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Kiki Kogelnik (Austrian, 1935-1997)


Birth Place: Bleiburg, Austria


Who was painter Kiki Kogelnik?

Kiki Kogelnik was a pop artist whose work spanned several mediums including painting, sculpting, and printmaking. While Kogelnik herself never believed herself to be a “pop” artist, there is no denying her influence on the pop world thanks to her colorful, beautiful oil and acrylic on canvas pieces. She worked and rubbed elbows with some of the most famous artists of the 1960s including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Robert Rauschenberg. She was famous for wearing outlandish hats, an oversized personality, and exploring themes of space and the body with extremely colorful and almost whimsical paintings.

Her work has been imitated and deconstructed by many artists who have come after her, but Kogelnik’s aesthetic is wholly original. Her work has been displayed at some of the most prestigious galleries and museums in the world but is perhaps best known for her art-deco themed restaurants in Manhattan -- Elephant, Castle, and One Fifth Avenue. These eateries were not only known for their aesthetics, but for the artistic clientele that they attracted.

What kind of art did Kiki Kogelnik make?

Kiki Kogelnik made colorful paintings, beautiful glass pieces, and abstract figure forms made from cut paper. Many of these works had a space setting or theme but often used atypical colors for the subject -- her work was colorful, vibrant, and had wonderful joie de vivre to it. As she progressed through her career, her work became more varied. The glass pieces started sometime in the late 1980s and were what Kogelnik described as “punk-chic.” Her first show as in 1965 at the Austrian Institute, which helped catapult her to national fame and recognition.

How did painter Kiki Kogelnik get started?

Kiki Kogelnik was born in the small town of Bleiburg in Austria. She exhibited talent for painting early on, studying first at the Fine Arts Academy of Vienna, then later moving to Paris in the late 1950s. Her biggest move came in 1961 when she moved to New York and joined the already bustling avant-garde scene there. It was there that she would discover her love of the human figure and bright, intense use of colors. These works would go on to inspire an entire generation of pop artists after her -- though Kogelnik always resented the pop label with her work. Later, she would expand her palate to include printmaking and sculpting to her mediums. No matter the art, there is a through-line to all of Kogelnik’s work that makes them instantly recognizable, and instantly desirable to almost any serious collector.

How much are Kiki Kogelnik paintings worth?

Kiki Kogelnik is one of the great artists of the second half of the twentieth century, on the low end her pieces can be had for a few thousand dollars, but on the high end can go for more than $175,000. The most ever paid for a Kiki Kogelnik piece at auction is $176,320 for the painting Superserpent (1974) which sold on November 25th, 2019. This is a large outlier though, her next highest painting is $54,250 for the piece Heiress to a sugar fortune (1972) and probably is more representative of the high end of Kogelnik’s market value.

Where to buy Kiki Kogelnik paintings for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Kiki Kogelnik paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.

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