DALLAS – Heritage Auctions’ April 22 Prints & Multiples Signature Auction closed the books at $1.9 million. That sum nearly doubled the pre-auction estimate for the 81-lot event, due in large part to the overwhelming interest in works by Banksy, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, KAWS, and David Hockney, among others. More than 500 bidders from around the globe participated in the auction.
“This was a blockbuster event filled with a who’s-who of blue-chip artists,” said Taylor Curry, the New York-based consignment director in Heritage’s Modern & Contemporary Art category. “So it’s absolutely no surprise that we saw collectors respond accordingly.” (Image links lead to lot pages that reflect hammer prices.)
Five works by Banksy landed in the event’s top 10, including the auction’s top lot: a signed and numbered NOLA (White Rain), which realized $162,500, more than twice the pre-auction estimate. That’s as it should be: This 2008 work, featuring a seemingly confounded young girl holding an umbrella that brings the storm to her, is among the pseudonymous British hellraiser’s most famous and powerful works.
In fact, this auction once against proved Banksy has never been more coveted among collectors. His 2008 work Very Little Helps realized $93,750, followed closely by 2005’s Jack and Jill (Police Kids), which fetched $87,500. And in a sale that included some of Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup cans, Banksy’s 2005 signature iteration, Soup Can (Violet/Orange/Mint), brought $81,250. Finally, Morons from 2005, his brutal shot at the auction world, realized $50,000.
Pablo Picasso was well represented in this event by etchings, lithographs, aquatints, and ceramics, but his top-seller was the extraordinary and oft-demanded engraved ceramic pitcher known as Taureau, which translates as “the bull.” This was executed in 1955, just nine years into Picasso’s pottery passion, which lasted the rest of his lifetime — and, as his son Claude wrote, “established his importance in the development of 20th-century art pottery.” Befitting its rarity (it was one of 100 in a series) and significance, one collector took the bull by horns for $106,250.
The breadth of this sale, with offerings that spanned decades, meant Picasso was joined by one of the 21st century’s brightest names and biggest stars, the man called KAWS. The former graffiti artist’s works have long been in demand at Heritage Auctions, and this auction proved no different: The seven signed, numbered and dated screenprints from 2020’s What Party?, made for a career retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, realized $81,250; while the 10 signed, numbered and dated prints from the extremely limited-edition 2020 portfolio URGE brought $50,625.
Of the seven Warhols in this event, top honors went to the purple-pink-and-blue Turtle, made in 1985 to coincide with the release of Harold Pinter’s film Turtle Diary. The Warhol print realized $62,500.
Not far behind was a stunning piece by David Hockney: Untitled No. 24, an iPad drawing printed on woven paper from 2010’s The Yosemite Suite. The work sold for $52,500. An equally colorful and playful piece by Keith Haring brought $50,000: 1986’s Double Man, from Portfolio of 5 Artists in Support of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company.
By the end of the event, dozens of works realized well in to the five figures – “remarkable results,” said Curry, “that further strengthen Heritage’s place in the Prints & Multiples market.”
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