Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale Highlights

This May, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale features an exceptional selection of works by some of the most important names in 20th century art, alongside paintings by some of today’s most exciting contemporary artists.


Sale Highlights

Bunny by Jeff Koons

Created nearly three decades ago, Koons’ mirror-like Rabbit sculpture stands three feet tall and was made using the artist’s signature stainless steel material. The piece was first shown at New York City’s Ileana Sonnabend Gallery back in 1986.

The Rabbit is number two from an edition of only three plus one artist’s proof. Christie’s set a sale estimate of $50,000,000-$70,000,000 USD with the auction to be held this May 15 at the dealer’s New York location.

“Few works of art of its generation can have the same instant recognisability: it has been on the cover of books, exhibition catalogs, and magazines. A monumental blow-up version even featured in the 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” said Christie’s in a statement.

More info in Hypebeast‘s article about the piece.

Buffalo II by Robert Rauschenberg

Acquired by Robert B. ‘Bob’ Mayer and his wife, Beatrice ‘Buddy’ Cummings Mayer, in 1964, shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Buffalo II  is one of the last major examples of Rauschenberg’s silkscreen paintings to remain in private hands. On 15 May at Christie’s in New York, this imposing canvas, which measures more than 8ft high, will be offered in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale  as part of the The Robert B. and Beatrice C. Mayer Family Collection.

Buffalo II  brings together disparate images and motifs that, for Rauschenberg, defined modern life in 1960s America. The canvas is dominated by a large image of the then Senator John F. Kennedy, and includes iconic consumer products and patriotic symbols of America — the Coca-Cola logo, an army helicopter, a Bald Eagle and an astronaut — alongside images of the urban landscape and personal objects, such as a set of keys.

More info in Christie‘s article about the piece.


Spider by Louise Bourgeois

At a Christie’s sale, one work by a female artist could become one of the most expensive pieces by a woman ever sold at auction. That work is Louise Bourgeois’s 1997 sculpture Spider, a 24-foot-long arachnid with spindly legs estimated to sell for between $25 million and $35 million. Bourgeois’s last record was set in 2015, when an edition of the same sculpture was sold for $28 million at a Christie’s contemporary art evening sale.

The sculpture sold in 2015 failed to make Bourgeois the most-expensive female artist, however—that record is still held by Georgia O’Keeffe, whose painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No 1 (1932) went for $44.4 million in 2014 to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. But the 2015 sale placed that Spider piece among the top lots by women ever sold at auction, and if it goes for within or above its estimate, this Spider could occupy that same territory. The Spider going up for sale is number two from an edition of six; the 2015 sculpture was number three. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., also holds a bronze variant of the sculpture.

More on this piece on Artnews‘ article.

Planning to attend this or another auction soon?

Attending an art auction can be thrilling and intimidating at the same time. Check out our article on how to prepare for buying at an art auction and be ready for an experience worth becoming familiar with in your journey as an art collector.