Live for bidding now through October 12, 2023, Artnet’s Premier Prints sale features works from contemporary masters like Ed Ruscha and Alex Katz to famous street artists including Banksy and Kenny Scharf. Here, we’ve handpicked a few of our top lots from the sale and pinpointed a few intriguing details about each of these works. Read on to learn more.
Active since the 1990s, Banksy has become an urban legend in and of himself, with his street artworks popping up in a guerrilla fashion in public locations around the world. The present work, , is based on a mural he painted on the side of a pub in Bermondsey, South London, in 2010, which illustrates a disaffected youth walking a barking dog. While drawing attention to the issue of street violence, Banksy also pays homage to Keith Haring, whose political themes and distinctive style inspired him. The first print release of comprised 14 different colorways, each a signed edition of 25. Here we see the soft yellow impression.
British artist Harland Miller is best known for his paintings and screen prints that resemble worn Penguin book covers, and which bear invented ironic titles created by Miller. In this hand-finished screen print of Miller silhouettes the cover against a white background, adding a yellow band and light pink fingerprint-like details across its center. Deeply influenced by Abstract Expressionism, the artist came into contact with urban art in New York, where he moved to in 1986, even writing his master’s thesis on the transition of graffiti art from street to gallery. Traces of these influences can be felt in his bold use of text echoing and twisting vernacular phrases.
An icon of the 1980s New York art scene along with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Jenny Holzer, Kenny Scharf continues to create works that reference popular culture and expand his distinctive visual universe. Scharf’s grinning figures, which reference cartoons like and , are seen orbiting three central stars in . This bronze sculpture is rare to auction as well; it is part of an edition of four.
Stik, an anonymous London-based street artist, began painting murals around his city around 2003. He is known for his stick figures on monochrome backgrounds which respond to the landscape around them. The artist imbues his murals with personal politics forged in his years spent drifting between homeless shelters, an experience that caused him to “see buildings as opportunities.” was released at the unveiling of the mural by the same name at Homerton Hospital in 2015 with the objective to raise money for the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit. Released in four colorways, each an edition of 25 plus artist’s proofs, expresses the artist’s vision of a nurturing and just world.
Based on a 1987 canvas, this screenprint of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s showcases Basquiat’s interest in comic books. Offered along with another print from the portfolio, , which also makes use of Batman characters, this print exemplifies Basquiat’s ability to transform and appropriate the symbols of pop culture to his own narrative ends. With his artistic origins on the streets of New York City where he used the tag SAMO, Basquiat bridged graffiti and gallery scenes during the 1980s. He used his dynamic signature style to comment on political, religious, and pop-cultural issues in electrifying canvases that can now be found in leading public and private collections. This print was issued by the artist’s estate and is dated in pencil by Lisane Basquiat and Jeanine Herivaux, the artist’s sisters and administrators of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat, with the Estate stamp on the reverse; it is also accompanied by a separate signed and dated Certificate of Authenticity.