Specialist Johannes Vogt Walks Us Through Top Lots From Artnet’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Auction
Artnet's Post-War and Contemporary Art auction is live for bidding, featuring a range of works by the likes of George Condo, Keith Haring, and more.
Artnet specialist Johannes Vogt weighs in with his top lots from Artnet’s Post-War and Contemporary Art auction, which is now live for bidding until November 8. The sale offers a range of representational works, including works by Amedeo Modigliani, Nicolas Party, Keith Haring, and George Condo. Read on to find out more about the works Vogt has his eye on.
Nicolas Party’s work recasts traditional painting categories—portraits, landscapes, and still lifes—in a playful and highly contemporary style. The present lot, Untitled, Red Portrait (2017), is an apt example with its irreverent and bold representation. Despite its striking stylization, Party’s use of gold leaf (for the sitter’s top) is reminiscent of traditional religious iconography, thereby tapping into both the new and the familiar.
Early in his career, Party worked as a 3D animator. This digital work had an unmistakable influence on his later paintings—as Party explained: “We’re so used to seeing computer-generated images now that it has a big impact on how we see all images. I think this describes the look my figures have. I see them almost like a thin layer of something and I don’t know what is behind them.”
It has been exciting to see how Party has been soaring in the market for the last 10 years. Today, he is a major presence in the Contemporary market with auction results in the seven figures.
Amedeo Modigliani is a true master of representational art, known for his instantly recognizable, long-faced figures. As a young artist, he was close friends with sculptor Constantin Brancusi who would go on to inform Modigliani’s later artistic tendencies of strong, linear rhythms and protracted, sculptural forms.
This sketch is representative of the artist’s strong Modern style, but a “testa di profile” (“head in profile”) is less frequently seen in his oeuvre, making this an exciting work to bring to auction. Sketched in pen on paper amongst other notes, it offers us an intimate insight into the creative process of this iconic artist.
Richard Pettibone was a pioneer of artistic appropriation techniques, whose work has been critically acclaimed for the questions it raises about authorship, craftsmanship, and originality.
Pettibone has created several “replicas” of paintings by American artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Ed Ruscha—some of the biggest names in Pop art. Pettibone chose to recreate the work of leading avant-garde artists whose careers were often centered on themes of replication itself, lending further irony to his work.
The piece offered in our current auction is, of course, an ode to Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s soup cans. Interestingly, this was the subject of Pettibone’s first-ever replicas that he completed in 1963; created a few years later in 1969, this particular work thus has repetition at its core, taking its philosophical commentary to the extreme.
Salvo’s work has been enjoying an exciting rise in the market within the past 12 months—an ascent that shows no signs of slowing down. The Italian artist started his career as a conceptual sculptural artist before shifting towards a naïve and richly colorful style of painting, of which Entrèves (2006) is a perfect example.
Entrèves depicts the Italian countryside, which is a subject that Salvo returned to again and again. It is made up of simple three-dimensional shapes, with varying colors built in planes to represent highlights and shadows. Reminiscent of the early Modern avant-garde, Salvo breaks down the landscape to only its essentials, bringing energy and joy to the scene.
Keith Haring made this work in November of 1988, not long after being diagnosed with AIDS. He would later pass away from the disease in February 1990.
The last two years of Haring’s life were dedicated to bringing awareness to AIDS and facing the stigma it presented to the queer community. The present work addresses these subjects more pointedly and graphically than some of his earlier work. The gold paint creates a camera-like shape, possibly commenting on how he and his community at the time were at the center of the public eye whenever the epidemic was discussed. Or, it could also be interpreted as a microscope, and the struggles of finding the truth about HIV/AIDS and how to help those affected.
A year later, in 1989, the artist established the non-profit Keith Haring Foundation which still to this day provides grants to children in need and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
We’re excited to offer this work by George Condo, who has been a major figure in American contemporary painting for the last 40 years. Known for his fractured portraits and aggressive imagery that teeters on the edge of representation and abstraction, Condo takes inspiration from a wide array of art historical figures—from Picasso to Pollock, Velazquez to Matisse—while referencing American contemporary culture.
Grey Portrait (The End of Vietnam) (1989) is an impactful work that exemplifies Condo’s description of his work as “psychological Cubism.” The portrait borders on pure abstraction yet maintains core representational qualities to produce raw emotion.
The Post-War and Contemporary Art online auction is now live. Browse and make your bids before the sale closes on November 8.
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