Prints & Photography Auction Highlight: Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue/Green (EK70-336)

Bright, Bold and Exceptional Quality

Responding to market trends for bright, bold and exceptional quality of minimalist prints, the highlight of our auction was Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue/Green (EK70-336) achieving a top five price for the artist’s prints this year.

Selling for over three times the high estimate for $17,500, Blue/Green (EK70-336) caught the attention of many bidders. Reflecting the transition between Kelly’s postwar abstraction towards a minimalistic point of view, this work is a poignant and important time the artist’s career. Blue/Green is also a perfect example of the exactitude of the lithographic process, the crisp delineation between the ink and white spaces.

What Attracts Collectors to Prints?

Printmaking techniques are also important factors to consider when collecting and buyers were equally drawn to Kelly’s perfectionism. Another highlight from the auction was Josef Albers who’s I-S’K (from Homage to the Square) sold for $10,625. The instant recognisability of the artist’s style has grown in popularity by collectors. Not only precise, but the colours that each square dons, has strong links to the colour field movement, while also expressing minimalistic tendencies.

This print was a rarity on the market as the colour combination selected by Albers was unique, combining deep, rich colours contrasting with an apple green centre square, which was undeniably attractive to buyers.

There is clearly excitement around the Bauhaus movement and its artists within the art community from exhibitions to collecting taste, ranging from printmaking to architecture. This modern movement will be gaining strength and one to watch on the auction block for seasons to come.

What’s Popular in Photography?

Black and white photography continues to dominate the market as buyers look to build their collection with notable, groundbreaking photographers of generations gone by.

Works by André Kertész performed exceptionally well with a perfect sell-through rate, totalling over $16,500. Not only in pristine condition, these works were particularly strong due to their direct provenance from Kertész himself, by way of a private collection near Toronto.

Why Buy Prints & Photography?

Prints and Photography are an affordable way to build your art collection, while also providing access to the very best artists. Waddington’s Prints and Photography department’s expertise draws top works by consignors globally, while also attracting bidders from around the world, remaining competitive with other international auction houses.

To find out more about our auctions and how to consign, please contact Holly Mazar-Fox, hmf@waddingtons.ca


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