Sotheby’s isn’t pulling any punches, it hits you as soon as you enter the gallery.
Warhol’s Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) is definitely the star attraction of this sale.
The auction house estimates it’ll fetch in excess of 60 million US dollars when it goes under the hammer.
This huge work of art has only been seen in public once in 26 years.
The 1963 silkscreen measures eight feet by 13 feet and is a print of multiple photographs that show the aftermath of a car crash when the vehicle hit a tree.
Art critics say it is one of Warhol’s most important pieces.
On November 13th in New York, Tobias Meyer, the principal auctioneer and the worldwide head of contemporary art will bring his hammer down this sought after work.
Meyer says: “It’s Warhol at the core of what he does which is deal with life and fame and death. Andy Warhol was an artist who commented of every aspect of that time American life but really global life”.
Warhol fans will be spoilt, the gallery has his icons including actress Elizabeth Taylor and the Statue of Liberty.
The sale is a glitzy event.
As well as the modern and contemporary artworks like Juan Munoz’s Conversation Piece V, there is a lot here that alludes to the world of pop like Ornamental Despair, which was painted for Joy Division’s Ian Curtis.
The auction will also launch another of it’s ‘RED’ sales set up by rock star Bono in collaboration with designers Sir Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson to raise cash to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Among the most striking works here are Zhang Xiaogang’s Bloodline: Sister and Brother.
It shows the woman in a traditional Chairman Mao suit while her brother is taking chances with a western image topped off by the red tie.
The painting is next to a portrait of Mao by Yan Pei-Ming.
One of the most famous of the Chinese artworks here is Zeng Fanzhi’s Mask Series 26.
They are all loaded with political comment – perhaps a sharp visual contrast to these glossy Christian Louboutin boots.
Oliver Barker, deputy chairman, Sotheby’s Europe says: “Chinese contemporary art is being taken very on a global level to the extent that the price is now are very, very close to the masters of western late-twentieth century art as well. So, I think that the interesting thing about the marketplace now is that the taste for difficult subject matter is perhaps at a more acceptable level than its been ever before. People want to be challenged, this is not a superficial taste-making moment.”
Yan Pei-Ming is the first artist to paint a portrait of Britain’s Prince Charles.
The work is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Mimi Foundation Cancer Charity.
As well as the edgy and political works like these the sale contains one of the most celebrated of Picasso’s paintings.
This is a portrait of the artist’s mistress just as she became pregnant.
Sotheby’s expert Simon Shaw says: “This is a really important pivotal moment in Picasso’s life he meets Marie-Therese in 1927 that’s in 1935 it’s when Maya’s born. But she’s really been the muse for the past seven or eight years of his work at this point.”
Lichtenstein will also boost cash from the sale, but one of the most celebrated artworks to come under the hammer is Alberto Giacometti’s Grand Tete de Diego which has centre stage in the gallery.
It’s expected to fetch up to 50 million US dollars which Andreas Gursky’s panoramic photographs are estimated to fetch millions more.
The art auction in New York, for which this exhibition was a preview, takes place 13 November.
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