artnet Auctions: A Tragicomic Raymond Pettibon and 4 Other Artworks to Buy This Month

Plus, Robert Longo, Maurizio Cattelan, and more.

Raymond Pettibon, Untitled (The Best Moment…) (1995). Photo: artnet Auctions.

The team of specialists at artnet Auctions has assembled a few superb examples of work on paper, Middle Eastern art, as well as highlights from the resurgent 1980s from our latest offerings this month. Browse this curated selection of artworks from some of the most renowned contemporary artists, each of which is available now through artnet’s online auctions.

Expressions on Paper: Drawings, Paintings, and More: Live now through October 5, 2017


Raymond Pettibon

Untitled (The Best Moment…), 1995

Pen, ink and graphite on paper

Estimate: $8,000—$10,000

Rising to prominence from the SoCal punk rock scene in the 1980s, Raymond Pettibon began his career designing album covers, ads, and zines. Pettibon’s unique talent for merging ambiguous text with recognizable imagery of political figures, comic book characters, and sports icons allowed him to cross over into the fine art sphere, culminating in a major retrospective earlier this year at the New Museum in New York.

True to Pettibon’s signature approach, the present work features the theatrical icons of comedy and tragedy while, like many of his works, also references a historical and political event. In this case, it’s the 1865 assassination of President Abraham Lincoln at the hands of an actor, as referenced in the text.

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Robert Longo

Room full of 10’ wax crosses for Hamburg Museum, 1991

Charcoal and graphite on paper

Estimate: $7,000—$9,000

Robert Longo, Room full of 10’ wax crosses for Hamburg Museum (1991). Photo: artnet Auctions.

One of the leading figures from the American Pictures Generation, Robert Longo developed a reputation for his monochromatic drawings that employ dramatic chiaroscuro and commentary on social and political issues.

This particular work is a study for his large-scale sculptural installation, When Heaven and Hell Change Places, which was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1997 and subsequently traveled to various museums in Germany. The work is a sheet taken from Longo’s sketchbook, offering an intimate insight into Longo’s creative process.

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Maurizio Cattelan

Untitled (Two Envelopes), 1994

Postcards, ink, and artist’s postage stamps on paper envelopes, in two parts

Estimate: $10,000—$12,000

Maurizio Cattelan, Untitled (Two Envelopes) (1994). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Cattelan is known as the art world’s prankster for his sly and deliberately subversive appropriations and commentary on the intersection between contemporary art and commerce. His art plays on tropes from art history and popular culture, and often comes in unusual scales. He makes large things small, and small things gigantic, while touching on controversial subjects like depictions of the Pope getting crushed by a meteor and Hitler kneeling like a choir boy.

This work pokes fun at the postal system, another authority circumvented by the artist when he sent mail to himself, from himself. The stamps, entirely Cattelan’s creation, fooled the postal service, which duly delivered his letters.

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All Eyes on Me: Contemporary Middle Eastern Art: Live now through October 11, 2017


Latifa Echakhch

Sans Titre XVI, 2010

White carbon paper mounted on canvas in wooden frame

Estimate: $40,000—$50,000

Latifa Echakhch, Sans Titre XVI (2010). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Influenced by her upbringing in France and Morocco, Latifa Echakhch’s art consistently comments on the two distinct yet related cultures while questioning the concept of collective memory.

Sans Titre XVI is part of a group of untitled works in which Echakhch covers canvases with the same type of carbon paper that was used in France in the 1960s and 1970s to create revolutionary texts. The artist says the paper reminded her of her childhood and school, but here she repurposes it to make a subtle political reference to the societal changes and upheaval experienced throughout Europe and North Africa in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Exuberant and Exhilarating: Art of the 1980s (October 4—18)


Francesco Clemente

TRUE, 1989

Pastel and cardboard on Rives paper

Estimate: $15,000—$20,000

Francesco Clemente, True (1989). Photo: artnet Auctions.

Infused with inspiration from non-Western cultures, particularly India and Hinduism, the globetrotting Italian artist Francesco Clemente developed a unique figurative style at a time when Arte Povera and conceptual art were at their heights. Clemente was even hailed as a key figure in the return to figuration following his inclusion in the 1980 Venice Biennale. He has subsequently explored a variety of different media including film, books, murals, sculpture, and performance, defying the Neo-Expressionist label that is often affixed to his work.

The present portrait incorporates the figural spiritual and mythological imagery and themes that have become hallmarks of his art practice.

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