Abstract expressionism: the spearhead of Christie’s auction of contemporary art



Willem DE KOONING, Mark ROTHKO, Arshile GORKY, Franz KLINE, Robert MOTHERWELL, the core artists in the abstract expressionism movement, also known as the « New York School », will feature at the « Post-War and Contemporary Art » auction at Christie’s on 11 May 2005.

Highlights will include Willem de Kooning’s “Sail Cloth” (1949) estimated at USD 8-12 million, and a highly prized painting by Mark Rothko produced in 1964 that is estimated at USD 8-10 million. In November 2004, Rothko broke a new record with “No. 6 (Yellow, White, Blue Over Yellow on Gray)” which sold for USD 15.5 million having been estimated at USD 9-12 million. Of the pieces at the Christie’s auction likely to break new records, we highlight Franz Kline’s “The Crow Dancer”, which is estimated at USD 4-6 million. These works to be sold by the « Jewish Communal Fund » may well produce some impressive surprises after prices for abstract expressionist art rose a further 20% in 2004 (+89% since 1999), an increase that has repositioned these artists almost back at their November 1990 price levels).

Collectors of « New York School » of art will find a wide choice of works on sale in the « Classifieds » section of the Artprice website. The star lot is “Serpentarium”, a large-format painting by Jackson Pollock estimated at USD 4 million. For buyers on a lower budget, there are three works by Willem de Kooning and two by Robert Motherwell.