NEW YORK, NY.- Swann Galleries
May 16 sale of Contemporary Art brought a record price for a Franz Kline print and saw an 81% sell-through rate, earning $1.4M.
Todd Weyman, Vice President and Director of Prints & Drawings, noted of the sale, There was strong bidding across the board and we achieved record prices for market masters like Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell and Cy Twombly. Franz Klines 1957-60 untitled aquatint and etching set a record for any print by the artist at $27,500. Print records included Delos, 1991, a color lithograph by Robert Motherwell and Cy Twomblys 1974 color lithograph Natural History, Part I, Mushrooms: No. V., both selling for $16,250, and Roy Lichtensteins 1996 color screenprint Venetian School II at $15,000.
Additional Lichtenstein works of note featured the 1996 color screenprint Art Critic ($39,375) and the 1966 porcelain enamel on steel multiple Sunrise ($15,000). Further Pop-Art masters included Andy Warhol with the 1983 color screenprint Brooklyn Bridge ($27,500), and David Hockneys color etching Two Vases in the Louvre, 1974 ($27,500), as well as Snow without Colors, color lithograph, 1973 ($13,750).
Abstract Expressionists proved to be successful with works by the movements luminaries earning top spots. Gerhard Richters 2003 color screenprint in 41 colors, Eis 2, led the sale at $50,000. William de Kooning found success with charcoal drawings: Untitled (Washington Monument), 1969-70, at $35,000, and a circa 1983 untitled work at $15,000. Works by Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell were also among the top lots.
While there was competitive bidding internationally, especially on all of our internet platforms, pushing prices for many lots well within the estimate ranges or over the high estimates, the majority of lots sold to US buyers bidding via telephone with Swann representatives. The bidding remained noticeably strong in this auction for artists whose markets have been particularly robust lately, concluded Weyman.
The next auction of Contemporary Art will be held in November 2019.