The Skinny: Post-War and Contemporary Works by Murakami, Noland, and Wesselmann

These works range from superflat Louis Vuitton to the 'Great American Nude.'

Kenneth Noland Orientate (1976). Photo: artnet Auctions.

The Skinny is a series that explores artworks of note currently offered on artnet Auctions.

This week we take a look at highlights from this season’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Sale, including works by Takashi Murakami, Kenneth Noland, and Tom Wesselmann.

Takashi Murakami Eye Love SUPERFLAT (2004). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Takashi Murakami Eye Love SUPERFLAT (2004). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Who: Takashi Murakami

What: Eye Love SUPERFLAT (2004) (pictured above), an acrylic on canvas over panel work, estimated to sell for between $80,000 to $120,000.

Why: Eye Love SUPERFLAT (2004) by Takashi Murakami signifies the collaboration between Murakami and famed fashion house Louis Vuitton, which began in 2002. This 2004 painting features Louis Vuitton’s LV monogram front and center in sparkling silver glitter—a rarely seen and exciting addition to this canvas—and is surrounded by the classic four-pointed flowers. Interlaced with Louis Vuitton’s recognizable pattern, Murakami incorporated colorful Superflat-style eyes in each of the four corners, adding to the play on words in the work’s title, Eye Love SUPERFLAT.

Kenneth Noland Orientate (1976). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Kenneth Noland Orientate (1976). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Who: Kenneth Noland

What: Orientate (1976), oil and acrylic on canvas work, estimated to sell for between $150,000 to $180,000.

Why: Kenneth Noland was the first artist to execute paintings on shaped canvases, a seminal moment in art history when the painting became the object itself instead of a depiction of subject matter. Orientate (1976) is a particularly strong example of Noland’s iconic work and has been recently exhibited at Honor Fraser in Los Angeles and Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York. Working mostly in flat colors, simple shapes, and a hallmark technique of staining an unprimed canvas, Noland segued from popular Abstract Expressionism to geometric forms infused with vibrant washes of color. All sense of depth and background is removed from Orientate, so that the viewer no longer looks into or inspects the piece, but views it as a complete object.

Tom Wesselmann Sketch from 1970 Proposed Nude Edition (1975). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Tom Wesselmann Sketch from 1970 Proposed Nude Edition (1975). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Who: Tom Wesselmann

What: Sketch from 1970 Proposed Nude Edition (1975), a ballpoint pen and colored pencil on paper work, estimated to sell for between $20,000 and $25,000.

Why: Tom Wesselmann dedicated his career to the Great American Nude, championing the female form in his unique Pop Art style. This small colorful sketch from 1975 was based on a proposed 1970 nude edition, and is an excellent example of his signature iconography. The intimately sized female figure possesses many of the coveted traits in the most desirable and recognizable works by Wesselmann, such as her bleach blonde hair, tan lines, and plump lips. Here the iconic figure reclines, fully relaxed, cushioned by surrounding blocks of orange, green, purple, and blue.


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