The Any Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is shifting its focus, selling off its collection of Warhol’s via Christie’s auction house and donating others, using the money to increase its ability to offer grants. Sales, which are being spread over several years, are expected to bring in roughly $100 million.
For this first installment of the sale, Christie’s is offering up 350 photographs, paintings, works on paper, and prints on November 12. Estimates for various pieces range from $2,500 on up to $1.5 million. This November sale is expected to bring in around $20 million. To put that in perspective, Warhol’s “Double Elvis (Ferus Type)” sold in May at Sotheby’s for $33 million, or $37 million with commission. While there aren’t any blockbuster Warhol’s on offer in this sale, many of these pieces haven’t been seen by the public and it is also a rare opportunity for first time Warhol buyers to get into the game.
Some key pieces from the sale include “Three Targets,” a black-and-white canvas depicting three targets with gunshots, expected to sell for $1 million to $1.5 million, a piece depicting Jacqueline Kennedy from the 1960s, estimated at $200,000 to $300,000, and a “Self-Portrait in Fright Wig” estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.
Last night Christie’s hosted a “Halloween Drag Costume Party” at its special exhibition gallery show off the works and to celebrate the auction. Despite the fact that New York City is gridlocked recovering from Hurricane Sandy, art lovers gathered at the event with an opportunity to pick out a costume to wear during the party (on offer were Gumbie, Marilyn Monroe and bananas). Waiters wore wigs to resemble Warhol. And the event was strewn with candy and fun props galore to take photos with. If anything, the event demonstrated Warhol’s continued cultural relevancy, and it will be interesting to see how the upcoming sale fares.