Auction Features Warhol Jackie

NEW YORK, NY.- The narrative of Andy Warhol’s significant Death and Disaster series was escalated by the masterful achievement of Jackie, 1964, which headlines the Post-War & Contemporary Art auction on Nov. 15 at Bonhams New York.

Painted the year following President John F. Kennedy’s tragic and widely-broadcasted assassination, Warhol’s Jackie (estimate U.S. $600,000-800,000) explores contemporary celebrity culture and the media frenzy surrounding the events of November 1963.

Warhol collated images of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy taken by media following her husband’s death, selecting photographs to use with his signature silkscreen technique. The artist created more than 300 portraits of the First Lady in different formats, echoing the mass publication of images following Kennedy’s funeral service.

Today, iterations of the Jackie series reside in the permanent collections of prestigious institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Another highlight of the sale is Karpathenburg II, 1996, by Frank Stella with an estimate of U.S. $300,000-500,000. At the time of its creation, Karpathenburg II was the first major, large-scale work on canvas by the artist in more than 20 years. At 15-feet long, this work brilliantly encapsulates the artist's restless investigations into the depth and limitations of painterly abstraction.

“The second and largest of three monumental works conceived in 1996 that share the Karpathenburg title, the painting alludes to the fictional castle in Jules Verne's 1892 novel The Castle of the Carpathians. Karpathenburg II is as colossal as its title suggests,” said Director of Contemporary Art, Americas, Jeremy Goldsmith.


The auction presents a section of 13 works exploring the Op Art movement, entitled “Le Mouvement” an expertise that Bonhams offers to collectors of this category. The section is led by Kobe II, 1953-1972, by Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) (estimate U.S. $150,000-200,000) from the Hungarian artist's black-and-white series.

“Vasarely, actually, traces the origins of his early black and white geometric abstractions, one of the precursors to Op art, to a mysterious optical affectation occurring on the African savanna—zebra stripes,” said Director of Contemporary Art Dane Jensen. “The natural phenomenon and abstract painting presents a fascinating corollary, one which would be the germinating seeds for a 13-year journey of Vasarely producing, almost exclusively, optically driven black and white paintings from 1953 to 1965.”

“With these paintings Vasarely is clearly working on ideas which will form the tenets of Op Art—movement, opticality and abstraction,” Jensen said.

In addition to two exceptional 1950's black and white works by Vasarely, Op works from some of the most important names associated with the movement are included such as Richard Anuszkiewicz and Wojciech Fangor as well as Latin American artists Almir Mavigner, Abraham Palatnik and Carlos Cruz-Diez.

Other highlights include:

• CHARLES BELL (1935-1995), Catcher, 1988, estimate U.S. $ 200,000 - 300,000

• RICHARD PRINCE (B. 1949), Untitled (Refreshment), 1982-84, estimate U.S. $ 150,000 - 200,000

• JOHN CHAMBERLAIN, (1927-2011), Construction, 1958, US$ 150,000 - 200,000