The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction is led by Gerhard Richter’s Schädel (Skull) (1983), an exceptionally poignant memento mori that is one of the artist’s most important photo-paintings. Not seen in public for 30 years, the work is the first of eight skull paintings Richter produced: a haunting exploration of the transiency of things, realised with exceptional photorealistic skill.
The auction also features Jeff Koons’ monumental Cracked Egg (Blue) (1994–2006), a cornerstone of the artist’s landmark Celebration series, and Francis Bacon’s visceral portrait of George Dyer, Figure in Movement (1972), alongside significant works by Georg Baselitz, Sigmar Polke and Keith Haring, and a collection of iconic monochromes by Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni. Superb works by Rudolf Stingel, On Kawara and Andy Warhol star in the Day Auction.
The Evening and Day Auctions are joined by Thinking Italian, our annual sale of 20th- and 21st-century Italian, and Un/Breakable, a new curated auction that traces 140 years of ceramic art. Among work by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Fontana, Grayson Perry, Fausto Melotti and Thomas Schütte, Un/Breakable also presents a range of pieces from figures associated with the studio pottery movement. Lucio Fontana’s Concetto spaziale, La fine di Dio (1963), an outstanding example of the artist’s majestic egg-shaped canvases, is Thinking Italian’s top lot, with the likes of Manzoni, Alberto Burri and Gino Severini also featuring.