Tanja's Culture


Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale Recommendations

There are some wonderful additions for your art collection at Sotheby's upcoming sale.

By Chadwick Ciocci

Sotheby’s upcoming Contemporary Art Evening Sale offers numerous blue-chip names for your collection, including Kline, Basquiat and Bacon. Although there aren’t many lots, those that are included are often superb examples of their particular artist.

The auction takes place on Wednesday, May 11 in New York.

Franz Kline


$8,000,000 – 12,000,000

Kline is a founding member of the New York School, along with his fellow artists Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell. This particular piece was painted in 1961, near the end of Kline’s life, and is named after his wife, Elizabeth Parsons. It is a fantastic example of his style of Action Painting and one can see the movement of his wife, a ballet dancer, in the strong and lucid brushstrokes of the work.

This work would make an excellent addition to any sophisticated collection, and the market for works by Kline is certain to remain strong in to the future. Our only reservations have to do with the current state of the market due to outside economic influencers.

Therefore, we recommend acquiring this piece below its midpoint of $10M.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Onion Gum

$7,000,000 – 10,000,000

Basquiat is a staple of contemporary art auctions but his works seem to be appearing more often this season. In Onion Gum, we have what could be called a more fun, and enjoyable piece by Basquiat, say, in comparison to his self portraits. The artist’s ability to juxtapose his child-like style with matters of serious import is mostly unique to his own hand, and this is a wonderful example of such originality.

Basquiat is more popular than ever.

We recommend acquiring this piece up to $12M, or $2M above the high estimate.

Lucio Fontana

Concetto Spaziale, Attese

$1,500,000 – 2,000,000

Fontana’s market has soared in the last few years along with his name recognition, and whereas collectors were hesitant to spend significant sums on the artist just a few years ago that has all changed. Fontana is now considered necessary for any serious collection.

We remain hesitant but ultimately agree that Fontana will perform well in the future. Furthermore, his works are powerful, interesting and unlike anything else on the market.

We suggest acquiring this piece at or below the low estimate.

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