Warhol+Basquiat: perhaps a new record for a joint work…


Currently on display at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, a collaborative masterpiece between Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat is attracting a lot of attention. Dating from 1984, the painting will be presented in London on April 11 & 12 before returning to New York to be auctioned in May. Measuring 295 x 420 cm, this imposing untitled canvas could well set a new auction record for a work by this emblematic duo of American art.

Above all, the canvas merges the aesthetics of screen printing and mechanical images dear to Warhol with Basquiat’s characteristic expressionist and figurative drawings. Conceived as a game of successive artistic responses, the work recalls the “exquisite corpse” methodology practiced by some of the Surrealists.

In 1984, Andy Warhol – already an icon of the New York avant-garde for two decades – met Jean-Michel Basquiat, a young self-taught artist who was just 24 at the time. Despite an age difference of 32 years, their collaboration, initiated by the Zurich gallery owner Bruno Bischofberger, resulted in around 160 paintings in two years. However, their partnership ended following negative reviews after a joint exhibition in 1985, with some accusing Warhol of manipulating Basquiat to revitalize his own career.

Portraits of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat ©thierry Ehrmann – Courtesy Musée L’Organe La Demeure du Chaos Abode of Chaos

Their joint works undergoing rehabilitation

Untitled (1984) has been exhibited on several occasions: it was notably the centerpiece of the exhibition Collaborations organized in 1999 and was subsequently included in the landmark Basquiat+Warhol exhibition at the Louis Vuitton Foundation (Paris) in 2023 and at the Brant Foundation (New York). These exhibitions celebrated the meeting of two giants of 20th century art, merging the Pop Art and Street Art movements and re-evaluating their artistic collaboration from a different angle than the critique offered after their first exhibition in 1985.

Despite the significant impact of their collaboration, joint works by WARHOL & BASQUIAT have by no means attracted prices commensurate with their individual auction records. In fact, their joint auction record has not evolved since their immense canvas Zenith (1985), measuring 297 x 673 cm, sold at Phillips in New York for just $11.4 million a decade ago, well below their personal records of $195 million (Warhol) and over $110 million (Basquiat).

The upcoming auction of Untitled (1984) is therefore arousing certain expectations, especially since the painting was first auctioned almost fifteen years ago when it fetched $2.6 million at Sotheby’s, which now estimates its value around 18 million dollars.  Sotheby’s, which is currently taking the painting on a global roadshow, is certainly aiming to establish a new record for a work created by these two emblematic figures of Contemporary art. Response in May.


Untitled (1984) in May 2010

294.6 x 419.7 cm

Estimated: $2,000,000 – 3,000000

Price with fees: $2,658,500

Sotheby’s New York, 12 May 2010


Turnover at auctions for Warhol x Basquiat artworks (copyright Artprice.com)