A $20 million Roy Lichtenstein painting will lead Sotheby’s rescheduled contemporary sales.

Justin Kamp
May 4, 2020 4:29PM, via Art Market Monitor

Roy Lichtenstein's White Brushstroke I (1965). Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Roy Lichtenstein’s 1965 painting White Brushstroke I will lead Sotheby’s marquee New York contemporary evening and day sales with an estimated sale price of $20 to $30 million. It will be joined by Francis Bacon’s Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus (1981), with a low estimate of $60 million, as well as the collection of Harry “Hunk” and Mary Margaret “Moo” Anderson, estimated at $55 million in total. The sales will take place the week of June 29th, rescheduled from their original May placement due to the global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

White Brushstroke I is one of the last works in Lichtenstein’s 1965-66 “Brushstroke” series still in private possession, with related canvases in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. It has appeared in the Guggenheim, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and other institutions.

David Galperin, head of Sotheby’s contemporary art evening auctions in New York, said in a statement quoted by Art Market Monitor:

This is Pop at its most profound core. White Brushstroke I is an icon of Pop Art, capturing in a single painting the rupture that this movement invoked in an entire generation of postwar picture-making.

This is the first major lot announcement since Sotheby’s postponed the majority of their spring sales in March. The auction house said the June sales will take place “pending the lifting of certain restrictions and confirmation from the relevant authorities that we can proceed.”

Further Reading: On a Dare from His Son, Roy Lichtenstein Unwittingly Invented Pop Art

Justin Kamp
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