Pivotal artworks by Hirst, Murakami and Indiana auction at Christie's

Christie's New York has announced its auction of a finely honed private collection of important Contemporary art, with works from marquee artists such as Damien Hirst, Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami.

The Private European Collection represents work from each major artist's response to centuries of tradition, "underscored with themes of loss, longing and desire," says the auction house.

Comprised exclusively of cornerstone works from the 1960s to the present, the collection will be offered in the afternoon session of Christie's May 12 Day Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art. It is estimated to realise upwards of $8 million.

The collection's top lot is Robert Indiana's international icon, LOVE (Red/Blue) 1990 (estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000). The sculpture acts as both an abstract configuration and a shaped poem with verbal and visual elements harmoniously juxtaposed.

Damien Hirst's All You Need Is Love, 2006 (estimate: $1,000,000- 1,500,000), a heart-shaped, monochrome butterfly painting, is exceptionally rare. The work created under the aegis of the waning 20th Century by the Beatles' Paul McCartney and John Lennon, All You Need is Love makes bedfellows of hope, love and death with melancholic nostalgia with butterfly wings.

Takashi Murakami's Kiki, 2000-2005 (estimate: $900,000-1,200,000) is another key highlight. Kiki, the Japanese warrior was originally conceived as one of two "acolytes" or guardians of the artist's Oval Buddha, but she has become a celebrated character in her own right.

In creating the work, Murakami played with the associations of the prodigious Kano style of the 16th Century Japanese painter Kano Eitoku and the legacy of Japanese culture. Delicate yet bold, with an ebullient smile revealing sharp fangs, the subversive Kiki is rife with dichotomies.

"Selected with a discriminating eye these exceptional works capture the zeitgeist of several decades," said Andrew Massad, International Specialist, Head of Afternoon Session.

"Each work of art re-imagines traditional materials and images in a dialogue with art history. Christie's is pleased to present this exceptionally cultivated collection."


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