artnet Auctions: A Basquiat Fit for a King and 4 Other Artworks You Should Collect This Month

Looking to freshen your art collections? Here are five key works to light up your walls.

Jean-Michel Basquiat Charles the First (1982/2004). Photo: artnet auctions.

With the fall gallery season underway, art lovers will inevitably be searching for that perfect new acquisition—or two (or five—to add to their collection). The artnet Auctions team is here to help! Check out these impressive artworks from five of the most renowned and recognizable contemporary artists, each of which is available through artnet’s current online auctions.


Post-War & Contemporary Auction (Sept. 14 – 26)

Oscar Murillo

Everyday Activity #11, 2013
Oil and oil stick on canvas
80 x 80 inches
Estimate: $100,000 – 150,000

Oscar Murillo Everyday Activity #11 (2013). Photo: artnet auctions.

Oscar Murillo’s work is all about process, and the de-fetishization of the art object. His work bears the marks of his physical, performative approach to painting, often comprised of multiple layers and textures. Specks of dust, or a wayward footprint often make their way onto the canvas, which are deliberately left in place by the artist as evidence of his egalitarian approach. “It’s about letting things mature on their own,” he says.

This particular work is a composition in oil and oil stick on unstretched canvas, making it easy to transport—embodying the movement and displacement the young Colombian faced after moving to his adopted home of London, themes which are both hallmarks of his work.

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David Salle
Domestic Interior, 2007
Oil on canvas with two oil on canvas inserts
69 x 97 inches
Estimate: $70,000 – 100,000

David Salle Domestic Interior (2007). Photo: artnet auctions.

This work is prime David Salle, and contains all the distinctive qualities of his multifaceted painting style, including multiple canvasses designed to be inserted into the main picture. What at first appears to be a jumble of different themes and styles, manifests itself into a balanced composition on closer inspection.

Domestic Interior features many recurring features of Salle’s work. The mantlepiece in the background illustrates his preoccupation with architectural and interior design elements, while the prominent vortex is reveals itself on closer inspection to be a stylized anime character. Both are shown alongside a sexualized female figure in a leotard, a poignant, sentimental reference to Salle’s early work, which often featured his wife, the dancer and choreographer Karole Armitage.

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Contemporary Editions: Live now through Sept. 19


Tom Wesselmann
Steel Drawing Edition: Monica Lying on One Elbow with Robe, 1986-1997

Alkyd oil on cut-out steel
Edition of 25
7.5 x 13 inches
Estimate: $18,000 – 25,000

Tom Wesselmann Steel Drawing Edition: Monica Lying on One Elbow with Robe (1986-97). Photo: artnet auctions.

An exceptional example of the artist’s innovative metal drawings, this series was fabricated from laser-cut steel in collaboration with metalworks specialist Alfred Lippincott and allowed the artist to enliven his beloved drawings—complete with imperfections—as sculptural wall pieces. This artwork comes from a rare and small edition of 25 that hasn’t been seen on the auction market since 2008. It can be displayed in a frame with pins, or mounted directly on the wall—it’s up to you.

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Ed Ruscha
The End, 1991

Lithograph on Rives BFK paper
Edition of 50
26.18 x 36.61 inches
Estimate: $15,000 – 20,000

Ed Ruscha The End (1991). Photo: artnet auctions.

This large lithograph contains the classic themes of Ed Ruscha, combining the artist’s signature use of stylized typography with his Californian aesthetic. Ruscha’s fascination with Hollywood and the film industry began in the 1960s and continues to this day. This print was published by Ruscha’s longtime master printer Ed Hamilton, with whom he’s maintained a relationship since the 1960s.

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Jean-Michel Basquiat
Charles the First, 1982/2004

Screenprint in colors on wove paper
Edition of 85
61 x 48 inches
Estimate: $45,000 – 55,000

Jean-Michel Basquiat Charles the First (1982/2004). Photo: artnet auctions.

The late Jean-Michel Basquiat is undeniably on fire right now, and this edition is a great way to buy into the flaming-hot market of the acclaimed artist.

A print of one of the artist’s personal favorite artworks, Basquiat painted a semi-autobiographical line of text reading “Most young kings get thier [sic] head cut off” on the bottom of the canvas—a possible reference to his own famously self-destructive tendencies—while the artist’s signature crown motif emblazoned at the top and middle right plays into the work’s royal theme (and title).

Basquiat produced very few prints during his lifetime, and this artwork is part of a set of four prints produced posthumously by the artist’s estate in 2004, decades after his death. It wasn’t until 2015 and again in 2016 that the estate revisited the production of additional monumental screenprints, with the earlier releases proving more popular, and highly valuable as a result.

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