A red, white and blue 1960-1966 Jasper Johns painting, Flag, which once hung in Michael Crichton's bedroom in Los Angeles, is estimated to fetch up to $15 million at Christie's in New York on May 11.
The 98 lots from the estate of the bestselling author and filmmaker are estimated to sell for as much as $75 million.
Crichton, who wrote such jumbo thrillers as Jurassic Park died in 2008 at 66.
Along with works by David Hockney and Jeff Koons, the Johns picture is on view at Christie's Rockefeller Center headquarters for a public exhibition that opens today. It runs April 2-3 and April 5-13 and is free.
I can't think of any other writer who has had this focus, and who acquired over a 40-year career with such unerring instincts, said Brett Gorvy, Deputy Chairman of Christie's Americas.
The flag pictures are adored by capitalist princes. Steven A. Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer of SAC Capital Advisors LP recently acquired a larger Johns flag on the private market for around $110 million. New York's MoMA owns a Johns flag, as does billionaire Eli Broad. The flags, painted with hot wax and collage elements like newspaper, are considered among the earliest examples of Pop art.
Crichton acquired his flag in 1973 directly from Johns. A friend of the artist, he wrote the catalog for Johnsís 1977-1978 retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Christieís sale includes other Johns paintings and prints, notably a gray "Study for a Painting" estimated to sell for up to $5 million.
Crichton also owned major works by Robert Rauschenberg, including the 1960-61 Studio Painting, a so-called "combine" which includes a fabric sack. Estimated to sell for up to $9 million, the work had belonged to Wall Street raider Asher Edelman in the 1980s.
Crichton's taste also embraced recent names. The sale features Richard Prince, Andreas Gursky and Karen Kilimnik. Among the only prewar examples are three Picassos. The 1961 Femme et fillettes in red, green and blues, is estimated to fetch up to $7.5 million.
courtesy: Lindsay Pollock in New York