A screenprint of a Dollar Sign by the celebrated American pop artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is to be sold at Bonhams as part of its Contemporary Two: Modern Design sale on 29 March 2012. Initially painted onto a handkerchief and given to friends in 1981, this picture has been mounted onto board. It has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £20,000 – 30,000.
Warhol made no secret of his interest in making money from his art, with his creation of the Factory 'production line' a public declaration of this intention. This image encapsulates his philosophy on both life and art. Indeed he once said (The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, 1975, p133-134): "I like money on the wall. Say you were going to buy a $200,000 painting. I think you should take that money, tie it up, and hang it on the wall. Then when someone visited you the first thing they would see is the money on the wall."
In Bonhams' October 19 Contemporary Two sale, one of the most iconic and important post-modernist designs, Proust's Armchair, by Italian designer and architect Alessandro Mendini, sold for a world record price of £46,850. In this sale, Bonhams is delighted to be offering a second Proust's Armchair from the same private collection, estimated at £25,000 – 35,000.
Privately commissioned by the vendor directly from Mendini in 1981 for a performance based exhibition entitled Robot Sentimentale, Mendini described the design in The Story of the Proust Chair, 2001: "I found an appropriate ready-made in the replica of an eighteenth century armchair, and chose a detail from a Signac painting for the cover that covers the whole armchair..."
The sale also features two lots by the brother partnership, Fernando and Humberto Campana: Sushi IV chair, 2003 (estimate £10,000 – 15,000) and Banquette chair no 39, 2002 (estimate £15,000 – 20,000). Intrinsically bound to their country of origin, Brazil, their furniture designs reference the vibrant colours of nature and carnival as well as the detritus and 'make-do' structures found in the favelas. They are composed of 'found objects' as diverse as squashed plastic bottles, scraps of wood, fabric off cuts, rope, cardboard and stuffed children's toys. A chair made of the latter, entitled Dolphins and Sharks Banquete, 2006, sold for £28,380 in Bonhams October 19 auction.
Following the end of the highly regarded exhibition of Gerhard Richter's work at Tate Modern, Bonhams is also delighted to be offering a 1983 oil on paper by the artist. Regularly fetching up to £10 million at auction, this is an opportunity to acquire a piece for a fraction of the price, the work having been estimated at £15,000 – 25,000.
In the evening of March 29, Bonhams will present the Urban Art sale, highlights of which will be announced nearer the time.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com