Rago’s to offer its finest and strongest group of Post War and Contemporary art to date May 17
LAMBERTVILLE, New Jersey—Capping the week of New York area sales, Rago's will offer its finest and strongest group of Post War and Contemporary art to date May 17. The auction opens with 100+ lots of paintings, drawings and sculpture, followed immediately by works on paper, prints and photographs. As with all Rago auctions, auction catalog preview and Internet bidding are available at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
Buyers of Pop will find a number of works to grab their attention. Among these, the sale features two drawings by Andy Warhol for the Myths portfolio, Mother Goose and Howdy Doody, the former extremely rare, as it did not ultimately become part of the portfolio. There is also a 1982 drawing of John Gould, Warhol's muse and greatest love. Rago's continues to find and feature early work by appropriation artist Richard Pettibone. This sale contains three: Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe 1964 from 1968; Roy Lichtenstein, Aloha 1962 from 1968; and Jasper Johns, The Disappearance II 1961 from 1967. Mike Bidlo's Not Pollack is another appropriation chosen for the sale, created in 1983.
Session One is rife with artists whose reputations were forged in the 1980s and 1990s. From the Nuova Scuola Romana come two works by Piero Pizzi Cannella, a mixed media piece and a work on paper, both from 1988. Martin Wong and Donald Baechler, Rago favorites from New York's downtown 80s art scene return. The auction house is selling Wong's Jodie Foster, An Expert Tells Why Fans Turn Fanatic and two untitled 1989 works on paper by Baechler. Radical Joseph Beuys returns, too, with DDR Radikal Kubismus (and other works in Session Two). Julian Schnabel makes a first appearance with monumental, scarified oil on tarpaulin from 1986. Also on the block: a bold oil wash on paper by Eric Fischl; a color field sketch in oil by Gunter Förg; the mixed media riff Blacknuss from Radcliffe Bailey; two large oils by Anton Henning; as well as an untitled drawing from David Dupuis.
Rago's is about significant and challenging modern and contemporary art at any price point. Our support for young and emerging artists (which began with our watershed auction of Kenneth L. Freed's collection) exemplifies this outlook. Two among the many highlights: an acrylic by Chris Johanson and Keegan McHargue's Envyous Me. The auction also includes work by Hiroto Murakami, Emi Avora, Rebekka Brunke, Tim Lokïec, Nick Mauss, Tracy Nakayama, Amy Gartrell, Royal Art Lodge, Fran Holstrom and Clara Desire - many of these artists offered for the first time at auction.
Strong work by women artists is a notable aspect of the sale, including collages by Anne Ryan and Nancy Spero; mixed media works from Jane Hammond, Amy Sillman and Lenore Tawney; a crayon drawing by Elizabeth Murray; work by Sharon Louden and Portia Munson.
Also worthy of special attention in the first session: sculpture by Lynda Benglis, Richard Nonas, Vong Phaophanit and George Stoll; abstract expressionist works by Theodore Stamos and John Saccaro; a signature phantasmagorical dog from Roy De Forest; drawings by Yuri Masnyj, Benjamin Degen, Mauro Piva, Graham Little and Matt Mullican; and work from David Salle, Yun-Fei Ji, Jae Ko and James Brown.
If you like editions, the second session will be of particular interest; fine prints and multiples abound. Warhol is again well represented, here by the screenprints After the Party, Jackie II and Electric Chair. Also noteworthy among other masterprints are Shipboard Girl by Roy Lichtenstein, 1984 by Ed Ruscha, Jim Dine's Wallchart I and Sun's Night Glow, Floating Three-Way Plug by Claes Oldenberg, Sinjerli Variation II from Frank Stella, David Hockney's Anne Seated in Director's Chair (State 1) and six works from Alex Katz. And there is more: prints and multiples by Ellsworth Kelly, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Motherwell and Robert Mangold, Christopher Wool, Gerhard Merz, and three works by Kiki Smith. Also featured are Jeff Koons' popular multiples Puppy and Balloon Dog and Ghetto Collector by Francis Alÿs.
Rago's made a broad and strong cut when choosing the photography for the sale, with well over fifty lots on the block. The sale takes in photography from the 1940s to the present day. The mid-century offerings here include work from Hans Christoph Haacke, Arthur Siegel, Arthur Fellig (Weegee) and Carl Van Vechten. Take note, too, of three important photo sets: Elliott Porter's Intimate Landscapes, 1954-1977; Sean Scully's Mérida; and the rare Joel Meyerowitz series Bay/Sky/Porch, Provincetown, 1979 which includes prints from many missing negatives.
Contemporary works loom large. There are portraits by Nan Goldin, Carrie Mae Weems, Dawoud Bey, Ryan McGinley, Jason Salavon, Hannah Starkey and Kiki Smith; landscapes and cityscapes, including two by auction newcomers Chen Qiulin and Jocelyn Lee; homoerotic works from a number of artists, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Herb Ritts; nudes by Jock Sturges and (also new to the secondary market) David Stetson and Yoshihiko Ueda; and experimental works from Sigmar Polke, Hiroshi Sugimoto and the Starn Twins. Also here: Thomas Ruff's explorations of "the surface of things" and Jochen Gerz's depiction of violence and "the other" in It was Easy #2; work by Willie Doherty, Fischli & Weiss, Jack Pierson, Candida Hofer, Richard Hamilton, Robert Gober, Christian Marclay and, offered for the first time, Miranda Lichtenstein.
To preview the auction catalog, as well as place absentee and live Internet bids, visit www.LiveAuctioneers.com.