Artist Ephemera Auction

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release
August 17, 2011
Contact: Deb Ripley +1-212-497-9700 ext. 174 [email protected]

Artist Ephemera Auction
artnet Auctions to offer extensive group of rare and unusual artist collectibles including: painted necktie by Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp’s chessboard, and Jeff Koons’ erotic wedding invite.

Philip Guston
Self-portrait, c.1970
Ink on paper
9.75 x 13.5 in.
Est. US$10,000–15,000

New York / Berlin / Paris, August 17, 2011—artnet Auctions presents “Artist Ephemera,” an extensive group of over 150 rare and unusual art collectibles, many of them one-of-a-kind, from the personal collections of well-known artists and collectors, covering a wide range of periods, styles, and art movements.
One of the highlights of the sale is a group of 41 drawings created for bookseller Burt Britton by notable artists such as Philip Guston, Berenice Abbott, Arman, Alex Katz, John Wesley, and others who frequented the Strand in the 1970s and obliged Britton by sketching quirky and spontaneous portrayals of themselves on book pages and paper bags. Estimates for each drawing range from US$700 to 15,000.
Other notable items include Alexander Calder’s hand-painted necktie (Est. US$6,000–8,000) as well as a painted work shirt (Est. US$6,000–8,000) that come from the collection of George Gordon who was Calder’s print publisher in the 1970s and a personal friend of the artist.
The sale includes vintage POP posters, announcement cards, and catalogues by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, including “Castelli Handshake Poster,” 1962 (Est. US$1,200–1,800) announcing Lichtenstein’s very first exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery. One of the most unusual offerings from the 1980s is a laundry bag with a drawing of dollar signs signed by Warhol and given to his printer Rupert Jason Smith who kept it until his death in 1989 (Est. US$5,000–7,000).
A large group of signed artist books and letters containing original artworks is included in the sale. A charming example is a 1963 birthday card from Robert Motherwell to his wife, Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler, containing a watercolor on the front and a birthday greeting on the back (Est. US$3,000–4,000).
Of great interest is the 1991 wedding invitation of Jeff Koons and La Cicciolina (the Hungarian porn star and former Italian MP) (Est. US$1,200–1,500). An Annie Leibovitz photograph of the couple posing naked under a garland of lilies is mounted on the front, with the wedding menu inside. The invitation is quite rare since the couple was married in Budapest and sent out very few invitations (they divorced in 1994).
An exact replica of Marcel Duchamp’s 1937 chessboard is offered in the auction (Est. US$1,200–1,500) and is part of a rare exhibition catalogue from a 1991 exhibition at the Van de Velde Gallery. Featuring numerous facsimile reproductions of Duchamp’s works, as well as a cassette tape and photograph of the artist at 85 years old; it is a must-have for serious Duchamp collectors.
A one-of-a-kind item is a group of six gallery sign-in books signed “tagged” by the most famous Graffiti artists of the 1980s (Est. US$2,500–3,500) from the collection of Rich Colicchio and Ed Kurpell, who founded 51X Gallery, a famous East Village hub for Graffiti artists (the artists Crash and Zephyr both had their first shows at the gallery and their tags are in the books).
The Artist Ephemera sale is live for bidding on artnet Auctions August 17–24, 2011.

For more information, please contact Deb Ripley at +1-212-497-9700 ext. 174 or at [email protected]
In Germany, please contact Marie-Kathrin Krimphoff at +49 (0)30 20 91 78 40 or at [email protected]
In France, please contact Florence Alexandre at +33 (0)1 42 86 67 16 or at [email protected]

Visit the sale on artnet Auctions:

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