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									For Immediate Release
August 18, 2009

Contact: Milena Sales             tel +1 212 636 2680

New York – First Open
September 23, 2009

                                                          Appealing to a variety of collecting
                                                          portfolios, Christie’s First Open sale of
                                                          Post-War and Contemporary Art will offer
                                                          an array of exciting paintings, sculptures,
                                                          and works on paper on September 23.
                                                          Presenting the opportunity to enhance an
                                                          existing collection or start one anew, First
                                                          Open kicks off the category’s fall auction
                                                          season with works by some of the most
                                                          sought-after artists working today as well as
                                                          a selection of works by Post-War masters.
                                                          The sale will feature works by Andy Warhol,
                                                          Richard Anuszkiewicz, Gerhard Richter, Ed
                                                          Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, Kiki Smith, and
                                                          Gavin Turk, among others.

Leading the sale is Flowers by Andy Warhol, dated 1964 (estimate: $500,000-700,000), pictured above.
The painting’s subject derives from a color photograph of hibiscus flower blossoms that was
appropriated by Warhol, who transcribed the hibiscus flower heads into a more pattern-like square
by cropping the original image and re-positioning the flowers. Here, Warhol clearly took on the
tradition of still-life painting, but combines implacable objectivity with an impenetrable graphic style.
Highly expressionistic, the work conveys a preoccupation with degradation, exuding destruction and
frailty at the same time.
Among the contemporary works being offered is Kerry James
Marshall’s Terra Incognita, 1991 (estimate: $300,000-400,000), pictured
right. Following the success of Marshall’s record-breaking work, Our
Town, in Christie’s May 2009 Evening Sale, First Open will present
another fascinating work by the artist. In Terra Incognita, Marshall
combines childhood scrapbook memories with direct influences of
African-American history. Seeping with historical and personal
references the work depicts a waiter, floating in time and space,
detached from his continent of origin, and culturally ship-wrecked in
his new, imposed guise. Marshall’s waiter bears a halo, and could be
interpreted as an angel or a martyr, like many of the crusaders for
social causes and heroes of the Civil Rights movement to whom
Marshall pays tribute with many of his works.

                                                           The sale has a strong selection of works
                                                           by leading conceptual artists. Leading this
                                                           group is a work on paper by Ed Ruscha
                                                           entitled Stains from 1970 (estimate:
                                                           $120,000-180,000). Well known for his
                                                           text paintings, Ruscha has constantly
                                                           experimented with visual idioms and
linguistic symbols throughout his career. For Stains, he used gothic lettering against an ominous grey
backdrop, imbuing the work with austere and disconcerting connotations.

                    The sale will offer a rare, early sculpture by Lawrence Weiner, Untitled, 1961
                    (estimate: $20,000-30,000), pictured left. Eschewing conventional forms of
                    artistic expression, Weiner experimented with different forms of medium and
                    often repurposed ordinary objects. By isolating a simple window shutter and
                    stripping it of its original function, Weiner created a bold and beautiful work that
                    transcends the banality of the everyday.

                   The selection of sculpture also includes Kiki
                   Smith’s Small Deer, 2001 (estimate: $12,000-
                   18,000) and Brillo 5, 2003 by Gavin Turk
(estimate: $20,000-30,000), pictured right. Turk’s Brillo 5 is an ironic
and ambiguous work that is essentially a copy of a cardboard box.
Once again, an unassuming object associated with the every day is
bestowed with an elevated status through the artist’s quixotic intervention and ingenious

Additional highlights include a work on paper by Sam Francis, Untitled, 1974 (estimate: $10,000-
15,000), a cibachrome print by Gerhard Richter Guildenstern, 1998 (estimate: $7,000-9,000) and a
painting by Richard Anuszkiewicz, Soft Yellow, 1976 (estimate: $8,000-12,000). The First Open will
also include works by Keith Haring, Mona Hatoum, Takashi Murakami, and Guyton Walker among

Venue: New York, 20 Rockefeller Center
Auction: Wednesday, 23 September at 10am
Viewing: 19-22 September

Complete catalogue available online at or via the Christie’s iPhone app

Images from this sale are available at (user name and password:

About Christie’s
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in 2008 that totalled £2.8
billion/$5.1 billion. For the first half of 2009, art sales totalled £1.2 billion/$1.8 billion. Christie’s is a name
and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour.
Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th
centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450
sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs,
collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $80 million. Christie’s has 53 offices in 30
countries and 10 salerooms around the world including London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan,
Amsterdam, Dubai and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in
emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the Middle East, with successful sales and
exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer's premium

                                            Images available on request

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