Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Dennis Hopper Mao Fetches $302,500, Marilyn $206,500

"Mao" by Andy Warhol. Dennis Hopper, who died last year at 74, shot the screenprint during a wild night in the early 1970s, mistaking the picture for the actual Chinese leader. The work sold at auction at Christie's International in New York for $302,500. Source: Christies via Bloomberg

An Andy Warhol print of Mao Zedong that the late actor Dennis Hopper shot up during a wild night in the 1970s sold for $302,500 at Christie’s International in New York today.

The price, which included buyer’s commission, was more than 10 times the high presale estimate of $30,000. “Warhol’s Mao: one plate” was among over 200 artworks Christie’s was selling from the estate of the actor, who died at 74 last year from prostate cancer.

The blue-faced Mao print went to investment banker Amed Khan, who bested several telephone bidders to acquire his first Warhol.

“I heard about it over the years,” said Khan, about the work. “It’s a remarkable piece of history.” Hopper shot the print twice when he mistook it for the actual Chinese leader, according to Christie’s.

“That was a pleasant surprise,” said Alex Hitz, the trustee of the Hopper estate. “Dennis loved that piece.” The print was No. 144 in an edition of 250, with 50 artist’s proofs.

Another top lot was a Warhol print of Marilyn Monroe that sold for $206,500, far exceeding the presale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. It was No. 120 from an edition of 250, with 26 artist’s proofs.

The auction house sold a smaller group of blue-chip works from the Hopper estate in November 2010 for $12.8 million, with a 1987 Jean-Michel Basquiat mixed-media canvas taking in $5.8 million. Today’s auction had more-affordable artworks, with many surpassing their presale estimates.

‘Dennis’s Acumen’

“’It’s nice to see the market recognizing Dennis’s acumen as a collector,” Hitz said. “His family is very pleased with the results.”

Other highlights included Marcel Duchamp’s 1963 “A Poster Within a Poster,” which sold for $18,750 to New York collector Larry Warsh, up from a low estimate of $8,000.

Julian Schnabel’s blue watercolor portrait of Hopper, appraised for $1,000 to $1,500, sold for $11,250. An abstract graphite drawing by German artist Gerhard Richter surged past it high estimate of $8,000 to fetch $32,500.

A collage by Bruce Conner, a reclusive artist who died in 2008, fetched $96,100, more than nine times its presale low estimate of $10,000. Another work, featuring 20 fingerprints, went for $18,750, up from the low estimate of $800. Both works were bought by L & M Arts gallery, which specializes in postwar and contemporary masters.

“Conner consciously kept out of the marketplace,” said Brett Gorvy, Christie’s deputy chairman and international co-head of postwar, contemporary art. “Now he is seen as an extraordinary figure, noncommercial, provocative and extremely meticulous.”

‘Underground World’

Hopper was friends with many of the California artists.

“He was very much part of that underground world,” said Janine Cirincione, executive director of Chelsea’s Friedman Benda gallery. “He got real gems.”

Hopper, who described himself as a “gallery bum,” began collecting in the 1950s. His own photographs were shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art last summer.

The actor’s memorabilia, including an “Easy Rider” script with his handwritten notes, and furniture from his Frank Gehry- designed Venice Beach home, will go on the block tomorrow, during the second day of Christie’s “Interiors” auction.

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.