Sotheby’s upcoming Contemporary Art Sale is going to offer some of the most iconic works of our time — so many in one show that the outcome will definitely exceed house estimates.

In her book, Seven Days in the Art World, Sarah Thornton tells us that, in auction speak, a “good so-and-so” is not necessarily one of the artist’s highest quality works, but, rather, one that’s iconic of the artist , one that, as Thornton puts it “fetishizes” the aspects of the artist’s work when s/he emerged.

“A good Basquiat,” she says was made in 1982 or 1983, and contains a head, a crown and the color red”.

The Good Basquiat/Warhol
Untitled Basquiat/Warhol from the Sotheby's Press Release

Things should work out pretty well then for Sotheby’s and the Basquiat estate, as they prepare to put a 1984 Untitled collaboration between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat on the block: one which, though it has no crowns, has two heads and some bold touches of red.

The Lots also include a “good” Rothko — a searing red canvass, and a pretty good Brice Marden, one of the Han Shan series, made just after he’d left off painting with beeswax. Richard Serra‘s Corner Prop is also on the block, a bit of the contemporary art canon and estimated at only $2/3 million. And then there’s two (other) Warhols,, one of his iconic flowers, and the famous self portrait.

The sale, which takes place on 12 May and will be on view from Saturday 8 May to Tuesday 11 May from 10am to 5pm and on Wednesday 12 May from 10am to noon.

Highlights will also be on view during the Impressionist and Modern Art exhibition the preceding week.

Seven Days in The Art World, by Sarah Thornton

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