (Abstraction)  is a small-scale example of Hofmann’s exuberant, colour-filled canvases.

  • 10
  • David Hockney

David Hockney (b.  1937), Panama Hat, 1972. Sheet 16½ x 13⅜ in (419 x 340 mm). Estimate $15,000-20,000. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

David Hockney (b. 1937), Panama Hat, 1972. Sheet: 16½ x 13⅜ in (419 x 340 mm). Estimate: $15,000-20,000. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Panama Hat  is one of David Hockney’s ‘portraits’ of Henry Geldzahler, an important curator of contemporary and modern art who was best known for his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Worried that it would make him look vain, Geldzahler refused to let Hockney create a proper full-length portrait, so instead the artist focuses on his signature Panama hat and coat draped on his chair.

  • 11
  • Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Chicken & Dumplings, from Campbells Soup II, 1969. Image 31⅞ x 18½ in (810 x 470 mm), sheet 35 x 23⅛ in (889 x 587 mm). Estimate $15,000-25,000. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Chicken & Dumplings, from Campbell's Soup II, 1969. Image: 31⅞ x 18½ in (810 x 470 mm), sheet: 35 x 23⅛ in (889 x 587 mm). Estimate: $15,000-25,000. This lot is offered in Contemporary Editions, 11-19 July 2017, Online

Warhol created his Campbell’s Soup  prints in the late 1960s during the same period as his iconic Mao  and Marilyn  screenprint series. These prints emphasise the ‘art as product’ concept that made Warhol famous, using a deadpan presentation of the subject on thin printing paper. Sold in cardboard portfolio boxes, they were designed to be made for a larger audience than his canvases of the same subject.