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Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
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London, United Kingdom
DoneThu, Jul 6, 2006 8:30 AM GMT

Modern and Contemporary Prints

Bloomsbury's forthcoming Modern & Contemporary Prints Including Important Pop Art (6th July) is a MUST for lovers of Pop Art. Over 70% of the 155 lots in this section are from established private collections and include iconic names such as Warhol, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Hamilton and Roth.

Richard Hamilton was the originator of the term Pop Art and the founder of the movement which was born in Britain in the1950's and spread to the United States in the 60's. There are 19 images by Hamilton in the sale, including Swingeing London 67 (lot 402) which must be regarded as the defining image of 1960's Pop Art. Probably Hamilton's most iconic series, this signed artist's proof, etching with aquatint, collage and photogravure printed in colours, depicts the art dealer Robert Fraser and Mick Jagger handcuffed together after being arrested for drugs offences (estimate £15,000-20,000). Another landmark piece is Inter Faces Number 31(lot 415), a collaboration between the two artists Richard Hamilton and Dieter Roth. Lots such as this, very rarely come up at auction. It is a unique piece as well as being an extremely good example of the artists' work, combining painting and photography. Inter Faces is signed by both artists and records a series of collaborations between the two friends, each producing a one-off self portrait incorporating oil paints and studio-found materials on either side of the dust jacket of a book (estimate £7000-9000).

Amongst the 23 Hockneys for sale is lot 423 Cleanliness is Next to Godliness, a signed, dated and numbered silkscreen printed in colours and one of the artist's most overtly Pop images. This lot was included in the ICA portfolio published to raise funds, it is a highly complex silkscreen with both photographic and hand-cut stencils with aluminium powder in the ink for the shower, thus giving a metallic effect (£2500-3000). Other important David Hockney prints are lot 424 from the Swimming Pool Series the signed and numbered lithograph of Water Made of Thick and Thin Lines and Two Light Blue Washes (£14000-16000) and Contrejour in the French Style (lot 425). This important and complex etching with aquatint and printed in colours, is estimated £8000-10,000.

A prime exponent of American Pop Art is, of course, Roy Lichtenstein and this sale boasts 12 lots of his work. But no group of Pop Art images can be complete without Andy Warhol. The core of Bloomsbury's sale is a private British collection of Warhols which includes iconic images such as the famous Campbell's Soup Can on a Shopping Bag (lot 518); a signed and numbered silkscreen portrait of Mao (lot 520) estimated £12,000-15,000; a signed offset lithograph Liz (estimate £7000-9000) and the powerful and haunting Shadows self portrait silkscreen, printed in colours with diamond dust, estimated £15,000-20,000 (lot 516). Superman (lot 522) is in perfect condition and is estimated at £20,000-30,000 and Mickey Mouse (lot 526) is possibly the strongest and most instantly recognisable image of American mass culture (estimated £30,000-40,000).