Swann plans sale of rare contemporary artists’ books, Nov. 9

Selection of artists’ books that will be offered in a single-owner auction at Swann on November 9

Selection of artists’ books that will be offered in a single-owner auction at Swann on November 9

NEW YORK—On Tuesday, November 9, Swann Galleries will hold Contemporary Artists’ Books: The Property of a Texas Collector — an astonishing single-owner auction of works, many known only via institutional copies. The sale includes an abundance of deluxe issues produced in small limitations often out of reach of even the most determined collector. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Featured throughout the sale are considerable runs from artists including Kiki Smith, Sophie Calle, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Tuttle, Ed Ruscha and Sol LeWitt. Highlights include Ruscha’s Stains, Hollywood, 1969, which leads the sale at $50,000 to $70,000. Also by Ruscha is S, a unique found-object book sculpture from 1999 that utilizes Paul Hervieu’s Flirt. It is estimated at $20,000-$25,000.

From Kiki Smith is Touch, a complete group of six prints and a letterpress poem by Henri Cole from 2006, estimated at $12,000-$18,000; Still Life, with 24 mounted color photographs from 2001, estimated at $7,000-$10,000; and The Blue Feet, Oaxaca, 2003, with verses by Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz, estimated at $6,000-$9,000. Richard Tuttle is present with The Missing Portrait, Brunswick, New Jersey, 2008, with text by esteemed poet and art critic John Yau, number three of only 10 handmade copies; it is estimated at $15,000-$20,000. Sophie Calle is here with La Fille du Docteur, New York, 1991, with 16 photographs of Calle’s striptease and reproductions of congratulatory cards given to Calle’s parents at her birth, estimated at $3,000-$4,000. Also available are curated offerings from Joan Mitchell, Elizabeth Murray, Mike Kelley, Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein.

Important imprints include an impressive roster of notables from the 1960s into the 21st century representing a formidable survey of post-war book arts expression. On offer is Dieu Donne Press, Carpe Diem, Collectif Generation, Edition Jacob Samuel, Lapis Press and Editions du Solstice. Notable lots include William Kentridge’s Receiver, New York, 2006, estimated at $18,000-$25,000, and Jane Hammond’s Be Zany, Poised Harpists / Be Blue, Little Sparrows, New York, 2002, estimated at $3,500-$5,000, both from Dieu Donne Press.

Edition Jacob Samuel is represented by Marina Abramovic’s Spirit Cooking with essential aphrodisiac recipes, Santa Monica, 1996, with 12 etchings and 25 letterpress prints, estimated at $10,000-$15,000, and Anish Kapoor’s Blackness From Her Womb, London, 2001, with a complete set of 13 etchings, estimated at $10,000-$15,000. From Editions du Solstice comes Louise Bourgeois’s Ode a ma mere, Paris, 1995, a complete portfolio comprising of nine drypoints estimated at $25,000-$35,000, and Roy Lichtenstein’s La Nouvelle Chute de L’Amerique, Paris, 1992, with a complete set of 10 initialed color etchings and aquatints, estimated at $50,000-$65,000.

Also of note are works by Anselm Kiefer, Glen Ligon, Maya Lin, and Christopher Wool, as well as the complete offering of the conceptual art trilogy from On Kawara, and unique items from Allen Ruppersberg.


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