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Christie’s will be auctioning works from the private collection of U.S. author Michael Crichton at their keenly-anticipated “Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale” on May 11 in New York.

The sale will include works by Koons, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Gursky, Oldenburg, Picasso, Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Tansey, Thiebaud and Warhol. The highlight of the auction is expected to be Jasper Johns’ Flag, one of the most famous icons of American art.

Says Brett Gorvey, the Deputy Chairman of Christie’s America: “Well, Johns is an extraordinary, rare artist. He paints very few paintings a year, maybe five or six pictures a year, and his most famous image is the American flag and it was this particular object that changed the whole course of art history in the 1950s and 60s.”

Michael Crichton – who died in November 2008 – sold more than 150 million books worldwide in 36 languages, and many have been made into blockbuster movies like Jurassic Park. He acquired Jasper Johns’ “Flag”’ directly from the artist.

Says Brett Gorvey: “We have seen in the marketplace that whether new emerging collectors or older collectors, they want the best of the best. And in a time when there is great rarity in these objects coming to sale, when they do appear on the auction market, where there is… In particular you have this great competition. Ultimately the prices are way beyond any estimate we can put on any particular object. So when you have something that is so crucial to art history as the Jasper Johns’ ‘Flag’, but something that is so fresh to the market, never been seen in the market, but also coming from an amazing provinance, and this extraordinary relationship between artist and collector, it has all the magic.”

The works were on view in Los Angeles giving the public a chance to see many of them for the first time.

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