Phillips de Pury & Company announces highlights from auction of prints and multiples

Phillips de Pury & Company announces the highlights from its 3rd special Evening Editions sale of prints and multiples ranging from Modern to Contemporary works created in an edition to be held at 450 Park Avenue in New York.

ANDY WARHOL, Queen Elizabeth II suite, from Reigning Queens (F.& S. 334-337), 1985 estimated at $150,000 – 250,000. Andy Warhol was the king of pop and coincidently a savior and practitioner of the traditional portrait in the later half of the twentieth century. We all know the 1960’s through Marilyn and Liz and Jackie. We also know the parties and clubs of the 1970’s via his images of Drag Queens, Mick Jagger, and Studio 54 Drink Tickets. Besides Halston and Bianca he had many many ‘very close friends’ that he knew through fashion, music, art and most importantly society parties and commissions. By the eighties he was seeking out a little less pop culture and perhaps, prophetically immortalizing parts of our world that were slowly disappearing—his Endangered Species portfolio quickly comes to mind but this often overlooked series REIGNING QUEENS—Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Ntombi Twala of Swaziland –also a very endangered species as they were the only reigning Queens in the world at the time Warhol created the portfolio. Here we are lucky enough to offer the complete set of four prints, Queen Elzabeth II of the United Kingdom based on the Queen’s 1977 Silver Jubilee portrait. This will be only the fifth time the complete set has been offered since its creation in 1985.

HENRI MATISSE, Jazz, 1947, estimated at $250,000 – 350,000. A highlight of the sale will be the complete set of intensely colorful hand-stenciled pochoirs Henry Matisse published in 1947 with images relating to the circus or music theatre. Matisse was in the south of France and the brilliant sun light caused him to use saturated colors and intense black, as evident in this set. His iconic cut-out collages were created during this time and the idea to produce a portfolio with related imagery originated in 1942 and culminated in the production with Parisian publisher, Tériade. Matisse looked to the traditional handicraft of stencil printing with a brush (pochoir) when wood or linoleum cuts did not produce the spark he was looking for. The use of pochoir was revived after World War I by other artists such as Man Ray and Sonia Delaunay and a large group of decorative artists.

PABLO PICASSO, A collection of 32 important ceramics by Pablo Picasso assembled over three decades with many of them purchased directly from the Madoura atelier in Vallauris, southern France. The selection contains some of the most dynamic shapes of pitchers, jugs, vases, bottles, platters and dishes produced by Suzanne and Georges Ramié’s ceramicists, whom, alongside Picasso, developed the processes needed to edition the ones created by his hands: Flower women, 1948, estimated at $8,000 – 10,000; Laughing-eyed face, 1969 estimated at $15,000 – 25,000; Vase with two high handles, 1953 estimated at $20,000 – 30,000; Aztec vase with four faces, 1957, estimated $50,000 – 70,000 and a few rare color variants of Flute Player and Goat’s head in profile imagery.

JOSEPH BEUYS, Felt Suit (S. 26) 1970, estimated at $50,000 – 70,000 and Sled (S.12), 1969, estimated at $120,000 – 180,000. Joseph Beuys as a teacher, activist and promoter of alternative concepts and ideas for cultural and social orders, successfully influenced political change in Germany. As multiples the two works we offer here Felt Suit and Sled are two of the most iconic multiples and best-known art works of its period in Europe. The Felt Suit, as a “figure of thought“, metaphorically grants the multiple presence of the artist in at least one hundred different locations. Here the multiplied object does not merely function as a reproduction of one artwork in limited numbers. It can be argued that the entire edition creates one body of work establishing an international promotional network for the artist’s ideas. On a very literal level, the Sled as an outdoor object is suggestive of a snow-covered exterior. A place where a blanket would grant shelter, the flashlight would allow to see in the dark and the fat provide a basic form of nutrition. This is the emergency survival kit for a hostile environment. As a sculptural piece however, placed in an interior, the objects and materials employed demand for a metaphorical reading well beyond their practical use as all objects making up this sculpture still remain unused, the vehicle appears to be destined for a journey that seems to either not have as yet begun, or not to have ended. Securing his symbolic presence to this very day, they both capture the messianic qualities of Beuys’ unquestioned creative optimism in a unique and ever growing influence for every generation of artists that have followed.