Jean-Michel Basquiat artwork to auction for $1.8m with Bonhams

An untitled artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat will provide the highlight of Bonhams' October 16 Contemporary Art auction in London.

Basquiat untitled 1982
Basquiat's work is extremely sought after at the moment, pushing prices for top quality works ever higher

The work will lead the sale - held to coincide with London's Frieze Week - with an estimate of £800,000-1.2m ($1.2m-1.8m).

The work originates from 1982, a sought-after year in Basquiat's career, as a time when he was at his most creative, and was preparing for his first solo show in the USA - the event that would see his first major commercial success.

It was this exhibition that saw Basquiat, along with friend Keith Haring, move from the New York graffiti scene to high-end galleries.

The piece is typical of Basquiat's style, with Bonhams commenting: "With its dramatic use of oil stick and representation of a haunting mask-like head, Untitled, 1982 includes many of Jean-Michel Basquiat's signature techniques and reveals the inspiration of African tribal art that was so important to the artist's iconic style."

The market for Basquiat's work has thrived at auction over the past year, with several record prices seen, making him one of the most popular and sought after artists on the market. This has inflated prices, but opportunities are still available for mid-level collectors.

The Basquiat work will be following by his close friend Andy Warhol's Portrait of Yves Saint Laurent, a striking depiction of the late fashion designer, which has been given a £200,000-300,000 ($315,284-472,924) valuation.

Also selling at Bonhams will be a 1967 white wood relief by Sergio Camargo, estimated at £120,000-180,000 ($189,170-283,756).

Christie's will also offer a host of contemporary art as part of its Parkett: First Fifty Editions auction, in which recent editions of the renowned Swiss art journal will be sold, containing works from top artists.

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