A complete set of five screenprints by leading British contemporary artist Julian Opie, who is best known for his stylised portrait of Blur on the cover of their 2000 "Best Of" album, will come under the hammer in Bonhams Print sale on 27th November at New Bond Street, London.
The series is estimated at £25,000 – 35,000 and is one of the top lots in the sale, which is expected to make up to £1,000,000. Other key prints include Picasso's 'Jacqueline Au Bandeau de Face', a linocut of his second wife estimated at £50,000-70,000 and 'Gust of Wind' by Ethel Spowers, estimated at £40,000-60,000.
'This is Shahnoza 1 - 5' shows a Soho stripper in various striking poses dancing around a pole. Opie wanted to create figures in the most dynamic poses, so he bought a pole over the internet and installed it in his studio, before visiting a strip club to find a dancer to pose for him.
Each print features the dancer in four different positions, wearing a skimpy dress or bra and knickers. They are typical of Opie's pared-down style, which is simple but distinctive. He uses black lines to create the sinuous forms of the dancer and a simple circle for her head.
The artist particularly enjoyed portraying women, who he felt were more used to being under people's gaze than men. Although Opie denied any lewd intent in an interview with the Guardian in 2011, there is an implied sexual charge in his 'This is Shahnoza' series with the figure looking out directly at the viewer.
The prints were created in 2006 on Somerset satin and each is signed and numbered from the edition of 40 in pencil.
Rupert Worrall, Head of Prints commented "Julian Opie's recognition has continued to increase over the past ten years. His works have been exhibited across the world in museums including the Tate and National Portrait Galleries in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The series of prints coming up for auction are captivating works which epitomise Opie's simple yet striking style."
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