LEGENDS AND NEWCOMERS – Contemporary Week at Dorotheum

Andy Warhol (1928–1987), Man Ray, 1974, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 101 x 101 cm, €300,000 – 500,000

International and Austrian modern and contemporary art will be the focus of Dorotheum’s major auction week from 31 May to 2 June 2022.

One of the highlights of the contemporary art auction on 1 June 2022 is Andy Warhol’s portrait of his favourite artist, the surrealist and photographer Man Ray, which he created in 1974 after a photo session in Paris. The version offered for auction at Dorotheum is from private ownership. The two legendary artists met in Man Ray’s flat for the first time, brought together by an Italian gallery owner who had commissioned the series. At the art academy in his home town of Pittsburgh, Warhol had previously experimented with shadow-like photograms called “rayographs”. In 1973, he had the then 83-year-old god of Dada pose with a cigar and a sailor’s cap. The work, rendered in bold blue-red acrylics on silkscreen, has strong individual traits by Warhol’s standards – testament to the great emotional depth between Warhol and Man Ray (estimate €300,000 – 500,000).


The Catalan painter Antoni Tàpies built up his own, creatively elaborate world (of signs). He did so in his hometown of Barcelona against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War and decades of Franco’s dictatorship. Destruction and beauty, politics and poetry are not opposites in Tapies’ work. His material paintings, mostly in clay earth tones, combine personal mythology with imprints and traces of everyday objects, as evidenced by Snake in a Square (€160,000 – 220,000). The street and street children in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, inspire 38-year-old Aboudia‘s electrifying mix of African street style and Western art avant-garde (Deux amis noutchi, €70,000 – 100,000). Action painting and colour field painting of Abstract Expressionism and Informalism are combined by Sam Francis with elements of Far Eastern calligraphy, as in his work SFP89-40 from 1989 (€180,000 – 250,000).

Antoni Tapies (1923–2012), Snake in a square, 1991, mixed media on wood, 151 x 150.5 cm,€160,000 – 220,000
Aboudia (b. 1983), Deux amis noutchi, 2019, acrylic and oil pastels on canvas, 150 x 150 cm, €70,000 – 100,000
Sam Francis (1923–1994), Untitled – SFP89-40, 1989, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 91 cm, €180,000 – 250,000

The auction also includes works by Jiří (Georg)  Dokoupil, Emilio Vedova, Carla Accardi, Enrico Castellani, Georges Mathieu and Katharina Grosse, among others, as well as works by Austrians Martha Jungwirth, Hermann Nitsch, Max Weiler and Herbert Brandl. Brandl’s untitled large format from 2005 illustrates the painter’s credo: “I develop colour out of colour and not out of form. In fact, my paintings are spots of colour or clouds of colour from which a main colour develops” (€60,000 – 110,000).


Piccolo Miracolo is indeed the name of the 44 cm high bronze by Marino Marini from the mid-1950s (edition of 7, €180,000 – 280,000). The Italian sculptor’s iconic, often modified, motif, shows an abstract version of a rearing horse with a falling rider. Marc Chagall once again enters the realm of the imagination with his watercolour on paper 1926/27 mythical animal (€140,000 – 180,000). Alexej von Jawlensky‘s abstract colour study Variation, Winter was created in 1915 (€120,000 – 160,000). Victor Brauner, on the other hand, translates music and dance into the picture in La leçon de Twist from 1962 (€120,000 – 160,000). Werner Berg (Summer Evening in the Village, €140,000 – 180,000) and Gerhild Diesner, amongst others, represent Austrian art.

31 May – 3 June 2022

31 May | Modern Art
1 and 2 June | Contemporary Art
2 June | Jewellery
3 June |  Watches


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