Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact


    Saturday, May 4th, 2024

    The Italian Version of Popeye Has no Pork in His Diet by Jean-Michel Basquiat at Christie’s. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $32 MILLION

    The Italian Version of Popeye Has no Pork in His Diet, a lawn being sprinkled, a haunting portrait of a lover and muse, scientific literature and Irish and Mexican myth getting the surreal treatment all feature at the big art sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in New York this month.

    The 20th/21st Century series at Christie’s and masterworks spanning more than a century of production at Sotheby’s underline the glorious diversity of Modern, Contemporary and Post-War Art and the boundary pushing art of now.

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s arresting 1982 work The Italian Version of Popeye has no Pork in His Diet will be a highlight at Christie’s 21st Century evening sale on May 14.  Peppered with figures, numbers, shapes and crossed out words it mixes symbols, text and portraiture and is estimated to achieve around $30 million (€28.03 million). It is part of a series featuring tied together wooden supports on which a canvas has been mounted.

    In a market that is weaker than latter years Basquiat continues to exert strong pulling power. A highlight at Sotheby’s Contemporary Auction in New York on May 13 is one of the most significant paintings created jointly by Basquiat and  Andy Warhol during their famed period of collaboration from 1983 – 1985. “Andy would start one and put something very recognizable on it, or a product logo, and I would sort of deface it” Basquiat said once, while Warhol credited Basquiat with getting him into painting differently.  Untitled (1984), a large scale example of this collaborative series, is estimated in the region of $18 million (€16.82 million).

    David Hockney “A Lawn Being Sprinkled” 1967 Acrylic on canvas 60 x 60″ © David Hockney Photo Credit: Richard Schmidt. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $28.6 MILLION.

    Now aged 86 David Hockney continues to make great art today (he says he does not feel his age when in the studio).  Hockney’s mesmerising A Lawn being Sprinkled at Christie’s dates to 1967 and is estimated at $25 million – $35 million (€23.36 million – €32.7 million). It is from the Los Angeles collection of legendary screenwriter, producer and activist Norman Lear and his wife Lyn Davis Lear.

    Portrait of George Dyer Crouching by Francis Bacon at Sotheby’s. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $27,735,000

    Francis Bacon’s Portrait of George Dyer Crouching at Sotheby’s Contemporary evening auction on May 13 dates to 1966 and is the first of a  cycle of ten monumental portraits of Dyer created between 1966 and 1968. It offers a haunting glimpse of Dyer – who died from a drugs and drink overdose in Paris two days before the opening of the Francis Bacon Retrospective at the Grand Palais in 1971 – both as hero and a figure of vulnerability.  The estimate is $30 million – $50 million (€28.03 million – €46.72 million).

    Les Distractions de Dagobert by Leonora Carrington at Sotheby’s. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $28,485,000

    Born in 1917 to an upper class Catholic family in rural north west England Leonora Carrington’s childhood was shaped on one hand by rigid social structures and on the other by magical myths from her Irish grandmother and nanny.  She returned often to Irish legends, especially in works like Les Distractions de Dagobert which is rife with Celtic imagery.  Following a rebellious youth, a brief sojourn with the Parisian Surrealist group and a harrowing flight from war torn Europe Carrington painted this tour de force at the age of 28. The  centrepiece at her first retrospective exhibition at the Pierre Matisse gallery in New York in 1948 it is at Sotheby’s Modern evening auction on May 15 with an estimate of  $12 million – $18 million.


    Wednesday, May 18th, 2022
    Pablo Picasso – Femme nue couchée SOLD FOR $67,541,000

    Picasso’s Femme nue couchée was the top lot at Sotheby’s Modern evening auction in New York last night. It made $67.5 million in a sale which realised $408.5 million. This was the third highest total for an auction at Sotheby’s. Monet’s view of the Grand Canal in Venice with Santa Maria della Salute made $56.6 million and The Glade by Paul Cezanne made $41.6 million. There were artists records for Milton Avery’s The Letter ($6.1 million) Leonora Carrington’s The Garden of Paracelsus ($3.3 million) and Jared French’s The Double ($1.1 million) and Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 59 ($1.2 million) set an auction record for a work on paper by the artist.