Our Specialists Pick Their Favorite Works From Contemporary Editions on Artnet Auctions

Hear the stories behind works by Andy Warhol, Mickalene Thomas, Jim Dine, and more.

Mickalene Thomas, You're Gonna Give Me the Love I Need, 2010. Est. $15,000–20,000 in Contemporary Editions on Artnet Auctions, now through January 28.

What makes a great work of art? That’s a question best answered by the experts. Luckily for us, we have the Artnet Auctions team at our disposal. We recently chatted with the Prints & Multiples department to learn more about their favorite works from our Contemporary Editions sale, currently live for bidding until January 28. Read on to find out the stories behind some of their picks, including prints by Warhol, Picasso, and more.

Andy Warhol, Mao (complete set of 10 works), 1972

Andy Warhol, Mao (complete set of 10 works) (1972). Est. $800,000–1,200,000 in our Contemporary Editions sale on Artnet Auctions. Image via ARS.

“As prints specialists, we often see examples of the same print. This is the nature of editions, and this is especially true of Warhol prints, of which there are many. However, there are still prints, which we can acknowledge as being quite special to handle and offer for sale. This complete set of screenprints of Mao is just that. Seldom do complete and intact sets come to market (in fact, it’s been several years for Mao), and I’m especially excited to bring this to public auction.”

– Conner Williams, Head of Prints & Multiples

David Hockney, Views of Hotel Well I (from Moving Focus), 1984–1985

David Hockney, Views of Hotel Well I (from Moving Focus) (1984–1985). Est. $50,000—70,000.

“This print by David Hockney is from a series of lithographs called ‘Moving Focus’. The sense of unease suggested in the title is evident in the contrasting perspectives in the image and even in the artist-designed sculptural frame. Like in Picasso’s cubist works that Hockney is referencing, the disjointed angles seem to coalesce into a suspended balance somehow.”

Jannah Greenblatt, Senior Specialist, Prints & Multiples

Mickalene Thomas, You’re Gonna Give Me the Love I Need, 2010

Mickalene Thomas, You’re Gonna Give Me the Love I Need (2010). Est. $15,000—20,000.

“This work is a fine example of Mickalene Thomas’ collaged portraits, which look back at art historical images of canonized beauty while simultaneously reinterpreting them. This work includes Cubist-like fragmented shapes and boldly patterned fabrics that surround a reclining black woman, who sits powerfully in her own space. This portrait takes back the agency of women who have been often historically been objectified and subjugated in art.”

– Lauren Whitton, Specialist, Prints & Multiples

Jim Dine, Nancy Reading; Watercolor Marks…(complete set of 3 works), 1973–1974

Jim Dine, Nancy Reading; Watercolor Marks; Begonia (complete set of 3 works) (1973–1974). Est. $3,000–5,000.

Jim Dine has worked with numerous master printers over his long and varied career and is known for his ceaseless experimentation and unorthodox methods. This lot includes three prints which are variations of the same image and differ subtly yet compellingly. Dine used one etching plate which was reworked between each print run, resulting in three unique editions. These prints exemplify the artist’s dynamic approach to printmaking and feature his most prominent muse, his former wife Nancy.”

– Sylvie Francois, Specialist, Prints & Multiples

Hank Willis Thomas, Peace, 2019

Hank Willis Thomas, Peace (2019). Est. $8,000–12,000.

Constructed in two parts that were then fused together, Peace bleeds symbolic representation with its use of color, subject, and material. Thomas’s ability to make each aspect of the work so crucial to its understanding and meaning further highlights his innovative practices that have brought him to the forefront of contemporary art. This work speaks to the past, present, and future with a recurring message of hope in a time that so desperately needs it.”

– Diego Arellano, Senior Associate, Prints & Multiples

Ellsworth Kelly, Blue Gray Green Red (from Artists for Obama), 2008

Ellsworth Kelly, Blue Gray Green Red (from “Artists for Obama”) (2008). Est. $6,000–8,000.

“Ellsworth Kelly’s impeccably balanced use of color in an abstract plane, from small prints to large scale paintings, is an embodiment of tranquility. What makes him such a renowned minimalist is his consistent impeccable selection of colors which are so agreeable and balanced they have the ability to whisper a narrative, this one is of peace and unity. In Blue Gray Green Red (from Artists for Obama), Kelly represented modern art among contemporary artists in a groundbreaking fundraiser to support a successful campaign.”

– Samantha Janazzo, Associate, Prints & Multiples

Click here to explore more from Contemporary Editions on Artnet Auctions.

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