Versus Medici, an influential painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, will be offered by Sotheby’s at a contemporary sale in New York in May, the auction house revealed just as the sale of the Modern Renaissance in London ended on Thursday.
The unveiling of the upcoming sale of the renaissance-influenced Basquiat core piece during a live auction was an unusual marketing move, providing Sotheby’s with a large, captive audience.
Basquiat’s Versus Medici, 1982, which portrays the dominant Black figure as a “vengeful figure in art history,” will be offered in the range of $ 35 million to $ 50 million at Sotheby’s evening sale of contemporary art on May 12 in New York City. The newly created work, created after a trip to Italy in 1981, has been in the same private collection for more than 30 years.
The sale, which does not currently include a third party warranty, will mark the first visit Versus Medici at auction. The painting, a triptych on three canvases, was bought by Basque champion Stephane Janssen from Larry Gagosian in 1982 and then sold in 1990 to the current owner.