NEW YORK: A 1932 portrait by Pablo Picasso of his young lover and a pioneering 3D Andy Warhol painting of the Statue of Liberty are expected to sell for at least $35 million each, but could fetch much more when they are auctioned next month.
The two works, Picasso’s “Nature morte aux tulipes,” and Warhol’s “Statue of Liberty” will be the highlights of New York autumn sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
The Picasso masterpiece is one of several renderings of his muse Marie-Thérèse Walter and considered by art experts to be one of his most important works. It carries a pre-sale estimate from $35 million to up to $50 million ahead of the November 5 sale at Sotheby’s.
“The young woman, with her Grecian profile and athletic, statuesque frame, inspired Picasso’s greatest achievements in a variety of media,” said Simon Shaw, Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art department in New York.
“‘Nature morte aux tulipes’ is exceptional within the series for its double-meditation on this subject, demonstrating the influence of Surrealism on his output: the artist builds a sculpture of Marie-Thérèse, and then paints that sculpture as a sexually-charged still life, allowing him to dissect her form on many levels,” he added in a statement.
The following week, on November 14, Warhol’s “Statue of Liberty,” will go under the hammer at Christie’s. It is the first of its kind in 3D and the only example of the artist’s experimentation with the technique still privately owned.
“Andy Warhol’s ‘Statue of Liberty’ is one of the most important statements on America and on painting in the 1960s,” said Brett Gorvy, the chairman and international head of Post-War and Contemporary Art.
“It is a famous icon of the American dream, alongside Warhol’s most popular American subjects such as the ‘Coca-Cola bottle’, the ‘Campbell’s soup-cans’ and his Marilyns and Elvis.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2012.