Artists' editions offer a more accessible way to own an original artwork by a blue-chip artist. We take a look at the market for multiples and select our top 10 pieces from Phillips' upcoming Editions sale.
In the midst of Frieze art fair where Jeff Koons’ “Sacred Heart (Blue/Magenta)” (1994-2007) was offered by Gagosian gallery for $22m-$24m and in the same week where Christie’s London Post-War & Contemporary Art sale achieved £54.6 million, it is easy to forget that there is a more accessible way to own an artwork by a blue-chip artist. Editions might not be unique pieces but they are original in that they were overseen and sometimes signed by the artist. And because they are multiples they are considerably less expensive than rare, one-off artworks. As Jonathan Rendell of Christie’s says, “With multiples, you can get a major name without the major price tag attached.”
The price difference is easy to see in the the upcoming Editions sale at Phillips New York on October 28. Here, one of an edition of 200 of Warhol’s iconic Jackie O prints is available for just $10,000-15,000, one of an edition of 75 Lichtenstein’s Cubist Cello is estimated at $15,000-20,000 and a Richard Serra that is part of an edition of 50 is predicted to achieve $12,000-18,000.
Some of the highlights of the Phillips sale are the 13 Picasso prints and ceramic editions. Picasso is notable for holding the record for a single print at auction, for “La femme qui pleure”, an etching from 1937 and part of an edition of 15, which sold for $5.1m at Christie’s in New York in 2011. “Picasso regarded it as the print version of ‘Guernica’,” explains Rendell of the high price. “He doesn’t usually let his emotion out as he does here – it’s really all about his feelings about the Spanish civil war. And, crucially, it doesn’t exist in any other form. Printmaking was central to Picasso’s working technique.”
Indeed, as the record breaking Picasso attests, multiples might be cheaper than many unique artworks but they are certainly not cheap. A case in point is Giacometti’s “L’Homme qui marche I” (“Walking Man I”), which when it was sold for over £65m in February 2010 made it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction at the time – despite being one of an edition of six, with four additional artist proofs.
Evening & Day Editions
Phillips New York
Diálogo de damas, 2006
The complete set of three bronze sculptures with green patina on wood bases,
various sizes, at greatest 8 1/4 x 5 x 3 in (21 x 12.7 x 7.6 cm) box 5 3/4 x 17 5/8 x 15 5/8 in (14.6 x 44.8 x 39.7 cm)
incised with initials and numbered 21/150, published by Art Witness, Boza Editor, Madrid, all in very good condition, contained in the original wooden box.
Estimate $10,000 - 15,00
Fumeur V (Smoker V), 1964
Aquatint, on Richard de Bas paper, with full margins,
I. 16 1/4 x 12 1/4 in (41.3 x 31.1 cm) S. 22 1/8 x 16 in (56.2 x 40.6 cm)
signed and numbered 4/50 in pencil(there were also 15 artist's proofs), published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, 1965, in very good condition, unframed.
Estimate $9,000 - 12,000
Maquette for Reclining Figure: Umbilicus, 1983
sculpture 4 3/4 x 8 5/8 x 4 1/8 in (12.1 x 21.9 x 10.5 cm) base 1 1/2 x 11 x 6 in (3.8 x 27.9 x 15.2 cm)
incised with signature and numbered 3/9, in very good condition.
Estimate $60,000 - 80,000
Concetto Spaziale Cratere: three works, 1968
Three porcelain multiples, two painted in black and gold,
all 15 x 11 1/2 in (38.1 x 29.2 cm)
all signed and numbered 66/75, 20/75 and 71/75 in black ink on the reverse, published by Rosenthal, Germany, all in very good condition.
Estimate $40,000 - 60,000
La Vénus d'Alexandrie (Vénus bleue), 1962/82
International Klein Blue pigment and synthetic resin on plaster,
sculpture 26 x 12 x 9 in (66 x 30.5 x 22.9 cm)
incised with artist's insignia and numbered 199/300 on the lower leg, stamped and numbered on the underside (there were also 50 hors commerce), published by Editions Galerie Bonnier, Geneva, in very good condition.
Estimate $50,000 - 70,000
Screenprint in colors, on Arches paper, with full margins,
I. 24 x 29 1/2 in (61 x 74.9 cm) S. 29 1/2 x 34 3/4 in (74.9 x 88.3 cm)
signed, dated `75' and numbered 19/50 in pencil (there were also 6 artist's proofs), published by Pace Editions, Inc., New York, the colors slightly attenuated, light-staining, otherwise generally in good condition, framed.
Estimate $4,000 - 6,000
Profil de Jacqueline (Jacqueline's Profile), 1956
White earthenware round/square plaque painted in black,
7 1/2 x 7 3/4 in (19.1 x 19.7 cm)
from the edition of 500, with the Madoura Plein Feu andEmpreinte Original de Picasso pottery stamps on the underside, in very good condition.
Estimate $5,000 - 7,000
Self-Portrait #1; and Self-Portrait #-2, 1999
Two relief prints with embossment, on handmade black and gray paper respectively, with full margins,
I. 20 1/4 x 15 1/2 in (51.4 x 39.4 cm) S. 25 x 20 in (63.5 x 50.8 cm)
both signed, dated `1999' and numbered 27/50 in pencil (there were also 7 artist's proofs), published by Two Palms Press, New York, both in excellent condition, both framed.
Estimate $8,000 - 12,000
Little Nude, 1966
Vacuum-formed Plexiglas multiple spray-painted in colors,
overall 7 1/2 x 7 3/4 x 1 in (19.1 x 19.7 x 2.5 cm)
incised with artist’s signature, dated `66’ and numbered 14/75 on the reverse (there were also 25 artist's proofs), published by Tanglewood Press, New York, in good condition.
Estimate $6,000 - 9,000
Plate 2, 4, 8 and 11, from Forms Derived from a Cube (Colors Superimposed), 1991
Four screenprints in colors, on Somerset Textured paper, with full margins,
all I. 29 7/8 x 29 7/8 in (75.9 x 75.9 cm) all S. 31 7/8 x 31 7/8 in (81 x 81 cm)
signed and numbered 17/35 in pencil (there were also 9 artist's proofs), published byAchenbach Graphics, Dusseldorf, all in very good condition, all framed.
Estimate $6,000 - 9,000