artnet Auctions: Postcards From On Kawara and 4 Other Artworks to Buy This Month

Get your hands on these conceptual delights.

Photo: artnet Auctions.

It’s always a good time to add another artwork to your collection, and our team of specialists at artnet Auctions have selected a group of works from current sales to help you find the right piece. Whatever your tastes, we have you covered.

Post-War & Contemporary Art: Live Now Through March 22, 2018


Niele Toroni

Tondi of Bordeaux Red-Orange (set of 6), 1997

Acrylic on wood

Estimate: 50,000–70,000 USD

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First shown in the artist’s 1967 debut at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in the Musèe d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Swiss artist Niele Toroni’s signature artistic style “Travail-Peinture” features the application of paint in imprints of a no. 50 paintbrush in repeated and regular perpendicular intervals of 30 centimeters. The gesture marking a milestone in conceptual art and challenges traditional notions of art-making.

This present work—which was featured at CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain de Bordeaux in 1997—showcases Toroni’s signature style executed on six individual circles, or “tondi,” arranged in a step-pyramid formation. His brushstrokes are executed on the lids of unused wine barrels and are marked every 30 centimeters producing an open triangular form.

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Michel François

Soap, 1993

Wax with metal base

Estimate: 5,000–7,000 USD

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Working in a variety of media and styles, Belgian artist Michel François defies classification. The present artwork, Soap, resembles wall-mounted soap bar produced by French toiletry manufacturer Laboratoire Provend in 1950. This setup became popular in public spaces like schools, hospitals, and workshops because it was designed to be installed to drip into the sink below instead of accumulating dirt and bacteria in a dish.

A nostalgic reference to the artist’s childhood in Belgium where he had used this style of European soap, the surface appears worn and previously used; and explores the themes of creation, destruction, and the viewer’s interaction with art, characteristics that are consistent with François’ oeuvre.

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Allan McCollum

Small World Drawings (in 13 parts), 2000

Pencil on rag paper

Estimate: 10,000–15,000 USD

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Titled Small World Drawings, this piece from Allan McCullum’s first solo exhibition at Boston’s Barbara Krakow Gallery explores notions of the complexity and interconnectedness of communities. Featuring pairings of 1,000 first names from Krakow’s mailing list written on 4 x 6-inch cards, McCollum shows the various interdependencies between the stakeholders within the gallery’s network. The artist wants to please the gallerist, the gallerist wants to please the clients.

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On Kawara

I GOT UP (4 works), 1976

Ink on postcards

Estimate: 70,000–90,000 USD

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As part of his cutting-edge conceptual practice, artist On Kawara made a habit of sending postcards to family, friends, and acquaintances to document various mundane details from his daily life. In this particular series, he documented the exact time he woke up, writing the phrase “I GOT UP AT” followed by the time that he had risen that day. Throughout the series, the artist changed the language and date format depending on where he was at the time.

By documenting these seemingly unremarkable details he elevated the monotony of daily life to an art form while juxtaposing the transmission of personal information with the impersonal act of mass production. The series abruptly ended when Kawara’s briefcase holding the stamp kit was stolen.

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William Anastasi

Untitled, 2011

Oil stick on paper

Estimate: 75,000–100,000 USD

Photo: artnet Auctions.

One of the founders of conceptualism, William Anastasi created magnificent drawings focussing on randomness and motion. This large-scale work is an excellent example of these uninhibited, abstract renderings. The red lines appear to have been guided by the free movement of both his right and left arms, simultaneously stretching out to the edges of the sheet and tracing the movement of his limbs. The strokes of color radiate out from the center, where the red hue is most concentrated, and embody a type of kinetic mark-making that is central to Anastasi’s oeuvre.


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