Friday, June 25, 2021

Bonhams to Offer the First Collaboration Between the Two Artists to Ever Appear at Auction

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On May 12, Bonhams sale of Post-War & Contemporary Art in New York will offer Untitled (1980) by Keith Haring (1958-90) and Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88), the first collaboration between the two artists to ever appear at auction, and?one of the only?works?created by these two giants of contemporary art together (estimate: $300,000-500,000).

Martin Wong (1946-1999) Meyer's Hotel, 1980-1981 (estimate $150,000-200,000)
Martin Wong (1946-1999) Meyer’s Hotel, 1980-1981 (estimate $150,000-200,000)

Untitled comes directly from the collection of Samantha McEwen, who lived on Broome Street, New York City, with Keith Haring and his partner Juan DuBose from 1980 to 1983. This work on paper is an incredibly rare, visual conversation between Basquiat and Haring, and only a small handful of works by this pair are in existence. Untitled?was recently?exhibited in?Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines, at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria: an unprecedented exhibition that included upwards of two hundred?works by the two artists, which was developed with the support of the family of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Keith Haring Foundation. Untitled was considered critical to the exhibition by Dr. Dieter Buchhart, art historian and curator of the exhibition.

Jacqueline Towers-Perkins, Bonhams Director of Post-War & Contemporary Art, said: “Keith Haring?and Jean-Michel Basquiat are two of the most influential artists of the second half of the 20th Century and synonymous with the creative explosion in New York in the 1980s. They created an exuberant composition full of each artist’s distinct visual language?and?socio-political?commentary and we are so excited to offer this incredible collaboration as a highlight of our sale for the spring season.”

Julian Schnabel (b. 1951) Mi vida es una cumbre de mentiras, 1999 (estimate $70,000-100,000)
Julian Schnabel (b. 1951) Mi vida es una cumbre de mentiras, 1999 (estimate $70,000-100,000)

An additional standout highlight from New York’s counterculture includes a seminal masterwork from pioneering New York artist Martin Wong (1946-1999), Meyer’s Hotel(1980-1981), a depiction of Wong’s first New York apartment (estimate: $150,000-200,000). This is one of the most important works by the artist to ever appear at auction. A Chinese American from San Francisco, Wong moved to New York in the late 70s and became an essential figure in the vibrant and energetic East Village art scene, collaborating and mentoring many of the most influential artists of the time including Keith Haring, Rammellzee and Futura. An established collector of graffiti art himself, Wong co-founded the Museum of American Graffiti in the East Village in 1989. Openly gay, Wong lived and worked during the AIDS crisis, and it was from complications of the virus that he died at the age of fifty-three.

The sale also includes two paintings by Julian Schnabel (b.1951) The Conversion of St. Paolo Malfi I, 1995 (estimate: $100,000-120,000) and Mi vida es una cumbre de mentiras, 1999 (estimate: $70,000-100,000).  Mi vida es una cumbre de mentiras is a fascinating painting which features several of Schnabel’s signature interests: the text of the title as a compositional element which translates to My life is a mountain peak of lies, expressive paint handling with glossy resin, stretching to the limits of the canvas and bounded in by a traditionally ornate frame.

The sale will directly follow the 12pm auction Kusama: The Collection of the late Dr Teruo Hirose, comprising of three paintings and eight works on paper gifted by Kusuma herself to Dr Hirose, her lifelong friend and doctor whom she consulted in her early years in New York in the 1960s, when she was a struggling young artist in need of medical aid.

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