One of Andy Warhol’s final works will be put up for auction in New York in May.
Self-Portrait was painted only months before Warhol’s death in February 1987 and is part of his final body of works, the Fright Wig series. The 203-centimetre portrait features the artist’s face obscured by camouflage and has only been publicly exhibited once as part of the 1995 Anthony d’Offay exhibition, Vanitas: Skulls and Self-Portraits by Andy Warhol.
In the painting, his features appear as a ghostly mask, covered in militaristic hues of green and grey, and floating in a dark black void. Self-Portrait is estimated to sell for up to $20 million when it goes under the hammer on May 16, as part of the second Sotheby’s sale of The Macklowe Collection, amassed by property developer Harry Macklowe and his wife Linda over a 40-year period.
The coming sale of 30 works will also include Mark Rothko’s painting Untitled from 1960, a critical moment in his career, which is expected to fetch up to $50m, and Gerhard Richter's Seascape, an extraordinary large-scale painting from 1975.
Individually, the works reflect the artists at their zenith. Together, they trace western artistic achievement over the last 80 years, from Giacometti and Picasso through to Sigmar Polke, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Agnes Martin, Mark Grotjahn and more.
“The Macklowe Collection tells the story of art in its highest form, with the utmost precision and clarity,” says Brooke Lampley, chairman and worldwide head of sales for global fine art at Sotheby’s. “Every artist here is represented at a moment of profound creativity.”
The first sale of The Macklowe Collection took place last November, with 35 works that garnered a record-breaking $47.4m, making it the most valuable single-owner auction ever staged by Sotheby's. "The November sale of 35 works from The Macklowe Collection captivated top collectors around the world and set records in the process,” says Charles Stewart, chief executive of Sotheby’s.
“We are thrilled to present a further 30 works from this legendary collection in May, in what is sure to be another highly anticipated sale.”
Highlights from The Macklowe Collection can be viewed from Tuesday, February 22 to Wednesday, March 2 in London before they go on a travelling exhibition to Palm Beach in Florida, Shanghai, Taipei and Hong Kong.