Sotheby’s to offer 4 Basquiat masterpieces in Nov. 14 auction


Jean‐Michel Basquiat, ‘Untitled (Pollo Frito),’ 1982, acrylic, oil and enamel on canvas, in two parts, 60in by 120½in. Estimate: in excess of $25 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s

NEW YORK – As the international art world looks forward to the October opening of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s exhibition spanning the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sotheby’s announced today that their marquee evening auction of Contemporary Art in New York on Nov.14 will feature a group of four works by the artist emerging from the same distinguished private collection that similarly charts his rapid rise to international acclaim in the 1980s.

Together, the collection affords a remarkably comprehensive overview of Basquiat’s celebrated career. The group is led by his Untitled (Pollo Frito) from the critical year of 1982 when he fully arrived on the international art scene. Composed of two panels that together span 12 feet (3.05 meters) across, Untitled (Pollo Frito) is estimated to sell for in excess of $25 million this November.

The collection also offers: Taxi, 45th/Broadway, a collaboration painting with Andy Warhol from circa 1984-85 that was formerly in the collection of Gianni Versace (estimate $6-$8 million); Untitled from 1982, a vibrant and densely layered work on paper (estimate $1.5-$2 million); and Untitled from 1988, a poignant monochromatic painting completed in the final year of Basquiat’s short life (estimate $2-$4 million).

“It is rare to find such an exceptional and cohesive selection of works that span the development of Basquiat’s groundbreaking visual language, representing his unparalleled mastery in a range of media such as canvas, paper and wood,” noted David Galperin, head of Sotheby’s Evening Auctions of Contemporary Art in New York.  “Alone, each work is the best of its kind; together, they chart an astounding narrative that exemplifies Basquiat’s creative genius and his resounding contribution to the 20th century. This collection provides a look into the mind of the phenomenon who broke with tradition and rewrote art history by his own rules.”

Untitled (Pollo Frito) and Taxi, 45th/Broadway are now on view at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center. Select works from this group also will travel to London, Los Angeles and Paris this fall, prior to the full viewing of Sotheby’s marquee auctions of Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary Art that will open in New York on Nov. 2.