Santa Monica Auctions mounts contemporary art sale May 31

Marc Karzen, ‘Morty’s Pool,’ 1987, unique c-print ‘bumper’ mounted to illustration board, produced for ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ (estimated gallery price: $2,000-$3,000). Santa Monica Auctions images

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Santa Monica Auctions will present their Last Day of May Sale, an auction of modern and contemporary artwork of all mediums, on Sunday May 31 beginning at noon Pacific Time at Bergamot Station Arts Center in Santa Monica. will provide absentee and Internet live bidding.

The Last Day of May Sale presents secondary market works by mid-career and established artists of all mediums including paintings, photography, sculpture, multiples and prints.

This auction will feature an assortment of the original unique “bumpers” – the artwork used for NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman. From 1982-1992, Marc Karzen photographed a series of slice-of-life-moments that punctuated segments, introduced guests and branded this groundbreaking show. These unique artworks were all created by Karzen and have been stored in his archives and never displayed nor viewed by the public until now. Each one is a unique chromigenic print, some with hand collage and signed on verso by the artist with the Late Night nomenclature included in the imagery. These beautiful, funny and creative original artworks were used multiple times throughout the 11 years that the Letterman show was at NBC.

The auction lineup has works by David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, Raymond Pettibon, Robert Motherwell, Sam Francis and Andy Warhol, including a Campbell’s Soup II (New England Clam Chowder), 1969 color screenprint from the numbered edition of 250 (estimated gallery price: $25,000-$30,000).

A lot of 23 works – original posters and invitations published by Ferus Gallery from 1957 to 1965 – by various artists is estimated at $6,000-$8,000. Included is a Pepper Pot Soup original offset exhibition poster, 1962, after Andy Warhol.

A Raymond Pettibon ink, watercolor and gouache on paper, No Title, 2013, from Regen Projects, Los Angeles, is estimated at $15,000-$20,000.

A lot of 18 original posters by Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, is estimated at $5,000-$6,000. Including are artists Ed Kienholz, James Rosenquist, Larry Rivers, Robert Waldren, Arakawa, Kanemitsu, Jean Tinguely, John Chamberlain, Kenneth Snelson, Robert Grosvenor, Claes Oldenberg, Larry Rivers, Mark Di Suvero, Robert Rauschenberg and Niki De St. Phalle.

View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to