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

[13.03.2005]

 

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.