A Dazzling Man Ray Portfolio + Irresistible Works by Josh Smith, Francis Bacon, and Others From Artnet’s Latest Auctions

The team of specialists at artnet Auctions has assembled some of the finest paintings and prints from this month’s curated sales. Browse our selection of artworks from some of the most renowned contemporary artists, each of which is available now through artnet’s online auctions.

Post-War & Contemporary Art: Live Now Through January 28

Josh Smith

Untitled, 2012

Mixed media on panel

Estimate: $35,000–45,000

Photo: artnet Auctions.

This work—a mixed-media composition on panel—features a text-based interpretation of the artist’s own name, one of Smith’s trademark subjects, often appearing alongside fish, leaves, or sunsets. The de-contextualization of Smith’s name encourages the viewer to consider the artist’s mark-making process rather than solely the image itself.

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Petra Cortright

007LLCHRCTRSCHT_passw0rds.IPA, 2016

Digital painting on Sunset Hot Press Rag paper

Estimate: $15,000–20,000

Photo: artnet Auctions.

At the forefront of the digital media art movement, Petra Cortright’s creative process takes place behind the computer screen. Using software such as Photoshop to manipulate familiar images and themes borrowed from the internet, the artist’s digitally created paintings are saturated in vibrant colors and shapes. This pink work leans into abstraction and incorporates the full range of Cortright’s digital technical prowess.

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Contemporary Editions: January 19–31

Man Ray

Revolving Doors (complete portfolio of 10 works), 1972

Pouchoir and typography on Arches paper

Estimate: $25,000–35,000

Photo: artnet Auctions.

This set of prints by the acclaimed Dada artist Man Ray hark back to a time of unrivaled craftsmanship. Painstakingly executed by hand, each piece was manually painted using stencils and brush, lending them an impressive vibrancy that still resonates today. The series dates to the end of Man Ray’s life, when the artist revisited an older, similar set of prints from 1926. The title makes reference to that earlier version, which was installed on a rotating pole that viewers could interact with. These prints are often sold individually, so it’s it’s extremely rare for a complete set to come to market.

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Ellsworth Kelly

Yellow over Dark Blue, 1965

Lithograph in colors on Rives BFK paper

Estimate: $8,000–12,000

Photo: artnet Auctions.

Through curves, contrasts, and grids, which became the artist’s preferred visual motifs, Ellsworth Kelly explored the effects of pure color and form throughout his long printmaking career. In this early print, Kelly plays with the primary colors of blue and yellow, vertically stacking the curved rectangles on top of one another. This timeless aesthetic sensibility has made Kelly one of the most sought-after American artists for more than forty years.

Francis Bacon

Three Studies of the Male Back (set of 3 works), 1987

Lithographs in colors on Arches paper

Estimate: $30,000–50,000

Photo: artnet Auctions.

Francis Bacon became one of the most unique and engaging figurative painters to emerge during the post-war period. The Irish-born British artist took inspiration from both Old Masters and Surrealist artists, and combined them to create a dark, grotesque, and often violent imagery that explores themes of nihilism and death—fitting subjects for a period of relentless war in Europe. This is a particularly rare complete set, and has only come to auction a few times in the past couple of years.

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