Ask any interior designer the most affordable way to add color and style to your home, and you might hear the reply, “Modern art prints.” A blank wall is a clean slate, waiting for you to add your own personality through prints and works on paper by modern masters. You can start or add to your collection of prints by bidding in this week’s curated auction, which is filled with wonderful works by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder and other greats of the modern era.
Thirty-one thoughtfully chosen artworks are included in this selection, which opens with eight prints from Pablo Picasso’s portfolio titled “15 Drawings from the Pantheon 1946.” From an Albert Carmen/Pantheon limited edition of 500, the portfolio’s lithographs were printed on Arches paper with Pochoir hand coloring. They include: Man with Pipe, Minotaur, Four Ballet Dancers, Two Nudes, and four others.
The sensational pop art vision of Roy Lichtenstein comes to life in a 1966 triptych titled As I Opened Fire. Composed of three lithos in Lichtenstein’s trademark primary-color, comic-book style, the triptych tells a brief story about a fighter plane in action. Part of the rare Lifetime Edition published by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, this print is estimated between $600-$800.
Souvenir d’Oceanie is the title of an Henri Matisse color lithograph artist-signed in the plate and printed under his supervision at the Mourlot Studio, Paris, in 1954. The lithograph plates were erased after the edition was published. The edition was issued by Teriade for Verve, Paris, in 1958, and is offered with a $400-$600 estimate.
Subtle pastels combine in Kikuo Saito’s square mixed-media print titled Tin Garden. Saito began his career as a studio assistant for some of the most prominent painters of the 1970s/80s, including Larry Poons, Kenneth Noland, and Helen Frankenthaler, and later developed his own calligraphic style. Tin Garden, published in 1981 by John Szoke, New York, is numbered 10 of an edition of 35. The artist pencil-signed the print at the lower right.
Representative of another genre altogether, Mel Ramos’ lithograph The Nile Queen, is from an edition of 199 and depicts a seductive woman in an emerald-green swimsuit against a background of Ancient Egyptian imagery. A former college art professor, Mel Ramos is best known for his paintings of superheroes and female nudes, which often incorporate elements of realist and abstract art.