Warhol’s Jackie Kennedy Portrait Headlines at Bonhams Art Sale

By Paul Joseph

In a strong sale at Bonhams Post-War and Contemporary auction in New York earlier this week, Andy Warhol’s haunting portrait of Jackie Kennedy was the top lot, achieving $907,500, following enthusiastic bidding from around the world.

Among the other highlights was a special curated section of 11 Op Art works. The sale demonstrated a renewed interest in the market for works connected to this global movement. All the pieces in the sale were fresh-to-market, with impeccable provenance, many having been gifts from the artist to the owners or bought from the original exhibitions.

The top lot for this section was Wojciech Fangor’s shimmering M35, 1970, which sold for $319,500, more than triple its estimate, setting a new world record for the artist.

Other works that achieved excellent results were Yaacov Agam’s New Year, 1967-68 which made $187,500 against an estimate of $30,000 – 50,000; Richard Anuszkiewicz’s vibrant painting, Untitled, 1976, that achieved $125,000 (estimate: $50,000 – 70,000) and Kobe II, a trailblazing work by Victor Vasarely from 1953-72, which achieved $175,000, against a low estimate of $150,000.

Dane Jensen, Director of Contemporary Art, Bonhams commented: “We saw intense interest in the Op Art section from collectors, particularly those who have previously acquired minimalist and color field works.

“As many of the pieces by these artists rarely arrive on the market in this condition, the interest was strong and global.”

The Bonhams Post-War and Contemporary auction took place on November 15th.

By Paul Joseph