Auction Results: Lichtenstein’s ‘Two Apples’ Leads Post-War &Contemporary Art Sale

Roy Lichtenstein’s “Two Apples” (1972) was the top seller at Christie’s Post-War &Contemporary Art Sale, realizing $2,210,500.

Roy Lichtenstein’s “Two Apples” (1972) was the top seller at Christie’s Post-War &Contemporary Art Sale, realizing $2,210,500.

NEW YORK — The fervor for key pieces from established Post-War and Contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Christopher Wool is on the rise, as evidenced by an auction held at Christie’s on May 12, 2010 which brought in a grand total of $60,156,675. Iconic works from the 1960’s and 1970’s such as those of Richard Serra and Sol Lewitt prevailed, as well as more recent works of art by the likes of Suzan Frecon.

Lichtenstein’s “Two Apples” (1972) was the top seller of both sales—which included works from the collection of Michael Crichton—realizing $2,210,50. Coming in second was Alexander Calder’s “Untitled” (1962), which sold at $1,314,500.

Untitled” (1962), by Alexander Calder, sold at $1,314,500. Calder had three pieces rank in the top 10 in the sale.

Untitled” (1962), by Alexander Calder, sold at $1,314,500. Calder had three pieces rank in the top 10 in the sale.

In 1972, Lichtenstein began his Still Life series of paintings, turning his Pop focus on this ancient genre of art. Painted that year, “Two Apples” perfectly encapsulates the dramatic and dynamic tension that comes from this confrontation between the old and the new, between so-called “high art” and the highly-evolved short-hand used in advertising. Here, the common association of the still life with the memento mori has been banished, replaced by a crisp vitality that speaks only of life, and of the apples’ delicious taste.

“There is no question that the market is healthy and that there is a genuine desire,” said Jonathan Laib, head of the Morning Session of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Department.

“The afternoon sale hardly skipped a beat after the success of the morning,” added Andrew Massad, International Specialist, head of the Afternoon Session. “There was interest from seasoned, veteran collectors as well as new buyers.”

 “S.F. Cadillac” by Robert Bechtle.

“S.F. Cadillac” by Robert Bechtle.

Still Life with Peppers”by Ralph Going.

Still Life with Peppers”by Ralph Going.

In other highlights, world records were set for the photorealistic works of Robert Bechtle, whose “S.F. Cadillac” (1975) sold for $482,500, and Ralph Goings, whose “Still Life with Peppers” (1981) sold for $698,500.

The top-10 selling items were:

• Roy Lichtenstein, “Two Apples,” 1972, oil and magna on canvas, $ 2,210,500
• Alexander Calder, “Untitled,” 1964, hanging mobile–painted sheet metal and wire, $1,314,500
• Alexander Calder, “Multicolore,” 1962, painted sheet metal, bolts, $962,500
• Alexander Calder, “Arrows in Flight,” 1958, hanging mobile–painted sheet metal and wire, $962,500
• Rudolf Stingel, “Untitled,” 1990, oil and enamel on canvas, $962,500
• Ed Ruscha, “We Few Open Book,” 2003, acrylic on linen, $902,500
• Roy Lichtenstein, “Brushstroke,” 1965, Porcelain enamel on steel, $782,500
• Alice Neel, “David,” oil on canvas, 1968, $782,500
• Christopher Wool, “Lazy and Stupid,” alkyd on aluminum, 1992, $782,500
• Sean Scully, “Near Night,” oil on linen, 2005, $722,500

For more information about this auction, visit Christie’s Web site.

———————————

WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth

Join WorthPoint on Twitter and Facebook.