SFMOMA Art Auction On April 24th!

andy warhol
Andy Warhol’s, Still-Life (Hammer & Sickle), 1977, will be up for auction.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is holding its biennial art auction on April 24, 2013, benefitting the museum’s exhibitions and education programs.

Organized by SFMOMA’s Modern Art Council, the event will features more than 40 exceptional lots, representing a range of work in all media by internationally distinguished artists. Works by John Baldessari, Vija Celmins, Chuck Close, Jasper Johns, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, and Garry Winogrand are going to be available at the auction.

Led by auctioneer Patrick Meade from Bonhams Auctioneers & Appraisers, the evening will offer both live and silent auctions, and–new to the event this year–a live musical performance by San Francisco band Geographer, and the opportunity for guests to utilize mobile bidding.

Individual tickets are available starting at $400, which can be purchased here: http://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events/artauction/auction_tickets


Among many highlights of the live auction will be Andy Warhol’s Still-Life (Hammer & Sickle) (1977), a stunning work on paper estimated at $60,000 to $90,000. Warhol revolutionized the art world with a slick, colorful, commodified interpretation, manifested in some of the most iconic works of the Pop art movement. This particular work was an apolitical exploration of diluted symbolism that used photographs of the titular tools as the starting point, executed against the backdrop of the Cold War.

Another anticipated highlight is Gerhard Richter’s Untitled (21.5.07) (2007), an oil-on-color-photograph estimated at $75,000 to $85,000. An undisputed modern master with an oeuvre uniquely his own, Richter moves among painting styles with astounding ease, creating stunning examples of photorealism as well as minimalistic abstractions.

Jasper Johns’s Periscope (1981), a color aquatint print estimated at $20,000 to $25,000, evokes familiar symbols, text, and iconography in a lush, abstract composition. A fixture in the pantheon of great American artists, Johns enjoys a rich and long-standing relationship with the Bay Area. SFMOMA’s major survey of his work last fall highlighted the symbiosis between his pioneering spirit and local audiences.


Certain to mesmerize viewers will be Vija Celmins’s Web Ladder, Divided Night Sky, Reverse Galaxy, Falling Stars, and Dark Galaxy (2010), a suite of four mezzotints and one etching with drypoint, estimated at $22,000 to $28,000. In these works she has laboriously crafted photorealistic portrayals of fleeting phenomena–the waves of an ocean, the delicate frames of spiderwebs, and the unreachable brilliance of the night sky. Currently SFMOMA has 17 works by Celmins in the collection.

Photography collectors will be thrilled with lots featuring artists included in the museum’s renowned photography collection, including German artist Andreas Gursky’s Gasherd (Gas Cooker) (1980), estimated at $35,000 to $45,000, which was the artist’s first published picture and still stands as a brilliant example of Gursky’s ability to elevate mundane subject matter with hypnotic ease.

Cindy Sherman’s Untitled (2010/12), a chromogenic color print photograph estimated at $50,000 to $70,000, is expected to be a crowd favorite. The subject of a retrospective at SFMOMA last year, Sherman has wowed viewers with inventive and alluring self-portraits for nearly four decades. Playing the role of photographer, model, costumer, and set decorator, she casts herself in a range of characters to highlight the mutable nature of identity.

Another highlight is Garry Winogrand’s Central Park Zoo, New York (1967), estimated at $10,000 to $12,000. One of the most prolific photographers of the 20th century, Winogrand’s work is the subject of a comprehensive traveling retrospective currently on view at SFMOMA.

Rineke Dijkstra’s Sefton Park, Liverpool, June 10, 2006 B, (2006), estimated at $35,000 to $45,000, is an exceptional example of the artist’s Park Portrait series, which links decidedly contemporary depictions to art historical compositions. The subject of a 2012 traveling retrospective co-organized by SFMOMA, the Dutch artist captivates viewers with large-scale portraits that simultaneously showcase vulnerability and power.

Chuck Close’s Self-Portrait (Yellow Raincoat) (2013), a large-scale watercolor pigment print estimated at $75,000 to $95,000, beautifully captures the artist’s continuous exploration of both the portrait and self-portraiture. SFMOMA boasts a particularly rich concentration of Close’s works.

Shown above: Andy Warhol, Still-Life (Hammer & Sickle), 1977; graphite and wash on ivory wove paper; 35 in.; Courtesy of the Mnuchin Gallery, New York; © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York