Monica nude with Lichtenstein by Tom Wesselmann, €140,000-180,000 at Ketterer Kunst.

Image: Ketterer Kunst

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The unique technique he used for this work from 1989 is one developed at the beginning of the decade when he began experimenting with metal as a medium for drawing, initially using hand-cut aluminium and coloured lacquers. With the assistance of Alfred Lippincott, a specialist for metalworks who created largeformat sculptures for numerous world-famous artists, Wesselmann was able to cut out patterns in sheets of steel using lasers.

Although he was no friend of technology, Wesselmann realised that it was the only way to cut the metal as precisely as he desired. “I anticipated how exciting it would be for me to get a drawing back in steel. I could hold it in my hands. I could pick it up by the lines, off the paper. It was so exciting. It was like suddenly I was a whole new artist.”

In the following years, his so-called steel drawings became highly prized collector’s pieces. The example in Munich, which measures 3ft 7in x 6ft (1.1 x 1.83m), was purchased by a south German collector from a Munich gallery some 20 years ago. It is now expected to bring €140,000-180,000.