They may not be Andy Warhol’s most valuable silkscreen Lizes, but the artist’s little-known statistical works are heating up the internet this afternoon. Christie’s announced today that it will hold an online-only auction of the artist’s works to benefit the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. While bidding does not open until February 26, the available lots are up today. Perhaps the most interesting reaction to this news comes from the wonky end of the econoblogosphere, which has eagerly expressed desire for the two works in the sale dedicated to the economy of the early 1980s.
Slate economics blogger Matt Yglesias posted the above 1984 work, “U.S. Unemployment Rate” (est. $20,000-30,000), to his blog earlier this afternoon. Both Bloomberg economics blogger Josh Barro and The Hill healthcare reporter Sam Baker have tweeted emphatically about the other chart-based Warhol on the block, the below “Medical Inflation,” circa 19885-86, which is estimated to sell for a slightly lower $15,000-20,000.
ARTINFO’s art market team, being econo-nerds ourselves, are equally excited for this auction. There are a number of more traditional Warholian lots, as well. A concrete-filled tin Campbell’s soup can from 1964 has the highest estimate, at $50,000-70,000. There are also, surprisingly, a number of cat-related works estimated to sell for less than $1,000. Bidding will be open from February 26-March 5 on Christie’s website.
— Shane Ferro