Monumental Yoshitomo Nara canvas leads Sotheby's HK Contemporary Art auctions 2019

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, September 28, 2023

Monumental Yoshitomo Nara canvas leads Sotheby's HK Contemporary Art auctions 2019
Yoshitomo Nara, Knife Behind Back, 2000. Acrylic on canvas, 234 by 208 cm, 92⅛ by 81⅞ in. Estimate Upon Request. Courtesy Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong is delighted to present an exceptional group of contemporary masterpieces this October, led by Yoshitomo Nara’s monumental Knife Behind Back from 2000. Anchoring the Evening and Day Sales is a sensational group of works by leading international artists, including a selection curated from the prestigious collection of Marc Jacobs.

As a prelude to the Evening Sale, Moutarderie Nationale: The Gillion Crowet Collection features definitive works by leading contemporary Chinese artists. Meanwhile, a special design project will spotlight French designer Jean Prouvé’s iconic demountable house, which will be set up for the Hong Kong public exhibition. Showcased inside the house is a collection of modern French design furniture of a scale unprecedented in the history of Sotheby’s in Asia. Together, the Contemporary Art Autumn Auction Series puts forth more than 200 lots, estimated in excess of HK$430 million / US$55 million.

Yuki Terase, Head of Contemporary Art, Asia, Sotheby’s, comments: “Our Autumn Auction Series presents an exciting and varied offering that is testament to our pioneering approach that caters to the discerning tastes of collectors in Asia and beyond. Preceding the Evening Sale, we are honoured to unveil an outstanding ensemble of Chinese contemporary masterworks from the Gillion Crowet Collection. The Evening Sale offers landmark works by Yoshitomo Nara, KAWS, Ed Ruscha, and Yayoi Kusama, amongst others; and we are furthermore thrilled to be entrusted with superlative works from the collection of Marc Jacobs. Rounding up the season is a distinguished selection of French design items showcased inside Jean Prouvé’s iconic demountable house, which is anticipated to be a highlight stop for collectors.”

TOP TIER WORKS BY LEADING INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS (Contemporary Art Evening Sale: 6 October 2019)

Yoshitomo Nara, Knife Behind Back, 2000 Acrylic on canvas, 234 by 208 cm, 92⅛ by 81⅞ in. Estimate Upon Request

Created in 2000 after Nara’s return to Japan after 12 years in Germany, this is the largest canvas by the artist ever to appear at auction. The title announces the presence of a knife, whose absence in the image suggests it was hidden with intent. The motif underscores the insurgent power of children and exemplifies a distinctive development in Nara’s canvas works starting from 2000: gone are the knives, chainsaws and pistols, creating a serene atmosphere paradoxically charged with suspense.

KAWS, UNTITLED (KIMPSONS #1), 2004 Acrylic on canvas, 274.5 by 244 cm, 107⅞ by 96 in. Est. HK$48,000,000 – 68,000,000 / US$6,140,000 – 8,700,000
This work was commissioned by NIGO® in 2004 and painted by hand by the artist. As the largest work in KAWS’ iconic Kimpsons paintings, which were amongst the artist’s first formal paintings on canvas, the piece represents a definitive crescendo of the artist’s pioneering vernacular that traverses the realms of fine art, street art and graffiti, cartoon and advertising, and graphic design.

Ed Ruscha, Point Blank, 1988 Acrylic and oil on canvas, 183.8 by 183.3 cm, 72⅜ by 72⅜ in. Est. HK$25,000,000 – 45,000,000 / US$3,200,000 – 5,760,000
Hailing from Ruscha’s iconic and important City Lights series, this is the artist’s first major work to appear at auction in Asia. It is one of around only ten City Lights paintings from this era that employed red lettering, which brilliantly captures the theatrical graphic force that typifies the artist’s oeuvre.

Yayoi Kusama, Pumpkin, 1991 Acrylic on canvas, 72.7 by 91 cm, 28⅝ by 35⅞ in. Est. HK$9,800,000 – 16,800,000 / US$1,260,000 – 2,150,000
A rare, large-format pink and black rendition of Yayoi Kusama’s iconic pumpkins. Created in 1991, the work exhibits consummate technical execution – a supreme iconic paradigm of the artist’s oeuvre.


Marc Jacobs has earned immense appreciation for his unrelenting commitment to his creative vision, as both head designer of his eponymous fashion label and formerly as creative director of Louis Vuitton between 1997 and 2013. His discerning eye and fastidious taste for exceptional quality are reflected in his esteemed collection of contemporary art. In particular, Jacobs is known as an early patron for John Currin and Elizabeth Peyton, and the selection on offer brings forth exceptional auction debuts in Asia for both artists:

• John Currin, The Penitent, 2004 Oil on linen, 107 by 86.6 cm, 42⅛ by 34⅛ in. Est. HK$8,000,000 – 12,000,000 / US$1,030,000 – 1,540,000 *Artist debut in Asia

• Elizabeth Peyton, May 1999 (Kirsty + Roe Kissing West 15th Street), 1999 Oil on board, 42 by 35.8 cm, 16½ by 14 in. Est. HK$3,200,000 – 4,800,000 / US$410,000 – 615,000 *Artist debut in Asia

• Richard Prince, Untitled (de Kooning), 2007 Acrylic, inkjet and oil crayon on canvas, 132.5 by 188.4 cm, 52⅛ by 74⅛ in. Est. HK$3,200,000 – 4,800,000 / US$410,000 – 615,000

PIONEERING DESIGN IN ASIA AT UNPRECEDENTED SCALE (Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales: 6-7 October)

Sotheby’s will unveil a distinguished collection of modern French design, offering iconic pieces from Le Corbusier, Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret. The furniture will be displayed inside Jean Prouvé’s iconic demountable house, a post-war necessity turned icon of mid-century design.

Jean Prouvé, 6x6 Demountable House, 1944 Metal, wood and glass, 314.5 by 600 by 600 cm, 123¾ by 236¼ by 236¼ in. Est. HK$4,000,000 – 8,000,000 / US$515,000 – 1,030,000
The Demountable House and its structure exemplify Prouvé’s belief in portability, simplicity and practicality in the post-war 1940s. Very few of these houses remained in their completely original form with the present work being a rare survivor.

• Jean Prouvé, Wardrobe Variant, circa 1945-1947 Bent sheet steel and wood 160 (H) by 160 by 54.5 cm, 63 (H) by 63 by 21½ in. Est. HK$350,000 – 520,000 / US$44,700 – 66,500

• Le Corbusier, Diabolo Standing Lamp, circa 1963-1964 Metal, aluminium and electric elements 228 (H) by 52.5 by 25 cm, 89¾ (H) by 20¾ by 9¼ in. Est. HK$450,000 – 700,000 / US$57,500 – 89,500

• Pierre Jeanneret , Pair of Easy Armchairs, circa 1955-1956 Teak and wicker Each: 67.5 (H) by 52.5 by 70 cm, 26½ (H) by 20¾ by 27½ in. Est. HK$260,000 – 400,000 / US$33,200 – 51,500


• Banksy, Heavy Weaponry, 2004 Spray paint on canvas, ed. 10/25, 30.5 by 30.5 cm, 12 by 12 in. Est. HK$600,000 – 800,000/ US$77,000 – 103,000

• Banksy, Riot Cop, 2004 Spray paint on board, ed.1/2, 101 by 69.4 cm, 39¼ by 27⅜ in. Est. HK$1,800,000 – 2,800,000 / US$230,000 – 358,000

• Rammellzee, IKONOKLAST PENZERIS LETTER “V”, 1990 Spray paint, acrylic and pen on paperboard, 38.1 by 50.8 cm, 14 by 20 in. Est. HK$80,000 – 120,000 / US$10,300-15,400


The Contemporary Art Day Sale presents an exciting selection of nine manga collectibles, offering rare pieces from highly acclaimed studios including Studio Ghibli. The highlight of the collection, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, is a unique piece hand-painted by the much-acclaimed Yoshiyuki Takani, a household name in the manga and anime world. The assemblage also includes exclusive original drawings by Osamu Tezuka and Takashi Yanese, and original Animation Celluloid Pictures (cel-ga) from some of the most prestigious animation houses

• Studio Ghibli, Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Painted by Yoshiyuki Takani Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, 1984 Oil on cardboard Est. HK$600,000 – 800,000/ US$77,000 – 103,000

• Takashi Yanase, Anpanman signed by Takashi Yanase (2 works), circa 1988 Pen and acrylic on paper Est. HK$150,000 – 250,000 / US$19,200 – 31,900

• Osamu Tezuka, Flying Astro Boy with Phoenix signed by Osamu Tezuka with Two Antique Comic Books, circa 1970s Watercolour on paper and first edition comic books published in 1949 & 1957 Est. HK$150,000 – 250,000 / US$19,200 – 31,900

• Galaxy Express 999 by Toei Animation, Maetel Animation Cel Acrylic on cel Est. HK$100,000 – 200,000 / US$12,800 – 25,600

Today's News

September 18, 2019

United Kingdom police makes second arrest in golden toilet theft

Exhibition of sculptures and drawings by Giuseppe Penone opens at Gagosian San Francisco

Gladstone Gallery opens an exhibition of all new artworks by Swiss artist Claudia Comte

Mexico urges halt to pre-Columbian art sale in Paris

Franz Marc painting unseen for 70 years at auction for first time at Bonhams London

Hindman Auctions announces grand opening of newest location in Scottsdale

Monumental Yoshitomo Nara canvas leads Sotheby's HK Contemporary Art auctions 2019

Cardi Gallery opens a solo exhibition of works by one of Korea's most acclaimed artists Ha Chong-Hyun

Dee Shapiro, "Snatched and Reworked", exhibition opens at David Richard Gallery New York

Ikon Gallery presents major survey of work by Barry Flanagan

Marianne Boesky Gallery announces representation of artist Ghada Amer

Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs opens 'Creatures in Photographs' exhibition

Indar Pasricha Fine Arts opens an exhibition of works by Tobit Roche

Ayyam Gallery opens a solo exhibition featuring Sama Alshaibi's latest body of work

Jackson Hole Fine Art Fair closes first edition reporting strong sales and impressed attendees

Stephen Deuchar to step down as Director of Art Fund in 2020 following charity's "most successful decade"

Bust sells for sale topping £96K

Walker Art Center announces artist Angela Two Stars as finalist for Indigenous Public Art Commissio

Christie's to offer the collection of the late Oliver Hoare

Gasworks opens first institutional solo exhibition by London-based artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

Almine Rech opens Marcus Jahmal's second exhibition with the gallery

Gray's Auctioneers announces highlights included in the Fine Art, Furniture & Decorative Art Auction

Asian Art Museum appoints Yael Eytan as new chief marketing & communications officer

BAMPFA presents West Coast premiere of acclaimed installation by Kader Attia

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful