The current auction records, according to Artprice, stand at $85m (£56.5m) hammer for Lichtenstein, paid at Christie’s New York in 2015 for his mixed media on canvas Nurse of 1964 and at $170m (£136m) for Warhol, paid in the same rooms in May 2022 for his Shot Sage BlueMarilyn in acrylic and silkscreen on linen.
This last auction season has been no exception with its fair share of substantial results but there are also opportunities to secure works by these artists at less elevated levels if one goes down the graphic route.
Pictured here are examples sold recently or on offer at various levels on the price scale.
Heading up the collection of Geraldine and Harold Alden offered as part of Sotheby’s (25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium plus 1% overhead premium) November 16 Contemporary Evening auction, was Roy Lichtenstein’s Modern Painting with Small Bolt from 1967 which sold for $5.7m (£5m), estimate $6m-8m.
Executed in oil and Magna on a canvas measuring 5ft 8½in x 6ft 10in (1.73 x 2.08m), and signed rf Lichtenstein and dated ’67 on the reverse, the work is part of the artist’s Modern Paintings series. It reimagines the stylised inter-war forms of the Art Deco movement as a complex network of industrial images.
Christie’s (26/20/14.5% buyer’s premium) offered this 1970 work by Roy Lichtenstein, Mirror #5, as part of its Marquee Week sales in New York on November 17. The 2ft (61cm) diameter painting in oil and Magna on canvas, is signed and dated rf Lichtenstein ‘70 on the reverse.
The artist’s Mirror series, which was executed between 1969-72, was inspired by the streets and shops of New York City. The painting, which was offered for sale by the Agnes Gund Foundation to benefit Groundswell Fund and Reproductive Rights, realised $2.6m (£2.28m) against a guide of $3.5m-5.5m.
Hockney work on paper
David Hockney (b.1937) is one of the big names associated with the British pop art movement.
In Christie’s Contemporary Art sale held on December 1 in Paris this 16½ x 12½in (41.5 x 32cm) work from 1971, Peter on the Balcony, proved to be one of the auction highlights. Executed in pastel, colour crayon, graphite and felt pen on paper, the work is signed with initials, dated and located DH Marrakesh 1971 lower right. It overturned an estimate of €50,000-70,000 to sell for a hammer price of €430,000 (£372,295).
Typewriter Eraser Scale X by Claes Oldenburg (1929-2022) and his wife Coosje Van Bruggen (1942-2009) is an example of the largescale conceptual sculptures by the pair of artists.
Made from stainless steel, fibreglass and acrylic polyurethane paint, this monumental sculpture measures 19ft 4in x 11ft 11½in x 11ft 8¼in (5.89 x 3.65 x 3.56m). It was executed in 1998-9, is numbered three from an edition of three plus an artist’s proof and is stamped with the artists’ signatures, titled, numbered and dated CO.Cos TYPEWRITER ERASER SCALE X 3/3 1999 on the base.
The work featured in the November 10 sale of the auction of the Paul G Allen Collection at Christie’s in New York last year where it realised $7m (£6.14m) hammer or $8.405m including premium.
The British artist Michael Denny (1930-2014) produced works that were influenced by American popular culture and Abstract Expressionism from the late 1950s and spent a period of time in the US in the 1980s before returning to the UK.
Cottone Auctions’ (20% buyer’s premium) January 11 online sale in Rochester, New York, included this set of four Light of the World screenprints featuring geometric abstractions.
Measuring 2ft 5¼in x 2ft 8in (74 x 81cm), they are signed Denny, dated 70 and numbered, were printed at Kelpra Studio, London and published by the Bernard Jacobsen Gallery. They sold for $1000 (£877).