May Auctions at a Glance

Your guide to what to watch, when

May Sales calendar, ready to be saved to your camera roll

May Sales calendar, ready to be saved to your camera roll

Christie’s Thomas and Doris Ammann Sale, Monday, May 9th, 7 pm EDT
A curated selection of 36 works including Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn. With a $200m estimate, the work could very likely surpass both the public sale record for a Warhol ($105,445,000) as well as the private sale record ($240,000,000, reported by Vanity Fair). Other highlights include a large Robert Ryman painting from 1961 estimated at $15 million, an Elaine Sturtevant appropriation work from 1969 depicting a Lichtenstein girl, and a 1988 Cy Twombly estimated at $10 million. Full breakdown here.

Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale, Tuesday, May 10th, 7 pm EDT
The sale opens with the first Anna Weyant figure, and the second Anna Weyant painting, to come to auction. The $200,000 estimate on the 2020 work is sure to result in an astronomical hammer ratio upon sale. Not a sale without a Basquiat, Christie’s is offering a triptych by the artist with an estimate upon request. It has never before sold at auction.

Christie’s The Collection of Anne H. Bass, Thursday, May 12th, 7pm EDT
The twelve work sale totals an estimated value of $250 million. The two priciest lots are Rothkos from the early 1960s with estimates of $60 and $45 million. The record sale of a Rothko painting took place in 2012 when a 1961 painting sold for $86,882,500 over a $35,000,000 estimate. Other highlights from Degas and Balthus outlined here.

Christie’s 20th Century Evening sale, Thursday, May 12th, 8 pm EDT
Christie’s is offering two works from the masters of Abstract Expressionism, a 1949 Jackson Pollock for $45 million and a 1977 de Kooning for $20 million. From the Impressionists, there is an 1890 Monet with an estimate of $12 million and a restituted 1875 Monet with an estimate of $18 million. Another 19th century masterpiece, Washington Crossing the Delaware, is being offered with a $15 million estimate. Also in the highlight-heavy sale is a rare Wayne Thiebaud triptych with a $10 million estimate.

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale, Friday, May 13th, 9:30 am EDT
The opening lot for this sprawling day sale is a diminutive 1989 Kusama Pumpkin painting with a $250,000 estimate. Two similarly small pumpkins have sold for $537,529 and $613,080 in the past year. The priciest lot is a 1964 ice cream painting by Wayne Thiebaud. It is being offered with a $2,500,000 estimate. Other highlights include strong works by Roy Licthenstein, George Condo, Jeff Koons, Shara Hughes, and Cindy Sherman.

Christie’s The Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann Day Sale, Friday, May 13th, 9:30am EDT
The Ammann Collection keeps on giving: spot strong works by Brice Marden and Urs Fischer, plus three additional Warhols that kept in the company of their Shot Sage Blue Marilyn.

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper Day Sale, Saturday, May 14th, 11:30 am EDT
Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir make up the top range of this sale. Other highlights include Wilfredo Lam, Joan Miró, Giorgio Morandi, and Edgar Degas.

Christie’s The Surrealist World of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs & Melvin Jacobs, Saturday, May 14th, 9:30 am EDT
The dedicated sale features 84 Surrealist artworks from Rosalind Gersten Jacobs & Melvin Jacobs. A personally inscribed set of ten Man Ray prints is being offered with a $20,000 estimate. A set from the edition sold last week at Sotheby’s for $15,120. Other highlights include limited edition artist’s books by Rene Magritte and Man Ray, plus a set of particularly groovy Niki de Saint Phalle bangles.

Sotheby’s Macklowe Collection, Monday, May 16th, 7 pm EDT
The Macklowe Collection returns for round two, opening with a set of Warhol Blue Airmail Stamps with a $700,000 estimate. An untitled brown Rothko is being offered with a $35,000,000 estimate–comparable to Bass’ in price, but not in color.

Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction, Tuesday, May 17th, 6 pm EDT
Sotheby’s will open the sale with Picasso’s Marie-Thérèse Portrait, which holds a $60 million estimate. With the Picasso market’s migration toward works from this period in his career, as evidenced by another portrait that made $103 million in May of 2021, the auction house anticipates a successful sale. The auction also includes a $20 million Philip Guston from his Abstract Expressionist period. Sotheby’s will also offer a $50 million Monet painted on the artist’s only trip to Venice.

Sotheby’s Modern Day Auction, Wednesday, May 18th, 10 am EDT
The day sale opens with a 1948 Hans Hoffman with a $200,000 estimate. Lot number two is a Phillip Guston, notable because it also comes from the time period of its evening sale counterpart. The Guston in this sale has a $800,000 estimate. Other lots to watch are by Georgia O’Keefe and Joseph Stella.

Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Evening Sale, Wednesday, May 18th, 7 pm EDT
Phillips will offer an Yves Klein sponge painting, Relief Éponge bleu sans titre (RE 49), with a $14 million estimate. The work last sold in 2010 at Sotheby’s for $9,352,768. The sale also includes an untitled 1982 work by Jean-Michel Basquiat with a $70 million estimate. It is currently the third most expensive Basquiat to ever sell at auction; it was purchased for $57,285,000 in 2016.

Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Day Sale, Thursday, May 19th, 10am EDT
While the lot lists are not yet released in full, Phillips' website displays some strong highlights from the sale. There will be lots by particularly buzz-worthy Contemporary artists such as Flora Yunkhovich, Issy Wood, and Hilary Pecis.

Sotheby’s The Now, Thursday, May 19th, 6 pm EDT
“The Now” is headlined by a 1993 Kerry James Marshall painting. The work has an estimate of $8 million. The record price for a Kerry James Marshall is the $21 million Sean Combs paid in 2018 for Past Times from 1997. That astonishing price was confirmed a year and a half later when Vignette 19 from 2014 sold for $18.4 million. Other lots include a 2016 Shara Hughes with a $250,000 estimate and a 2016 María Berrío with a $300,000 estimate.

Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction, Thursday, May 19th, 7 pm EDT
The opening lot in the sale is a $40 million Francis Bacon Pope painting from 1971. It follows a strong sale for a Bacon triptych in the March sales in London that sold for $51.6 million. It is in the company of a 1993 Ed Ruscha painting with a $15 million estimate. It last sold at auction in 2002 for $537,500. Other notable lots include artworks by Helen Frankenthaler, Alex Katz, and David Hockney.

Sotheby’s Contemporary Day Auction, Friday, May 20th, 10 am EDT
Sotheby’s day sale opens with a yellow and blue Frankenthaler with a $1,000,000 estimate. Additional lots cover familiar names including Shara Hughes, George Condo, and Fernando Botero.

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