Auction Watch: Prints & Editions
April 2024

Hollywood Africans In Front Of The Chinese Theatre With Footprints Of Movie Stars by Jean-Michel Basquiat - MyArtBroker Hollywood Africans In Front Of The Chinese Theatre With Footprints Of Movie Stars © Jean-Michel Basquiat 2015
Joe Syer

Joe Syer, Co-Founder & Specialist[email protected]

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The art market in April presents a series of print sales, which smoothly transition into New York's prestigious May auctions. Together, the prints and editions sales hosted by Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips amassed a combined total of $13.4 million (hammer) through three auctions, with 629 lots finding buyers. This figure represents a 13% decrease compared to the corresponding sales from the previous year, although Sotheby’s 2023 sale benefited from the inclusion of a series of prints from the estate of Mark Lancaster, providing an additional boost to the overall results.



 Comparing the sales statistics of Sotheby's, Christie's, and Phillips April print sales between 2023 and 2024.Christie's, Sotheby's and Phillips April Print Sales 2023/2024 © MyArtBroker

When examining the individual achievements of the auction houses, mirroring the trends seen in the March London auctions, Christie’s once again emerged as the frontrunner, standing alone in surpassing its previous year's sales total, reaching $5.6 million (hammer) with a 92% sell-through rate. Both Phillips and Christie’s showcased comparable performances, with 67% of works selling within or above their estimated values. Phillips achieved $4.1 million (hammer), surpassing the low presale estimate by a commendable 37%, while Sotheby’s fell short by -4% below the low presale estimate.

Overall, the sales exhibited varied performances, featuring prints and editions spanning from the 19th century to Post War eras. Pablo Picasso remains a dominant force in print sales, both in the quantity of works offered and the strong prices they command. Works by Post War and Contemporary artists like Mel Bochner, Jasper Johns, and Robert Longo are available and typically priced between $15,000 - $20,000. However, it's the blue chip artists with exclusive editioned series that led the charge in the April sales, which we anticipate to continue to drive the core sector of the market in 2024. In our latest auction podcast, we explore the significance of these artists' works, with a spotlight on David Hockney, focusing on his iPad Drawings and Swimming Pools series, and Jean-Michel Basquiat's posthumous prints. We discuss why these pieces continue to captivate collectors and provide a detailed written overview of the new auction records highlighted in this report.

Here are the highlights:

Jean-Michel Basquiat

In our latest podcast, we kick off by exploring the growing potential of posthumous prints by Basquiat. There's been a notable surge in interest in prints signed by the Basquiat estate entering the public market. During the April sales, several prints showcased strong performances at Christie’s. Cabeza (2004) fetched $81,900, surpassing its high estimate of $70,000. Similarly, Hollywood Africans in front of the Chinese Theatre with Footprints of Movie Stars (2015) achieved the same $81,900, falling within estimates.

Read the Jean-Michel Basquiat Investment Guide

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David Hockney

At Phillips, two editions of Hockney’s Pool Made with Paper and Blue Ink for Book (1980) were up for grabs. One, despite being in poor condition, sold for $48,260, surpassing its $15,000 high estimate. Meanwhile, at Christie’s, another edition fetched $81,900, exceeding its $60,000 high estimate. These pieces flooded the market in 2023, and now, their value trajectory is on the upswing once more.

Over at Christie’s, Hockney’s Lithographic Water Made of Lines, Crayon, and a Blue Wash (1980) set a new record, commanding $176,400 compared to the previous high of $150,000 in October 2021. Additionally, The Red Chair, April 1986 (1986) also made waves, achieving a new record of $21,420, beating its previous auction record of $9,000 set in June 2020.

Read the David Hockney Investment Guide

Browse Hockney prints on the Trading Floor and find out more about the print market growth on the MAB100 Print Index.

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Pine Barrens Tree Frog (TP) (F. & S. II.294) by Andy Warhol - MyArtBroker Pine Barrens Tree Frog (TP) (F. & S. II.294) © Andy Warhol 1983

Andy Warhol

Sotheby’s

Andy Warhol set numerous new record sales across the auction houses for from his most coveted series. From Endangered Species: Siberian Tiger (AP) (F. & S. II.297) sold for $304,800, +15% the previous record set in November 2022 and Orangutan (TP) (F. & S. IIB.299) sold for $215,900, +24% the previous record set in July 2022.

Also performing well, Warhol's Cow (F & S II.11) stood out fetching $22,800 (with fees) and hammering at three times the high estimate. Similarly, Warhol's Jackie II (F. & S. II.14) (1986), which has been gaining popularity in terms of volume in the market, saw its value rise from previous sales, reaching $33,020 (with fees) and hammering 1.4 times the high estimate. Other notable performers, either meeting or surpassing estimates, included Scotch Broth (F. & S. II.55) (1969) and Tomato-Beef Noodle O's (F. & S. II.61) (1969) from Campbell’s Soup II, along with several works from Warhol’s Ten Portraits of Jews series.

Phillips

At Phillips, new auction records were reached for Warhol, with Moonwalk (F. & S.405) (1987) igniting a fierce bidding war, ultimately hammering at $365,000, surpassing the high estimate by 2.2 times, and achieving $463,550 with fees, doubling the previous auction record set in 2016. Sea Turtle (F. & S. II.360A) (1985) from the Endangered Species series achieved $107,950, outperforming the previous record set for an AP in November 2023. Also, from the Cowboys and Indians series, Sitting Bull (TP) (F. & S. 376) (1986) attained $114,300 and Details of Renaissance Paintings (Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482) (F. & S. II.317) (1984) reached $139,700, both setting new benchmarks for these works.

Christie’s

At Christie’s, Warhol's auction records included Electric Chair (F. & S. II.80) (1971) hitting $20,160. From Myths, Dracula (F. & S. II.264) (1981) soared to $47,880, nearly doubling the previous record set in March 2023. From the Endangered Species series, Pine Barrens Tree Frog (TP) (F. & S. II.294) (1983) fetched an impressive $201,600. Wayne Gretzky #99 (F. & S. II.306) (1984) realised $30,240. Details of Renaissance Paintings (Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482) (AP) (F. & S. II.316) reached $126,000. Lastly, from Cowboys and Indians, Geronimo (TP) (F. & S. II.384) (1986) achieved $75,600.

Read the Andy Warhol Investment Guide

Browse Warhol prints on the Trading Floor and find out more about the print market growth on the MAB100 Print Index.

LOOKING TO SELL YOUR WARHOL PRINTS?

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Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst also made a notable mark across the auction houses, with auction records including Control H9-8 (2021) from The Virtues, which fetched $27,940 at Sotheby’s against a $12,000 high estimate, reaffirming their unparalleled popularity among collectors. The previous record for this print was $22,689 achieved in October 2022. At Christie’s, All You Need Is Love Love Love (2010) set a new record selling for $37,800 and two butterfly works,The Souls On Jacob's Ladder 1 (2007) and The Souls On Jacob’s Ladder 3 (2007), both set new records, each achieving $22,680.

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Browse Hirst prints on the Trading Floor and find out more about the print market growth on the MAB100 Print Index.

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Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring

Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring also had multiple works featured across the auction houses. Among the new auction records, Haring’s Medusa Head (1986) surpassed the previous record set in July 2020, fetching $151,200 at Christie’s. Also at Christie’s, Lichtenstein’s The Den (1990)from the Interior series reached $69,300, exceeding the previous record of $50,000 set in November 2015, while Composition I (1996) reached $69,300, matching its current record set in April 2023.

Haring’s Pop Shop works sold within estimates at Sotheby’s, and Lichtenstein’s Nudes achieved commendable prices but didn’t quite reach new heights.

Read the Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring Investment Guide


Browse Lichtenstein and Haring prints on the Trading Floor and find out more about the print market growth on the MAB100 Print Index.

LOOKING TO SELL YOUR PRINTS?

Request a free and zero obligation valuation with our team without hesitation. Track your prints & editions with MyPortfolio

Commendable Performances

Other notable performances emerged from American pop artist Tom Wesselmann. Monica in Robe with Motherwell (1994) set a new auction record, fetching $17,640 at Christie’s, while Monica Nude with Cezanne (AP) (1994) achieved $38,100, setting a new record at Sotheby’s. Wayne Thiebaud’s Candy Apples (AP) (1987) was a highlighted lot at Sotheby’s, exceeding expectations with a new record of $88,900. Also at Sotheby’s, Robert Indiana’s Heliotherapy Love (1995) achieved a new record of $35,560, and Ed Ruscha’s Sea of Desire (1983) also set a new record of $35,560 in its third appearance at auction.

Upcoming May New York Auctions

The Spring New York auctions kicks off on Monday, May 13th, at Sotheby’s and will extend throughout the week. Stay tuned as we cover these sales with a podcast and written auction reports. Don’t forget to catch up on our March London auction reports for in-depth insights from Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips.


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