ÂŠ Yoshitomo Nara
20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York, 14 November 2019, 5pm
25. Ed Ruscha
5. Joan Mirรณ
â€œWe Catalans believe that you must plant your feet frmly on the ground if you want to be able to jump high in the air. The fact that I come down to earth from time to time makes it possible to jump higher.â€? Joan MirĂł, 1948
26. Jean-Michel Basquiat
35. Cy Twombly
20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale New York, 14 November 2019, 5pm
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Lots 1â€“42 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale 14 November 2019, 5pm
29. Keith Haring
1. Julie Curtiss
Party Down signed, titled and dated â€œParty Down, 2016 Julie Curtissâ€? on the reverse. acrylic and oil on canvas. 40 x 32 in. (101.6 x 81.3 cm.). Painted in 2016. Estimate $30,000-50,000
Provenance The Hole, New York Private Collection Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited New York, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Julie Tuyet Curtiss: Refections (curated by Hein Koh), February 28 - March 6, 2017 Literature “Julie Curtiss”, Work in Progress, June 2017, online (illustrated) “Brigitte Mulholland with Julie Curtiss”, PAINTING IS DEAD, November 2, 2017, online (illustrated)
Depicting the female body as a vibrantly loaded cannon of carnal desire, Julie Curtiss’s alluring paintings reenvision the conceptual and aesthetic principles of Surrealism for the contemporary era. Epitomizing Curtiss’s painterly approach to 21st century sexuality and the uncanny, Party Down, 2016 is a large-scale example of the distinctive yet referential visual lexicon that has launched the artist to international acclaim. Destabilizing the art-historical trope of the female nude, Party Down depicts two women—one wholly nude, the other in a garter belt holding a whip—caught in an act of sensual
René Magritte, The Lovers, 1928. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 C. Herscovici, Brussels/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
indiscretion. Their bodies, contoured with short feather strokes, and weaponized, acute breasts are echoed in dramatic, distorted shadows as the women cover their faces before the bright light brought by the intruder. Coalescing French modernism with American graphic decisions, Curtiss’s precise execution of fetishistic subject matters upend conventional notions of gender, sexuality, and pictorial narration. Though the artist has articulated her admiration for Édouard Manet’s pioneering depictions of carnal hedonism and Gustave Courbet’s privatelycommissioned explicit paintings from the 1860s, such as Woman with White Stockings, 1864, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Curtiss’s images exude a mysterious eroticism more evocative of that of Surrealism. Chiefy driven by their concern with Freudian psychology and the subconscious, many Surrealists executed works with a palpable sexual dimension; in fact, this preoccupation was enthusiastically supported by André Breton and Louis Aragon, who published an article in 1928 memorializing hysteria. “We Surrealists are anxious to celebrate… hysteria, the greatest poetic discovery of the end of the nineteenth century,” Aragon and Breton declared. “Hysteria is not a pathological phenomenon and can be considered in every respect a supreme means of expression” (André Breton and Louis Aragon, “The Quinquagenary of Hysteria (1878-1928)”, La Révolution surréaliste, no. 11, March 1928). Indulging in their own physical desire, the two women in Party Down contrastingly appear to be fushed—even mortifed as they cover their faces—when they are caught expressing their sexuality. Always interested in the distinction between the “domesticated” and “wild” female archetypes, Curtiss accentuates the internal shame still associated with female eroticism, despite its fetishism by Surrealist doctrine. Curtiss’s artistic language perhaps most conspicuously betrays an afnity to that of the Chicago Imagists, a group of artists who attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and exhibited together in the midto late 1960s. Bearing a specifc resemblance to the paintings of the group’s associate, Christina Ramberg,
Party Down evokes its predecessor’s work through its provocative subject matter, tightly framed composition, and exploitation of hair as a malleable object of both fetishistic desire and revulsion. In clarifying their shared interest of the latter, Curtiss explained, “Hair itself is amorphous, but you can shape it; it’s inert and alive at once. On women’s heads it’s a sexual asset, but on her body, it’s considered ‘abject’” (Julie Curtiss, quoted in Evan Pricco, “Julie Curtiss: Where the Wild Things Are”, Juxtapoz Magazine, 2019, online). Fingernails function similarly in Curtiss and Ramberg’s work: while the manicured, red-lacquered nails of the women in Party Down carry seductive connotations, fngernails detached from cuticles are typically considered to be revolting, or even nauseating. In their untraditional portrayals of female sexuality, Curtiss and Ramberg subvert arbitrary conventions of sensuality and beauty perpetuated by the male gaze. As Ramberg and the Surrealists did, Curtiss meticulously erects enigmatic scenes and characters that challenge societal convictions regarding womanhood and sexuality. Only two party-goers are represented in the painting, but a whip sneaking into the right side of the composition informs the viewer of an indiscernible third presence; moreover, though the women are concealing their visages, the Magritte-ian absence of any facial features causes an uncertainty
Ray Yoshida, His and Hers, 1971. The Art Institute of Chicago, Image The Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource, NY © 2019 Ray Yoshida
Domenico Gnoli, Black Hair, 1969. Private Collection, Image Mondadori Portfolio/Electa/ Sergio Anelli/Bridgeman Images, Artwork © 2019 Domenico Gnoli/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome
about what they are attempting to obscure. Indeed, nothing is safe from Curtiss’s engagement with enigma in Party Down—not even the characters’ femininity, which is jeopardized by their sinister, monstrous hands, that according to the artist, have “something masculine about them—kind of feshy or claw-like. I represent women, but there are always masculine elements in the women” (Julie Curtiss, quoted in “Brigitte Mulholland with Julie Curtiss”, PAINTING IS DEAD, November 2, 2017, online). Created two years afer the artist began working for KAWS, Party Down also incorporates the pronounced, distorted shadows that Curtiss learned from her mentor, imbuing the painting with a further sense of mystery and secrecy; indeed, the shadow of the fgure on the right’s hand resembles an alien appendage. A comical, impenetrable depiction of a BDSM party, the work is emblematic of the capacity of her salacious narratives to explore the pictorial concerns of the past within her present context. “So much of Surrealism is about archetypes, and male artists have extensively represented their female archetypes,” Curtis outlined. “The interesting thing for me, while revisiting the Surrealist language, is to turn that female archetype inside out, shifing perception, like the model descending from the pedestal and picking up a brush” (Julie Curtiss, quoted in Evan Pricco, “Julie Curtiss: Where the Wild Things Are”, Juxtapoz Magazine, 2019, online).
2. Tschabalala Self
Mista & Mrs. linen, fabric, paper, oil, acrylic, and Flashe on canvas. 96 x 90 in. (243.8 x 228.6 cm.). Executed in 2016. Estimate $120,000-180,000
Provenance T293, Rome Private Collection Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Rome, T293, Tschabalala Self, March 18 - May 27, 2016 London, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, Tschabalala Self, January 17 - March 12, 2017, pp. 59, 83 (illustrated, p. 58) Glasgow, Tramway, Tschabalala Self, June 3 - August 20, 2017 New York, New Museum, Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, September 27, 2017 - January 21, 2018, p. 367
Bodies are captured in moments of dynamic movement in Tschabalala Self’s profound yet delicate works that investigate the racialized and gendered politics of the gaze through layers of canvas, sewn fabric, paint, and collage. Included in the 2017-2018 New Museum exhibition in New York, Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, Mista & Mrs. is from a series Self executed during a residency in Naples, in which each work portrayed various fgures socializing at an imagined house party hosted by Self. In the present
work, two fgures composed of both richly painted and collaged elements dance together in a dynamic fashion inspired by Soul Train, a dance television program that was incredibly popular in the 1970s and 1980s and celebrated African American music culture. In its sophisticated exploration of the physical, psychological, and political sides of human interaction, Mista & Mrs. is emblematic of Self’s pioneering approach which has been celebrated in the last year at her exhibitions at the Yuz Museum, Shanghai; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Frye Art Museum, Seattle; and MoMA PS1, New York. As a metaphor for the multifaceted nature of the “self,” the artist employs textiles as a means of constructing complex layers of identity for both herself and her subjects. Her choice of material, as well as her predilection for recycling and repurposing fabrics, is a tribute to her upbringing and her mother, who would use African or African-inspired cloth to stitch items for her family. “My mom would sew at home, making curtains and clothes,” Self recalled. “I use a lot of the fabric that she collected. She would also reuse things.
Faith Ringgold, Groovin High, 1986. Private Collection, Photo courtesy of Faith Ringgold/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Faith Ringgold/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
“I think that when people dance and how people dance can be a way to fght back.” Tschabalala Self
If my sisters outgrew a pair of pants, she would turn them into skirts. I do that in my practice. Everything is a part of the space that it was created in” (Tschabalala Self, quoted in “An Individual Is Made of Many Parts: Tschabalala Self Interviewed by Sasha Bonét”, BOMB Magazine, November 20, 2018, online). Moreover, the melange of textiles in Mista & Mrs., 2016 emphasizes the myriad distinct aspects of an individual’s identity: by layering the work with diferent fabrics, Self impels the viewer to comprehend her subjects as intricate composites of discrete distinguishing elements, just as one understands oneself. Self’s fgures are always depicted in movement as a mode of agency, interacting with and taking up space; in Mista & Mrs., the couple’s motion is exaggerated by the extension of the man’s legs to fll the width of the canvas. “With each project, I try to further animate the body. The signifcance of it being animated and the body being able to move, is that through its movement it can gain a certain level of agency that corrupts the normal
Above/below: Romare Bearden, Empress of the Blues, 1974. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Image Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C./Art Resource, NY, Artwork © The Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York Soul Train, 1967. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/ Getty Images
power dynamic of viewer and object” (Tschabalala Self, quoted in Jason Parham, “The Hypervisible Black Women of Tschabalala Self’s World”, Fader, April 20, 2017, online). In their capability of moving, breathing, and dancing in similar ways as the viewer does, the fgures of Mista & Mrs. reclaim their space and subvert the typical relationship between a sentient viewer and an objectifed, idle subject. “Seeing the way people dance amongst each other… it’s the perfect opportunity to imagine their stories,” Self articulated. “I think that when people dance and how people dance can be a way to fght back” (Tschabalala Self, quoted in Ashton Cooper, “A Space to Dance: An Interview with Tschabalala Self”, Pelican Bomb, March 14, 2016, online). Through its recourse to traditional craf and relationship to collage, Mista & Mrs. betrays the artist’s admiration for Romare Bearden’s portrayals of the sociocultural conditions of black quotidian life. By using the setting of a house party—an event typically considered to be one of care-free, excitable sociability—Self urges the viewer to consider the political lens through which we watch people and their bodies, an act of objectifcation in itself which she underscores in the exposure of the female fgure’s breast. “It’s more like you imagine the subject in a painting is living their life or experiencing a moment in their existence that you have to witness. That’s the positionality I want the viewer to take in order for them to understand the signifcance of their relationship to the fgure,” Self elucidated. “The fgures, they’re not necessarily performing anything for the viewers; I want them just to be. They’re living their own lives” (Tschabalala Self, quoted in Jason Parham, “The Hypervisible Black Women of Tschabalala Self’s World”, Fader, April 20, 2017, online).
Property from a Distinguished Midwestern Collection
Johns Painting With Two Balls stenciled with the artist’s name and title and dated “PAINTING WITH TWO BALLS 1987 STURTEVANT” lower edge; further signed, titled and dated ““JOHNS PAINTING WITH TWO BALLS” e. sturtevant ‘87” on the reverse. encaustic and paper collage on 3 joined canvases with metal brackets and 2 balls. 65 x 54 1/8 in. (165.1 x 137.5 cm.). Executed in 1987. Estimate $500,000-700,000
Provenance Stefan Stux, New York Bess Cutler Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in May 1988 Exhibited New York, Stux Gallery, Sturtevant, 1987, n.p. (illustrated) Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart; Deichtorhallen Hamburg; Villa Arson Nice, STURTEVANT, June 25, 1992 March 27, 1993, p. 81 (illustrated) Literature Roberta Smith, “Art: Sigmar Polke’s Witty Disappearing Act”, The New York Times, November 6, 1987, p. 32 John Waters and Bruce Hainley, Art - A Sex Book, New York, 2003, pp. 18, 20, 203 (illustrated, p. 21) Lena Maculan, ed., Sturtevant: Catalogue Raisonné 19642004, Ostfldern-Ruit, 2004, no. 31, p. 52 (illustrated)
In Johns Painting with Two Balls, 1987, Sturtevant reimagines Jasper Johns’s tour de force with arresting precision, capturing the vivid, brimming expanse and the anatomically tongue-in-cheek spheres of Painting with Two Balls, 1960, Collection of Jasper Johns. Executed one year afer her return from a decade-long hiatus from making art, Johns Painting with Two Balls exemplifes the conceptual nature of Sturtevant’s practice that bafed critics during the frst half of her career. A descendant of the 20th century art historical genealogy of appropriation art, which was initiated by the readymades of Marcel Duchamp—whose work asked viewers what art should be and how it should look—Sturtevant was closely associated with and used as source material work from her fellow mid-century appropriators, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and, of course, Johns. Since producing her frst Johns Flag in 1965, the artist created at least 45 versions of works by her dear friend, betraying a specifc, career-long preoccupation with his oeuvre. Using the same materials and practices as he did, Johns Painting with Two Balls exploits the supposed individual genius present in contemporaneous masterpieces, accentuating that despite the work’s meticulous likeness to Johns’s, “there’s no force there to make it exactly like a Johns. Quite the opposite—the characteristic force is lacking” (Sturtevant, quoted in “Sturtevant, with Peter Halley”, Index Magazine, September/October 2005, p. 48).
When selecting pieces to reinterpret, Sturtevant would look for ones that were “immediately recognizable” because “you have to know it’s a Johns,” Sturtevant explained, “for the work to function” (Sturtevant, quoted in Bill Arning, “Sturtevant”, Journal of Contemporary Art, vol. 2, no. 2, Fall/Winter 1989, p. 41). However, when scouring for these instantly identifable images, she did not revisit the masterpieces of the distant past but instead selected works from the previous few decades, scrutinizing the objects in the interim between their completion and their sanctifcation into the canon of art history. By interceding during this indeterminate period, Sturtevant obliged the viewer to contemplate the authorship and ostensible irreplicability of the works that would be framed as the paragons of 20th century art. “Although she can reproduce a painting to the line,” Douglas David elucidated, “these works are not really copies. Their intent is to seize upon iconic ideas and images now at large in the world and use them as though they were common, not private, property” (Douglas David, “Country Art and City Art”, Newsweek, March 11, 1974, p. 91). Raising further inquiries into conventional notions of authenticity is her process; she chiefy worked from careful memory, aspiring not to produce exact replicas but rather to execute originals that challenged postDada understandings of the mythologized and mystical power of the artist’s hand. Though Sturtevant never asked artists for permission before recreating works, their admiration of her logic was implied considering
Louise Lawler, Anonymous, 1991. Seattle Art Museum, Gif in honor of Virginia Wright, 98.17. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
Robert Rauschenberg, Short Circuit, 1955, including Sturtevant’s replacement for Jasper Johns’s fag discovered missing in 1965. The Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
that Warhol once lent her his silkscreens so that she could easily reenvision his Flowers, and that Johns owns multiple of her pieces. In fact, when one of Johns’s fag paintings that was an element of Robert Rauschenberg’s combine, Short Circuit, 1955, Art Institute of Chicago, was purloined, Rauschenberg commissioned a rendering of it from Sturtevant. “The brutal truth of the work is that it is not a copy,” she asserted. “The push and shove of the work is the leap from image to concept. The dynamics of the work is that it throws out representation” (Sturtevant, quoted in Sturtevant: The Brutal Truth, exh. cat., Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, 2004, p. 19). Johns Painting with Two Balls impels us to consider the Duchamp-ian question: what is the true essence of a Johns work, the quality that makes a Johns a Johns? When Johns created Painting with Two Balls, Abstract Expressionism was still present but losing steam as Pop Art was expected to supersede it to become the prevailing movement in the New York art scene. Typically considered a masculine enterprise, Abstract Expressionism bemused Johns, a reserved man who had little regard for its brazen machismo and “ballsy” disciples who believed that their philosophical rationalizations and vigorous gestural brushwork somehow evinced their manhood. With his unabating propensity to satire, Johns approached the surface of Painting with Two Balls with a mocking vitality and tauntingly vibrant palette before inserting the overt anatomical reference between the top two panels. Adding a new layer of complexity to this dialogue, Sturtevant’s version was executed almost thirty years
afer Johns’s parody of the hypermasculinity of Abstract Expressionism, an interval which saw the rise and apex of second-wave feminism. Sturtevant—who stopped using her frst name, Elaine, in order to obfuscate her sex—must have been all too aware of the gender dynamics of the art world as a woman reinterpreting pieces by better-known male artists. Despite her vehement resistance to being pigeonholed as a “feminist artist,” Johns Painting with Two Balls adds a second, self-referential dimension to Johns’s critique of modernism as a manly pursuit. “In some ways, style is her medium,” the curator of Sturtevant’s 2014-2015 retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Peter Eleey, espoused. “She was the frst postmodern artist—before the fact—and also the last” (Peter Eleey, quoted in Margalit Fox, “Elaine Sturtevant, Who Borrowed Others’ Work Artfully, Is Dead at 89”, The New York Times, May 16, 2014, online). Indeed, from reconceptualizing a close friend’s chef-d’oeuvre in Johns Painting with Two Balls to using Pop Art’s predilection for appropriation against itself in her versions of Warhol’s iconic imagery, Sturtevant is credited with launching a new era of art exploring queries of authorship and originality. Eleey further expounded, “by faking faking, she showed that she was not a copyist, plagiarist, parodist, forger, or imitator, but was rather a kind of actionist, who adopted style as her medium in order to investigate aspects of art’s making, circulation, consumption, and canonization” (Peter Eleey, Sturtevant: Double Trouble, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2014, p. 50).
Property from a Distinguished American Collection
4. Yoshitomo Nara
Little Thinker signed in Japanese, titled and dated â€œlittle thinker 2000â€? on the reverse. acrylic on canvas. 44 x 40 in. (111.8 x 101.6 cm.). Painted in 2000. Estimate $3,000,000-4,000,000
Provenance Blum & Poe, Los Angeles Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2001 Exhibited Houston, Asia Society, Texas Center, Contemporary Asian Art: Texas Connections, April 14 - September 16, 2012
“People should fall in love with their eyes closed.” Andy Warhol
Executed in Yoshitomo Nara’s signature style, Little Thinker, 2000, commemorates the meditative faculty of imagination and the individual. The protagonist is one of Nara’s most enduring motifs, a child, whose
eyes are sofly closed in a state of gentle refection against a creamy, luminescent background. The child is ambiguously gendered, a typical tactic of the artist’s which he explained by noting, “I don’t think of her as a girl because it is a neutral image. It is just something that popped into my mind and I have not thought about it. For me, there is no distinct sex because people become men or women when they grow up. Children are more neutral. That is the way I see them” (Yoshitomo Nara, quoted in Catherine Shaw, “Yoshitomo Nara in Conversation”, Ocula, May 9, 2016, online). Though Nara’s youths have appeared emanating a wide range of emotional complexities, from violence to mischief to quiet contemplation, the present work is emblematic of the painter’s depictions of children as manifestations of adult activities. The epitome of the artist’s fusion of the “superfat” aesthetic of his peer, Takashi Murakami, and Buddhist inner stillness, Little Thinker is an homage to moments of interiority and quietude found within the bustle of contemporary culture. The graphic and highly stylized approach in Little Thinker is evocative of the exaggerated, fat features used for characters in anime and manga, two of the most predominant infuences on Japanese contemporary art. Moreover, Nara’s work shares a “kawaii” quality, or a Japanese notion of extreme cuteness, with these media’s portrayals of childhood.
Constantin Brancusi, Muse, 1912. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Image Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris
Despite these afnities with youthful storytelling, Nara’s seemingly incorrupt protagonists are implicated in undisputedly adult narratives: sometimes they hold weapons, smoke cigarettes, or wear menacing glances, and other times, such as in Little Thinker, they are engaged in serene, silent meditation, a sharp contrast to the energetic disposition typically assigned to children. In depicting juveniles wise beyond their years, Nara utilizes the simple, uninhibited world of youth to explore the brutality of adult life and to remind the viewer of the poignant innocence of childhood imagination. “Nara does not retreat entirely into the make-believe,” the curator Kristin Chambers elucidated. “Rather, he provides a conduit to another world—a world hopefully still within reach—through the immediacy and directness of children. He invites us to reconnect with the imaginative and imaginary possibilities in their distant but once familiar land” (Kristin Chambers, Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, 2003, p. 26).
Above/below: Giorgio de Chirico, The Child’s Brain, 1914. Moderna Museet, Stockholm, De Agostini Picture Library/G. Nimatallah/ Bridgeman Images Lucian Freud, Woman with Eyes Closed, 2002. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 Lucian Freud Archive All Rights Reserved
Little Thinker was executed during a pivotal year in Nara’s career, during which he returned to Japan afer 12 years living abroad in Germany. Coinciding with the artist’s return to his native country, prominent aesthetic and conceptual shifs arose in his production, such as his employment of simple compositions painted on large format canvases and the refned execution of his signature, luminous expanses, such as in Little Thinker. “The beings I had drawn and painted in Germany began to mature. The emotional quality of the earlier work gave way to a new sense of composure,” Nara refected. “In my pursuit of fresh imagery, I switched from idle experimentation to a more workmanlike approach toward capturing what I saw beyond the canvas” (Yoshitomo Nara, Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works, vol. 1, San Francisco, 2011, p. 45). This new pursuit led to not only formal changes but to mood shifs as well: while in the 1990s the artist used the motif of the young girl as a symbol for rebellion or adolescent violence, he sofened his characters’ dispositions at the end of the decade. A quiet portrayal of introspective refection, Little Thinker epitomizes Nara’s evolution to more serene and humanized scenes during this period.
Contemplation Related Works by Yoshitomo Nara
Blue Sheep, 1999
The Little Star Dweller, 2006
Green Girl, 2008
Princess of Snooze, 2001
ÂŠ Yoshitomo Nara
“My eyes close and uncomprehendingly see the dream in the infnite space that stretches away, elusive, before me.” Paul Gauguin in a letter to André Fontainas, March 1899
It is apt that, in this shif to depicting ruminative interiority, the artist would choose to render children with their eyes delicately closed. Though it is unclear if the protagonist of Little Thinker is meditating or daydreaming, the child regardless betrays a Buddha-esque sense of tranquility, a divergence from the immaturity customarily associated with youth. The adult nature of the character’s disposition was further illuminated by Nara’s decision to name his 2017 exhibition at Pace Gallery, New York Thinker and to later clarify that he himself is the thinking being that the show referred to. In fact, the child’s expression in Little Thinker is more evocative of Saint Francis’s tranquil visage
painted by Nara’s idol, Giotto, in Dream of the Palace, 1297-1299, Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, than of the slumbering face of Paul Gauguin’s child in Clovis Sleeping, 1894. In this sense, Little Thinker hints not at a wild youthful fantasy but instead at a conscious, sagacious internal world that is only accessible to him/ her. Indeed, the philosopher Yoshitomo Takayuki has delineated Nara’s paintings like the present work as triggering “the function of another unconscious eye” that is simultaneously omnipresent and distant “as if it were a recollected vision” (Yoshitomo Takayuki, Yoshitomo Nara: I Don’t Mind, If You Forget Me, exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, 2001, p. 171). Little Thinker draws from Nara’s long list of infuences, from anime and manga to Renaissance painting, from literature to grafti and punk music. An amalgamation of all of these cultural elements, Little Thinker ironically coalesces a careful tranquility with the nocturnal fervor with which Nara paints. According to Chambers’s description of the artist’s process, “Nara works alone in his studio, usually late at night, with punk rock screaming from speakers. He chain-smokes as he concentrates on channeling all of his past ghosts and present emotions into the deceptively simple face of his current subject. Each painting—each fgure—is typically executed in the span of one night, capturing both a range of emotion and a specifc mood” (Kristin Chambers, Yoshitomo Nara: Nothing Ever Happens, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, 2003, p. 26). In this unlikely combination of serenity and vigor, Nara arrived at an image of an intimate internal world characterized by both childlike wonder and shrewd contemplation. Redolent of the introspective potency encapsulated by Odilon Redon’s Closed Eyes, 1890, Musée d’Orsay, Paris and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave, 1513-1516, Louvre Museum, Paris, Little Thinker epitomizes the crucial shif Nara’s oeuvre took in 2000 and the genesis of a new artistic philosophy that still informs the painter’s work today.
The Human Figure in the Post-War Era Masterworks from the 1940s–1950s
Seldom in the history of art have so many cataclysms taken their toll as in the frst half of the 20th century. In Europe and the United States, a millennia-worth of cultural baggage was suddenly overthrown and the previously-accepted precepts of art were turned on their heads. Afer World War I, Dada and Surrealism sang of the chaos and brutality of existence while other artists celebrated the wonders of technology. In the wake of World War II, a more provocative embrace of the darkness and chaos seen to lurk in the heart of mankind emerged. On both sides of the Atlantic, when the rulebook was thrown out, abstraction flled the void. In Europe, Art Informel prevailed, while Abstract Expressionism fourished in the States. Despite this, a number of trailblazing artists determined to remain anchored to fguration, to the image. Some had already been working in the previous decades. Joan Miró, for example, had developed his own unique and lyrical Surrealism in the wake of World War I. Responding to a changing world, Miró’s style continuously evolved, as demonstrated by Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux of 1952 (lot 5). This energetic painting combines Miró’s long-standing themes and techniques with a fresh new directness and a forceful sense of gesture. Inspired in part by the ugly nature of the Spanish Civil War and World War II, this also owed a debt to the advances
in American abstraction which had been inspired by his own example. Miró observed the American avant-garde with fascination, as the teacher retaining the enthusiasm of a keen student. This is refected in particular in the expressionistic outlines that delineate the main fgure, which are thrust into bolder relief through their contrast with other more meticulous, calligraphic areas. Similarly, Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise dans un fauteuil of 1948 (lot 7) continues the artist’s long history of probing the frontiers of fgurative expression. Picasso’s Blue Period, afer all, had been but the frst of many one-man artistic revolutions, and had taken place almost half a century earlier, with Cubism following less than a decade later. Compared to Picasso’s recent images of an anguished Dora Maar, Femme assise dans un fauteuil is an image of tranquility, with sinuous curves defning much of the composition. Picasso also introduced elements of his own private lexicon—the profle in the arms, the small head of Françoise, the palette-like claw of a hand—to explore the expressive potential of his signs. At the same time, there is a darkness to this painting, with the tiny head shown isolated against its swathe of dark hair, revealing the artist tapping into the atmosphere of existential anxiety that characterized so much of the frmament of intellectual life at the time in France and in Europe.
This characteristic is even more noticeable in the works of Alberto Giacometti. In his Portrait of G. David Thompson of 1957 (lot 6), Giacometti has presented the wealthy American visionary collector in a manner that echoes Picasso’s depiction of Françoise. He is swimming in the expanse of the canvas, and his scale introduces a poignant sense of fragility that is only accentuated by the dabbed accumulation of black and ochre brushstrokes that coalesce to give a spectral sense of his presence. In conveying Thompson in this fickering, tenuous manner, Giacometti has created not only a portrait, but a searing existentialist vision of the fckle nature of life itself.
This humanism fnds an analogue in Norman Rockwell’s Before the Shot of 1958 (lot 8), a work of intense observation. During its creation, Rockwell is documented to have sought the correct fooring, the correct chairs, the correct position for the doctor, and even the correct amount of buttock being exposed in expectation of the titular shot. This is a magical vignette of American life. Rather than showing a world in which the center has come unstuck, as was ofen the case with Rockwell’s contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic, this instead immerses us within the narrative of everyday existence. It is a celebration—albeit one with a sense of ominous anticipation as the moment of the jab approaches.
Compared to the works of the contemporaries mentioned above, angst and turmoil have less of a place in Henry Moore’s Family Group, executed in 1947 (lot 33), only a few years afer the end of the War. Moore’s stylized fguration, with bodies shaped like pieces of fint or bone, leaves little room for gloom or cynicism in comparison to its existentially-tormented contemporaries, instead demonstrating Moore’s belief that “the war brought out and encouraged the humanist side in one’s work” (Henry Moore, quoted in Roger Berthoud, The Life of Henry Moore, London, 1987, p. 176).
There could not be a greater contrast between this approach to fguration and that of Rockwell’s compatriot Philip Guston. In the fnal phase of his career, beginning in the late 1960s, Guston turned away from the celebrated abstraction that he had helped to pioneer and instead began creating ofen unsettling images of various fgures, sometimes wearing the distinctive hoods of the Ku Klux Klan and other times depicted with bulbous heads. In At the Table, dating from 1969 (lot 12)—the very beginning of this seminal development—Guston shows the foating heads of two hooded fgures at a table with a cloth that is directly at odds with the unspoken violence they embody. As Guston makes clear, Europeans did not hold a monopoly on anxiety. —William Paton
Property from a Distinguished Family Collection
5. Joan Miró
Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux signed “Miró” lower right; further signed, inscribed, titled and dated “19 Miró 1952 PAYSAN CATALAN INQUIET PAR LE PASSAGE D’UN VOL D’OISEAUX” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 36 1/8 x 28 5/8 in. (91.8 x 72.7 cm.). Painted in 1952. Estimate $7,000,000-10,000,000
Provenance Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner in 1954 Exhibited Paris, Galerie Maeght, Joan Miró: Oeuvres récentes, June 19 - August 1953, no. 19 New York, Pierre Matisse Gallery, Miró: Recent Paintings, November 17 - December 19, 1953, no. 19, n.p. (illustrated) Literature Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paris, 1961, no. 792, p. 544 (illustrated) Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paris, 1993, no. 313, p. 292 (illustrated) Jacques Dupin and Ariane Lelong-Mainaud, Joan Miró: Catalogue raisonné. Paintings, vol. III, Paris, 2001, no. 901, p. 184 (illustrated)
We are grateful to Charles Stuckey, Art Historian and former curator of French Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and 20th Century Painting and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, for his expertise and assistance with the research of this work.
From a verdant expanse, Joan Miró’s Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux, 1952, presents his playful vignette: a bird presented over three states festoons a Catalan peasant, donning a traditional barretina. As with any masterwork by the artist, there is more at play here than simple mimetic illustration of the title. The protagonist’s red Catalan cap is also the bulbous red nose with upturned nostrils of a critter, or even the “O” of the artist’s name, hidden in plain sight. In this painting, we see Miró returning to some of the most signifcant thematic preoccupations explored in his work before the war, but through the lens of his post-war experience. A rare but incredibly totemic subject for the artist, Miró explored the symbolic resonance of the Catalan peasant in some of his earliest important works from the 1920s, including his Catalan Peasants from 1924 and 1925 in Tate, London and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. respectively. Here, the green color feld, a rarity in his oeuvre, signals the hopeful mood pervasive in the 1950s rather than acting as a direct representation of the fertile landscape the peasant inhabits.
Unseen for over six decades, the painting was frst and last seen in 1953 when shown as a highlight in the artist’s major post-war survey exhibitions at Galerie Maeght, Paris and Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, which served to present his recent work to an international audience. The painting was acquired at the conclusion of the Pierre Matisse show in 1953 and has been held in the same family collection ever since. From the early 1920s, Miró took to hiding or incorporating the letters of his name in many of his most important works. That is indeed the case here in Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux, where the disparate elements which comprise his composition coalesce to spell MIRÓ. The soaring bird in the upper right forms the “M”; the avian-like fgure careening down the length of the right side forms the “I”; the curves of the main protagonist echo the “R” and the “O” can equally be found in two exclamation points within the composition: the puntos of the barretina or the “bullseye” of the fgure itself. The letters swirl over the expanse of his composition, almost as though they are foating on the atmosphere he has breathed into the picture plane itself. Miró could have been speaking to the inception of this work when he espoused in 1953, “Rather than setting out to paint something, I begin painting and as I paint the picture begins to assert itself under my brush. The form
Alexander Calder, Cock, 1958. Private Collection, Image Calder Foundation, New York/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Above/below: The present work installed at Pierre Matisse Gallery, Miró: Recent Paintings, November 17–December 19, 1953. Photo Oliver Baker. Successió Miró Archive, Artwork © 2018 Successió Miró Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York ADAGP, Paris Joan Miró, Peinture, 1953. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
becomes a sign for a woman, or for a bird as I work” (Joan Miró, quoted in Joan Miró: Recent Paintings, exh. cat., Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1953, n.p.). With Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux, Miró returns to the hero of several of his most important works from before the War, the Catalan peasant. As in such paintings as the seminal Tête de paysan catalan, 1925, Tate, London, and his celebrated lost masterpiece, Le Faucheur, for the Republican Spanish Pavilion in the 1937 World Fair, the protagonist of this work dons the traditional red barretina. Robert Desnos recalled that Miró kept one of these “liberty” caps in his studio and the artist’s notebooks indicate that he had even contemplated including a Catalan cap
in one of his early self-portraits (Joan Miró, Catalan Notebooks, London, 1977, p. 134). The theme was one which strongly resonated for the artist, who like many Spaniards, presumably saw the peasant, and his way of life, as rooted in nature, as a nostalgic anachronism to the recent socio-political climate. In Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux, the peasant makes his reappearance in both the content of the picture and its poetic title, emphasizing his centrality to the work. Speaking of the theme, Miró explains, “The Catalan character is not like that of Málaga or other parts of Spain. It is very much down-to-earth. We Catalans believe you must always plant your feet frmly on the ground if you want to be able to jump up in the air. The fact that I come down to earth from time to time makes it possible for me to jump all the higher” (Joan Miró, quoted in James Johnson Sweeney, “Joan Miró: Comment and Interview”, Partisan Review, February 1948). His peasant flls the picture plane, a veritable giant among the fauna of his environment, recalling Odilon Redon’s The Cyclops, circa 1914, or The Colossus, 1818, by his forbearer, Francisco de Goya. Miró’s title suggests that his protagonist is also under assault, with birds diving and swooping close by. Within the body of the peasant, Miró has articulated swathes of red and yellow paint punctuated with black spots. The colors perhaps refer to the Catalan fag (replete with a star in
A Selection of Important Catalan Peasants by Joan Miró
“We Catalans believe that you must plant your feet frmly on the ground if you want to be able to jump high in the air. The fact that I come down to earth from time to time makes it possible to jump higher.” Joan Miró, 1948 Le Faucheur, 1937 Destroyed, exhibited at World’s Fair in Paris, 1937
the lower right corner) as Miró articulated in his masterwork, The Catalan Landscape (The Hunter), 1923-1924, Tate, London. But in Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux, Miró has taken this analogy one step further by having his protagonist become the literal embodiment of the landscape. The connection between the peasant and the earth, the generative nature of the creative impulse invoked by the shape of the hat, as well as the otherwise immaterial noise and motion of the birds—all these are poetically evoked in a manner that emphasizes Miró’s deep humanity. Miró was able to take a fragment of everyday life and transform it, like an alchemist, into the most evocative scene. It was doubtless in recognition of this quality that his compatriot Picasso would tell him, “Afer me, you are the one who is opening a new door” (Pablo Picasso, quoted in Margi Rowell, ed., Joan Miró: Selected Writings and Interviews, London, 1987, p. 102).
In the 1950s, Miró once again employed the vivid and enigmatic titles that frst accompanied his works decades earlier when engaged with the Surrealists in Paris. More than direct signifers of the content of his paintings, Miró saw titles as important components in their own right and avowed, “I make no distinction between poetry and painting” (Joan Miró, quoted in Jacques Dupin, Miró, Paris, 2012, p. 432). The title here, which speaks to the alarm one feels when a bird swoops closely, becomes a point of entry for the articulation of Miró’s visual universe. Miró explained: “I found my titles in the process of working, as one thing leads to another on my canvas. When I have found the title, I live in its atmosphere. The title then becomes completely real for me, in the same way that a model, a reclining woman, for example, can become real for another painter. For me, the title is a very precise reality” (Joan Miró, “I work like a gardener”, XXe Siècle, Paris, February 15, 1959).
Tête de paysan catalan (Head of a Catalan Peasant), 1925 Tate, London
Lef to right: Image Peter Barritt/Alamy Stock Photo, Artwork © 2019 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris Photo credit © Tate, London/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris Artwork © 2018 Successió Miró Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York ADAGP, Paris
Tête de paysan catalan (Head of a Catalan Peasant), 1925 National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Miró presents the birds in Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux in three states and styles: a tendril-like nestling in the lower lef, a schematic diving bird in the upper right, and an expressionist form along the right-hand side. Birds are a persistent thematic element in both Miró’s art and that of Surrealism, where they were perceived as conduits for the contradictory states of “reality” and “unreality.” As John G. Frey remarks, birds acted as “refections of the ‘actual,’ transformed, as in dreams, by the wishes and desires of the poet” (John G. Frey, “Miró and the Surrealists”, Parnassus, vol. 8, no. 5, October 1936, p. 15). Miró extends this concept with the atmospheric ground in Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux which operates at once as landscape and as indeterminate space. Miró lays down the green ground, leaving an aura of electric white that seemingly emanates from the peasant and right-hand bird-like creature. In doing so, he lends the picture a vivid energy and poetic counterpoint to the considered rendering of the other fgures.
A characteristic compositional technique that found its ultimate articulation in his Constellations in the post-war period, areas of paint like those within the present work would come to dominate entire compositions, with variegated and textured backgrounds emerging in works such as L’oiseau au regard calme les ailes en fammes, 1952, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Peinture, 1953, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. In 1953, Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux was included in comprehensive exhibitions at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York and Galerie Maeght in Paris. Around the same time that the present work was painted, Miró began working with dealer Aimé Maeght, who was responsible for injecting a new energy into his representation in Europe. Matisse hosted the artist’s frst post-war exhibition in America in January 1945, showing Miró’s Constellations, a group of densely worked, lyrical pictures which had been painted around the beginning of the invasion of France during World War II. The signifcance of that exhibition marked a new level of appreciation for Miró’s works in America.
Matisse arranged for James Johnson Sweeney, then director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, to write the catalogue text for which Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux was chosen to illustrate. Sweeney had a history of championing the artist in America: in his previous role as director of the Museum of Modern Art, he facilitated a number of important acquisitions of the artist’s work and was responsible for the seminal 1941 exhibition which helped cement Miró’s reputation in America.
Lef to right: Francisco de Goya, The Colossus, by 1818. Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Photo bpk Bildagentur/Staatliche Museen/Art Resource, NY Odilon Redon, The Cyclops, circa 1914. Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo, Netherlands/Bridgeman Images
The works presented in the Pierre Matisse exhibition represent the last signifcant assembly of paintings the artist undertook before becoming preoccupied with a more diverse selection of graphic arts, including ceramics, lithographs, and engravings. This shif was Miró’s solution to ensure his art reached a broader audience through more accessible media, an ambition he had already begun to manifest with his mural commissions at the Terrace Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati in 1947 and Harvard University Graduate School in 1950-1951. Miró’s increasing focus on mural paintings and works in other media meant that his oils on canvas in the 1950s were relative rarities. In fact, from late 1954, Miró would completely abandon painting on canvas until 1959. The 1953 exhibitions were scheduled to take place on the occasion of the artist’s 60th birthday and were especially exciting for their comprehensive presentation of paintings, a medium for which there had been a dearth of works since the War. The works in these shows, many of which are now in permanent institutional collections, were celebrated for their reassertion of Miró’s painterly vision, a singular aesthetic which frst emerged in the paintings the artist created in Paris in the 1920s. Miró was clearly conscious of the impact that these two linked and consecutive exhibitions could have, and asked Matisse to send works to Paris, writing the previous year, “I have every confdence that you will lend some paintings for the exhibition that Maeght and I are preparing for Paris in 1953. You will certainly understand that this show will be of the highest importance for the three of us” (Joan Miró, quoted in John Russell, Matisse: Father and Son, New York, 1999, p. 344).
Opposite: Joan Miró in 1947, photographed by George Platt Lynes. Image Bridgeman, Artwork © 2018 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
“Joan Miró’s genius is a paradox. It is the gift of growing young as he grows old. . . And the secret of Miro’s art today is the same as that of his older fellow-countryman, Picasso, at seventy-two years of age—the same as Goya’s at eighty, or Titian’s at ninety—the pleasure he derives from playing the game he has made of his art, according to the rules he has worked out for himself.” James Johnson Sweeney, Former Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1953
Property from an Important Private Swiss Collection
6. Alberto Giacometti
Portrait of G. David Thompson signed “Alberto Giacometti” lower right. oil on canvas. 39 1/2 x 28 3/4 in. (100.3 x 73 cm.). Painted in 1957. The authenticity of this work has been confrmed by the Comité Giacometti and it is recorded in the Alberto Giacometti database under number AGD4082. Estimate $5,000,000-7,000,000
Provenance Alberto Giacometti G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh Alberto Loeb and Krugier, New York Milton D. Ratner, Chicago Wendell Cherry, Louisville Galerie Jan Krugier, Geneva Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1985 Exhibited The Art Institute of Chicago; River Forest, Rosary College; Omaha, Joslyn Art Museum; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Madison, Elvehjem Art Center, University of Wisconsin; Jerusalem, Israel Museum, Alberto Giacometti: The Milton D. Ratner Family Collection, November 2, 1974 - May 21, 1975, no. 27, p. 57 (illustrated, p. 34; detail illustrated, p. 35) New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Giacometti, January 8 - 31, 1976, no. 22, n.p. (illustrated) Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Alberto Giacometti, May 16 - November 2, 1986, no. 162, pp. 10, 277 (illustrated)
An Existentialist portrayal of Alberto Giacometti’s most devout patron, Portrait of G. David Thompson investigates the multifaceted relationship between painter and sitter, viewer and model, and artist and collector. Executed in 1957, the portrait depicts the American businessman in the artist’s distinctive visual language, confdently seated in the artist’s studio on rue Hippolyte-Maindron in Paris, a location identifable
by the sloping line of the stairs on the right side of the picture. Of the four representations of G. David Thompson by Giacometti, this painting is the largest of the three remaining in private hands and was later acquired by Milton Ratner of Chicago, another ardent supporter of the artist’s work. Admiration of the work by Giacometti’s shrewdest collectors’ was inevitable: not only is it a quintessential, haunting painting by the artist, but its reduced palette and technique of progressively constructing outlines of the subject using short and careful brushstrokes are evocative of the quivering, activated surfaces of his foremost sculptures as well. The sitter—a Pittsburgh steel magnate who owned more than a hundred paintings, sculptures, and drawings by the artist—compiled what was quite possibly the largest private collection ever of Giacometti’s work, all acquired between the late 1940s and 1950s. Dedicated to his mission of amassing masterworks of modernism, Thompson sought out the best Giacometti works on the market, buying from auction or from the artist’s dealers such as Aimé Maeght and Pierre Matisse. Thompson also frequently visited Giacometti at his atelier in Paris in the 1950s, establishing a direct exchange between the two which culminated in the execution of two pairs of commissioned portraits in 1955 and 1957. The frst two paintings are smaller, subtly polychromatic busts of Thompson while the two from 1957, including the present work, are larger scale and executed in Giacometti’s idiosyncratic sweeping strokes of ochre, black, and white. The great Swiss art dealer Ernst Beyeler acquired Thompson’s collection in 1962, which in 1965 became the Alberto Giacometti Foundation; the second portrait from 1957 is still owned by the foundation and is housed in the Kunsthaus Zürich to this day. Giacometti underscores Thompson’s personality in the 1957 portraits: a highly respected, authoritative businessman, he is depicted gazing directly at the viewer, with hands frmly grasping his knees. “Look at those huge hands!” James Lord recalled Giacometti exclaiming as he worked. “You can just see them
Lef: G. David Thompson with a work by Alberto Giacometti. (Photo by Yale Joel/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images), Artwork © 2019 Alberto Giacometti Estate/ Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York
raking in the money” (James Lord, Giacometti: A Biography, New York, 1997, p. 380). Giacometti and Thompson’s bond transcended that of the conventional artist-patron relationship, and this closeness—as well as the artist’s gratitude for his most ardent supporter— is evidenced by the collector’s intimate portrait. Giacometti relied on a limited number of sitters, and his most frequent subjects typically had either familial or romantic ties to him, including his wife Annette, brother Diego, and mistress Caroline. Though he did sometimes depict others within his social circle, they were almost always of intense personal signifcance to him, such as Existentialist professor and philosopher Isaku Yanaihara, or were personalities in the Parisian intellectual sphere, such as Lord and Jean Genet. That Giacometti would agree to portray Thompson in not one, but four paintings in just a two-year span reveals the importance of their relationship to Giacometti.
Above/below: Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait, 1953. The V-A-C Collection, Moscow, Album/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Estate of Francis Bacon/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London, © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved./DACS, London/ARS, NY 2019 Paul Cézanne, Portrait d’Ambroise Vollard, 1899. Musée du Petit Palais, Paris, Photo credit © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY
Portrait of G. David Thompson is also refective of the artist’s afliation with Jean-Paul Sartre and post-war Existentialism. According to Simone de Beauvoir, who observed Giacometti and Sartre together ofen in the 1930s and 1940s, “there was a deep bond of understanding between them: they had both staked everything on one obsession—literature in Sartre’s case, art in Giacometti’s—and it was hard to decide which of them was more fanatical” (Simone de Beauvoir, quoted in Laurie Wilson, Alberto Giacometti: Myth, Magic, and the Man, New Haven, 2003, p. 244). These obsessions ofen converged, however, in Sartre’s writings on Giacometti’s work and Giacometti’s incorporation of Sartre’s doctrine into his artistic practice. Sartre rightly sensed a so-called Existentialist “vacuum” in Giacometti’s aesthetic: “What is this circular distance—which only words can bridge—if not negation in the form of a vacuum? Ironic, defant, ceremonious and tender, Giacometti sees space everywhere… Between things, between men lie broken bridges; the vacuum infltrates everything; each creates its own vacuum.” For Giacometti, “distance, far from being an accident, is part and parcel of every object” (Jean-Paul Sartre, “The Paintings of Giacometti”, Essays in Existentialism, Secaucus, 1965, p. 405).
This distance manifests itself in almost every aspect of Portrait of G. David Thompson: it is palpable in both the picture’s internal expanse as well as in the space between the sitter and viewer. The portrait features Giacometti’s idiosyncratic linear framing along the perimeter of the canvas, a form of pictorial distancing evocative of Francis Bacon’s caged “space-frames” in paintings from his mature period. This construction of a boxed, interior architectural space, which confnes the subject both within the picture as well as from the observer, is referred to by Sartre as the creation of a “prefabricated void.” “And what is this flled, framed void,” the philosopher continued, “if not a painting?” Indeed, Giacometti “would like us to take for a true void the imaginary space which the frame limits” (Jean-Paul Sartre, “Giacometti in Search of Space”, ARTnews, September 1955, p. 28). Further sustaining this internal sense of isolation is the painterly application of sepia paint around Thompson’s head, which abruptly dematerializes the fgure into the surrounding space instead of defning him within it. Thompson’s unorthodox proportions – with his diminutive head and slender shoulders – perpetuate an illusion that he is physically distant from the viewer. There exists an untraversable space between Giacometti and Thompson, which is in turn transferred into the experience of the viewer; this framing strategy is also seen in his sculptures such as Nose, 1949, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. This Existentialist conviction is further denoted by the graphic removal of Thompson’s pupils, another formal device that further separates the subject from the onlooker’s grasp. Portrait of G. David Thompson inquires: is it really possible for one person to understand another, for an artist to really know his sitter? If the Shakespearean idiom from Richard III that “the eyes are the windows to the soul” is followed, Giacometti’s answer is an emphatic “no.” Portrait of G. David Thompson bespeaks Giacometti’s relationship with Existentialism by the 1950s, but also evinces his afnity with his idol Paul Cézanne and
modernism as well. The schematic quality of Portrait of G. David Thompson is refective of this endless and impossible Cézanne-ian pursuit to construct an absolute vision of a subject. Sharing the belief that portraits should represent their creators’ search for universal truth, Cézanne and Giacometti were extremely critical of their own work, causing both to frequently choose to abandon their paintings half-completed. Lord recalled mentioning to Giacometti once that Cézanne painted impressive portraits, to which he retorted, “but he never fnished them… It’s the best part of the picture. Cézanne never really fnished anything. He went as far as he could, then abandoned the job. That’s the terrible thing: the more one works on a picture, the more impossible it becomes to fnish it” (Alberto Giacometti, quoted in James Lord, Giacometti Portrait, New York, 1965, pp. 11-12). In his relentless endeavor to depict truth, Giacometti put the same intolerable demands on Thompson and his other models that Cézanne infamously imposed on Ambroise Vollard and J.B. Yeats; once, Yanaihara was informed that he would be unable to return to his students and classes in Japan as Giacometti was still deeply engaged with his portrait, though he had no frm timeline to complete it. Executed in the last decade of his life, Portrait of G. David Thompson represents the culmination of his lifelong drive to the truth, the only constant during a career spent experimenting with myriad movements, including Cubism and Surrealism, in various media. The manifold ways in which the portrait can be interpreted is testament to its enduring property as a token of Giacometti’s concern with metaphysics and the ironically communal experience of loneliness. As Sartre elucidated, “with each one of his pictures, Giacometti leads us back to the moment of creation ex nihilo, each one of them poses again the old metaphysical question: why is there something rather than nothing?” (Jean-Paul Sartre, “Giacometti in Search of Space”, ARTnews, September 1955, p. 63).
Alberto Giacometti at work in his studio, circa 1960. Photograph by Ernst Scheidegger ÂŠ 2019 Stifung Ernst Scheidegger-Archiv, Zurich, Artwork ÂŠ 2019 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York
Property from an Important European Private Collection
7. Pablo Picasso
Femme assise dans un fauteuil signed “Picasso” upper right; dated “24.10.48” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 39 3/4 x 31 7/8 in. (101 x 81 cm.). Painted on October 24, 1948. Estimate $5,000,000-7,000,000
Provenance Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (stock no. 011889) Galerie Beyeler, Basel (acquired from the above in 1966) Acquired by the family of the present owner circa 1972 Exhibited Milan, Palazzo Reale, Pablo Picasso, September - November 1953, no. 126, p. 66 (illustrated, p. 248) Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Picasso, Works from 1932-1965, February - April 1967, no. 28, n.p. (illustrated) Musée d’Unterlinden Colmar, Picasso, oeuvres récentes, July - September 1967, no. 29, n.p. Humlebæk, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Pablo Picasso, September 21 - November 10, 1968, no. 67, p. 68 (illustrated, p. 56) Museo d’Arte Moderna Città di Lugano, Passioni d’Arte da Picasso a Warhol, September 22 - December 8, 2002, p. 216 (illustrated, p. 217) Literature Wilhelm Boeck and Jaime Sabartés, Picasso, London, 1955, no. 272, p. 484 (illustrated) Christian Zervos, Pablo Picasso, vol. 15, Paris, 1965, no. 103, p. 164 (illustrated, p. 58) Alfred H. Barr, Jr. and Roland Penrose, Worte und Gedanken von Pablo Picasso, Basel, 1967-1968, no. 73, p. 207 (illustrated, p. 109) Jean Leymarie, Picasso: Métamorphoses et unité, Geneva, 1971, p. 294 (illustrated, p. 79) Elizabeth Servan-Schreiber and José Bergamín, Picasso Laureatus, Son oeuvre depuis 1945, Paris, 1971, no. 77, pp. 69, 221 (illustrated) Pierre Daix, Picasso: Life and Art, New York, 1993, p. 430, note 7 Carsten-Peter Warncke, Pablo Picasso 1881-1973, Cologne, 1997, p. 474 (illustrated, p. 475) Brigitte Léal, Christine Piot and Marie-Laure Bernadac, The Ultimate Picasso, New York, 2000, fg. 926, pp. 376, 522 (illustrated, p. 375) The Picasso Project, Picasso’s Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture, A Comprehensive Illustrated Catalogue 1885-1973, Liberation and Post-War Years, 1944-1949, San Francisco, 2000, no. 48-032, p. 235 (illustrated, p. 204) Picasso and Françoise Gilot, Parils-Vallauris, 1943-1953, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2012, fg. 32, p. 180 (illustrated, p. 181)
We are grateful to Charles Stuckey, Art Historian and former curator of French Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and 20th Century Painting and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, for his expertise and assistance with the research of this work.
“I paint the same way some people write their autobiography.” Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso’s portraits of his lovers are among the masterpieces of his oeuvre. His obsessive paintings of Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar from the 1930s and 1940s are ofen considered among his greatest output; and yet, his portraits of Françoise Gilot such as the present work are perhaps the most tense and explosive of his meditations on any of his partners. Painting many images of his lover over their near decade-long relationship, Picasso’s depictions of Gilot are special masterworks in their own right, uniquely infused with the passion and jealousy, which fueled their relationship. This notion is encapsulated in Femme assise dans un fauteuil, 1948: the portrait aptly captures the complexities Picasso faced as a man in his sixties living with a woman in her early twenties. Gilot was all the more challenging a partner in her refusal to ft readily his caricatured depictions of her as muse, lover, object—she was an artist in her own right and in her prime. Last shown publicly almost two decades ago, Femme assise dans un fauteuil has remained in the same family collection since circa 1972, one year prior to the artist’s death in 1973.
Dated October 24, 1948, Femme assise dans un fauteuil was conceived during a particularly fractious time in Picasso and Gilot’s relationship—with her pregnant with their second child, Picasso had been away from their home in Vallauris for an extended period. In Femme assise dans un fauteuil, Picasso revisits his earliest iconographic representations of Gilot but reinterprets them in a new light that perhaps betrays the difculties in their relationship at that time. From his frst paintings in 1944, Gilot plays two roles: the voluptuous standing nude, ofen with a pinhead, and the fashionable seated fgure, a composition that recurred in his renderings of Dora Maar. Here, Picasso depicts Gilot seated in a chair with round fnials on the back, using swathes of blue, red, black and green. The column of her neck and the triangle of her shoulders and trunk lend her body a vivid monumentality within the confnes of the canvas. A reprise of caricatural
Lef to right: Pablo Picasso, La femme feur, 1946. Collection Françoise Gilot, Musée Picasso, Paris, Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Pablo Picasso, Femme au couteau et tête de faune, 1946. Macklowe Collection, Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
sexist distortion that Picasso mastered in the late 1920s, the pinhead appeared to Picasso in a recurring dream, according to Gilot’s memoir, Life with Picasso, in which arms, legs and necks stretched and bulged. Here her pinhead is thrown into relief by a mass of hair rendered with eight striations. While Picasso had long admired Diego Velázquez, his invocation was more personal when it came to depictions of Gilot. In her memoirs, she recalled visiting Picasso alone in his studio, and appearing with “[my] dark-red hair done up in a coifure I had taken from a painting of the Infanta by Velázquez. Picasso let me in. His mouth dropped open. ‘Is that the kind of costume you put on to learn engraving?’ he fnally asked. ‘Certainly not,’ I told him. But since I was sure he hadn’t the slightest intention of teaching me engraving, I had put on the costume that seemed most appropriate to the real circumstances. In other words, I was simply
trying to look beautiful” (Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso, London, 2004, p. 40). Viewing this painting of Gilot in light of that memory emphasizes Picasso’s ability to create a painting that explores the overlap between the canon of the history of art and their own shared personal mythology and iconography. And yet, by 1948, there appears to be an awareness on Picasso’s part that Gilot does not have any interest in role-playing. What was at frst a shared joke between two artists in the thralls of early love is now the reluctant realization on Picasso’s part that his young wife demands her own sovereignty. In an almost sheepish acknowledgment of her potential critique, Picasso paints over the stylized breasts that were once present in Femme assise dans un fauteuil, which now peek out only as pentimenti. At frst excited to win her, Picasso imagined Gilot as a comically busty nude in his copy of Nicolas Poussin’s Bacchanale painted to celebrate the Liberation of Paris. Afer introducing her to Henri Matisse as part of his courtship in early 1946, Picasso took inspiration from his rival’s idea to paint her with green hair, resulting in La Femme-feur (Z XIV 167, Collection Françoise Gilot). Shortly afer she moved in with Picasso in 1946, he made another Old Masterinspired image with Gilot as Europa on the back of his own hallmark bull god. Although she insisted that the work be destroyed, Picasso managed to save a second version in which one of her hands fondles one of his horns while the other wields a castrating knife (PP 46 059b, Macklowe Collection, New York). This presentation strongly recalls his images of Marie-Thérèse Walter dressed as a toreador in his Minotauromachy. These dueling iconographies— evidence of the inevitable challenges Picasso must have felt due to their age diference—would continue to vie for supremacy in his paintings of Gilot throughout the period, though in no other painting as stridently as in Femme assise dans un fauteuil.
Above/below: Pablo Picasso, Blue tanagra, 1947-1948. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Terracotta fgurine representing an idol in the shape of a bell, Beotie, 7th century B.C. Musée du Louvre, Paris
In the late 1940s Picasso was spending more time in the South of France where he came into contact with the Madoura studio in 1947. In 1948, he and Gilot relocated to Vallauris, a Mediterranean town with a renowned ancient potting industry, one of the earliest surviving forms of painting. His newfound passion for pottery inevitably focused his attention on historical examples of this art form, many of which had anthropomorphic features. Indeed his stereotyped presentation of Gilot especially lent itself to exploitation in terracotta, with her exaggerated features ofen appearing in his standing fgures from this period. It is no surprise that this inspiration would fow back into his paintings, with the present work retaining some visual afnity with the archaic ceramics that proliferated the region. That Picasso’s artistic license was constantly pitted against Gilot’s desire to maintain agency by not appearing as a caricature in his art is what ultimately bore such highly charged representations of their near decade-long relationship. Indeed Femme assise dans un fauteuil is as much a portrait chargé of Gilot as of their relationship at that moment in time. Given the fervor in which she inspired his creativity during this time, it is of no surprise that Picasso devoted nearly an entire exhibition to images of Gilot at the Communist Maison de la pensée française in 1949. This painting was withheld from that show, perhaps for its deeply personal characterization of their relationship at that time. Furthering this painting’s autobiographical reading, Picasso seemingly placed himself in the center of the composition, literally in Gilot’s clutches. The black negative space in her claw-like lef hand is a premonition of the large shadow of himself featured in two paintings made as meditations on Gilot’s departure from his life in 1953 (Z XVI 99, Musée Picasso, Paris and Z XVI 100, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem). Picasso had incorporated the shadow of his profle in a group of paintings from the late 1920s that explore his own distorted images of women.
Diego Velázquez, The Infanta Margarita Teresa, 1651-1673. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Photograph: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
Indeed, the keyhole-like shape of the shadow of Picasso’s head and shoulders would re-appear enlarged in the series of seated portraits of Gilot painted in March 1949, now disguised as her alternatively blue or red dresses. The shadowy presence in Françoise’s hand in Picasso’s October 24, 1948 portrait shows the artist as sexual captive, personifying the idiomatic expression Il lui mange dans la main (he is eating out of her hand). Satirical to say the least, the enormous hand in Picasso’s October 24, 1948 portrait of Gilot is seemingly based on the prominent hand in Leonardo da Vinci’s
Lef to right: Pablo Picasso, La Chambre à Coucher de L’Artiste dans sa Villa a “La Californie”, 1953. Musée National Picasso, Paris, Photo: Mathieu Rabeau © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Leonardo da Vinci, Lady with an Ermine, circa 1490. Czartoryski Museum, National Museum, Krakow, Photo Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY
celebrated Lady with an Ermine, which Picasso had made a point to see during his visit to Poland that year. Picasso went so far as to dedicate a detailed study of this symbolic hand, which, curiously enough, is dated November 8, 1948 (PP 48 038a), two weeks afer the date inscribed on the painting where it is featured.
Pablo Picasso, Femme assise dans un fauteuil: composition (Étude), 1948. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Looking at this hand, it appears to carry myriad potential meanings. It is Gilot’s lef hand, and the bulk of it recalls some of Picasso’s earlier depictions of an artist’s palette, with the thumbhole prominent. In this sense, it may relate to her own career as an artist: although she had briefy abandoned painting during the early years of parenthood, she continued to draw. The fact that her hand is rendered as a large claw also hints at weaponization or violence. In Life with Picasso, Gilot recalled how she slapped Picasso when he fnally returned from a three-day trip to Poland that had lasted nearly a full month at the beginning of her second pregnancy. While Picasso’s lifetime biographies have long served as the foremost authorities on his life and art, they also present his biased retelling of the profound infuence Gilot played as muse and partner during this period. This was undoubtedly a result in no small part to her decision to take the children and leave him in 1953. Despite the cast of women in his life, Gilot was the only one to leave him. Her memoir, published in 1964 and reprinted this year as a classic, infuriated Picasso because it told her side of their story. His paintings, like Femme assise dans un fauteuil, give his side of the story, both as her troubled lover and as an artist.
Pablo Picasso, FranĂ§oise Gilot and their son, Claude, in Vallauris, France, September 1949. Photo ÂŠ AGIP/Bridgeman Images
Property from a Family Collection
8. Norman Rockwell
Before the Shot signed â€œNorman Rockwellâ€? lower center. oil on canvas. 29 x 27 in. (73.5 x 68.5 cm.). Painted in 1958. Estimate $2,500,000-4,500,000
Provenance Dr. Donald Campbell (gifed by the artist) Bernard Danenberg, New York Private Collection, United States (acquired from the above in 1968) Thence by descent to the present owner Exhibited Fort Lauderdale Museum of the Arts; New York, Brooklyn Museum; Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art; San Antonio, Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute; Indianapolis Museum of Art; San Franciso, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum; Oklahoma Art Center; Omaha, Joslyn Art Center; Seattle Art Museum, Norman Rockwell: A Sixty Year Retrospective, February 7, 1972 April 15, 1973, p. 118 (illustrated) Amherst, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, An Alumnus Collects, November 12 - December 15, 1986, n.p. (illustrated); 1979-1988 (on extended loan) Stockbridge, Norman Rockwell Museum, 2006-2019 (on extended loan)
“I guess everyone has sat in the doctor’s ofce and examined his diplomas, wondering how good a doctor he was. . .” Norman Rockwell
Literature This work is the frst version of the painting for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post, March 15, 1958 Laurie Norton Mofatt, Norman Rockwell: A Defnitive Catalogue, vol. 1, Stockbridge, 1986, no. C487a, p. 217 (illustrated, p. 216)
Before the Shot is a crucial iteration of one of Norman Rockwell’s most iconic images, which graced the cover of the March 15, 1958 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. As circulation of the Post reached almost seven million in the 1950s and 1960s, the issue featuring the scene was published during the apex of the magazine’s success and afer Rockwell had become a household name. Before the Shot was created during what is regarded as the pinnacle of Rockwell’s career and in the same decade as he painted some of his most renowned works, such as The Runaway, 1958, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, and Saying Grace, 1951. Before the Shot not only testifes to the artist’s role as a compelling storyteller of American life but also critically reveals the painterly process behind Rockwell’s idiosyncratic style which has become a source of inspiration for countless contemporary artists. Dropping his trousers and standing on a wooden chair in a doctor’s ofce while awaiting a shot—a dose of gamma globulin according to Rockwell, which was
commonly applied to one’s bottom to treat various ailments—a young boy is depicted curiously inspecting the diplomas on the wall, while the physician prepares a hypodermic syringe. The work engendered a multi-faceted reaction from the American public: while it exudes humor and nostalgia upon frst glance, further contemplation evokes the relatable feeling of patient anxiety. Though Before the Shot is undoubtedly a quintessentially American image, it is also a timeless painting that touches on universal themes—such as the notion of a trip to the doctor’s ofce as a great social equalizer—that are still relevant today. Before the Shot takes its place in the perennial art historical legacy that investigates the ubiquitous doctor-patient relationship. Regardless of class, gender, or any other social or cultural characteristic, humans are typically born and die in the presence of a doctor, and all of us have experienced the discomfort from the various procedures that come with a doctor’s
Reference Photo for “Before The Shot”, 1958. Norman Rockwell Museum Collection, Photo by Clemens Kalischer. Copyright © 1958 the Norman Rockwell Family Entities
the 1950s were characterized by many developments, from Jonas Salk’s invention of the polio vaccine to the synthesis and mass production of penicillin to the frst use of chemotherapy. However, the present work acts as a larger meditation on the fact that—despite and because of these advancements—there is nothing more timelessly human than a trip to the doctor’s ofce.
Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, 1890. Musée d’Orsay, Paris © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY
visit, from having our temperature taken to receiving an injection to disrobement. The art historical canon is replete with portrayals of these medical interactions, such as in Thomas Eakin’s The Gross Clinic, 1975, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Luke Fildes’s The Doctor, 1891, Tate, London; and Pablo Picasso’s Science and Charity, 1897, Museu Picasso, Barcelona. In 1341, Pietro Lorenzetti painted a despondent physician giving up on a case in Beata Umiltà Heals a Sick Nun, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin; over four centuries later, Vincent van Gogh depicted his personal doctor, melancholic yet compassionate, in Portrait of Dr. Gachet, 1890, Musée d’Orsay, Paris. The great universality of the apprehension felt during a doctor’s visit has more recently been exploited in The Dream of the Doctor, 1997, by John Currin, who has repeatedly acknowledged Rockwell’s infuence on his oeuvre. Further, Damien Hirst’s medicine cabinets speak to the unavoidable pharmaceutical dimension of everyday life. Rockwell used Before the Shot to make light of contemporaneous medical advancements: the Post’s description of the cover reads, “The science of doctoring certainly has changed since the days symbolized by such potions as Grandma’s Sulphurand-molasses, injected intramouth” (The Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, March 15, 1958, p. 3). In fact,
In Before the Shot, the physician’s hair radiates in turquoise and loose strokes of pastel pink, yellow, and cyan litter the foor and walls; in fact, the boy’s trousers dissipate into nearly total abstraction when examined up close. This unique, perhaps even gestural application of color—also present in pictures such as Schoolmaster Flogging Tom Sawyer, 1936, Mark Twain Museum, Hannibal, and Portrait of Matthew J. Culligan Hogan, circa 1960, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge—is greatly evocative of the Impressionists’ and Post-Impressionists’ experiments with light and opticality. Meanwhile, thanks to a 1950s artistic climate dominated by Abstract Expressionism, Impressionist painting, particularly Claude Monet’s late work, was “rediscovered” during the decade, undergoing a sensational and unprecedented revival of interest in the United States. This resurgence was
Norman Rockwell, The Connoisseur, 1962. Private Collection, Artwork © 1962 SEPS. Licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All Rights Reserved
catapulted not only by the New York School’s professed veneration for Monet’s achievements, but also by The Museum of Modern Art in New York’s frst acquisition of a work by the artist in 1951 and the numerous exhibitions celebrating his oeuvre organized during the period. When viewing Rockwell’s remarkable use of color in Before the Shot through this lens, the work denotes an awareness of French modernism despite embodying an aesthetic that is his alone. In this sense, though Rockwell and the contemporaneous Abstract Expressionists arrived at dramatically contrasting visual languages, they were both similarly responding to recent additions to the Western canon—an engagement further evidenced by Rockwell’s inclusion of a Vincent van Gogh reproduction in his Triple Self-Portrait, 1960, Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge. Typical of his working process for his major compositions, Rockwell used numerous photographs—which he directed as scrupulously as one would a flm shoot—for Before the Shot. Many of these images were taken inside his personal physician Dr. Donald Campbell’s ofce in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell’s home from 1953 until his death in 1978. Dr. Campbell, whose name can be read on his medical certifcate, served as the model for the doctor, and eight-year-old Eddie Locke, whom Rockwell selected from the lunchroom at Stockbridge Plain Elementary School who is also depicted in The Runaway, posed as the patient. Afer selecting the most narrative-driven photographs, Rockwell chose specifc compositional elements from each and began a detailed charcoal drawing to refne the story. Subsequently, he would photograph the drawing, reduce its size, and execute a color study on top of it in order to plan the palette of the painting. Occasionally, as in Breaking Home Ties, 1954, and Before the Shot, Rockwell created more than one full-size version in order to further develop his ideas. The penultimate step in Rockwell’s laborious artistic process, the present work signifcantly reveals the painterly approach that the artist used for his distinctively crisp, realistic covers of the Post. Indeed, while containing the same iconic imagery, the present work presents a sharp contrast to the sterile white foors and teal cabinet depicted in the more traditional, clinical iteration of Before the Shot that was selected as the cover for the publication. While Before the Shot betrays a sense of chance encounter, it was actually a picture of meticulous deliberation for Rockwell; he punctiliously constructed every aspect of its subject, palette, and composition. Though he originally considered seating the doctor at his desk, Rockwell decided to imbue the painting with
John Currin, The Dream of the Doctor, 1997. Private Collection, Artwork © John Currin
Damien Hirst, Pretty Vacant, 1989. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Artwork © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved/DACS, London/ARS, New York
“This cover occasioned a great argument among my family and friends: how much of the boy’s fanny should be showing. Some said more, some less. I fnally locked the door of the studio and, after communing with myself for some time, lowered his pants to their present position, a compromise which avoids shocking nudity and yet reveals enough to provoke humor.” Norman Rockwell
tension and suspense by instead positioning him turned away from the patient while flling the syringe. Rockwell also assiduously selected the exact wooden chairs and linoleum foor, making careful decisions that are evident in preliminary studies for the painting. Once these compositional questions had been resolved, however, Rockwell still faced one last peculiar issue. According to the artist, “this cover occasioned a great argument among my family and friends: how much of the boy’s fanny should be showing. Some said more, some less. I fnally locked the door of the studio and, afer communing with myself for some time, lowered his pants to their present position, a compromise which avoids shocking nudity and yet reveals enough to provoke humor” (Norman Rockwell, quoted in The Norman Rockwell Album, New York, 1961, p. 162). Locke even recalled Rockwell showing up to his family’s house unannounced, carrying the fnished painting, to ask if he had fawlessly captured the grey-green color of the boy’s pants. Showcasing Rockwell’s painstaking concern with achieving a perfect balance, Before the Shot sits in the equilibrium between crudeness and humor, anxiety and lightheartedness, youthful nostalgia and present relief.
The Saturday Evening Post cover tear sheet, March 15, 1958. Published by Curtis Publishing, Artwork © 1958 SEPS. Licensed by Curtis Licensing, Indianapolis, IN. All Rights Reserved
The doctor-patient relationship is one that Rockwell knew intimately: his family relocated from Vermont to Stockbridge in order for his wife to be treated at a psychiatric hospital in town, and he himself subsequently befriended and was treated by renowned psychoanalyst Erik Erikson. The artist also had three young boys at the time, who no doubt provided him with much opportunity to study children apprehensively interacting with physicians and ensured that he was well-informed of medicinal advancements. The medical legacy of Before the Shot was further sustained when Rockwell gifed the work to Dr. Campbell himself—even originally writing “To my friend Dr. Don Campbell, Norman Rockwell” on the painting’s foor before later concealing the inscription—who then sold it to a family of fellow doctors, in whose collection it has remained ever since. The work captures an amusing moment relatable to everyone, however; as Rockwell has acknowledged, “I guess everyone has sat in the doctor’s ofce and examined his diplomas, wondering how good a doctor he was...” (Norman Rockwell, quoted in The Norman Rockwell Album, New York, 1961, p. 162). It is this communal experience that makes Before the Shot not only a hallmark image of 1950s American culture, but also one that continues to universally resonate today.
A DISCER NING VISION Property from an Important Private Collection
Phillips is pleased to ofer an outstanding selection of over 50 post-war and contemporary works from an important private collection across our 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales. Capturing the innovative temperament of the last 50 years of art history, this collection—meticulously amassed over 25 years—comprises artists that are some of the most highly regarded today. This selection refects the joined passion and vision of two collectors, who initially accumulated an impressive collection of Old Master paintings before bringing that same astute connoisseurship to post-war and contemporary art in their mission to gather the art of their time. The scope of artists, genres, and styles that these collectors subsequently brought together are broad and varied; it ranges from well established, blue-chip names, such as Roy Lichtenstein and Cy Twombly, to previously under-appreciated artists such as Martin Puryear and Vija Celmins, who are now enjoying recognition on a global stage. With the majority of works acquired directly from galleries, the collection bears testimony to the deep and lasting relationships this couple has cultivated over the years collecting important post-war pieces and the connections they have continued to build as they began engaging, increasingly, with contemporary and emerging art. Careful looking and a love of learning have been at the core of this couple’s pursuit to build a cohesive collection of the pioneering art produced in their lifetimes. Thus, these works, over a diverse range of media, are all linked by their creators’ relentless expansion of art historical conventions. Spanning North America as well as Europe, these artists may have taken very divergent paths, but all used their work to challenge or subvert the canon in their own unique ways. From developing close relationships with gallerists to studiously visiting museums, these collectors have nurtured a sophisticated eye for acquiring works by some of the most renowned masters of the past halfcentury—from Lichtenstein and Twombly, to Gerhard Richter, Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke, and many others. This discerning vision was exemplifed by their acquisition of Philip Guston’s Smoking II, 1973, which was formerly in the revered collection of Edward F.
Broida, and of which similar self-portraits by the artist are housed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Indeed, it was announced this year that a major traveling exhibition of Guston’s work, Philip Guston Now, will be organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Tate Modern, London; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston during 2020 and 2021. Further denoting their comprehensive art historical knowledge is a work by Robert Ryman, Untitled, from 1965, a year of signifcant importance in the artist’s career as it launched his self-proclaimed mature period. On the other hand, many of the artists they have sought out very early, such as Michaël Borremans or George Condo, have since established themselves as some of the most important voices of their generation—exemplifying the foresight that continues to guide these collectors in their focus on championing artists who are young or overlooked. It is a testament to their cultivated eye and collecting vision that a great number of the artists from the collection are having a conspicuous impact in the international art world, experiencing widespread exposure and—ofen overdue—critical acclaim. On the heels of the large survey of work by Maria Lassnig hosted by the Stedelijk Museum in celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday, Puryear represented the United States at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The Palazzo Grassi in Venice is currently presenting La Pelle, an almost yearlong monographic show dedicated to Luc Tuymans; Celmins’s retrospective To Fix the Image in Memory has travelled from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The participation of these artists in the current international discussion is denotative of the pioneering foresight of the visionaries who assembled the collection. It is rare to encounter a private collection of such quality that is as diverse, yet that so clearly articulates the passion and vision of the collectors. A combination of exceptional taste and a forwardthinking approach has resulted in a collection so impressive that it can be said to capture the revolutionary spirit of the last half-century.
9. Vija Celmins
Night Sky #23 signed and dated “V. Celmins 03” lower right. charcoal on paper. 16 1/8 x 22 in. (41 x 55.9 cm.). Executed in 2003. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance McKee Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2003 Exhibited Paris, Centre Pompidou, Galerie du Musée; Los Angeles, The Hammer Museum, Vija Celmins, l’oeuvre dessiné / Vija Celmins, A Drawings Retrospective, October 25, 2006 - April 22, 2007, no. 66, pp. 139, 167 (illustrated, p. 138) Cologne, Museum Ludwig; Humlebæk, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Vija Celmins: Wüste, Meer & Sterne / Desert, Seas & Stars, April 15, 2011 January 8, 2012, p. 135 (illustrated, p. 115)
if we were not located in a galaxy we would see no stars at all; if gravity were not so weak, the stars would be smaller, and if the stars were smaller they wouldnÕt burn for very long, and if they didnÕt burn for very long we wouldnÕt be here.
Executed in 2003, Night Sky #23 belongs to Vija Celmins’s mature series of constellations rendered in charcoal begun in 1994. Each a celebration of temporality, careful observation and most importantly, the act of drawing itself, the Night Sky works on paper are some of the most celebrated in the artist’s oeuvre. Having drawn her frst constellation in the early 1970s in Venice Beach, California in graphite, the artist would reprise the subject in the early 1990s in New York City with a newfound vigor in charcoal. With examples of these turn-of-thecentury Night Sky charcoal drawings housed in important collections around the world—including Untitled (Night Sky #22), 2001, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Night Sky #20, 1998, Kunstmuseum Winterthur—the present work demonstrates Celmins’s prowess as the preeminent draughtswoman of her generation. Housed in the same distinguished private collection since its creation, Night Sky #23 comes to auction concurrent with Celmins’s celebrated retrospective—and largest exhibition to date—beginning at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last year and now on view at the Met Breuer, New York. In 1973, Celmins made her frst drawing of a starry sky based on a photograph of the Coma Berenices constellation from the California Institute of Technology’s library. Almost 10 years afer receiving her master’s degree in art from the University of California, Los Angeles and three years afer The Museum of Modern Art, New York acquired three of her works for their permanent collection, by this time Celmins had already
Vija Celmins & Eliot Weinberger, The Stars, New York, 2005, n.p.
solidifed both her importance and distinct aesthetic in the American art scene. In her frst Night Sky drawings, Celmins employed the same process used in her seascape works from the previous decade, applying graphite to an acrylic ground in varying grades of pencil, ranging from hard to sof and dark to light. The resulting four drawings are thus all diferent, despite being based on the same photograph. Like artists such as Giorgio Morandi, who painted the same still-life compositions in multiple iterations, Celmins repeats her chosen imagery while also reinventing it in new terms
Vija Celmins working on Untitled (Night Sky #22), 2001. Photograph by Hendrika Sonnenberg, Artwork © Vija Celmins, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
As Briony Fer explains of the efects of the charcoal in these works, “Celmins shows how many blacks there are in black. She uses the shading colors that in conventional pictorial terms describe shadows and defne solid bodies through chiaroscuro – but she uses them instead to diferentiate a fat all-over surface, varying from jet-black through a silvery or a leaden grey. Grisaille colors thought to be somber are enlivened in this way to animate a surface as we might expect color to do. The charcoal is velvety and matt and absorbent. Black is a palette. If there is an analogy with night viewing it is this: the slow adjustment to seeing in the dark, to making out the slightest gradation” (Briony Fer et. al., Vija Celmins, London, 2004, pp. 104-105).
each time. In this way, her step-by-step process lends itself to series of works which are more about the act of looking and reinterpreting than the subject itself. “I see drawing as thinking, as evidence of thinking, evidence of going from one place to another” (Vija Celmins, quoted in Briony Fer et. al., Vija Celmins, London, 2004, p. 125).
Above/below: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Petit Palais), 1992. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gif of the Peter Norton Family Foundation, Photo Philadelphia Museum of Art/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York Vija Celmins, Untitled (Night Sky #22), 2001. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Vija Celmins, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Afer moving to New York in the early 1980s, Celmins switched back and forth between painting and drawing, returning almost exclusively to drawing in the 1990s, this time in charcoal. As such, Night Sky drawings like the present work were the frst of their kind, and also her frst major works on paper made in her new home of New York. Here, she switched from graphite and acrylic to charcoal, representing what Joan Storsve called a “radical change” (Joan Storsve, Vija Celmins: Dessins/Drawings, exh. cat., Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2006, p. 24). Applying the same technique of altering the density of the medium to achieve varying degrees of gray-scale, she applied the charcoal directly onto the paper—a method which she referred to as “kind of a relief, because it was dustier and had more relationship with the support”— and used an eraser to etch into the surface the felds of stars, revealing the white surface of the paper beneath (Vija Celmins, quoted in “Oral history interview with Vija Celmins, conducted by Betsy Sussler”, New York, October 18, 2011, p. 32).
In capturing darkness, a nearly-impossible phenomenon to record, Celmins links her artistic process to the act of looking. “Celmins’s redescriptions produce dialogues between diferent modes of production and perception…They are sights too bright, too vast, too distant, too ever-changing for the naked eye to take in…Some stars, even when viewed through the most powerful of telescopic lenses, remain pinpricks in a dark expanse” (Frances Jacobus-Parker et. al., Vija Celmins: To Fix the Image in Memory, exh. cat., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 2018, p. 89). It is therefore just as much Celmins herself as her viewers who make works such as Night Sky #23 both abstract and representational, conveying “a timeless, impersonal, and rather cold beauty that can be inexplicably moving” (Calvin Tomkins, “Vija Celmins’s Surface Matters”, The New Yorker, August 26, 2019, online).
10. Robert Ryman
Untitled signed and dated “Ryman 65” on the right turnover edge. enamel on stretched raw linen. 10 1/4 x 10 1/8 in. (26 x 25.6 cm.). Painted in 1965. This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being organized by David Gray under number 1965.147. Estimate $1,200,000-1,800,000
Provenance Peter Blum, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2002 Exhibited New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Robert Ryman, March 3 - April 30, 1972, no. 9, n.p. New York, Peter Blum, Ian Wilson, Robert Ryman, April 5 - June 2, 2001 Literature Eleanor Heartney, Art & Today, London, 2008, p. 77 (illustrated, p. 75) Suzanne Hudson, Robert Ryman: Used Paint, Cambridge, 2009, pp. 71, 77 (illustrated, p. 75)
Coalescing Conceptualism, Minimalism, monochromatic painting, and his own distinctive approach to abstraction, Robert Ryman’s elegant yet evocative white-on-white paintings have evaded any single art-historical classifcation. A gridded, impasto-rich expanse of lush white pigment on an intimate scale, Untitled encapsulates Ryman’s painterly adroitness that has earned him a reputation as one of the indisputable masters of postmodernist art. The romanticism and contemplative sensitivity of Ryman’s canvases from 1965 have led the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Dia Art Foundation to acquire similar works from that year, though the most comparable picture is held in The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Created a year before Ryman’s work was included in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York’s 1966 exhibition Systemic Painting alongside that of formidable American fgures like Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jackson Pollock, the painting tells the story of an artist on the brink of success. In this context, Untitled refects Ryman’s newly acquired self-assurance in the New York cultural sphere as well as foreshadows his life-long investigation of the expressive faculties of white. Untitled was executed the year that he defned as the beginning of his artistic maturity: though he began painting full-time in 1961, he recalled that “one day in 1965 I felt I had just fnished being a student. I felt very
confdent. I felt I knew exactly what to do. There was no hesitation, no more doubt” (Robert Ryman, quoted in Maurice Poirier and Jane Necol, “The 60’s in Abstract: 13 Statements and an Essay”, Art in America, 1983, p. 123). This conviction was substantiated by his decision to not include any pre-1965 works in his solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in the spring of 1972. Though Untitled ostensibly invokes both Robert Rauschenberg’s White Painting [three panel], 1951, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918—which was already held at The Museum of Modern Art when he worked as a guard there— Ryman claimed that neither infuenced his white paintings. Instead, Ryman was more preoccupied with the neutral shade’s ability to capture the rawness and sensitivity of the medium of paint, as the use of white allowed impasto and other painterly nuances in Untitled to become more conspicuous. In this way, the intentional simplicity of both the work’s palette and
Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/ Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY
Jasper Johns, Flag, 1957. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York
its square shape is more reminiscent of Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman’s aims to reduce painting to its essence. As critic and curator Robert Storr eloquently illustrated, “How many ways, Ryman has repeated and pragmatically asked, can one take the most reductive kind of painting—the apparently one-color-oneformat work—and generate from it a complete, indeed protean world” (Robert Storr, Robert Ryman, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1993, p. 10). In the early 1960s, Pop Art had eclipsed Abstract Expressionism as the dominant avant-garde movement in the American art world and many New York critics and artists began pronouncing the “death” of painting. Ryman repeatedly recalled feeling lonesome that no one shared his approach throughout this period, during which many painters, including Donald Judd and Robert Smithson, began turning to sculpture as Minimalism began to gain traction. Indeed, the term “minimal art” was coined by Robert Wollheim in 1965, and—though it was used retroactively to identify the “minimal art content” of modernist art, including Marcel Duchamp’s readymades—it presaged the introduction of Minimalism to the broader public, the Primary Structures exhibition at the Jewish Museum, New York in 1966.
Though the clarity of the surface of Untitled is reminiscent of the precision of Minimalist sculpture, Ryman’s belief that his paintings were not “alive” until they were activated by being installed and viewed is refective of his simultaneous engagement with Conceptualism. However, Ryman—who became an artist during the seven years he worked at The Museum of Modern Art—did not read philosophy or graduate from art school, an anomaly in the 1960s art world that cherished the hyper-intellectualized work of Judd, Smithson, and Sol LeWitt. Thus, Ryman’s paintings are better considered according to his personal timeline than that of any particular postmodern movement. Untitled was created during a time marked by great change in the New York intellectual climate and in the same year as the inception of his self-defned artistic maturity, and is emblematic of Ryman’s predilection for reacting to new aesthetic concerns instead of dismissing some for others. “It was never a rejection,” he asserted. “Just a diferent approach to painting… You want to discover something else… a new way of seeing” (Robert Ryman, quoted in Nancy Grimes, “White Magic”, ARTnews 85, no. 6, 1986, p. 87). Though Yves-Alain Bois famously called Ryman “the last modernist painter,” Untitled is a canvas of beginnings rather than ends. Despite frequently being coupled with Ad Reinhardt, who boldly asserted that he was “making the last painting which anyone can make,” Ryman had more optimistic expectations for the future of the medium (Ad Reinhardt, quoted in Barbara Rose, Art-as-Art: The Selected Writings of Ad Reinhardt, Berkley, 1991, p. 13). He kindly countered, “I never felt that painting was dead at all,” and “I think abstract painting is just the beginning” (Robert Ryman, quoted in Vittorio Colaizzi, “Robert Ryman, Painting as Actuality: 1953-1969”, PhD diss., Richmond, 2005, p. 301 and Nancy Grimes, “White Magic”, ARTnews 85, no. 6, 1986, p. 87). Untitled asks, in its elegant clarity: without superfuity or distractions, at which point does one have the essentials to begin painting?
Robert Ryman’s Square Paintings from 1965
Untitled, 1965 The Museum of Modern Art, New York
All artwork © 2019 Robert Ryman/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Untitled, 1965 Dia Art Foundation, Beacon
Untitled, 1965 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
In the Small Hours:
Philip Guston’s Late Figurative Painting
Philip Guston’s oeuvre reached a defnitive point of critical recognition shortly before his death: his work was powerfully presented at New Painting/New York, Hayward Gallery, London, 1979, then in a retrospective organized by Henry Hopkins at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1980, and fnally at a show dedicated to his late works at The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., 1981, where Morton Feldman proposed a reinterpretation of the artist’s oeuvre. Shortly thereafer, a wave of international exhibitions disseminated Guston’s work outside of the United States: a solo show organized by Nicholas Serota at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1982, and a major travelling exhibition opened at National Gallery of Victoria, in 1984. In addition, Robert Storr published a monograph on the artist in 1986, and, in 1988, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, hosted an exhibition of his drawings, followed by an exhibition in 1992 which presented works donated to the museum by the artist’s widow Musa McKim. Further retrospectives were launched at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid in 1989; Kunstmuseum Bonn, in 1999; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in 2003; and most recently, my own 2017 exhibition Philip Guston & the Poets at the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice. Many exhibitions of Guston’s painting were based on or explored the idea of Philip Guston’s distinct “periods”—from social realism to abstraction to rough fguration or “bad painting”—as if there was no continuity to his body of work. My exhibition in 1993, Philip Guston: Roots of Drawing, at Sala Rekalde in Bilbao, proposed to explain the phases of each “change” of direction in his work. Presenting 135 drawings, the exhibit sought to demonstrate that there is but one Guston, whose originality is based precisely on the pictorial style of his lines. The oeuvre of this American artist is not a series of leaps, but a vital process manifested in diferent ways: drafsmanship is the scafolding for Guston’s work in color.
In the 1960s, the American social climate took the accomplished painter back to the Scottsboro Boys and the actions of the Klu Klux Klan which he frst explored in the 1930s. At this point a new period of fguration began, expressed in At the Table, 1969 (lot 12), and led to large scale canvases such as Smoking II, 1973 (lot 11). In At the Table, two hooded fgures stare at one another, confronting each other while separated in a fat space. In Smoking II is a reclining self-portrait with a cigarette, night peering through a window. Guston painted mostly at night, as his daughter Musa Mayer recounts in her beautiful book, aptly titled Night Studio, 1988. Guston’s painting comes into being—is created and crafed—at night. Similarly, the pianist Glenn Gould would only record at night. The Nobel-prize winning poet Eugenio Montale even speaks of the fervor of working at night in his essay Intentions (Imaginary Interview), 1946. At night, the poet realizes the distance between life and words, as the painter realizes the distance between life and images. In the uncertainty of night, that which Guston will paint in the morning ferments: a shape, or a sentence of indecipherable objects that make up a mysterious poem. Guston’s images are not fantasies, nor are they didactic or moralist messages. Symbols make its appearance and, from then on, the painting relates its day and night to us. However, these are not symbols from the cosmos or beyond, but rather enigmas of a handful of shocks, as strong as they are fundamental. Rendering truth stripped of sentiment, Guston slowly deciphered the lines of Hesiod’s Works and Days in the form of painting. Guston did not represent objects taken from models, but rather created the objects in his own pictorial experience. He himself has alluded to this process, similar to what is ofen referred to as the “abstract experience,” in his interview with the poet
Bill Berkson: “This ‘thing’ is recognized only as it comes into existence” (Philip Guston, quoted in “The New Gustons”, ARTnews, October 1970, pp. 44-47). Guston’s painting drags the observer into this thematic terrain from which it is composed, into this dark fabrication that fascinates us for its newness and strangeness. Where does it come from? Where is it going? Toward the satisfaction of restlessness which elicits in the author his own history? Toward a storyboard of nightmares? Thus emerges a series of powerful images which summon the presence of a universe all its own, which open themselves to us in the moment that they capture us, only to release us once we are no longer the same. Guston’s images are immersed in a sinister place of faltering breath, subjected to the cold of the simple grayish, pinkish, or white primer. They contain no impasto or terrain that allows for context. The results are symbols like geographies shattered by a feeling half way between desolation and claustrophobia. They resemble an acidic X-ray scan of a time of defeat, an existential psychodrama just as in Francisco de Goya’s Black Paintings. For Guston, the only certainty is death and from that conviction arises his pictorial thinking: afer his social fguration and murals, afer his abstraction, came his images that sought not only a degree of emotive intensity, but also a sense of universality. These images do not seek to get the spectator to understand them, but rather to assume their breathing and emotional forcefulness. —Dr. Kosme de Barañano
Philip Guston in Woodstock, 1973. Photograph by Barbara Sproul.
Dr. Kosme de Barañano is an internationally renowned 20th century art historian and Philip Guston scholar. The former Executive Director of IVAM, Valencia, Spain, de Barañano also curated and wrote the accompanying monograph for the exhibition Philip Guston & the Poets at Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice (May – September 2017).
11. Philip Guston
Smoking II signed “Philip Guston” lower right; further signed, titled and dated “PHILIP GUSTON “SMOKING II”. 1973” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 39 1/2 x 67 3/8 in. (100.3 x 171 cm.). Painted in 1973. Estimate $6,000,000-8,000,000
Provenance Grace Hartigan and Dr. Winston Price, Baltimore (acquired directly from the artist) Christie’s, New York, November 11, 1982, lot 139 Edward F. Broida, Los Angeles McKee Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2003 Exhibited Boston, School of Fine & Applied Arts Gallery, Boston University, Philip Guston: New Paintings, March 15 - April 14, 1974, no. 17, n.p. Columbus, University Gallery of Fine Art, Ohio State University, Painters’ Painters: Milton Avery, Philip Guston, Giorgio Morandi, March 26 - April 15, 1984, no. 11, n.p. (titled as Smoker II) Winter Park, The George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Bizarro World! The Parallel Universe of Comics & Fine Arts, March 17 - April 30, 2000, no. 65, p. 22 (illustrated) Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Plane/Figure: Amerikanische Kunst aus Schweizer Privatsammlungen und aus dem Kunstmuseum Winterthur / American Art from Swiss Collectors and the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, August 26 November 19, 2006, no. 65, p. 244 (illustrated, p. 21) Literature Harold Rosenberg and Philip Guston, “Conversations: Philip Guston and Harold Rosenberg: Guston’s Recent Paintings”, Boston University Journal 22, no. 3, 1974, p. 44 Clark Coolidge, ed., Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations, Berkeley, 2011, p. 269
A candid self-portrait from one of Philip Guston’s most celebrated series, Smoking II is emblematic of the radical, darkly humorous vulnerability that characterizes the fgurative work from his mature period. Executed in a reduced palette of pink, scarlet, gray, and emerald, this feshy and alert fgure with Guston’s signature lima bean head—one of the very frst he made—lies supine in a bed smoking, his one Cyclopian eye staring up at the ceiling. Though the artist was usually insistent upon not using the same composition twice, he felt motivated enough by the scene and aesthetic to paint approximately a half-dozen of these smoking insomniac self-portraits, several of which are held in preeminent institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Conveying the universal, throbbing sense of
loneliness one feels when unable to sleep, Smoking II is an intimate portrait of Guston’s psychological crisis and contemplation of his own artistic paralysis. By 1973, Guston parted with Malborough Gallery in the wake of the poor critical and sales reception of his recent fgurative works featuring cartoon-inspired Ku Klux Klan hoods, and afer this departure, he only returned to Manhattan very infrequently to see exhibitions. Having lef behind “the great New York art party,” according to art historian Edward Fry, Guston more than ever made Woodstock his home, and his studio in the town became the center of his private world (Edward Fry, Philip Guston: The Late Work, Sydney, 1984, p. 17). Besides monthly trips to Boston to teach as a professor or an occasional visit or phone call from friends, Guston lived and painted in voluntary relative isolation, abandoning the Klan heads and shifing his focus to a rawer form of self-portraiture. Plagued by chronic insomnia, Guston vigilantly worked and smoked late into the night, consuming two or three packs of unfltered Camel
Albrecht Dürer, Melencolia I, 1514. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY
“American Abstract art is a lie, a sham, a cover-up. . . Where are the wooden foors—the light bulbs— the cigarette smoke?” Philip Guston, 1966
cigarettes every day. “I started doing pictures of my wife and I in bed,” Guston recalled. “[A] whole series of paintings of smokers smoking; it’s me” (Philip Guston, Philip Guston, exh. cat., Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, 2004, p. 31). Guston kicked of the series with two cropped paintings centered on his head: the present work, which he sold to close associate and fellow artist Grace Hartigan, and Smoking I, which he chose to keep in his own collection until his death. Evocative of Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia I, 1514, a reproduction of which he had taped on the wall of his Woodstock studio, Smoking II portrays the solitude, depression, and melancholy that Guston experienced in the last decade of his life. Robert Storr recalled that during this time Guston used to always quote a remark John Cage said to him in the 1950s: “When you are working, everybody is in your studio—the past, your friends, the art world, above all your own ideas—are all there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are lef completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave” (Philip Guston quoted in Robert Storr, Philip Guston, New York, 1986, pp. 62-63). It is ironic, then, that in the face of the most intense, excruciating loneliness he had felt in his life thus far, Smoking II did not empty out but rather became replete with the iconography and pictorial decisions from his past. While the subject matter—Guston in bed, unable to sleep—harkens back to Sanctuary, 1944, Estate of Philip Guston, the pervasive delicate pink tones freckled with scarlet can be linked to his early abstractions, such as Dial, 1956, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. More recently, the smoke, green window shade, and ambiguous red frame were staple motifs of his Klan hood paintings executed four or fve years beforehand, such as The Studio, 1969, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark.
Cover, Weirdo #7. Copyright © Robert Crumb, 1993
Executed with gestural immediacy yet masterly sophisticated, Smoking II embodies what Thomas Hess called Guston’s “‘celestial stupidity’—the willingness to
make ‘dumb’ shapes, inexpressive lumps, ugly or repellent blobs. It’s a kind of reverse Pop Art—instead of banal subject matter, he exploits banal pictorial units” (Thomas B. Hess, “Dumb is Beautiful”, New York Magazine, March 29, 1976, New York, p. 87). By using what Hess referred to as “banal pictorial units,” Guston manipulated his own image to the point of unrecognizability in Smoking II, depicting himself in a schematic, comics-like aesthetic undeniably redolent of R. Crumb’s Weirdo, though he was unaware of the magazine and the two arrived at these idiosyncratic iconographies separately. This pursuit to make himself unidentifable is expressed by a well-known quote by the painter’s close friend, Clark Coolidge, that Guston wrote on a drawing of one of these self-portraits in bed: “One must become supersaturated in memory before one can recognize the unknown. The road to excess leads to one’s own forms. In order to discover [the unknown] one’s self must frst be made unrecognizable.”
Selected Self-Portraits from 1973 in Public Collections
“When you are working, everybody is in your studio— the past, your friends, the art world, above all your own ideas—are all there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.” Philip Guston quoting John Cage, 1970s
Artwork © The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Painting, Smoking, Eating, 1973, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Painter in Bed, 1973, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Above/below: Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY, Artwork © The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Artwork © The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Stationary Figure, 1973, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
smokers in bed, “I like the feeling that I don’t have a painting in there, I’ve got a being in there… So the guy is in there, he’s in bed, he’s thinking. It’s like making a golem… And that’s really very exciting in painting, to make a duplicate of the world” (Philip Guston, quoted in Clark Coolidge, ed., Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures, and Conversations, Berkeley, 2010, p. 266). Guston also found a comrade in this in Franz Kafa, who he used to say had a virtuous capacity to realize in his writings an anxious world parallel to the one we exist in—“parallel, but not this world” (Philip Guston, quoted in Dore Ashton, A Critical Study of Philip Guston, Berkeley, 1990, pp. 124-125).
Not only a revisitation of Guston’s oeuvre, Smoking II also invokes the artist’s career-long engagement with art history and the Old Masters. The painting is a manifestation of the same interest in the pictorial possibilities of smoke—its translucent cloudiness that can add a suggestion of ambiguity to otherwise perfectly intelligible forms—evident in Edvard Munch’s Self Portrait with Cigarette, 1895, Metropolitan Museum of Art and in a painting by one of the artists Guston most admired, Max Beckmann’s Self-Portrait in Tuxedo (Selbstbildnis im Smoking), 1927, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. On the other hand, Smoking II’s highly-worked salmon and red surface hint at Guston’s fondness for the fushed fesh of Titian’s fgures. The most conspicuous of the work’s afnities, however, is with the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, which taught Guston how to furnish scenes that are parallel to reality; worlds that are slightly detached and eerily remote, but similar enough to convincingly comment on the real one. This ability to create an uncanny alternate reality became increasingly important to Guston towards the end of his life. Indeed, Smoking II encapsulates a self-contained protagonist and world that is a little strange, with the bedpost and square on the wall lef outlined and the character’s skull seemingly impaled by the window shade’s lif cord due to the picture’s collapsed sense of depth. “When I leave the studio,” the artist himself articulated regarding this series of
In August 1974, Grace Hartigan mentioned to fellow artist and friend Fay Chandler that her husband, epidemiologist Winston Price, had won an award for an ambitious paper on the biochemistry of schizophrenia and that Price had used the prize money to purchase two paintings of Guston’s, one of
Above/below: Giorgio de Chirico, Ariadne, 1918. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY Max Beckmann, Self-Portrait in Tuxedo, 1927. Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Photo: Katya Kallsen © Harvard Art Museum/Art Resource, NY
which was Smoking II. Considering that the body of work Guston has produced since abruptly returning to fguration in 1968 had still not been fully accepted by the New York art world, it is astounding that the couple sought the polarizing work out. Regardless, Hartigan treasured Smoking II: as she had recently begun reinvestigating the possibilities of fguration herself, she found a kindred boldness in this painting by her dear friend. “He is doing more of what I am doing, picking fragments from the world,” Grace wrote. “You grab a little, you pick a snatch here and there, you throw it in and try to make some kind of order, some kind of meaning” (Grace Hartigan, quoted in Cindy Nemser, Art Talk, New York, 1975, p. 29). Smoking II was later acquired by Edward F. Broida, a real estate developer and perhaps Guston’s most ardent supporter, before entering the collection of the present owner where it has remained for almost two decades.
Phillip Guston in his studio in Woodstock, 1975. Photo by Denise Brown Hare.
An agonizingly frank confessional by a master of self-portraiture, Smoking II epitomizes Guston’s trademark investigation of the basic dilemmas and needs of mankind that imbue his works with an afecting sense of humanity. The antipode of Francisco de Goya’s The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, the painting poignantly represents the existential—even catatonic—dread of wakefulness. “I’m more like Oblomov than ever,” Guston told his son of his crippling depression, likening himself to the protagonist in Ivan Goncharov’s novel who could rarely sum up the strength to leave his bed (Philip Guston, quoted in Musa Mayer, “My Father, Philip Guston”, The New York Times, August 7, 1988, p. 24). However, in Smoking II, Guston achieved the wholeness he had been so despairingly seeking. In a note to himself in 1972, he lamented, “there is nothing to do now but paint my life. My dreams, surroundings, predicament, desperation,” which is precisely what Smoking II captured (Philip Guston, quoted in Dore Ashton, A Critical Study of Philip Guston, Berkeley, 1990, p. 309).
12. Philip Guston
At the Table signed and dated “Philip Guston ‘69” lower right; further signed, titled and dated “PHILIP GUSTON “AT THE TABLE” 1969” on the reverse. acrylic on panel. 30 1/8 x 32 in. (76.5 x 81.3 cm.). Painted in 1969. Estimate $1,800,000-2,500,000
Provenance McKee Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000 Exhibited Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Plane/Figure: Amerikanische Kunst aus Schweizer Privatsammlungen und aus dem Kunstmuseum Winterthur / American Art from Swiss Collectors and the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, August 26 November 19, 2006, no. 64, p. 244 (illustrated, p. 20)
Produced in the wake of Philip Guston’s highlyanticipated return to painting afer a two-year hiatus, At the Table, 1969 exemplifes the humorous yet shrewd fgurative style that typifed his production during the last decade of his life. Executed in the same year as his tour de force The Studio, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, the painting depicts two of his signature hooded fgures, shroud in white cloth redolent of Ku Klux Klan garb, ostensibly seated at a table and trading looks. In the foreground stands a fringed pink lamp, a recurring motif of Guston’s, holding a polka-dot blouse. These “hoods”— as the artist called them—feature as the main protagonist in most of his works between 1968 and 1970, a chapter in his oeuvre marked by an exceptionally febrile bout of creativity and an overwhelming dedication to painting that neared compulsion. The results of this interval, which were frst publicly exhibited at Malborough Gallery in New York in fall 1970, shocked viewers and invited a critical reaction that was at frst almost uniformly searing; however, these works are now considered to be not only some of the fnest of his career but of the period overall. An exquisite meditation on culpability, identity, and the
Philip Guston, The Studio, 1969. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Digital image Artepics/ Alamy Stock Photo Artwork © The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth
evils of its contemporaneous social reality, At the Table was a vehicle for Guston to convey a message that was both personal and public during a time of simultaneous artistic, political, and social crisis. By partaking in the prosaic act of sitting around a table, the hoods in At the Table encourage a more introspective understanding than the unequivocally villainous white supremacists they at frst seem to allude to. Indeed, these fgures are so personal that they are in fact self-portraits: “I perceive myself as being behind the hood. In the new series of ‘hoods’ my attempt was really not to illustrate, to do pictures of the Ku Klux Klan,” Guston clarifed during a lecture at the University of Minnesota in March 1978. In painting this more candid portrait of himself as painter and man, Guston pondered, “What would it be like to be evil? To plan, to plot” (Philip Guston, quoted in Philip Guston, exh. cat., Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, 2004, pp. 28-29). Furthering this intimate reading, even though the hoods in At the Table are exchanging looks, they do not appear to be conspiring—or even interacting—and instead are emotionally selfcontained: their individual psychologies seem to be enveloped by their physical veils as well. At the Table’s hooded fgures frst appeared in one of Guston’s frst canvases, the now-lost Conspirators, 1930, a boldly-depicted scene of several Ku Klux Klan fgures donning their signature white shrouds and participating in a disturbing ritual beneath a Christ-like hanged black man and falling cross. Engaged with sociopolitical concerns and lef-wing principles from an early age, Guston’s frst invocation of the KKK was no doubt impelled from confrontations during his adolescence with Los Angeles’s noteworthy Klan membership, which became the most active “Klavern” in the country. These close quarters triggered more than a few run-ins with the group: the artist even recalled some of its members mutilating his paintings that were exhibited in a bookshop in Hollywood during the time.
Paul Cézanne, The Card Players, 1890-1895. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Count Isaac de Camondo bequest, 1911 © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay)/Hervé Lewandowski/SCALA/Art Resource, NY
Afer a few more portrayals of lynchings and other despicable acts of violence at the hands of the KKK, and the inclusion of faintly-outlined hoods in The Tormentors, 1947-1948, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Guston cast aside this pictorial trope to spend the next two decades experimenting with abstraction. This investigation concluded in 1966, when he abruptly ceased painting, moved from Manhattan to Woodstock, and occupied the next couple years drawing, oscillating between abstraction in the day and fguration during the night. This respite from painting lasted until 1968, the height of the Klan’s recrudescence in response to the Civil Rights Movement and the year of the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. as well as the election of Richard Nixon. “I was feeling split, schizophrenic; the [Vietnam War], what was happening to America, the brutality of the world,” according to Guston. “What kind of a man am I, sitting at home, reading magazines, going into a frustrated fury about everything—and then going home to adjust a red to a blue?” (Philip Guston, quoted in Irving Sandler, Art of the Postmodern era, New York, 1996, p. 196).
Lef to right: Giorgio de Chirico, The Duo, 1914-1915. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY Philip Guston, Drawing for Conspirators, 1930. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, Purchase, with funds from The Hearst Corporation and The Norman and Rosita Winston Foundation, Inc., Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork © The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth
With his political ire reignited during this period of governmental upheaval and racial unrest, Guston resumed painting and returned to the iconography of hooded fgures incessantly for the next two years, which would prove to be the most prolifc and feverish of his career. In these new pictures, however, the hoods were no longer gravely represented as the evil incarnate; instead, they are engaged in such banal activities as sitting around together in At the Table. Speaking of the thematic diferences between his utilization of the hood motif as a young artist and its return in 1968, Guston explained, “In this new dream of violence, I feel like Isaac Babel with his Cossacks; as if I were living with the Klan. What do they do aferwards? Or before? Smoke, drink, sit around their rooms… Dumb, melancholy, guilty, fearful, remorseful, reassuring one another?” (Philip Guston, quoted in Musa Mayer, Night Studio: A Memoir of Philip Guston, Munich, 2016, p. 206).
In addition to repurposing characters, when Guston would discover a composition that he particularly enjoyed, he would manipulate it, just as a cartoonist fddles with a core storytelling formula week afer week. This recycling propensity accounts for the striking parallel between At the Table and Sherif, 1970; in the latter, the fgures are posed identically, but the central lamp is replaced by the back of a head of a sherif interrogating them for their wrongdoings, their guilt evidenced by the splatter of blood on the fgure on the right. These reinterpretations of a principal composition culminated in his masterpiece, Bad Habits, 1970, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, in which Guston efaced the sherif’s head with white paint before depicting a green bottle and other nefarious paraphernalia in its place. Reminiscent of Giorgio de Chirico’s bodily machines and mannequin heads, Guston’s fippant replacement of objects with humans
“Guston’s new paintings are cartoony, looney, moving and social. . . It’s as if de Chirico went to bed with a hangover and had a Krazy Kat dream about America falling apart. . . It really took guts to make this shift this late in the game. . .” John Perreault, art critic
and vice versa, such as from lamp to police ofcer to bottle, is akin to cartoons’ constant, slapstick alteration between objectifcation and humanization. Furthermore, the thick, jet black outlines in At the Table, characteristic of the artist’s work at this time, are evocative of the coarse contours of drawings by George Herriman, the creator of the Krazy Kat comic strip that Guston knew and admired. At the Table’s dark subject matter and afnity with cartoons, in both its process and approach, infuses the work with the painter’s acclaimed satirical fusion of evil and humor. In representing the violence and political turmoil of America in the late 1960s, Guston rediscovered his own image, and—however refracted it was—this realization launched the fervent production of his mature period. It is ftting, then, that in At the Table he obsessively reused earlier iconographic and compositional elements to arrive at this raw, critical portrait of himself. One wonders if the painting’s monstrous characters are as hopeless as the sinful fgures in the Old Master works that Guston so adored, such as Francisco de Goya’s Los caprichos, 1797-1798, or if they will ever see the light. Justifying this inquiry is the central lamp and the painterly black patch next to the right fgure, which is likely a window, another one of Guston’s perennial motifs present in a drawing for At the Table as well as in The Room, 1970, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Perhaps these sources of light are Guston’s equivalent of the lightbulb used in cartoons to symbolize new ideas or breakthroughs. This impenetrable ambiguity at the
heart of At the Table—pessimism or optimism, humor or horror, internal or external evil—is best encapsulated by a motto de Chirico inscribed on an early self-portrait in Latin that Guston frequently quoted: “What shall I love if not the enigma?”
Krazy Kat, 1933. Photo by LMPC via Getty Images
13. Luc Tuymans
Sunset oil on canvas. 62 1/2 x 52 1/4 in. (158.8 x 132.7 cm.). Painted in 2002. Estimate $350,000-450,000
Provenance Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2002 Exhibited Kassel, Binding-Brauerei, Documenta11_Platform 5: Exhibition, June 8 - September 15, 2002, p. 530 (illustrated, p. 531) Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Dark, February 18 - April 17, 2006, p. 114 (illustrated, p. 113) Budapest, Mücsarnoc Kunsthalle, Luc Tuymans: Retrospective, December 15, 2007 - February 10, 2008, p. 98 (illustrated, p. 70) Munich, Haus der Kunst, Luc Tuymans: Wenn der Frühling kommt, March 2 - May 12, 2008, p. 49 (installation view illustrated) Warsaw, Zachęta – National Gallery of Art, Idź I patrz/ Come and See, May 31 - August 18, 2008 Literature Documenta11_Platform 5: Ausstellung | Exhibition, Ausstellungsorte | Exhibition Venues, Ostfldern-Ruit, 2002, p. 158 (installation view illustrated) Éric Suchère, “Luc Tuymans: La peinture comme concept / More Than a Medium”, Art Presse, no. 281, July - August, 2002, p. 27 (illustrated) Ulrich Loock et. al., Luc Tuymans, London, 2003, p. 217 (illustrated, p. 216) Thomas Wagner, Freihändig: Wahrnehmungen der Kunst, Ostfldern, 2006, pp. 60-61 (Kassel, Binding-Brauerei installation view illustrated) Thomas Schönberger, “Leerstellen der Monstrosität”, Spex, March 2008, p. 127 (illustrated) Morgan Falconer, “Luc Tuymans: Agent Provocateur”, Art World, April 1, 2008, p. 43 (illustrated) Frank Demaegd, ed., Luc Tuymans: Zeno X Gallery, 25 Years of Collaboration, exh. cat., Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, 2016, p. 267 (illustrated) Eva Meyer-Hermann, ed., Luc Tuymans, Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Volume 2: 1995-2006, New York, 2018, no. LTP 316, p. 284 (illustrated, p. 285; Kassel, Binding-Brauerei installation view illustrated, p. 439)
A manifestation of art’s struggle to address unfathomably horrifc violence, Sunset, 2002 is illustrative of Luc Tuyman’s faculty for encapsulating the evocative power of quietude. A haunting painting from his emotive series that was frst exhibited at Documenta11, Sunset was the artist’s reply to the September 11th attacks in New York, and is perhaps reminiscent of the appearance of the griefstricken downtown sky, sufused with smoke and debris, on one of the darkest days of the 21st century. Sunset is
from a body of work which saw Tuymans utilize traditional art historical genres such as still life, portraiture, and plein air painting to obliquely present the devastating afermath of the atrocious event. Despite its seemingly banal subject matter, Sunset embodies Tuymans’s distinctive approach, in which either dimly-lit or bleached-out forms are portrayed as slightly out-of-focus, or blurred, glimpses of a somberly enigmatic reality. Refective of Tuymans’s propensity to never respond to sociopolitical upheaval directly but instead through careful, astute refection, Sunset is emblematic of the artist’s adroit ability to relate violence, memory, and representation that is currently being celebrated at his major monographic exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice. The year of its execution, Sunset shocked viewers at Documenta11, where Tuymans was widely expected to exhibit overtly political work in the wake of the disaster of September 11th, which he witnessed during a visit to the United States. “My wife and I were there during 9/11. We saw the planes going into the buildings from our hotel room,” Tuymans recalled in an interview with Ben Eastham. However, “I thought it was impossible to do something with the event at that time. It’s not the way that painting works” (Luc Tuymans, quoted in Ben Eastham, “A Necessary Realism: Interview with Luc Tuymans”, Apollo, August 8, 2015, online). Instead, the painter turned to the cerebral power of banality, displaying Sunset alongside works of similar placidity, including a portrait, a picture of a mother and child, and the renowned Still Life, 2002, Pinault Collection. Shifing from his more explicit, macabre depictions of Holocaust and Belgian colonialism, for which he had used conspicuously disturbing source imagery, this
Gerhard Richter, September, 2005. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (0226)
series betrayed a more oblique grappling with one of the most shamefully violent passages of history. According to the artist, “The attacks [of 9/11] were also an assault on aesthetics. That gave me the idea of reacting with a sort of anti-picture, with an idyll, albeit an inherently twisted one” (Luc Tuymans, quoted in exhibition guide to Luc Tuymans, Tate Modern, London, 2004, p. 8). Though it was foreseeable that viewers would anticipate patently political paintings from an artist whose previous motifs have included such violent sociopolitical catastrophes as concentration camps, gas chambers, and prisoners of war, Tuymans has always understood that art’s capacity to inspire or provoke depends less on the subject itself than how it is treated with paint. This is indeed the case with Sunset, as its pervasive, muted gray palette is more evocative of a distant memory one is struggling to recall than the immediately arresting, vibrant colors that are typically associated with sunsets. Similarly to his Above/below: The present work and Still Life, 2002, Pinault Collection on loan to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, installed at Binding-Brauerei, Documenta11_Platform 5: Exhibition, June 8– September 15, 2002. Photo: Roman Mensing, artdoc.de. Artwork © Luc Tuymans Claude Monet, Setting Sun over the Seine at Lavacourt, Winter Efect, 1880. Musée des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris, Photo Bulloz © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY
Sundown, 2009, currently on view at the Palazzo Grassi, the poignant efect of the work is a far cry from the optical vibrancy that typifed Impressionist painting, such as Claude Monet’s Setting Sun over the Seine at Lavacourt, Winter Efect, 1880, Musée des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris, due to its somber, ashen tonality. As the art critic Hans Rudolf Reust perceived, “A sense of tragedy can creep into Tuymans’s painting, as if the deed has not yet taken place, nor is fatefully imminent, but is happening again, in a contradictorily anachronistic process, through painting” (Hans Rudolf Reust, Luc Tuymans, London, 2011, p. 204). This insight elucidates the aura of quiescent threat exuded from Sunset, a depiction of a mournful day coming to a close, heavy with the inexplicably oppressive burden of human sufering. A departure from his portrayals of horrifc chapters in human history, Sunset was Tuymans’s unexpectedly afecting response to the cataclysm of the 9/11 attacks and was developed by counterintuitively looking inward— instead of outward, as political art usually does—in contemplation of the historical genre of plein air painting. In the time since their unveiling, Sunset and Tuymans’s other works from Documenta11 have proven to be quiet achievements which allowed for a scarce opportunity of meditation during an internationally feverish time which, in retrospect, haste and pathos were perhaps enabled to dominate. “Painting is an anachronism. It will always be that way,” Tuymans has explained. “But it has never been naïve” (Luc Tuymans, quoted in Ben Eastham, “A Necessary Realism: Interview with Luc Tuymans”, Apollo, August 8, 2015, online).
14. Martin Puryear
Untitled signed and dated “Martin Puryear May 2008” on the inside. stained pine. 37 1/2 x 28 x 14 1/2 in. (95.3 x 71.1 x 36.8 cm.). Executed in 2008. Estimate $400,000-600,000
Provenance McKee Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner
Martin Puryear’s Untitled from 2008 showcases the artist’s use of minimal means to create biomorphic forms. With smooth, stained pine curving gently outwards until meeting the foor at an angle, the sculpture resembles something anthropomorphic, both human and thing. The work was made just one year afer the artist’s frst retrospective began at The Museum of Modern Art, New York where his works were described as being capable of “balancing between the geometric and the organic with Zen aplomb” (Roberta Smith, “Humanity’s Ascent, in Three Dimensions”, The New York Times, November 2, 2007, online). He is now representing the United States at the 58th Venice Biennale, solidifying the infuence of his practice on contemporary sculpture today.
Originally trained in drawing and painting, Puryear’s interest in sculpture frst arose in the 1960s. In 1964, he joined the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone where he witnessed the work of joiners and carpenters, an experience he called “both inspiring and instructive.” Two years later, he moved to Sweden where he met James Krenov, a cabinetmaker: “The result of meeting Krenov was that I was more committed than ever to pursue sculpture, and more respectful of the commitment of the seriously dedicated crafsman. The clear distinction between his practice and mine gave me focus and freedom to follow my path with a lot less confusion” (Martin Puryear, quoted in Shaping the Future of Craf, American Craf Council 2006 National Leadership Conference, New York, 2006, pp. 26-27). Afer returning to the United States in 1969 and receiving his master’s from the Yale School of Art, he was met with the prevalence of Minimalist sculpture. “When I frst saw Donald Judd’s work, it cleared the air for me to do whatever I wanted. And I wanted purity and simplicity. But I couldn’t be as distant as Judd—the working process is essential to me” (Martin Puryear, quoted in 110 Years: The Permanent Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2006, p. 280). Throughout the rest of Puryear’s sculptural practice, the importance of the artist’s hand and the labor of making would never waver. Ever evident in Untitled is his championing of the skilled crafsmanship he encountered in both Africa and Europe, combined with his desire, like Judd, to create art for the sake of art, not function. Many of Puryear’s freestanding sculptures like the present work are made through a process used in shipbuilding called cold molding, where thin strips of wood veneers are bent, glued and stapled to an interior frame and layered atop one another. As Anne M. Wagner espoused, “Boats, bottles, baskets, bentwood chairs— these are his sculptures’ kith and kin. In his hands, wood is as pliable as clay. Reshaped, it can conjure forms while carving out voids” (Anne M. Wagner, Martin Puryear: Liberty/Libertà, exh. cat., La Biennale di Venezia, 58th International Art Exhibition, New York, 2019, p. 85). Looking through the bottom of the sculpture and through
Jean (Hans) Arp, Helmet Head, I, 1959. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Artwork © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
the key-hole at the top of the form, reveals gently curving wood grain along its inner, rounded structure. The resulting object which appears dense is actually hollow, giving lightweight pine the illusion of being bronze or marble. This in turn recalls the works of his Modernist predecessors like Jean Arp and Constantin Brancusi, both of whom he considered a heavy infuence. Like those of modernist sculptors, Puryear’s practice ofen informs itself, as motifs and structures continually reappear. In its form and stature, Untitled bears a strong resemblance to a foundational work by the artist called Self, 1978, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, a work which “declares its allegiance to the tradition of Constantin Brancusi and Jean Arp. Like
Above/below: Martin Puryear’s Swallowed Sun (Monstrance and Volute), 2019 installed at the United States Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, 2019. Image courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, Artwork © Martin Puryear, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery Martin Puryear, Self, 1978. Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Artwork © Martin Puryear, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
their work, it aims to occupy a space somewhere between the machined and the handcrafed. In other words, although distinctly reductive, Self’s form remains uncannily animate” (Anne M. Wagner, Martin Puryear: Liberty/Libertà, exh. cat., La Biennale di Venezia, 58th International Art Exhibition, New York, 2019, p. 88). Resembling what could be a hooded fgure, the top of the form reads almost like a head. Later, Puryear would transform this three-dimensional shape into an actual hat as in Big Phrygian, 2010-2014, Glenstone Museum, Potomac, an overt reference to the cap worn as a symbol of freedom for black slaves in the French Revolution. Made exactly three decades afer Self, the form is reprised here in Untitled, this time with a key-hole whose shape mimics what is perhaps an inverted version of the sculpture itself. Aesthetically, this negative space might be a precursor to a later editioned work made in iron from 2014 called Shackled, featuring a larger cutout which spans the whole form. And yet here, the small void is more enigmatic. Perhaps it is positioned to ofer a glimpse inside the form’s structure, a celebration of craf in its own right, or possibly as a cavity from which the fgure’s head can see or breathe. It is precisely this multi-faceted interpretation begging the viewer to question its meaning that Puryear aims for. “If I were forced to describe my work, I’d say I’m interested in making sculpture that tries to describe itself to the world, work that acknowledges its maker and that ofers an experience that’s probably more tactile and sensate than strictly cerebral” (Martin Puryear, quoted in Martin Puryear, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007, p. 106).
15. Sigmar Polke
Table Dance signed, titled and dated ““Table - dance” Sigmar Polke 2002” on the overlap. acrylic and interference color on canvas. 59 1/8 x 71 in. (150.2 x 180.3 cm.). Executed in 2002. We are most grateful to Mr. Michael Trier, Cologne for his assistance with the cataloguing of this work. Estimate $2,000,000-3,000,000
Provenance Luhring Augustine, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2004
Painted during the last decade of his life, Table Dance is an amalgamation of Sigmar Polke’s half-century-long preoccupation with reality, parody, and the immorality of hedonism. Executed in 2002, the painting extends the artist’s exploration of provocative imagery frst explored in the 1960s including his two renowned 1966 paintings Japanische Tänzerinnen (Japanese Dancers) and Bunnies, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. As in these works, in Table Dance, the salacious scene emerges from an inky web of his idiosyncratic raster dots, which have been set atop an expanse of shimmering dispersion paint that comes to the foreground as painterly felds at the corners. In Table Dance, Polke presents a metaphorical collage of the characteristics that have come to typify his oeuvre, including depictions of tribal barbarity, raster dots, and alchemy, within a renewed context during the last chapter of his career. Table Dance was executed while Polke was preparing for a solo exhibition of recent work at the Dallas Museum of Art that opened in November 2002. The Lone Star State and its loaded social and political lore became a source of inspiration for Polke, who asked former Dallas Museum of Art director Jack Lane to mail Texan newspapers to him in Germany, an unsurprising request given Polke’s career-long engagement with mass media and visual culture. His fxation with the region, an epicenter of American heritage and the home state of then president George W. Bush, manifested itself in the subsequent body of work’s subject matters, which included military power, surveillance, history, guns, sex, and other questions
“[I] treat the whole surface in the same way—like Cézanne—and treat all subjects in the same way: a horse, a woman, an ass, etc.” Sigmar Polke
Sigmar Polke, Bunnies, 1966. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., Artwork © 2019 Estate of Sigmar Polke/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
regarding morality. The tavern in Table Dance does indeed feel quintessentially all-American: the U.S. fag hangs above the booth, beer is served on tap, a cow’s skull—an iconic symbol of the Southwest—sits above the entryway. However, in a sly bait and switch, what Polke has actually captured in Table Dance is not an American saloon but a Texas-themed bar in Germany, playing on notions of stereotype and authenticity. Polke further destabilizes the reading of the painting through its very facture. Preventing any thorough grasp of the painting is the return of Polke’s trademark raster dots, which can be traced all the way back to the third known painting by the artist, Tisch (Table), 1963. These rasters—famously known as “Polkedots”—allude to the halfone process used in the printing of newspapers and magazines. Despite their initial resemblance to Roy Lichtenstein’s Ben-Day dots, Polke painstakingly hand-painted each raster until they became an integral part of the composition, rather than a straight pictorial flter. Perhaps they are thus better understood as a nod to the radical painterly techniques developed at the turn of the 20th century in Paris, as the artist himself acknowledged when he
Édouard Manet, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, 1863. Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France/Bridgeman Images
explained that his rasters allow him “to treat the whole surface in the same way—like Cézanne—and to treat all subjects in the same way: a horse, a woman, an ass, etc.” (Sigmar Polke, quoted in Sigmar Polke: Works on Paper 1963-1974, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1999, p. 16).
Sigmar Polke, Me and My Buddies Would Vote for You, 2002. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 Estate of Sigmar Polke/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
Further destabilizing Table Dance is the unequal distribution of the rasters, whose complete dominion over the composition’s fguration is jeopardized by the painterly, abstract swaths of dispersion that come to the foreground of the composition at the corners of the picture plane. A familiar choice of medium for an artist notorious for his predilection for unorthodox substances—from meteor dust to uranium to snail ooze—dispersion takes on an iridescent shimmer that causes the work to refect diferent hues depending on the lighting and the position of the viewer. When observed from diferent angles, glistens of green, pink, or purple emerge as other shades recede, creating a mystical visual efect as one approaches, retreats from, or moves around the painting. In this sense, Polke acts as alchemist in Table Dance: as the colors magically transmute into others, any coherent narrative or ostensibly clear sense of depth is undermined.
Francis Picabia, Portrait of Suzy Solidor, 1933. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Polke usually projected a source image, enlarged to the point of near intelligibility, onto his canvases before flling in the rasters. An efect of this technique is that the rasters become a subversive force even though they are the picture’s predominant source of stability: the closer the viewer comes to Table Dance, the more the fgures break apart into abstraction. “For me, the raster is a system…It divides, disperses, arranges and makes everything the same,” Polke elucidated. “I take pleasure in the blurriness caused by the enlargement, the movement of the dots, the shif between recognizability and non-recognizability of the motif, the indecisiveness and ambiguity of the situation…” (Sigmar Polke, quoted and translated in Stefan Fronert, Sigmar Polke: Girlfriends, London, 2017, p. 48).
Despite its sexual subject matter, seemingly intended to evoke physical desire from its viewers, Table Dance’s eroticism is inhibited by its medium. The subjects of Polke’s paintings like these “are subordinated to the pattern of dots, which become paramount to the viewing experience,” interpreted art historian Joseph E. McHugh. “Desire for the female body, so central to Playboy magazine marketing, has lost its place in the shifing and ambiguous pattern, which only exposes the imperfections of the media image’s understructure. Polke is content to manipulate the dots rather than sensationalize the female fgure” (Joseph E. McHugh, “Connecting the Dots: Sigmar Polke’s Rasterbilder in their Sociopolitical Context”, Sigmar Polke: Back to Postmodernity, Liverpool, 1996, p. 87). Though the image is clearly one of ritual subjugation—unlike Francis Picabia’s Portrait of Suzy Solidor, 1933 and Édouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, 1863, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, the woman entertaining is the only face in the scene obscured from the viewer’s vision—the implications of these subversive dots and the dispersion’s optical efect are
Marlene Dumas, Glitter Bra, 1999. Collection S.M.A.K., Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent Photo: Dirk Pauwels, Artwork © 2019 Marlene Dumas Below: Gerhard Richter, Schwestern, 1967. Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany, Artwork © 2019 Gerhard Richter
unclear. By immersing the observer in the painting while simultaneously distancing them from it, are they indicative of a critique of capitalism’s marketing of female sexuality? Or, when considered more broadly next to his works from the same period depicting guns and military violence, is Table Dance refective of a deeper meditation on morality and the all-too-easy path to tribal savagery? Polke has painted in Table Dance a complex portrait of voyeurism, sexual power dynamics, and humanity’s evolving and ambiguous conceptions of post-war reality. It is the result of an artist, then at his prime, revisiting his earlier pictorial and thematic decisions in order to arrive at something new, and was an image that he felt compelled to silkscreen onto another work that year, Me and My Buddies Would Vote for You. Though the painting includes no obvious weapons, Table Dance betrays Polke’s interest in the potential violence of looking: in the watching men’s eyes, the woman is as much a target
as the bullseye is in Splatter Analysis, 2002, Dallas Museum of Art. Imbuing the painting with the violence and virulent sociability that characterized the body of work he produced in the year afer 9/11, Polke has captured in Table Dance the spine-chilling human drive to master what we see.
16. Roy Lichtenstein
Haystacks signed and dated “rf Lichtenstein ‘68” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 16 x 24 in. (40.6 x 61 cm.). Painted in 1968. Estimate $500,000-700,000
Provenance Leo Castelli Gallery, New York The Andy Warhol Collection, New York Lang & O’Hara Gallery, Inc., New York Galerie Daniel Varenne, Geneva Matthew Marks Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner
“It’s an industrial way of making Impressionism—or something like it—by a machinelike technique. But it probably takes me ten times as long to do one of the Cathedral or Haystack paintings as it took Monet to do his.” Roy Lichtenstein, 1972
Painted in Roy Lichtenstein’s idiosyncratic Ben-Day dot method, Haystacks epitomizes the artist’s ability to reenvision the chef-d’oeuvres of Modernism in a Pop lexicon. The work was created afer a trip Lichtenstein took to Los Angeles in the summer of 1968, when he visited John Coplans at the Pasadena Art Museum to discuss the curator’s plans for an exhibition on serial imagery. At the museum, Coplans showed Lichtenstein myriad photographs of Claude Monet’s renowned Stacks of Wheat from 1891 and Rouen Cathedral paintings, which immediately encouraged the Pop
artist’s own undertaking of 20 pictures in fve variations using the former as source material before embarking on a series of the latter, examples from which are held in preeminent institutions such as the San Francisco Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Haystacks takes its place among Lichtenstein’s other interpretations of the masterpieces of Modernism: he also applied his painstaking, distinctive dot process to the paintings of Piet Mondrian and Pablo Picasso in Non-Object I, 1964, and Femme d’Alger, 1963, both at the Broad Collection, Los Angeles. Haystacks thus reinvents Monet’s work for the 20th century, appropriating the treasures of the past by executing them in the artistic style of his present. During this pivotal stroll with Coplans where he was exposed to numerous reproductions of Monet’s work in succession, Lichtenstein visually comprehended the Impressionist’s propensity to paint in series. This practice no doubt appealed to Lichtenstein’s predilection for seriality, who then became intrigued in the inherent paradox of a calculated approach to Impressionism. Consequently, he embarked on a chapter of producing paintings derived from Monet’s Haystacks before taking this interest in repetition even a step further by running a series of prints of the same subject the year afer. Lichtenstein elucidated the painterly method behind Haystacks to Coplans: “It’s an industrial way of making Impressionism—or something like it—by a machinelike technique. But it probably takes me ten times as long to do one of the Cathedral or Haystack paintings as it took Monet to do his” (Roy Lichtenstein, quoted in John Coplans, Roy Lichtenstein, New York, 1972, p. 102). By drawing this counterintuitive comparison, Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein, Haystack and Haystacks (Studies), 1968. Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
testifed to the laboriously meticulous process behind Haystacks’s appearance of seemingly impersonality, and that the mechanization of artistic procedure can actually be used as a means of achieving a high fnish. The result of this extremely methodical manner of production, meant to eface any indication of the artist’s hand, is an unperturbed, balanced surface. In this sense, while Monet’s original paintings were optical, subjective depictions of the play of light, Haystacks portrays the automation of the artistic process in the same vein as color reproduction. Typical of his working process, Lichtenstein reproduced the original image by hand before he and his assistants traced his sketch onto the canvas with the help of a projector. Then, they painted the large Ben-Day dots, but instead of featuring Lichtenstein’s customary jet black contours to defne shapes and fgures, Haystacks’s forms are defned by the concentration of the dots themselves and its resulting illusionistic inversion of red and white. Thus, though Haystacks is more a manifestation of Lichtenstein’s interest in the relationship between fatness and shapes than of the inextricability of color and light, the all-over application of Ben-Day dots and undefned forms still hint at the acute visual sensibility present in the Stacks of Wheat paintings. According to
art historian and curator Diane Waldman, by “translating Monet’s subtle arrangements of color into Ben-Day dots in primary colors, Lichtenstein kept the dots just below the level of recognition as discrete forms, and thus came extraordinarily close to capturing Monet’s Impressionist efects” (Diane Waldman, Roy Lichtenstein, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1993, pp. 146-147). Given its late 19th-century source material, it is possible to read the Ben-Day dots in Haystacks as a nod to pointillism: that in approaching Monet via Georges Seurat, Lichtenstein’s tongue-in-cheek interpretation of Impressionism was actually two-fold. Regardless, Lichtenstein’s homage to this chapter in art history in Haystacks captures the innovative spirit of two artists who—despite working 70 years apart—were each pioneering in their respective times; in facilitating this dialogue between Modernism and Postmodernism, Lichtenstein made the old new again. “Beginning with a specifc subject, he arrived at a general or ideal image,” Waldman concluded. “In doing so, he presented us with one of the most consistent and original statements of the 1960s” (Roy Lichtenstein, quoted in Roy Lichtenstein, exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1993, p. 147).
Claude Monet, Stacks of Wheat (End of Winter), 1890-1891. The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection/Art Resource, NY
17. Andy Warhol
Late Four-Foot Flowers acrylic, silkscreen ink and graphite on canvas. 48 x 48 in. (121.9 x 121.9 cm.). Executed in 1967. Estimate $6,000,000-8,000,000
Provenance Patricia Caulfeld, New York Leo Castelli Gallery, New York Roger J. Davidson, Toronto Jared Sable, Toronto Locksley Shea Gallery, Minneapolis Acquired from the above by the present owners Exhibited Corpus Christi, Art Museum of South Texas, Johns, Stella, Warhol: Works in Series, Inaugural Exhibition, October 4 November 26, 1972, p. 46 (illustrated, p. 38) Literature Rainer Crone, Andy Warhol, Stuttgart, 1970, nos. 586/589, p. 309 Rainer Crone, Das Bildnerische Werk, Andy Warhols, Berlin, 1976, nos. 939/942, p. 392 Georg Frei and Neil Printz, eds., The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné, Paintings and Sculptures 1964-1969, vol. 2B, New York, 2004, no. 1981, p. 321 (illustrated, p. 316)
A canonical addition to Miles and Shirley Fiterman’s compendium of Pop Art, Late Four-Foot Flowers is a superb example from Andy Warhol’s Flowers series. One of only fve iterations conceived in this impressive four-foot scale, the work is one of the most vibrant Flowers of its size, as it radiates bursts of orange, pink, and mauve. Late Four-Foot Flowers signaled Warhol’s brief return to the subject matter that had brought him great fortune a few years earlier: art dealer Ivan Karp recalled that Warhol’s 1964-1965 Flowers “were totally successful and we sold them all! And you could keep selling them right now! That’s it. That’s one of those immortal images… It was a grand success” (Ivan Karp, quoted in Patrick Smith, Andy Warhol’s Art and Films, Michigan, 1986, p. 358). In their simultaneous embrace of seriality and fatness and betrayal of Pop Art’s propensity for replication through a lack of similitude to their source imagery, Warhol’s Flowers have become iconic relics of postmodernism.
Ambrosius the Elder Bosschaert, Still-Life with Flowers, 1617. Hallwyl Museum, Stockholm, Sweden/Bridgeman Images
The inception of the Flowers paintings derived from four photographs of seven hibiscus blossoms that were published in a foldout of the June 1964 issue of Modern Photography. Captured by the magazine’s executive editor, Patricia Caulfeld, the images illustrated the myriad visual outcomes possible from varying exposure
Photographic spread from Modern Photography, June 1964, with transparencies by Patricia Caulfeld, and Andy Warhol’s interventions. The Archives of The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., NY, Artwork © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
periods and flter settings; thus, each reproduction possessed subtle tonal distinctions, a striking seriality that no doubt appealed to Warhol’s predilection for repetition and successive imagery. Warhol made substantial alterations to the source picture while adapting it for painting, including cropping it into a square composed of only four large fowers, rotating individual blossoms, and then transferring his new composition to several non-uniformly sized screens. Aferwards, the artist and his studio assistants – known as the Factory – applied continuous, fat planes of paint to the canvas, typically emerald for the stems and a permutation of vibrant shades for the blossoms, before silkscreening the photographic representation, nearly always in pitch black, on top. This chapter of Warhol’s production culminated in his frst exhibition at Leo Castelli Gallery in November 1964, which symbolized a major professional turning point for the artist. His previous attempt at showing with the gallerist in 1961 was rejected, but this solo show gave him the opportunity to share a roster with formidable art world personalities such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Frank Stella. Despite the critical and commercial acclaim garnered by the exhibit, however, the earlier Flowers paintings were also met
Born out of the seminal decade of the 1960s, the Miles and Shirley Fiterman Collection is not only a tribute to the dawning of a revolutionary era, but also a witness to its making. Based in Minneapolis, Miles and Shirley Fiterman formed part of a conduit between the international contemporary art scene, which was then experiencing the explosion of Pop Art, and their beloved home city. Highly personal, astutely connoisseurial, and indelibly philanthropic, their sustained eforts to bring great art to the region manifested in their lifelong support of the Walker Art Center and The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Whilst few individuals have gathered artworks of such quality and importance, fewer still have done so across four decades, as new masterpieces were created by the same artists that they met and supported, including Andy Warhol. Their long-lasting friendship with Warhol reached a crescendo in August of 1975 when the artist photographed two Polaroid portraits of the couple—one of which resides in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.—that formed the basis for a set of silkscreen paintings. As arbiters of taste and champions of groundbreaking artists, Miles and Shirley Fiterman did not simply collect: in essence, they defned what it was to be a collector in the 20th century.
with intense legal debate: Caulfeld sued Warhol in 1966 for copyright infringement, claiming that Warhol made unauthorized use of her photograph and, in turn, it was determined that she was to receive two Flowers paintings by the artist as well as a percentage of proceeds from the Flowers print series. Prompted by the lawsuit, Warhol produced the fve Late Four-Foot Flowers in 1967, giving two to Caulfeld in order to settle her legal claim to the image—including the present work—both of which she resold through Castelli soon afer their completion. The polarizing litigation exuded irony as the artist had built his career through appropriating ubiquitous yet patented logos such as Coca-Cola bottles and cans of Campbell’s soup; however, judicial issues arose only afer his use of a photograph of a garden fower that he heavily altered. In fact, despite the species of Caulfeld’s fowers being undoubtedly hibiscus, renowned Pop Art scholar Michael Lobel noted that Warhol’s modifcations went so far as to make the blooms ambiguous, and that “in the New York Herald Tribune they were identifed as anemones, in the Village Voice as nasturtiums, and in both Arts and ARTnews as pansies” (Michael Lobel, Andy Warhol: Flowers, exh. cat., Eykyn Maclean, New York, 2012, n.p.). Moreover, during the production of the Flowers paintings, the artist requested his assistant Billy Name-Linich “run the photo repeatedly through the Factory’s new photo stat machine” at least a dozen times because Warhol “didn’t want it to look like a photo at all. He just wanted the shape, the basic outline, of the fowers” (Tony Scherman and David Dalton, Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol, New York, 2009, p. 237). Thus, even more paradoxically, Caulfeld’s suit raised the same concerns to the New York art scene—questions of authenticity, reproduction, and image ownership—that had preoccupied Warhol throughout his oeuvre. In Late Four-Foot Flowers, Warhol positions himself in the art-historical genealogy of painters of fowers, an age-old aesthetic heritage encompassing both Dutch still-lifes and Claude Monet’s waterlilies. Turning his back on tradition, however, Warhol imbues his Flowers with his idiosyncratic visual language; less interested
Claude Monet, Pink Waterlilies, 1890. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Photo credit SCALA/Art Resource, NY
Opposite: Andy Warhol at Galerie Sonnabend, Paris, 1965. Photograph: Shunk-Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2014.R.20). Gif of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in Memory of Harry Shunk and Janos Kender, Artwork © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
in portraying a realist or abstract representation of blossoms so much as a modern, mechanical reproduction of a representation of them, Late FourFoot Flowers carries a decorative, even wallpaperesque, efect. “Warhol’s fowers are the fowers of the city rather than of the feld. Flat and unrealistic, they bring the mind both the plastic and artifcial fowers so common in our society...” art critic Paul Bergin elucidated the same year Late Four-Foot Flowers was executed. “They are fower images stripped of their fower-ness, the reduction of the fowers which gape at us from awnings, wallpaper and contemporary centerpieces. Silk-screened onto the canvas, Warhol’s fowers reside there in all their machine-made glory, a valid presentation of the twentieth-century fower…” (Paul Bergin, “Andy Warhol: The Artist as Machine”, Art Journal, vol. 26, no. 4, Summer 1967, p. 360). Indeed, when Warhol frst exhibited his Flowers in 1964, he installed rows of the 24-inch canvases edge to edge, using 28 of his Flowers to erect a mural dedicated to technological repetition and seriality. Despite its seemingly ebullient subject matter, Late Four-Foot Flowers has attracted myriad funerary interpretations and associations. Indeed, from the Electric Chairs to the Marilyn and Liz works to the later Shadows and Skull series, death and tragedy is a recurrent trope that appears throughout Warhol’s oeuvre. Ironically, curator Henry Geldzahler claimed
that the Flowers paintings were triggered by a visit to Warhol’s studio soon afer the completion of his Death and Disaster works, during which Geldzahler fipped open Modern Photography to Caulfeld’s photograph and quipped “Andy, maybe it’s enough death now…how about this?” (Henry Geldzahler, quoted in unpublished interview with J. Stein, 1973, Geldzahler Papers, Beinecke Library, Yale University). However, the pitch black background of Late Four-Foot Flowers as well as Warhol’s decision to include Jackie Kennedy portraits appropriated from a photograph captured soon afer her husband’s assassination in the 1964 Flowers exhibit imply an equally devastating connotation. Vibrant yet macabre, distinctive but mechanical, Late Four-Foot Flowers is a remarkable example from a Pop genius equally concerned with reinvention as he was with replication. Despite being an indisputable idol of postmodernism, the work’s execution three years afer the success of the artist’s frst Flowers is redolent of the practice of the Italian modernist beloved by Warhol, Giorgio de Chirico, who famously produced a series of paintings nearly identical to ones from his critically-acclaimed early metaphysical period during the fnal chapter of his career. Late Four-Foot Flowers thus harkens back to modernism while embracing the “modern”: all in all, its arresting, conceptually rigorous, and ironically macabre blossoms have garnered the motif a place as one of Pop Art’s most iconic images.
Property of a Private Collector ○
18. Jonas Wood
Small Green 84 signed with the artist’s initials, titled and dated “2011 SMALL GREEN 84 JBRW 2011” on the reverse. oil and acrylic on canvas. 59 1/4 x 55 in. (150.5 x 139.7 cm.). Painted in 2011. Estimate $800,000-1,200,000
Provenance Patrick De Brock Gallery, Knokke-Heist Private Collection (acquired from the above) Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Knokke-Heist, Patrick De Brock Gallery, Jonas Wood, August 5 - 29, 2011 Luxembourg, Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Atmosphères by Jean-Claude Lazard, November 16 - December 17, 2016
“The plant paintings are refned, simplifed forms of just shape and color with only a touch of representation.” Jonas Wood
Small Green 84, 2011, is a prime example of Jonas Wood’s vivid and textured renderings of foliage that have garnered international acclaim. Depicting a row of four soil-flled pots, three of which hold fourishing green indoor plants, the painting reinterprets the conventional genre of the still-life in a contemporary context. In a manner redolent of Cubist experiments with perspectival spaces, Wood flls his canvases with planes of fat, graphic color onto which he free-hands intricate and textured details. In its singular portrayal of the intimate objects that surround our interiors, Small Green 84 reinvents the everyday through an investigation of color and spatial abstraction. Small Green 84 positions Wood in the art historical genealogy of still-life painters, in which he is the heir to renowned masters such as Francisco de Zurbarán, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, and Paul Cézanne. However, Wood’s family also introduced him to modern masterpieces of the Western canon; as the artist
Henri Rousseau, The Equatorial Jungle, 1909. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Art Resource, NY
himself acknowledged, “Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Calder, Monet, Vuillard, Bonnard, van Gogh, Stuart Davis, and Hockney have all been very real infuences to me. When I was a young child, my family would speak about these artists as examples of greatness in painting. I guess even then I took them seriously because these are the artists I ended up fashioning my studio practice afer” (Jonas Wood, quoted in EmmaLouise Tovey, “Jonas Wood”, Dossier Journal, April 3, 2012, online). Indeed, the infuence of these modernists on Small Green 84 is extremely conspicuous: while the fattened, chromatic planes of the leaves resemble Henri Matisse’s cut-outs, the canvas’s painterly surface is evocative of Vincent van Gogh’s impasto-rich stilllifes. In its reference to the artistic language of his predecessors, Small Green 84 coalesces a rich history of tradition with Wood’s unique contemporary voice. Over his career, Wood has developed an idiosyncratic style of composite image-making, originally working from an extensive archive of photographs either taken by the artist or sourced from the internet. Afer collaging his imagery together into a single arrangement, the artist then reconfgures the composition through a series of drawings which he uses to map out the canvas. “I look to drawing frst,” Wood elucidated. “I’ll take a picture of the painting and print it out on drawing paper, get the colored pencils and try to fgure some shit out. I’m less of a de Kooning and more like Lichtenstein so it’s a compositional decision, I guess” (Jonas Wood, quoted in Bill Powers, “A Talk with Jonas Wood”, ARTnews, January 6, 2015, online). The fnal image reveals a combination of multiple perspectives, reminiscent of Cubist papier collé, that jeopardizes any coherent understanding of space. As a result, though Small Green 84 seems undoubtedly fgurative at frst glance, the foliage and pots appear to dissipate into abstract shapes upon closer inspection. By juxtaposing the traditional with a Californian freshness, the modern with the contemporary, and abstraction with fguration, Small Green 84 draws from various sources as a means of arriving at both a graphic and emotive intensity that is unique to Wood’s visual
Roy Lichtenstein, Still Life with Palette, 1972. Private Collection, Photo HIP/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Georges Braque, La Grande Table, 1929. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
lexicon. “Jonas Wood’s painting continues to mature impressively, gaining pictorial and psychological weight. More than ever his works negotiate an uneasy truce among the abstract, the representational, the photographic and the just plain weird,” art critic Roberta Smith noted. “They achieve this with a dour yet lavish palette, tactile but implacably workmanlike surfaces and a subtly perturbed sense of space in which seemingly fattened planes and shapes undergo shifs in tone and angle that continually declare their constructed, considered, carefully wrought artifce” (Roberta Smith, “Paintings by Jonas Wood”, The New York Times, March 17, 2011, online).
Property of a Private Collector â—‹
19. Wayne Thiebaud
Candies oil on board. 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm.). Painted in 1965-1966. Estimate $2,000,000-3,000,000
Provenance The Collection of Allan Stone (acquired directly from the artist) His sale, Sotheby’s, New York, May 9, 2011, lot 27 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Executed just a few years afer Wayne Thiebaud frst displayed his paintings at his landmark exhibition at Allan Stone Gallery in 1962, Candies, 1965-1966 presages six decades spent rendering distinctive portrayals of quintessentially American confections and deli food. Situating the viewer as though a salivating child peeking through a bakeshop window, the work depicts three rows of intricately-decorated sweets lusciously painted against a minimal expanse. Reminiscent of the ruminative still-lifes and representations of urban life of Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and Edward Hopper, Candies exemplifes Thiebaud’s remarkable faculty to simultaneously recall Old Master masterpieces and astutely record the contemporary American experience. The work testifes to the artist’s insightful ability to foreground the everyday and frequently overlooked, and embodies its creator’s extraordinary adroitness that was memorialized at his major exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art earlier this year.
An early example of Thiebaud’s most characteristic subject matter, Candies invokes the art historical canon of still life painting, a centuries-old aesthetic genre encompassing the work of the artist’s idols, such as Chardin, Francisco de Zurbarán, Giorgio Morandi, and Paul Cézanne. The paintings of Thiebaud’s predecessors enlightened him as to still life’s potentiality to divulge what we see and consume, and—to a greater extent—what we are; indeed, the artist has commended Morandi’s paintings with teaching him “what it is to believe in painting as a way of life, to love its tattletale evidence of our humanness” (Wayne Thiebaud, “A Fellow Painter’s View of Giorgio Morandi”, The New York Times, November 15, 1981, online). In the same way that Chardin painted objects that were in his time very quotidian and are now considered interesting in their uncommonness, such as clay pipes and dead rabbits, Thiebaud painted in Candies a representation of the mass-produced, everyday sweets that were ubiquitous tokens of post-
Edward Hopper, Tables for Ladies, 1930. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, George A. Hearn Fund, 1931, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Heirs of Josephine Hopper/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
between paint and subject matter come as close as I can possibly get them,” Thiebaud verbalized. “It is playing with reality...making an illusion which grows out of an exploration of the propensities of materials.” (Wayne Thiebaud, quoted in Wayne Thiebaud: 19581968, exh. cat., Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Oakland, 2018, p. 150). In a visual pun encompassing the vibrant colors and sticky texture of its subject, the present work epitomizes Thiebaud’s alchemistic ability to transmute paint into the substances it portrays.
war America. The artist articulated: “Commonplace objects are constantly changing, and when I paint the ones I remember, I am like Chardin tattling on what we were” (A. LeGrace G. Benson and David H.R. Shearer, “Documents: An Interview with Wayne Thiebaud”, Leonardo, January 1969, p. 70).
Above/below: Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Melon, Pears, Peaches, and Prunes, or The Cut Melon, circa 1760. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Photo: René-Gabriel Ojéda © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY Wayne Thiebaud, Cakes, 1963. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Artwork © 2019 Wayne Thiebaud/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
A staple of Thiebaud’s idiosyncratic approach, the impasto-rich surface of Candies strikes a dynamic tension between fguration and abstraction and twoand three-dimensionality. The viscous paint of the sweets’ decorations simultaneously draws attention to the artist’s hand—a quality revered by the Abstract Expressionists—and emulates the creamy, rich surface of its subject matter similarly to Cakes, 1963, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Underscoring painting’s function as a means of representational imitation, the thick application of paint creates a trompe l’oeil in which the depicted candies take on a slight three-dimensional form suggestive of that of objects in reality. “[Impasto is] in my case an experiment with what happens when the relationship
Candies embodies the artist’s virtuosic faculty to capture the quotidian American experience in a portrayal of sweet treats. Depicting confections that can be found anywhere around the country—but only in this country—the painting further explores the ebullient nostalgia established in Cut Meringues, 1961, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Coalescing a European sophistication with a touch of Californian irony, Candies commemorates the everyday experience of our time. “We are hesitant to make our own life special…applaud or criticize what is especially us… But some years from now, our foodstufs,” Thiebaud refected, “will be quite diferent…I hope that [my painting] may allow us to see ourselves looking at ourselves” (Wayne Thiebaud, quoted in Wayne Thiebaud: 1958-1968, exh. cat., Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Oakland, 2018, p. 149).
Property of an Important Private Collector ○
20. Lee Krasner
Lame Shadow signed with the artist’s initials and dated “L.K. ‘55” lower right; further signed and dated “LEE KRASNER 1955” on the stretcher. oil and collage on canvas. 82 1/2 x 58 1/8 in. (209.6 x 147.6 cm.). Executed in 1955. Estimate $2,000,000-3,000,000
Provenance Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York Robert Miller Gallery, New York Jason McCoy Inc., New York Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2004 Exhibited Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art; State College, Pennsylvania State University Museum of Art; Waltham, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Lee Krasner: Collages and Works on Paper 1933-1974, January 11 October 26, 1975, no. 49 Houston, Museum of Fine Arts; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Norfolk, Chrysler Museum; Phoenix Art Museum; New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Lee Krasner: A Retrospective (curated by Barbara Rose), October 28, 1983 - February 12, 1985, fg. 88, p. 93 (illustrated, p. 89) New York, Robert Miller Gallery, Lee Krasner: Collages, October - November 1986, n.p. (illustrated) Museum Wiesbaden, Positions of Art in the 20th Century— 50 Women Artists, September 1 - November 25, 1990 Los Angeles and La Jolla, Tasende Gallery, Lee Krasner: Collages and Paintings, January 10 - April 25, 1998, no. 3, pp. 8, 12 (illustrated, p. 13) Literature Robert Taylor, “Lee Krasner Claims Her Place in Art: Lee Krasner at Brandeis”, Boston Evening Globe, September 21, 1975, p. A12 Robert Hobbs, “Lee Krasner: A Retrospective”, Woman’s Art Journal, vol. 8, no. 1, Spring/Summer 1987, p. 44 Sandor Kuthy and Ellen G. Landau, Lee Krasner – Jackson Pollock, exh. cat., Kunstmuseum Bern, Musée des beauxarts de Berne, Bern, 1989/1990, p. 70 Robert Hobbs, Modern Masters: Lee Krasner, New York, 1993, p. 57 Ellen G. Landau, Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1995, no. CR 291, pp. 123, 146, 311 (illustrated, p. 148) Claudine Ise, “Krasner’s Work Lives on Life’s Jagged Edges”, Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1998
“It started in 1953—I had the studio hung solidly with drawings, you know, foor to ceiling all around. Walked in one day, hated it all, took it down, tore everything and threw it on the foor, and when I went back. . . it was seemingly a very destructive act. I don’t know why I did it, except I certainly did it. When I opened the door and walked in, the foor was solidly covered with these torn drawings that I had left and they began to interest me and I started collaging.” Lee Krasner
Lee Krasner’s Lame Shadow, 1955 belongs to a discrete series of fve works, which have been lauded as her “most commanding artistic statements” (Ellen G. Landau, Lee Krasner: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1995, p. 146). Using paintings from her 1951 exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, as a basis for these works made on a monumental scale, they showcase the artist’s expert use of materials to create depth in abstraction. In the present work, Krasner collaged heavy black photographic paper and fraying pieces of canvas resulting in a composition that is both gestural and organic. Inspired by Henri Matisse’s late cut-out paper collages as well as the Cubist compositions of her predecessors, Krasner’s 1955 collages were a turning point in her career. Signifed by her acclaimed show at the Stable Gallery, New York that same year, her important position in post-war abstraction has solidifed with numerous international exhibitions, most recently her celebrated retrospective held at the Barbican Centre, London earlier this year. With two other works from this discrete series housed in the collections of the AlbrightKnox Art Gallery, Bufalo and University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, Lame Shadow is the frst of these large-scale 1955 works to come to auction.
The present work installed at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Lee Krasner: A Retrospective, December 20, 1984–February 12, 1985. Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Of the origin of her process in these works, Krasner said she saw “a lot of things there [her studio] that began to interest me. I began picking up torn pieces of my own drawings and re-gluing them. Then I start cutting up some of my oil paintings. I’ve got something going here and I start pulling out a lot of raw canvases and slashing [them] as well” (Lee Krasner, quoted in Cindy Nemser, “A Conversation with Lee Krasner”, Arts Magazine, April 1973, p. 45). While her collages from earlier in the decade were comprised of fragments of her own drawings and those of paintings by her husband Jackson Pollock on top of blank canvases, Lame Shadow and its four companion works are unique for their support – existing paintings. Afer mixed reviews from her 1951 show, Krasner retired the paintings exhibited, each vertically oriented and measuring over six feet in
height, and lef them abandoned in her studio for a few years. Only two of the 14 works shown at Betty Parsons Gallery are extant in their original state, and only one of the fve used in the 1955 collages can be matched to its original painting. Through paint and assemblage, Krasner altered their surfaces so much that they were transformed into completely diferent masterworks. Of their autobiographical nature, Krasner said “If I’m going back on myself, I’d like to think it’s a form of growth” (Lee Krasner, quoted in Barbara Novak, “Lee Krasner Interview”, WGBH, Boston, October 1979). In Lame Shadow, two large black forms are interspersed by mostly vertical strips of canvas, atop and below which pale blue and brick red oil paint stains the surface. As described by Bryan Roberston, Lame Shadow evokes a “calm stillness…in which torn, dark,
Lee Krasner’s Collage Paintings from 1955
Milkweed, 1955 Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo
Shooting Gold, 1955 Fayez Sarofm Collection
Stretched Yellow, 1955 University Art Museum, Cal State Long Beach
Blue Level, 1955 Private Collection
All: Artwork © 2019 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Above/below: Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic XXXV, 1954–1958. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Dedalus Foundation, Inc./Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Henri Matisse, Le Cow-boy, 1947. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Photo: Philippe Migeat © CNAC/ MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
collaged shapes appear to foat over the attenuated vertical bands of lighter color which illuminate the center of the painted ground…as if the collaged elements were becalmed in a mysterious space or suspended in some unfathomable substance or solution” (Bryan Robertson, Lee Krasner: Collages, exh. cat., Robert Miller Gallery, New York, 1986, n.p.). Its composition resembles a plate called Le Cow-boy, from Matisse’s papier découpé album Jazz published in 1947, in which two silhouetted human-like shapes face inward atop a background of blue, yellow and green stripes. Krasner would have been familiar with works like these afer seeing a show of the French modernist’s collages at Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York in 1949. Lame Shadow simultaneously resembles Robert Motherwell’s contemporaneous Elegies begun just a decade earlier. While he used paint to create his own shadow-like forms, Krasner relies on pasted paper, something Motherwell himself would employ in his own collages of the 1970s. Many of the compositions in the large 1955 collages also emphasize Krasner’s interest in biomorphic forms. A collector of shells, plants and other nature items, Krasner was a lover of the outdoors, but did not feel the need to illustrate what was around her. The use of her surroundings was not for visual recording but for inspiration in process, here demonstrated in her use of found materials from her own studio. “I merge what I call the organic with what I call the abstract...As I see both scales, I need to merge these two into the everpresent. What they symbolized I have never stopped to decide. You might want to read it as matter and spirit and the need to merge as against the need to separate. Or it can be read as male and female” (Lee Krasner, quoted in Cindy Nemser, Art Talk: Conversations with 12 Women Artists, New York, 1975, p. 90). The human presence in Lame Shadow is felt not only in these pseudo-fgurative forms, but perhaps even more so in the palpability of its surface, reminding us of Krasner’s own laborious process. This is aptly described by Robertson on the occasion of Robert Miller Gallery’s exhibition of her collages in 1986, including the present work: “It is clear that these
grandly composed works marked a decisive break in Krasner’s evolution and led to some of her grandest paintings almost immediately aferward. Both the big collages and the paintings of this period are conspicuous for a new scale in which another kind of physicality is projected into the design through the dimensions and scale of Krasner’s own body” (Bryan Robertson, Lee Krasner: Collages, exh. cat., Robert Miller Gallery, New York, 1986, n.p.). It was these qualities that brought Clement Greenberg to call works like Lame Shadow “a major addition to the art scene of that era,” an infuence which has continued to have a lasting impact today (Clement Greenberg, quoted in Lee Krasner, Paintings, Drawings, and Collages, exh. cat., Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1965, n.p.).
Property of an Important Private Collector ○
21. Richard Diebenkorn
Berkeley #66 signed with the artist’s initials and dated “R.D. 56” lower right; further signed, titled and dated “R. DIEBENKORN 1956 BERKELEY #66” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 41 5/8 x 36 5/8 in. (105.7 x 93 cm.). Painted in 1956. Estimate $3,500,000-4,500,000
Provenance Paul Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles (acquired circa 1956) Private Collection (acquired circa 1956) Private Collection (acquired in 1976) Robert Aichele Gallery, Menlo Park (acquired circa 1977) Christie’s, New York, May 3, 1995, lot 5 John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco; James Corocoran Gallery, Los Angeles and Acquavella Galleries, New York (acquired at the above sale) Elizabeth and L.J. Cella, Kentfeld, California (acquired in 1995) Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York (acquired in 2007) Private Collection (acquired from the above in 2007) Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York (acquired in 2010) Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2010
“God damn it, it was pretty strong stuf. It was a type of painting we hadn’t seen on the West Coast before. Diebenkorn had a wildness. . . an out-of-control feeling. Those were urgent times, wild times. He brought us a new language to talk in.” Manuel Neri, 1977
Exhibited San Francisco Museum of Art, Seventy-Fifh Annual Painting and Sculpture Exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association, March 29 - May 6, 1956, n.p. (incorrect work illustrated) Sacramento, Crocker Art Museum, 100 Years of California Landscape, July 31, 1987 - July 31, 1988 San Francisco, John Berggruen Gallery, Richard Diebenkorn: Selected Works from 1949-1991, March 21 - April 27, 1996 New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Richard Diebenkorn, October 9, 1997 - January 19, 1999, no. 17, p. 272 (illustrated, p. 45) San Francisco, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years 1953-1966, June 22 September 29, 2013, pl. 39, p. 246 (illustrated, p. 118) New York, Acquavella Galleries, California Landscapes: Richard Diebenkorn | Wayne Thiebaud, February 1 - March 16, 2018 Literature “California on Canvas…in Sacramento”, Sunset Magazine, January 1988, p. 34B Jane Livingston, “Richard Diebenkorn”, American Art Review, May - June 1998, p. 148 “Opening Exhibitions: Richard Diebenkorn”, San Francisco Museum of Modern ARTnews, September - October 1998, p. 6 Stephen Westfall, “Richard Diebenkorn: A Reasoned Sensuality”, Art in America, October 1998, p. 109 Janet Bishop, Corey Keller and Sarah Roberts, eds., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: 75 Years of Looking Forward, exh. cat., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, 2010, p. 164 Jane Livingston and Andrea Liguori, eds., Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, New Haven, 2016, p. 54 Jane Livingston and Andrea Liguori, eds., Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 3, New Haven, 2016, no. 2099, p. 164 (illustrated)
With its textured surface and rich palette, Berkeley #66, 1956 is one of the most exquisite examples of Richard Diebenkorn’s pioneering style. Created at a pivotal moment in his career, the present work represents a critical juncture in the artist’s development right before he would abandon abstraction for representation. Belonging to a series of roughly sixty abstract paintings made while living in Berkeley, California between 1953 and 1956, Berkeley #66 received an award from the San Francisco Art Association when it was shown in their 75th Commemorative Artist’s Council Award exhibition
Paul Cézanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire seen from the Bibémus Quarry, 1897. Private Collection
View from the porch of Richard Diebenkorn’s Hillcrest Road House, circa 1962. Images Richard Diebenkorn/© Richard Diebenkorn Foundation Archives (RDFA)
the same year of its creation. Having already solidifed his place in the burgeoning San Francisco arts scene, Diebenkorn had his frst solo exhibition in New York in 1956 at the Poindexter Gallery, signifying his growing infuence on American abstraction at large. As such, Berkeley #66 is uniquely positioned as one of the last, celebrated abstract paintings he would make until his renowned Ocean Park works ten years later, one which illustrates his frst experiments with representational modes. Housed in the same private collection for almost a decade, Berkeley #66 has been extensively exhibited since its execution, signifying its importance in the artist’s body of work. Afer leaving his teaching position at the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1953, Diebenkorn moved with his family to the eastern shore of Northern California. Just missing the cut-of to apply for teaching jobs for the academic year, Diebenkorn was able to focus entirely on painting. Situated between the San Francisco Bay
and the Pacifc Ocean – surrounded by both the urban landscape of the city as well as the hilly terrain of Marin County – Berkeley’s unique topography served as the perfect inspiration for Diebenkorn’s next body of work. As Timothy Anglin Burgard described of its efect on the artist, “The gradual rise of the Berkeley hills up from the bay has the efect of creating a natural amphitheater for optimal viewing of the surrounding landscape. The shimmering surface of the bay can assume an astounding spectrum of color from blue to green to grey, or, alternately, a silver or gold mirror like state at sunrise and sunset. The cyclical arrival and departure of the Bay Area’s distinctive fog creates disorienting spatial efects, as when the narrow strip of land is visible between the low lying mist above the bay area below, creating a form of tripartite stratifcation… [and] prismatic efects of extraordinary subtlety” (Timothy Anglin Burgard, Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966, exh. cat., M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, 2013, p. 17).
In the present work, bands of ivory, gold, blush and magenta layer atop one another across the expanse of the canvas with palpable density, diminishing along the right side. Despite the regularity of these horizontal bands in the upper part of the composition, perspectives collapse to the lef and below as cooler blues and violets encroach inward, creating disruptions resembling “thrusts drawn from Cézanne landscapes” (Gerald Nordland, Richard Diebenkorn: Revised and Expanded, New York, 1987, p. 57). Perhaps the warmth conveyed by the hues in the right side of the painting were inspired by a setting sun over the Golden Gate Bridge, a site Diebenkorn would have become very familiar with during his time living in Berkeley. Upon close inspection, the darker brushstrokes could be the winding, hilly streets of San Francisco, juxtaposed with the blue water of the bay on their lef. The same year as the present work’s creation, Stuart Preston would describe Diebenkorn’s Berkeley paintings as resembling “aerial photographs of a big varied landscape with shore-line mountains, clifs and felds, the contours, perhaps, of California, where this painter lives and has made his reputation. For all its considerable energy and invention, Diebenkorn’s work remains strangely impersonal or, rather, remotely personal” (Stuart Preston, “Painting on View”, The New York Times, March 4, 1956). Diebenkorn himself would acknowledge the efect of viewing landscapes from above. “One thing I know has infuenced me a lot is looking at landscape from the air… Of course, the Earth’s skin itself had ‘presence’—I mean, it was all like a fat design—and everything was usually in the form of an irregular grid” (Richard Diebenkorn, quoted in Dan Hofstadter, “Profles: Almost Free of the Mirror”, The New Yorker, September 7, 1987, p. 61). As such, Berkeley #66 exemplifes Diebenkorn’s use of the abstraction he developed in Albuquerque and Urbana to embark upon representational painting. His peers and friends including David Park and Elmer Bischof were the founding members of the Bay Area Figurative Movement beginning
Above/below: Frank Auerbach, To the Studios, 1990-1991. Tate London, Artwork © 2019 Frank Auerbach Gerhard Richter, Wald (4), 1990. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Artwork © Gerhard Richter 2019 (0239) Opposite: Richard Diebenkorn with Berkeley #41, 1955 and Man and Woman Seated, 1958 in Berkeley, 1959. Photograph by Fred Lyon, Artwork © The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
in the early 1950s, forming a group of artists with a common desire to abandon the prevailing Abstract Expressionist tendencies for a return to fguration. At frst, Diebenkorn resisted this shif in the early part of the decade, having already established himself as the abstract voice on the West Coast. By the middle part of the decade, however, he began to entertain the idea. “In the rush of painting that I did in 19541955, I had experienced my frst kind of opposition. It was a struggle all along, but that is the story of being an artist! But in 1955 things started to slow down, and I was attributing this to my being in a stylistic straightjacket. I felt that perhaps I had too many rules, that there was too much Abstract Expressionism hanging over my head, and so…there was need for change” (Richard Diebenkorn, quoted in Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years 1953-1966, exh. cat., M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, 2013, p. 34). Preceded by his very frst representational landscape Chabot Valley painted a year before in 1955, the present work perfectly encompasses this opposition. As Emma Acker aptly described of the dualities within the Berkeley works, “the ffy-eight extant paintings in the series arguably represent Diebenkorn’s greatest achievement in assimilating his own landscape tendencies with the stylistic innovations of Abstract Expressionism” (Emma Acker et. al., Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years 1953-1966, exh. cat., M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, 2013, p. 70). For many artists, Diebenkorn’s Berkeley works were a major turning point in the mid-20th century, their infuence even more poignant today with the current reinvigoration of representational modes in contemporary painting. Refecting on these paintings in 1977, sculptor Manuel Neri said, “God damn it, it was pretty strong stuf. It was a type of painting we hadn’t seen on the West Coast before. Diebenkorn had a wildness…an out-of-control feeling. Those were urgent times, wild times. He brought us a new language to talk in” (Manuel Neri, quoted in Beth Cofelt, “Doomsday in the Bright Sun”, San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle: California Living Magazine, October 16, 1977).
Property of an Important Private Collector ○
22. Richard Diebenkorn
Albuquerque #7 signed and partially titled “R DIEBENKORN #7” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 70 3/8 x 38 3/8 in. (178.8 x 97.5 cm.). Painted in 1951. Estimate $900,000-1,200,000
Provenance Estate of the Artist Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York (acquired in 2010) Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2010 Exhibited Albuquerque, University Gallery, University of New Mexico, Master’s Degree Exhibition, April 29 - May 5, 1951 New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Richard Diebenkorn, October 9, 1997 - January 19, 1999, no. 67, p. 271 (illustrated, p. 120) Taos, Harwood Museum of Art of the University of New Mexico; The San Jose Museum of Art; New York, Grey Art Gallery of New York University, Richard Diebenkorn in New Mexico, June 2, 2007 - April 15, 2008, pl. 57, p. 150 (illustrated, p. 109) New York, Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, Richard Diebenkorn: Paintings & Drawings 1949-1955, May 5 - June 25, 2010, p. 12 (illustrated, p. 13) London, Royal Academy of Arts, Richard Diebenkorn, March 14 - June 7, 2015, no. 3, pp. 23, 71 (illustrated, p. 70) Literature Robert T. Buck Jr. et. al., Richard Diebenkorn: Paintings and Drawings, 1943-1976, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo, 1976, fg. 30, p. 19 (University Gallery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 1951 installation view illustrated) Mark Lavatelli, “Richard Diebenkorn: The Albuquerque Years”, Artspace, June 1980, p. 24 (University Gallery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 1951 installation view illustrated) Sari Krosinsky, “Richard Diebenkorn: The New Mexico Period”, Mirage Magazine, Spring 2007, p. 34 (illustrated) Michael S. Gant, “Naturalists”, Metro Silicon Valley, October 17–23, 2007 Hollis Walker, “Reviews: Richard Diebenkorn, Harwood Museum of Art, Taos”, ARTnews, November 2007, p. 228 Kevin Mellema, “Northern Virginia Art Beat”, Falls Church News-Press, August 14-20, 2008, p. 22 (detail illustrated) Cynthia Nadelman, “Reviews: Richard Diebenkorn, Greenberg Van Doren and Leslie Feely Fine Art”, ARTnews, September 2010, p. 106 Jane Livingston and Andrea Liguori, eds., Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, New Haven, 2016, p. 44 Jane Livingston and Andrea Liguori, eds., Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 2, New Haven, 2016, no. 1100, p. 390 (illustrated, p. 389)
Painted in 1951 at the peak of Richard Diebenkorn’s early explorations in abstraction, Albuquerque #7 originates from one of the most fruitful periods of the artist’s prolifc career. Almost six feet tall, its vertical composition is defned by four bands of paint inspired by the resplendent colors of the New Mexico landscape. Infuenced by modernists such as Henri Matisse and Joan Miró, and inspired by his contemporaries including Willem de Kooning and Arshile Gorky, the works Diebenkorn produced during his master’s program at the University of New Mexico between 1949 and 1952 were critical in his artistic development. Through painting, drawing and a few metal sculptures, the artist found his abstract voice, one which would inspire the Berkeley paintings of the years following, as well as the Ocean Park series of decades later. Exhibited internationally—beginning most notably with his traveling retrospective in 1997 starting at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and most recently in 2015 at the Royal Academy of Arts, London—the present work is only the third major Albuquerque painting to come to auction in the past ten years. Before its frst museum debut in 1997, Albuquerque #7 was included in Diebenkorn’s master’s exhibition in its titular city in 1951, featuring a total of 16 paintings, six drawings and at least two sculptures. As Gerald Nordland recalled, “The exhibition had a very personal look…With these paintings the artist’s directness
Henri Matisse, La Moulade, 1905. Private Collection, Photo credit SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
The present work installed at University Gallery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1951. Artwork © The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
becomes a positive element of style rather than a simple indiference to studio practices, and they dramatize his freshness, excitement, and passion…Diebenkorn was pleased with his showing; it had refected his most productive period to date” (Gerald Nordland, Richard Diebenkorn: Revised and Expanded, New York, 1987, pp. 39-40). Following the success of the exhibition, Los Angeles-based dealer Paul Kantor ofered Diebenkorn his next show that fall. Afer leaving Albuquerque in the summer of 1952, the artist stored his New Mexico works near Pomona, California, from which only two of the three rolls would be retrieved for Kantor’s exhibition. It wasn’t until the 1990s when the artist’s Estate would recover the third roll, which likely included the present work, as it would be almost 50 years before Albuquerque #7 was seen again at the Whitney. Formally, the Albuquerque paintings ofer the most intimate look at Diebenkorn’s practice than any of the works in his entire oeuvre. Expanses of rich color reveal underpainting beneath the surface, illustrating the artist’s mind at work. As he explained of his process behind these paintings, “[A painting] came about by putting down what I felt in terms of some overall image at the moment today, and perhaps being terribly disappointed with it tomorrow, and trying to make it better and then despairing and destroying partially or wholly and getting back into it and just kind of frantically trying to pull something into this rectangle
which made some sense to me” (Richard Diebenkorn, quoted in “Diebenkorn, Lee Mullican, and Emerson Woelfer: A Discussion”, Artforum 1, April 1963, pp. 24-29). Albuquerque #7 refects improvisation and spontaneity, with certain areas built up as if to hide what’s beneath while others reveal black contours suggesting an earlier composition. Such aesthetic choices are aptly described by Nordland: “Albuquerque #7 presents four irregularly stacked horizontal bands— black, dark red, green over white, and mottled charcoal gray. Pentimenti can be read in each band. The greenover-white area which is the most prominent is graced with one of the artist’s calligraphic ovals. These nearly six-foot canvases share some of the quiet dignity of Rothko’s early classic works” (Gerald Nordland in Jane Livingston and Andrea Liguori, eds., Richard Diebenkorn: The Catalogue Raisonné, vol. 1, New Haven, 2016, p. 44). Indeed the Albuquerque works refect similar preoccupations with color and line as those of Mark Rothko, and yet the importance of place is uniquely Diebenkorn. Many of these paintings are characterized by earth tones, but as Sarah C. Bancrof explains in reference to the present work, “Of course, Diebenkorn’s Albuquerque works incorporated cool tones as well, with elements of sky, water, grass and other local sources of color subsumed into the work” (Sarah C. Bancrof, Richard Diebenkorn, exh.
“I think I was saying to myself in Albuquerque that OK I’m going to damn well paint what I want. I’m not going to do this qualifying of my intuitive responses. . . If grass green and sky blue and desert tan; if these associations come into my work, that’s part of my experience.” Richard Diebenkorn
cat., Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2015, p. 23). When reading the present work as a landscape, Diebenkorn’s modernist infuences like Matisse are evident, particularly in painterly Fauvist compositions such as La Moulade, 1905, works which the artist became familiar with in the 1940s during his visits to museums in Washington, D.C. when stationed at Quantico. Interpreted this way, Albuquerque #7 could be a portrait of a sunset – the small passage of orange in the center lef part of the composition peeking through the reddish pink peaks of the Sandia Mountains over green forestry fanking the Rio Grande. Clearly New Mexico’s rich landscape was not lost on Diebenkorn, who once said his “primary concern in painting is space, which to me is the most characteristic thing about New Mexico…[large, blank areas in his paintings] reveal that openness of the desert, the vastness of the sky” (Richard Diebenkorn, quoted in “Diebenkorn’s Art is Shown”, Albuquerque Journal, May 2, 1951, p. 8). Indeed, Diebenkorn was not the only artist to be inspired by the natural beauty of the West; among him were artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Agnes Martin who would also be transfxed by the wonders of the desert. The efects of the Albuquerque paintings can be no better explained than by Dore Ashton afer encountering her frst New Mexico-period Diebenkorn: “In the sof light of a New Mexican adobe house, where I had the good luck to see my frst Diebenkorn painting…the painting…refected
not only his poetic grasp of the landscape before him, but also where he had been before… It is only one of Diebenkorn’s special talents to preserve and enrich experiences, evolving steadily at a harmonious pace. I don’t think he has ever lef the desert behind” (Dore Ashton, “Richard Diebenkorn’s Paintings”, Arts Magazine, December 1971-January 1972, p. 35).
Above/below: Georgia O’Keefe, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/ Out Back of Marie’s II, 1930. The Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe, Photo: Malcolm Varon 2001, Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 The Georgia O’Keefe Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Mark Rothko, No. 3/No. 13, 1949. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Bequest of Mrs. Mark Rothko through The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., Artwork © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Institute of Technology in 1941. She started moonlighting for Hans Knoll as a drafsman and eventually joined his company as the director of the Knoll Planning Unit, later becoming partner and co-owner.
Florence Knoll Bassett (née Schust), an architect and pioneer of modern interior design, died earlier this year at 101. A true visionary, “Shu”—as she was afectionately called by those who knew her well—was one of the most infuential architects and designers of post-war America, yet her mark on modern design transcends any one of these felds. Her career is inextricably linked with Knoll, Inc., the furniture company founded by Hans Knoll, who later became her husband. During the 1940s, she worked with designers like Eero Saarinen, Harry Bertoia, and George Nakashima to create designs that fulflled a need for modern interiors, and along the way produced innovative, high-quality furniture classics that are still relevant today. Born to a baker in Saginaw, Michigan in 1917, Shu was beset by tragedy throughout her early life afer becoming an orphan at 14. She ended up at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfeld Hills, Michigan during the 1930s, where she was taken under the wing of the Saarinen family and was exposed to the importance of the overlapping felds of art, craf, and design. Later in Chicago, she was introduced to a rationalist design approach with Mies van der Rohe and received her Bachelor of Architecture at the Illinois
Shu transformed the feld of “interior design” and collaborated with the most important mid-century modern architects, including Philip Johnson, Gordon Bunshaf and Marcel Breuer. Her showrooms for Knoll became laboratories for contemporary design on how we could live and work, and came to represent her signature “Knoll look” that would epitomize the style of the 1950s. Her location at 575 Madison Avenue was one of the frst to incorporate contemporary art, and included pieces from artists she had personal friendships with. She developed her appreciation of Paul Klee from her mentor Mies van der Rohe, who at the time had a large collection of Klees, and when a group of works from the artist didn’t sell in her showroom, she purchased all of them. Shu visited Black Mountain College to see the painter and teacher Josef Albers, from whom she said she learned about color, and later worked with his wife Anni Albers to develop textiles for the Knoll line. Afer Hans Knoll died in a car crash in 1955, Shu became president of the company, and very ofen public art was integrated into her large projects. In 1955, while Shu was designing the interiors for the Bank of the Southwest in Houston, she met the Mexican artist Rufno Tamayo and remembered him coming to visit her with a small model of the mural that was going to be installed in the bank and today is considered to be one of his fnest mural works. For many years, her Tamayo painting of watermelon slices was the frst thing a visitor was greeted by when they visited her home.
Florence Knoll during a meeting of the Knoll Planning Unit, circa 1955. Courtesy Knoll Archive.
In 1958, Shu—by then the single most powerful fgure in the feld of modern design—married bank executive Harry Hood Bassett and eventually settled in Miami, where she would go on to design commercial Miami interiors in addition to several private residences. Hood Bassett was an important civic leader in Miami, and the corporate art collection that was developed for the Southeast First National Bank became one of the best in the country. At the height of her career, and afer designing thousands of ofce interiors, she resigned from Knoll in 1965. At only 48 years old, she had profoundly infuenced post–World War II design by defning the look for corporate interiors during the 1950s and 1960s and promoting the “open ofce” workspace. She is one of the most infuential architects and designers of post-war America, and she made designers like Saarinen and van der Rohe famous for their furniture—designs that are today considered classics (along with her own pieces)—and still being used in contemporary interiors. She had a curatorial eye for identifying talent and great works of art that she integrated both in her showrooms and in her homes. Shu was of the belief that art was to be lived with and enjoyed on a daily basis, rather than something kept hidden away in storage. Now, Phillips ofers the rare opportunity to share in the joy in the many memories that Shu experienced over an incredible life of art and design. When mid-century modern furniture was having a resurgence, she’d open up an auction catalogue with her furniture and her name in it, and jokingly say to me: “You know, Paul, I’m an antique now.” —Paul Makovsky, Critic and Curator Paul Makovsky is a writer based in New York City. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Contract Magazine, a publication dedicated to architecture and design. Makovsky has curated countless exhibitions about art and design, including Knoll Textiles: 1945–2010 at the Bard Graduate Center, and was a contributor to the accompanying catalogue published by Yale University Press. He was a close friend of Florence Knoll Bassett and is currently writing a biography of her life and work.
23. Rufno Tamayo
Cinco Rebanadas de Sandía signed and dated “Tamayo O-59” upper right. oil and sand on canvas. 31 7/8 x 39 1/8 in. (81 x 99.4 cm.). Executed in 1959. We are grateful to art historian Juan Carlos Pereda for his assistance cataloguing this work. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York Acquired from the above by the present owner on November 19, 1959 Exhibited New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Tamayo, November 17 December 12, 1959, no. 8, n.p. (detail illustrated in incorrect orientation, cover) Literature “Gran Exito de la Exposición de Tamayo en Nueva York”, Excélsior, Mexico City, December 22, 1959, p. 20B Margaret Breuning, “Tamayo”, ARTS Incorporating Art Digest, vol. 34, no. 3, New York, December 1959, p. 53
By Juan Carlos Pereda Art Historian and Deputy Director of the Museo Rufno Tamayo, Mexico City
This is the context in which Cinco Rebanadas de Sandía, 1959 was created. Although in essence it is a still life, a classical painting genre, it is nevertheless transformed by Tamayo’s novel and harmonious approach.
In 1959, Rufno Tamayo’s sojourn in Europe was coming to an end. During his time in Paris, the painter experimented with his color palette, which became more complex and sophisticated, resulting in an evolution in the synthesis of his images.
Tamayo’s still lifes such as the present work are conceived of their own set of conditions set forth by the artist. Primarily, Tamayo ushered in the reinvention of a traditional pictorial genre through his inventive
Hailing from Oaxaca, Mexico, Tamayo’s recognition in Europe as a mature artist had grown exponentially at this time. Solo exhibitions of his work took place in Italy, Norway, England, France, and Switzerland and art galleries represented him in each of these countries, even as he continued to work with New York-based gallery M. Knoedler & Co., Inc.. By 1959 Tamayo’s prestige had reached a culminating point, as his paintings were acquired by important private collections and prestigious museums. At a time when Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel dominated the international art scene, Tamayo’s art continued to be widely celebrated by the public despite the persistently representational nature of his paintings. Even as his imagery became increasingly schematic, it never leapt into complete abstraction. M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., invoice dated November 19, 1959 for the present work.
approach. His singular aesthetic quality frees the object from a merely decorative function. Rendered with a stylization that sets them apart from mimesis, the fruit slices foat over a shimmering feld of color, whose richness derives as much from splotches in diferent shades of pink, red, orange, and sepia, as they do from intervening sgrafto of an expressionist nature. Combined, these elements lend the composition a dynamism that contradicts the very essence of the pictorial genre to which the painting belongs: stillness.
Mark Rothko, No. 18/16 (UNTITLED/Plum, Orange, Yellow), 1949. Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, INBAL- Secretaría de Cultura, Mexico City, Artwork © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Diego Rivera, Watermelons (Las sandías), 1957. Museo Dolores Olmedo Patiño, Mexico City, Photo credit Schalkwijk/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Cinco Rebanadas de Sandía recounts the technical and conceptual resources that Tamayo had accomplished by the date of its completion. The seemingly simple shapes allow the viewer’s attention to focus on the plastic solutions applied to form, color, and, most importantly, to the intimate way in which he approaches the space occupied by the varied shapes of the fruit. It is noteworthy that there are no two slices of watermelon alike, each piece has its own identity inside the composition, all the while resulting in a harmonic whole. In an avantgarde gesture, Tamayo has added patches of pink and red pigment to the base of the composition, as a spatial index. Barely visible green brushstrokes add chromatic balance to the surface. Regarding color, Tamayo’s unparalleled mastery in handling sophisticated spectrums of red, pink, sepia, white, and gray, placed him as a master colorist of the 20th century, as unequivocally demonstrated in this painting. The contrast between the improbable pinks and the reds, oranges, and sepias mediated by the singular “Tamayo pink,” which grazes each slice of fruit, makes this canvas one of the most characteristic examples of the artist’s mature style. Cinco Rebanadas de Sandía was exhibited the year of its execution at Knoedler. Evidencing its importance as a key example of Tamayo’s mature period, it was chosen to grace the exhibition catalogue cover in detail, although it was mysteriously illustrated upside down. Florence Knoll Bassett purchased the work that same year and it has not been exhibited since.
24. Morris Louis
Singing signed, titled and dated ““SINGING” M. Louis - 61” on the reverse. Magna on canvas. 83 5/8 x 34 1/4 in. (212.4 x 87 cm.). Painted in 1961. Estimate $1,500,000-2,000,000
Provenance André Emmerich Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner on December 14, 1963 Literature Portable Gallery Press, Morris Louis: Paintings from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Memorial Exhibition, 1963 and additional later works, vol. 1, New York, 1963, slide 10 (illustrated) Diane Upright, Morris Louis: The Complete Paintings, A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1985, no. 485, p. 231 (illustrated, p. 176)
André Emmerich Gallery, invoice dated December 14, 1963 for the present work.
With its cascading, prismatic bands of color, Singing is exemplary of the elegant clarity that characterized Morris Louis’s production in the last year of his life. The artist made fewer than 75 pictures during his acclaimed Stripe period – the ten-month span before his death in September 1962 – and this chapter symbolized the culmination of his oeuvre. Exuding a dynamic vertical energy, these Stripe works feature tall bands of kaleidoscopic color, poured snugly sideby-side, which saturate the canvas weave rather than simply sitting atop it. The frst works from this series, including Singing, signaled an immediate shif in Louis’s production from his Unfurleds as color ceases to compose merely an element of the painting: in these Stripes, painting is color. Perhaps it is this quality that most attracted Florence Bassett Knoll to Singing—who acquired it for $5,500 soon afer its execution—as she was introduced to the raw pathos of color by Josef and Anni Albers during a visit to Black Mountain College. Evocative of Clement Greenberg’s comment that in 1954 Louis began “to think, feel, and conceive almost exclusively in terms of open color,” Singing is exemplary of the extensive developments in form and pigment evident in the artist’s work during the fnal chapter of his career (Clement Greenberg, “Louis and Noland”, Art International, vol. 5, May 25, 1960, p. 28). Singing is the outcome of Louis’s idiosyncratic painterly practice: afer stapling canvas to his studio wall, he would pour turpentine-thinned paint in a trajectory that was purely ruled by gravity and controlled chance. This staining exercise – executed in Magna, a brand of acrylic resin paint – was primarily inspired by a visit to Helen Frankenthaler’s studio that he and Kenneth Noland took in April 1953, during which the two were astounded by her seminal painting Mountains and Sea, 1952, on extended view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Louis’s material of choice since its creation in 1947, Magna fully penetrates the fabric and engulfs the fbers when applied to unprimed canvas, the artist’s process in Singing and throughout much of his oeuvre. The results of this technique include a heightened brilliance of tone as well as a tendency for the paint to soak through the canvas to the point where the shades are almost as saturated on the verso as they
are on the recto of the work. Moreover, Louis never combined the Magna shades for his Stripe paintings, instead utilizing the pure colors straight from the cans, a procedure which accounts for the clarity of the luminescent hues that compose Singing. The painting’s waterfall stripes gracefully demonstrate both the formidable power of gravitational pull and the faculty of the artist’s hand.
It is unsurprising that Greenberg originally christened the Stripe paintings “pillars of fre”: Singing seemingly alludes to the earthly elements of falling water and raging fames. Moreover, similar to other earlier works within the Stripes series, the fery bands in Singing are centered, lending the picture a majestic monumentality. The bright pillars of paint paradoxically appear to dart upward toward their circular capitals, as “capillary tubes carrying up moisture from their roots,” as John Elderfeld, the renowned formed Chief Curator of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, described (John Elderfeld, Morris Louis, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1986, p. 79). This distinguished prodigiousness is captured in the painting’s title, possibly a reference to the awe-inducing, even sacred, potentiality of music and likely chosen by Greenberg himself, who frequently provided Louis with name recommendations for the series. Following Charles Millard’s assessment of Louis’s Stripe paintings, the palette and composition of Singing make it a frst-rate work from the series; according to the curator and scholar, “the most successful pictures are those in which only one end is anchored… Louis used ever richer and more brilliant combinations of color in these paintings, combinations relieved only by the introduction of darker values or of mixed hues such as mustard or shades of violent. In some of the best of them he preferred sour color combinations such as yellow, green, and deep blue, abandoning the dramatic beauty of the Unfurleds in favor of a concentrated intensity” (Charles Millard, “Morris Louis”, The Hudson Review, vol. 30, no. 2, Summer 1977, p. 257).
Barnett Newman, Onement III, 1949. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Barnett Newman Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Simultaneously emotive yet controlled, Singing demonstrates Louis’s position as a crucial link between Abstract Expressionism and its variety of descendants encapsulated in a movement that Greenberg coined “post-painterly abstraction.” As Millard has contextualized, “considered historically, Louis was a bridge between Abstract Expressionism and the less frenetic color explorations of the sixties, his work a microcosm of the passage from dramatic, freely drawn, large-scale canvases to the more contemplative, not always so large, but nonetheless powerful work of the
“[The Stripes] by Louis. . . are extraordinarily optimistic, as well as candid, pictures. They had, of course, no successors.” John Elderfeld, Chief Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
generation afer Abstract Expressionism” (Charles Millard, “Morris Louis”, The Hudson Review, vol. 30, no. 2, Summer 1977, pp. 257-258). However, other scholars have appraised Louis’s contributions to modernism and 20th century art more widely. “At the height of his powers,” Elderfeld wrote, Louis’s paintings achieved a sense of “deliverance through the senses… the condition toward which the best of modern painting has aspired” (John Elderfeld, Morris Louis, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1986, p. 23). The culmination of Louis’s brief yet robust experimentation with process, color, and composition, Singing thus not only attains the highest aims of his Stripe paintings – and his oeuvre overall – but those of modernism as well. Created less than a year before the artist’s death, Singing is ebullient yet meditative, vibrant yet poignant, a joyful portrait of a sorrowful song sung in a minor key. Both evocative of Frankenthaler’s stained works as well as Barnett Newman’s “zips”, it is an undoubtedly emotive picture, a refreshing embrace of the romanticism and raw power of abstraction that was becoming increasingly abandoned during a time in which Pop Art was rapidly gaining popularity and was posed to eclipse Abstract Expressionism to become the dominant force in the New York art world. In this way, Singing was not just one of Louis’s last love letters to his own experience with painting, but also a signal of the end of the reign of the frst wave of Abstract Expressionism before it was supplanted by Pop, Minimalism, and color feld painting.
Verso of the present work
Helen Frankenthaler, Tutti-Fruitti, 1966. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Bufalo, Photo credit Albright-Knox Art Gallery/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Property from an Important West Coast Collector
25. Ed Ruscha
Start Over Please signed and dated “Ed Ruscha 2015” on the reverse. oil on canvas. 64 x 72 in. (162.6 x 182.9 cm.). Painted in 2015, this work will be included in the forthcoming Edward Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume Eight. Estimate $3,500,000-4,500,000
Provenance Gagosian, Los Angeles Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Phoenix Art Museum, July 13 - November 9, 2015 (on loan)
“Words have temperatures to me. When they reach a certain point and become hot words, then they appeal to me. . . Sometimes I have a dream that if a word gets too hot and too appealing, it will boil apart, and I won’t be able to read or think of it. Usually I catch them before they get too hot.” Ed Ruscha
Start Over Please showcases Ed Ruscha’s unmatched ability to combine text and image in a way that is at once familiar and enigmatic. Painted in 2015, a year before two major solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the de Young Museum, San Francisco, the present work reproduces the text “START OVER PLEASE” against a backdrop of
Ed Ruscha, End, 1983. Collection Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, Artwork © Ed Ruscha
a burning sunset. Possessing the cinematic drama of credits rolling at the end of a flm, the composition is infused with references to Ruscha’s hometown of Los Angeles. Indeed, Hollywood has continually served as inspiration in the artist’s practice through mediums of painting, drawing, printmaking and photography. The artifciality of a movie set is felt here in Start Over Please, as text is placed over a saturated landscape that feels both real and fake, nostalgic and dream-like. In the late 1970s, Ruscha began using landscapes as backgrounds to his text paintings, a device he has continued to employ today as exemplifed in the present work. The artist attributes his long road trips from Oklahoma to California, where he moved to in 1956, as planting the frst seeds of inspiration for depicting landscapes ranging from sunsets to mountainscapes to street scenes. The fusion of these settings with language two decades later led to some of the most successful paintings in the artist’s oeuvre. As he explains, “Words are pattern-like, and in their horizontality across the canvas, they answer my investigation into landscape” (Ed Ruscha, quoted in Bernard Blistène, “Coversation with Ed Ruscha”, in Edward Ruscha, exh. cat., Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 1990, n.p.). In their use of a horizon line, works like Start Over Please can certainly
be placed squarely within the canon of landscape painting. “By placing texts over images of dramatic skies, suburban streets, and nocturnal cityscapes, [Ruscha] now developed a new type of picture that fused the illusionistic depth of traditional landscape with the fat space of typography” (Ralph Rugof, Ed Ruscha: Fify Years of Painting, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 2010, p. 19). In the present work, Ruscha uses his own designed font, Boy Scout Utility Modern—which he coined in the 1980s—positioning the three words in center alignment, equidistant from the edges of the nearsquare canvas on each side. It was also in the 1970s when the artist started using short phrases as in the present work, a departure from the single word paintings which occupied the earlier part of his career. Of these phrases, Ralph Rugof explained, “While ofen enigmatic or ambiguous, they could also seem vaguely familiar: indeed, many were ‘ready-made’ phrases taken from books, movies, technical manuals and songs, as well as things heard on the radio or in conversation” (Ralph Rugof, Ed Ruscha: Fify Years of Painting, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 2010, p. 19). One could almost hear the words “Start Over Please” spoken by a character in a flm, a teacher in a classroom, or a top executive in conversation. While ofen Ruscha’s text seems to have little to do with the background on which it is placed, sometimes the phrases do engage with their surface. Here, the three words are strategically positioned over fve horizontal bands of color. Tones shif from cold to cool to warm to hot, with “START” placed starkly against a deep midnight blue and “PLEASE” over a fery red. This aesthetic transition seems to sofen the blow of the instructive demand, a polite plea ending the request to “start over.” As Ruscha himself said, “Words have temperatures to me. When they reach a certain point and become hot words, then they appeal to me…Sometimes I have a dream that if a word gets too hot and too appealing, it will boil apart, and I won’t be able to read or think of it. Usually I catch them before they get too hot” (Ed Ruscha, quoted in Ed Ruscha: Fify Years of Painting, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 2010, pp. 46-47).
René Magritte, The Banquet, 1958. The Art Institute of Chicago, Artwork © 2019 C. Herscovici, London/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Roy Lichtenstein, Sunrise, 1965. Private Collection, Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
The heat of the lower part of the composition is quintessential of Ruscha’s faming sunsets which have reappeared many times in his oeuvre. The artist has relied on this palette again and again—one which resembles the Surrealist landscapes of René Magritte—appearing as early as the late 1960s. The narrow strip of warmth in Start Over Please is perhaps most similar to that which is used in Sunset—Gardner Cross, 1998-1999, The Broad, Los Angeles. In this work, a sliver of vibrant orange is placed atop a gradient of gray illustrating a city street, an inversion of the composition in the present work, whereby tones move from dark to light. As Karin Breuer describes
Bruce Nauman, Violins Violence Silence, 1981–1982. Tate, London, Artwork © 2019 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS). Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
of Sunset—Gardner Cross, “A ‘Technicolor’ sunset glows in the western sky above city streets…like an inferno that has scorched the landscape, leaving it charred and wasted. Is it the same awe-inducing view that Ruscha observed on his 1956 arrival in the city, or a more ominous, contemporary vision?” Start Over Please illustrates the same technicolor dreamscape which she describes here, one which Breuer further classifes as an almost “apocalyptic suggestion” (Karin Breuer, Ed Ruscha and the Great American West, exh. cat., de Young Museum, San Francisco, 2016, p. 109). Ruscha has frequently cited this preoccupation. “Things like nuclear energy are slowly building up, and it’s only a matter of time before something catastrophic happens. Unfortunately, we like trouble—that just seems to be a part of human nature” (Ed Ruscha, quoted in Ed Ruscha: Fify Years of Painting, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 2010, p. 59).
THE BLEED DOESN’T WORK OVER 2 SPREADS IT TAKES UP MORE THAN HALF THE 2 PAGES
In Start Over Please, this apocalyptic reference is infused with irony in its title, as if it suggests a new beginning, or a fresh start, to re-building the world in which we live. The work is a direct counterpart to paintings from decades earlier, such as End, 1983, Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles, also placed atop an apocalyptic sunset – a more literal, and therefore less optimistic interpretation of the world’s demise. Ruscha’s ability to transform the meanings of colloquial phrases can be no better explained than by Robert Dean: “For words have a life of their own in the work of Ed Ruscha. So much so that they can sit atop a mountain and on top of the painted surface while hardly afecting either. Their presence is oracular without the pomp, vernacular without the vulgarity, aloof even when familiar or intimate. And their autonomy is uncanny, without origin or destination, literally out of the blue…attaching unresolved puzzlement to the gaping interval between word and image” (Robert Dean, ed., Edward Ruscha: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Volume Seven: 2004-2011, New York, 2016, p. 7).
Roy Lichtenstein, In, 1962. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Image Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Property from an American Collection ○◆
26. Jean-Michel Basquiat
The Ring signed, partially titled and dated “Jean Michel Basquiat “RING” 1981” on the reverse. acrylic and oilstick on canvas. 60 x 48 in. (152.4 x 121.9 cm.). Executed in 1981, this work is accompanied by a certifcate of authenticity from the Authentication Committee of the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Estimate $10,000,000-15,000,000
Provenance Rosa Esman Gallery, New York Private Collection, East Coast (acquired from the above in November 1982) Christie’s, Los Angeles, June 9, 1999, lot 196 Estate of Theodore J. Forstman (acquired at the above sale) Sotheby’s, New York, May 9, 2012, lot 4 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario; Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time, February 7 November 1, 2015, p. 222 (illustrated, p. 73) New York, Mnuchin Gallery, REDS, April 27 - June 9, 2018, pp. 54, 95 (illustrated, p. 55) Literature Jean-Louis Prat and Richard D. Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paris, 2000, no. 4, p. 93 (illustrated, p. 92) Fred Hofman, Jean-Michel Basquiat Drawing: Work from the Schorr Family Collection, exh. cat., Acquavella Galleries, New York, 2014, p. 93 (illustrated, p. 92) Hans Werner Holzwarth, ed., Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Art of Storytelling, Cologne, 2018, pp. 14, 493 (illustrated, p. 15)
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Self-Portrait, 1982. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat
“He turned boxers and jazz musicians into kings with golden crowns. And on top of all that mixing and matching, he added his own genius. . . the paintings don’t just sit on my walls they move like crazy.” Jay-Z
Executed in the pivotal year of 1981, The Ring denotes the gestural vigor that exemplifed Jean-Michel Basquiat’s approach to his portrayals of exalted fgures. Set against an activated red expanse, the present work depicts a boxer in a fghting ring, lifing an arrow or spear above his head and crowned with an intricate halo before a crescent moon, resulting in a unique marriage between boxing iconography and conventional symbols of African royalty. It is all too ftting that Basquiat painted The Ring during a year in which he found unprecedented levels of critical and commercial success; by the end of 1981, Basquiat stood victorious, having efectively conquered the art world when René Ricard published his watershed essay, “The Radiant Child” in Artforum. The frst comprehensive study of Basquiat’s practice, the article cemented his place in the art historical canon, declaring “If Cy Twombly and Jean Dubufet had a baby and gave it up for adoption
it would be Jean-Michel. The elegance of Twombly is there [and is] from the same source (grafti) and so is the brut of the young Dubufet” (René Ricard, “The Radiant Child”, Artforum, vol. XX, no. 4, December 1981, p. 43). During this meteoric rise to fame, the artist painted The Ring, in which he began to develop the idiosyncratic visual language that would typify the rest of his too-brief oeuvre. Perhaps the most central element in this artistic lexicon is the human fgure, which Basquiat used as an iconographic device to coalesce art history, pop culture, autobiography, and the black experience. Speaking of the frequent visits he took to his local museum during his childhood, the Brooklyn Museum, the artist told Henry Geldzahler, “I realized that I didn’t see many paintings with black people in them.” In confronting this perennial, gaping lacuna, the artist expounded that “the black person is the protagonist in most of my paintings” (Jean-Michel Basquiat, quoted in Henry Geldzahler, “Art: From the Subways to Soho, Jean-Michel Basquiat”, Interview Magazine, January 1983). Thus, just as Western art history valorized Greek gods and saints for millennia, Basquiat sought to memorialize the champions of black history, from jazz luminary Charlie Parker to boxing phenomenon Muhammad Ali. When Geldzahler asked Basquiat what his subject matter was, the artist paused, then responded “royalty, heroism, and the streets” (Jean-Michel Basquiat, quoted in Henry Geldzahler, “Art: From the Subways to Soho, Jean-Michel Basquiat”, Interview Magazine, January 1983). Perhaps a reference to the widely-read boxing magazine of the same name, The Ring situates its Herculean fgure within the pantheon of legendary boxers that the artist commemorated in his work, including Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay), Sugar Ray Robinson, and Jersey Joe Walcott. Well-versed in the lives and achievements of these pugilist athletes, Basquiat grew up
Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1985. Photographed by Michael Halsband.
watching their matches with his father, who reminisced, “I was a big fan of boxing, and when he was a kid, there would be fghts on television every Friday. We would sit together and watch. He talked about Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Wolcott, all of them—the great boxers of years past” (Gérard Basquiat, quoted in Jean-Michel Basquiat 1981: The Studio of the Streets, exh. cat., Deitch Projects, New York, 2007, p. 90). In particular, the artist admired how each of these men had fearlessly challenged pervasive social and racial prejudices: they had, literally and fguratively, fought their way to fame and success. Louis and Ali had specifcally achieved notoriety in the 1960s and 1970s—Basquiat’s formative years—for promoting racial integration and protesting cultural inequalities. By depicting these fgures victorious, beneath a crown or halo, and accentuating their race with jet black paint, the artist canonized the African American heroes of his time in his paintings such as The Ring. The halo does not appear as a merely pacifc symbol of exaltation, however; it is more reminiscent of a crown of thorns, a recurring pictorial trope of the artist’s, which he used in numerous tour de forces from the period including Untitled, 1981, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Slave Auction, 1982, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. In this allusion to Jesus’s crucifxion, Basquiat accentuated the martyrdom that is inextricably tied to sainthood, further emphasizing his fgures’ holiness. The artist also began developing several other motifs at the time, present in The Ring, which resurfaced throughout the rest of his oeuvre— including the black arrow in the top lef hand corner of the picture and the spear-like instrument hoisted up by the boxer—and are evocative of a medley of African, Caribbean, and Western icons. In fact, not even the polka-dotted shorts that the fgure in the present work wears are singular in Basquiat’s practice:
Cassius Clay raises his hands in a victory gesture afer knocking down Cleveland Williams in the second round of a title fght, Houston, Texas, November 14, 1966. © Brettmann/CORBIS
they are no doubt the same as the Everlast ones included in his masterpiece from the same year, Per Capita, The Brant Foundation, Greenwich. In this sense, The Ring can be read as a crucial step in the development of Basquiat’s iconographic vocabulary, one which traces the beginnings of symbols that are now considered cornerstones of his approach. Though it is impossible to be certain of the identity of the central fgure in The Ring, its remarkable similitude to Self-Portrait, 1982, leads one to believe that the work might portray Basquiat himself. Specifcally, the protagonist’s distinctive hairstyle—long, twisting dreadlocks—which appears in the present work resembled the artist’s at the time and was featured in his other selfportraits from the period. Regardless of whether or not Basquiat intended to explicitly depict his physical likeness, he astutely captured an image, at least metaphorical, of himself standing victorious at the zenith of his career. “He brought together street art and European old masters. He combines painting and writing. He combined icons from Christianity and Santería and voodoo,” espoused the musician Jay-Z, a collector of several works by the artist. “He turned boxers and jazz musicians into kings with golden crowns. And on top of all that mixing and matching he added his own genius, which transformed the work into something completely fresh and original. The paintings don’t just sit on my walls, they move like crazy” (Jay-Z, Decoded, New York, 2011, pp. 92-93).
Above/below: USA gold medalist Tommie Smith (center) and bronze medalist John Carlos (right) give the black power salute as an anti-racial protest as they stand on the podium with Australian silver medalist Peter Norman at the 1968 Olympic Games, Mexico City. Photo by Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images Cover of The Ring featuring Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston, May 1964. Photo by: The Ring Magazine via Getty Images
With its various drips, scrawls, and felds of paint, The Ring is emblematic of the same vigor and immediacy that characterized the much-cherished art he executed in his days as SAMO. According to curator Richard Marshall, “From 1980 to late 1982, Basquiat used painterly gestures on canvases, most ofen depicting skeletal fgures and mask-like faces, and imagery derived from his street existence” (Richard Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1992, p. 23). In this translation—from concrete walls to canvases—The Ring betrays at frst glance no
“Royalty, Heroism, and the Streets” The Boxers of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Per Capita, 1981. The Brant Foundation, Greenwich
Proft I, 1982. Private Collection
Untitled, 1982. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Sugar Ray Robinson, 1982. Private Collection Photo Bridgeman Images
Untitled, 1982. Private Collection Artwork © 2019 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Cassius Clay, 1982. Private Collection All: Artwork © 2019 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Banque d’Images, ADAGP/Art Resource, NY
tentativeness or hesitation on behalf of Basquiat. However, despite his prolifcacy, the artist was known to meticulously edit and rework his paintings, a tendency evidenced by the de Kooning-esque application of pale blue paint to the boxing ring foor, which was later covered with more red in a manner redolent of Henri Matisse’s The Red Studio, 1911, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. In fact, Basquiat’s painterly approach unites the dripping spray paint style for which he gained notoriety and the carefully-crafed pictorial boldness of French modernism which he so loved. Indeed, Richard Marshall has proposed that the artist may have been galvanized to depict such aggression and brashness upon acquainting himself with Pablo Picasso’s Avignon canvases, which were exhibited at Pace Gallery in New York in spring 1981 and denote the modernist’s return to the graphic, distorted fgures which Basquiat no doubt felt a kinship with. Despite his deep-rooted interest in the art historical canon, the streets of New York had the most conspicuous infuence on Basquiat’s practice. Afer narrowly avoiding bankruptcy, New York was characterized in the late 1970s by the vacant buildings and tax foreclosures brought about by stubborn economic stagnation. Indeed, entire neighborhoods of Manhattan—specifcally from Soho and the East Village through Tribeca and the Lower East Side— were lef derelict as businesses and white-collar employees fed to the suburbs in the face of rampant violence; the New York City Police Department reported that 1980 marked the worst year of crime in the city’s history. In this climate, in which unequivocal distinctions between “high” and “low” art still persisted, an underground artistic community began to materialize, encompassing the young writers, musicians, and street artists who had made recently-abandoned downtown Manhattan their home. “The streets were animated with stark handmade posters for band performances, and spillover from clubs made the surrounding streets into a no-budget punk version of sidewalk cafes. Walking
Muhammad Ali, 1973. Bridgeman Images
the blocks of the Bowery almost any time of day or night you were likely to run into an artist or musician of your acquaintance,” Jefrey Deitch recalled. In this milieu, Basquiat took the New York art scene by storm, emerging as a street poet hidden behind the pseudonym SAMO, a relentless tagger whose nom de plume began appearing all over the city’s disintegrating infrastructure. “Every time you went to a good lof party, visited the apartment of someone interesting, or attended the performance of a talked-about new band,” Deitch remembered. “It seemed that SAMO had been there frst. His disconcerting but riveting haiku-like street poetry marked the walls of every building where artists and musicians congregated” (Jefrey Deitch, Jean-Michel Basquiat 1981: The Studio of the Streets, exh. cat., Deitch Projects, New York, 2007, p. 9). Though his name had been mentioned in the press the year before, it was not until 1981—the year he painted The Ring—that SAMO would ofcially betray his identity to the international art-viewing public. In January of that year, Basquiat was included in a multi-disciplinary exhibition examining the burgeoning avant-garde scene in the city, New York/ New Wave, at the gallery P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, where his raw, expressive vigor caught the attention of gallerists Annina Nosei and Bruno Bischoferger, who would become virtually responsible for catapulting his career. A few months aferwards, he had his frst solo show abroad at Galleria d’Arte Emilio Mazzoli in Modena, Italy, and by the end of the year he was living and working in the basement of Nosei’s Soho gallery while participating in a robust program of international exhibitions. Deitch wrote, “during the year of 1981 [Basquiat] made the transition from a profusely talented and promising artist working on the street to a world-class painter, poised to become one of the most infuential artists of his time” (Jefrey Deitch, Jean-Michel Basquiat 1981: The Studio of the Streets, exh. cat., Deitch Projects, New York, 2007, pp. 10-13).
27. Christopher Wool
Untitled signed, numbered and dated “WOOL 1992 F45” on the reverse. enamel on paper. 38 x 26 in. (96.5 x 66 cm.). Executed in 1992. Estimate $2,000,000-3,000,000
Provenance Luhring Augustine, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Cologne, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Christopher Wool: Zeichnungen, June 6 - July 4, 1992
In Untitled Christopher Wool presents what has now become one of the most iconic phrases in contemporary art in his signature deadpan style. Emerging from the 1980s New York art scene, Wool has become renowned for his ability to coalesce the language of grafti with the concerns of conceptual art. Potently graphic and linguistically antagonistic, Untitled encapsulates the bluntness of Wool’s creative mission which, since the 1980s, has been focusing on the parameters and pictorial limitations of painting. With his stenciled text he began to engage with the concept of semiotics and the potential for compositional presentation to aid or subvert interpretation and meaning. Executed in 1992, this work typifes the artist’s experimentation with communication and its disruption through visual and verbal means. A rare example of the artist’s utilization
of color in his practice, the text featured here is rendered in dark blue, making the block lettering that comprises the composition’s verbal content starkly contrast with the white ground to connote urban grit, aggression, and iconicity. The present work unites two of the most instrumental threads in the artist’s practice: text and silkscreen. Wool began exploring the use of text in his work in 1987. Afer serendipitously seeing a delivery truck with the words “SEX LUV” painted on it, he appropriated the phrase for his own work. Using large stencils to spell out pointed or confrontational phrases, ofen without conventional spacing or syntax, Wool’s art seemingly paid more of an homage to the disjointed scrawls of grafti or club signage of the gritty urban environment of his native New York than to the canon of high art.
“The chosen words and phrases are All-American mantras, knucklehead koans, idiot ideograms. They are about conventional wisdom, common knowledge and default settings. They are compressed and concentrated like Alka Seltzer or Pez. They are bricks. Clunky, dangerous, mass-produced, but no two exactly alike and their composition on the canvas or page or slab puts them under a philological, microscope.” Glenn O’Brien
John Baldessari, What Is Painting, 1968. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gif of Donald L. Bryant, Jr., Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 John Baldessari
In works such as Untitled Wool continues his exploration of themes of fgurative seriality and abstraction through the milieu of industrial materials and procedures. Retaining the remnants of the hard, layered edges of his letters, Wool has interrupted the stencil’s impressions with smudges. This unconventional use of the stencil technique is only further enhanced by his choice to work on paper in the present work, the materiality of which encourages an absorption of paint that is not present in his works on aluminum from the same period. The slippages he has allowed to occur through his mechanical process only enhance the visual complexity of his composition, adding his own artistic intent to the surface of the work. As Wool would later go on to explain, “I became more interested in ‘how to paint it’ than ‘what to paint’” (Christopher Wool, quoted in Ann Goldstein, “Interview with the Artist 17 October 1997”, Christopher Wool, exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1998, p. 258).
However, while it employs an incisive vernacular culled from the underbelly of American culture, it also quotes a lineage of artists who similarly used familiar codes and images to shock their audience— an artistic mission most poignantly embodied by Marcel Duchamp’s ingeniously insolent oeuvre, and his infamous L.H.O.O.Q, which transformed acronymic language into a farcical arena. Wool’s turn to silkscreen was also rooted in his urban experience. Growing out of his use of rollers and rubber stamps during the late 1980s that was inspired by cheap interior decoration tricks used by the city’s landlords, Wool took repetition and seriality one step further in 1992 when he frst turned to silkscreen. As opposed to the Pop Art sensibilities of his predecessors, his choice of the technique drew from the urban backdrop over the portrayal of consumer goods, echoing their vernacular origins without betraying their sources. Richard Prince, Tell Me Everything, 1987. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Richard Prince
“His is a gangster aesthetic: grim, business-like, poker-faced, blunt. . . This is art with a gun in its back.” Christian Haye, 1995
In the present work, Wool has broken up the letters and spaces that constitute the phrase AND IF YOU CANT TAKE A JOKE YOU CAN GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE into a grid that is divorced from linguistic comprehension, compelling the viewer to actively engage with the work. By isolating the text, Wool lends focus to the letters as purely visual elements. Seemingly ready to burst out of the compositional frame, the letters that make up this profane declaration highlight the work’s physical parameters, giving the words a sense of emergence from the background and assaulting the viewer with their insistence. The present work foregrounds Wool’s ability to elicit the pictorial powers of the printed word through grit and humor. As Christian Haye aptly noted soon afer the execution of Untitled, “His is a gangster aesthetic: grim, business-like, poker-faced, blunt. Yet… as if lurking behind their tight-lipped facades were something like a wink, a tip-of to viewers of some colossal unfolding scam. This is art with a gun in its back” (Christian Haye, “Myth and Man”, Frieze, issue 20, January – February 1995).
Ed Ruscha, The End, 1991. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/ Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Ed Ruscha
GRRR! signed and dated “KAWS..08” on the reverse. acrylic on canvas. 68 1/8 x 68 in. (173 x 172.7 cm.). Painted in 2008. Estimate $1,800,000-2,500,000
Provenance Gering & López Gallery, New York Pete Wentz, Los Angeles Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Miami, Perrotin, KAWS: SATURATED, September 20 November 15, 2008 Literature Monica Ramirez-Montagut, KAWS: 1993-2010, New York, 2010, p. 32 (illustrated)
A confation of high and low culture, GRRR!, 2008, is demonstrative of KAWS’s unique ability to communicate complex human emotion through appropriated cartoon imagery. In “an almost rubberlike matte fnish,” similar to that of toys or cartoons, the present work portrays a close-up of the everpopular animated star SpongeBob SquarePants using fat, evenly saturated planes of color (KAWS, quoted in KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 72). KAWS transforms SpongeBob into his “KAWSBOB” by obliterating the beloved character’s eyes with his trademark X-symbols. Presented on a monumental scale reminiscent of the regal legacy of history paintings, the artist depicts a cropped image of SpongeBob, bursting with emotive intensity, his mouth open and exposing the signature gap between his two front teeth. Both formally similar and symbolically dense, GRRR! coalesces the imagery of youth with the interiority of adulthood. When visiting Tokyo for the frst time in 1997, the artist was astounded by the faculty of cartoons to subvert language and cultural barriers. In exploiting the destabilizing power of appropriation, KAWS began gradually developing an idiosyncratic visual lexicon replete with pop culture references, most repeatedly drawing from comic-strips and television cartoons. From his manipulation of mass media imagery, which he uses to reveal the politics of an ostensibly innocent pictorial world, the artist is now considered to be a preeminent fgure of neo-Pop along with Jef Koons
and Takashi Murakami. Employing a vibrant, arresting palette, GRRR! is emblematic of KAWS’s sardonic portrayals of much mythologized and admired cartoon characters, an oscillation between nostalgia and irony. Conceived by marine science educator Stephen Hillenburg in 1999, the tale of SpongeBob SquarePants follows the title character and his aquatic friends in their farcical adventures in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The highest-ever rated series to air on the children’s cartoon network, Nickelodeon, the show and its protagonist have become ubiquitous over the last two decades. Indeed, it became so well-known that KAWS has frequently opted to utilize SpongeBob SquarePants imagery in his works despite never having seen the series. “SpongeBob was something I wanted to do because graphically I love the shapes,” KAWS elucidated. “But honestly, when I’m painting SpongeBob, I’m not thinking, ‘Oh, I loved this episode.’ Honestly, I’ve never even watched it” (KAWS, quoted in Tobey Maguire, “KAWS”, Interview Magazine, April 27, 2010, online).
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, The Yawner, afer 1770. Szepmuveszeti Muzeum, Budapest © The Museum of Fine Arts Budapest/SCALA/ Art Resource, NY
“KAWS is not just referring to pop culture, he is making it.” Michael Auping
In GRRR!, the source of the protagonists ire or anxiety is seemingly situated in the place of the viewer. The audible manifestation of the scene is conveyed in SpongeBob’s agitated facial expression, which seems to imply an action bubble exclaiming, “GRRR!” By assigning such an intensity to a childhood cartoon character typically characterized by his ebullience, the work complicates the seemingly nostalgic scene. “We recognize the cartoon characters yet, with KAWS’s intervention, the meaning becomes somewhat subverted,” the curator Mónica Ramírez-Montagut delineated. “Since we are familiar with these characters… we in fact feel empowered to ponder the meaning and have an opinion. Thus it is up to us to decide whether these are homages or criticisms” (Mónica Ramírez-Montagut, KAWS, exh. brochure, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefeld, 2010, online). By making the compositional decision to portray a cropped image, KAWS has thrust SpongeBob into the space of the viewer, an illusion that heightens GRRR!’s emotive magnitude. Furthermore, the work functions as a crucial mid-point in KAWS’s oeuvre between his
Above/below: Roy Lichtenstein, Grrrrrrrrrrr!!, 1965. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Photo credit Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein Gustave Courbet, The Desperate Man, 1843–1845. Photo HIP/Art Resource, NY
production of fully-executed narratives such as THE WALK HOME, 2012 and the divorce of cartoon iconography from fgurative renderings present in Where the End Starts, 2011, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. In this sense, GRRR! is a critical juncture in KAWS’s career-long oscillation between fguration and abstraction. Despite being inextricably rooted in their source imagery, KAWS’s paintings such as GRRR! are not so much appropriations of specifc animated cartoon narratives as they are broader interrogations of universal human emotions. Of his imagery derived from pop culture, KAWS has expounded, “even though I use a comic language, my fgures are not always refecting the idealistic cartoon view that I grew up on, where everything has a happy ending” (KAWS, quoted in KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 5). Indeed, with this in mind, GRRR! predominantly serves as a study in pure human emotion, one that is universally understood and transcends nationality, culture and time.
Property from an Important Asian Collection
29. Keith Haring
Untitled signed and dated “K. Haring OCT. 31- 1984 ⊕ ©” on the reverse. acrylic, enamel and Day-Glo on muslin. 77 1/2 x 190 5/8 in. (196.9 x 484.2 cm.). Executed on October 31, 1984. Estimate $3,000,000-4,000,000
Provenance Keith Haring Foundation, New York Deitch Projects, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Seoul, Arario Gallery, Keith Haring: The Public Artist, December 11, 2002 - February 16, 2003, pp. 14-15 (illustrated) Seoul, Arario Gallery, 20th Anniversary Exhibition, November 10, 2009 - January 24, 2010
Uniting the immediacy of cartoons with the raw dynamism of Art Brut, Jean Dubufet, and Pierre Alechinsky, Untitled, 1984 evinces the precocity of Keith Haring’s pioneering approach from when he was only 26 years old. First and foremost a storyteller, the artist furnishes in the work a world of corporeal distortion à la Salvador Dalí, in which one of Haring’s trademark feature-less fgures imprisons a much larger one using a rope that then metamorphoses into a snake and turns on its master. Executed on an enormous scale redolent of his cherished murals,
Untitled was created afer Haring’s rise to prominence for his grafti drawings in the early 1980s and when he was already a leading fgure in New York’s East Village cultural scene, hobnobbing with art world superstars such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Within this community, however, the artist dared to push the boundaries of Pop Art, using idiosyncratic materials such as the vibrant, golden Day-Glo in the present work and circumventing the Manhattan art society by spontaneously drawing in public places such as subway stations. Embodying Haring’s assertion that “living
Keith Haring drawing in the subway, 1984. Photo © Helene Bamberger/Opale/Bridgeman Images, Artwork © The Keith Haring Foundation
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Six Crimee, 1982. Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles The Scott D. F. Spiegel Collection, Artwork © 2019 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat
in 1984, the role of the artist has to be diferent from what it was ffy, or even twenty years ago,” Untitled blurs the line between high art and street culture using a distinctive visual language that is the artist’s alone (Keith Haring, “Untitled Statement”, Flash Art, no. 116, March 1984, p. 24). Haring publicly protested the injustices of the world he lived in, including racism, war, and the AIDS crisis—the disease from which he died at 31—and even criticized then President Ronald Reagan in Reagan: Ready to Kill, 1980, Collection of the Keith Haring Foundation. Created the year that Haring joined the international resistance to apartheid in South Africa, Untitled’s disturbing narrative, in which a smaller fgure enslaves a larger one with a noose before the balance of power shifs, appears in another one of his works from 1984, Untitled (Apartheid), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Haring then utilized the image in a poster and three sets of lithographs in 1985, one of which includes the rope-serpent and another which includes two numbered panels, such as in the present work. Despite evoking the slapstick violence of cartoon, Untitled was in fact a crucial element of the development of the artist’s anti-apartheid imagery and is a manifestation of Haring’s political engagement in 1984.
By way of his interest in transmitting messages directly to the public, Haring was struck by the communicative power of animated television and comics, relentlessly using cartoon imagery throughout his oeuvre. In this sense, while Haring’s iconography may have also been a nod to his childhood or father, an amateur cartoonist, it was “Disney’s genius for making imagery that was comprehensible to a huge international cross-section of people [that] served as a role model to Haring” (Bruce D. Kurtz, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Walt Disney, Munich, 1992, p. 18). The impact of mass media on Haring’s work is incredibly conspicuous in Untitled: the two compositions that comprise it read chronologically, like two side-by-side panels on a comic book page, and feature his signature fgures composed of a single black line in states of farcical violence. The short, energetic strokes that emphasize action operate as motion lines do in comics, but also achieve the same static efect of movement captured in Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, no. 2, 1912, Philadelphia Museum of Art. The work’s afnity with the French modernist’s chef-d’oeuvre also hints at Haring’s robust knowledge of art history that he cultivated by beginning frequent trips to Europe two years earlier; in fact, his jet black outlines are reminiscent of those of one of his favorite artists, Fernand Léger. The marrying
(Keith Haring, quoted on January 12, 1979 in Keith Haring Journals, New York, 2010, p. 48). Striving to speak to and for his generation, Haring created an iconography unique to his time and displayed these symbols anywhere and everywhere they could be viewed, whether that be in an art gallery or in a subway station.
Codex Borbonicus (detail), circa 1519-1540. Biblioteca Nacional, Mexico City, Photo credit Mireille Vautier/Art Resource, NY
of cartoon motifs with the Western canon in Untitled epitomizes Haring’s virtuoso fusion of “high” and “low” culture, creating an image that resonates among the art world and general public alike. Haring’s oeuvre coalesces distinct eras, geographies, and cultures—from the “primitive” art of the Americas to the High Renaissance—and Untitled betrays his preoccupation with the semiotics of Egyptian hieroglyphics and Aztec signs. Reading as two logographs instead of as a single picture, the compositions of Untitled function almost as pictograms and depict fgures with no specifying characteristics such as hair, facial features, or attire, thus portraying explicit narratives that are able to be universally and immediately understood. Indeed, Haring wrote in 1979 that “I am intrigued with the shapes people choose as their symbols to create a language. There is within all forms a basic structure, an indication of the entire object with a minimum of lines that becomes a symbol. This is common to all languages, all people, all times”
The infuence of Aztec imagery in Untitled is further denoted by the snake in the second scene, which is likely derived from the serpentine Quetzalcoatl, a Central American deity. The good nature of the Quetzalcoatl is the counterpoint to the biblical serpent, which persuaded Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and was the incarnation of temptation and evil. This chasm no doubt appealed to Haring’s predilection for nuance and ambiguity, as the snake in Untitled is both the savior of the fgure trapped in the noose and murderer of the smaller character. “Good and Evil are very hard to explain or understand,” Haring wrote. “I’m sure that evil exists, but it is hard to isolate. Good and evil are intertwined and impossible to separate. They are not completely opposite and in fact are ofen one and the same” (Keith Haring, quoted on July 7, 1986 in Keith Haring Journals, New York, 2010, pp. 134-135). Haring similarly subverted the ostensibly fxed dichotomy between good and evil in his masterpiece, Untitled, 1982, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in which the same snake seems to threaten both virtuous and wicked characters in a chaotic, Bosch-esque world.
Andy Warhol, Before and Afer , 1962. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Keith Haring distributing “Free South Africa” posters in Central Park, New York, 1984. Photograph by Tseng Kwong Chi. © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc. New York, Artwork © The Keith Haring Foundation
Untitled alludes to the painter’s diverse interests in mass media, sociopolitical issues, and the evocative capacity of the line, resulting in a superb portrait of his artistic concerns just six years before his death. The difculty to perfectly assign any one exclusive attribute to the painting—cartoonishly humorous or gravely sincere, ardently political or art-historically referential—is a testament to Haring’s ability to imbue his works with a layer of complexity and subjectivity in homage to the pictorial systems of ancient cultures. “I think the greatest feature of a lot of the images is that
they’re not completely explainable and they can have diferent meaning for diferent people,” Haring wrote in his journal the day before he executed Untitled. “That’s something that man seems to have less and less patience for, but in earlier civilizations symbols were much more versatile” (Keith Haring, quoted on October 30, 1984 in Keith Haring Journals, New York, 2010, p. 118). Despite its creation surrounding political and artistic matters 35 years ago, the underlying themes of injustice, ambiguity, and semiotics in Untitled still resonate today.
Property of an Important Private European Collector
30. Sean Scully
Red Bar signed, titled and dated â€œRED BAR Sean Scully 1.04â€? on the reverse. oil on canvas. 85 x 75 1/8 in. (215.9 x 190.8 cm.). Painted in 2003-2004. Estimate $900,000-1,200,000
Provenance Kerlin Gallery, Dublin Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2004 Exhibited Dublin, Kerlin Gallery, Sean Scully: New Paintings, March 31 - April 30, 2004 Literature Shane de Blacam, “Crann Soilse - The Wall of Light”, Architecture Ireland, May 2004, p. 44 (illustrated)
Mark Rothko, No. 24 (Untitled), 1951. Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel/Gif of The Mark Rothko Foundation Inc., New York, through the American Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, 1986/ Bridgeman Images, Artwork © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Red Bar exemplifes Sean Scully’s mastery of the stripe, a geometric motif that has fgured predominantly in his formal and structural vocabulary throughout his oeuvre. Painted in 2003-2004, the work is an arresting example from the artist’s acclaimed Wall of Light series, which he began in 1998 and continues to the present day. Inspired by visits to Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s, Scully began considering the efect of light on ancient stone ruins. Working frst in watercolor, he explored the parameters of paint in depicting the visual experience of the interaction between rock and light, which resulted in his distinctive stripes assuming the form of rectangular blocks, or—as Scully refers to them—“bricks.” The bricks in Red Bar, which together compose a “wall” of paint, are executed in earth tones of rust, yellow, tawny, and black. Featuring a palette that visually anchors the work and a composition reminiscent of architectural structures, Red Bar recalls ancient monuments such as Stonehenge and Mayan stone walls. This abstract tangibility allows Scully to explore in Red Bar both the physical and ephemeral through the transition between light and dark. Red Bar is a manifestation of Scully’s idiosyncratic painting process, during which he thickly builds upon layers of paint and blocks of color to create a dense structure. The contrasting tones and compactness of paint beget the appearance of solidity; Scully illuminated that “the way I’m painting directly afects the weight of the paint and thus the color. Everything is painted into its place, as the title ‘wall’ implies I’m building a surface, but I’m building out of feeling directly, and this feeling has rhythm” (Sean Scully, quoted in Kevin Power, “Questions for Sean Scully”, April 2003, online). The duality between the horizontal and vertical bricks charges Red Bar with rhythm and emotion and the uneven application of paint grants the slabs a sense of vitality. Moreover, the dichotomy of opaque and translucent bricks – paired with the emotive paint layers – imbues an aura of dynamism to the otherwise still abstraction. Lending support to one another, the bricks are still slightly spaced apart, allowing for an under-layer of paint to sneak into the visual comprehension of the work. The consequential perception of depth engenders an illusion of light,
Above/below: Édouard Vuillard, Interior with a Red Bed or The Bridal Chamber, 1893. Private Collection. Piet Mondrian, Composition 2, with Red, Black, Blue, and Yellow, 1929. National Museum, Belgrade, Photo credit SCALA/Art Resource, NY
whose juxtaposition with the physicality of the dense brick suggests another world that is inaccessible, or literally walled of, to the viewer. Scully’s employment of the stripe in Red Bar is redolent of both modernist objectivity and post-war abstraction’s meditative compositions, evoking Piet Mondrian’s geometric vocabulary, Mark Rothko’s color masses, and Barnett Newman’s zips. While his formal decisions are certainly informed by these artists, Red Bar also refects Scully’s painterly—even expressionist—approach. “Artists who want to ‘get at something’ to represent a profound moment with
intimacy have to work with the simple. So obviously, my work is relating to Mondrian and Newman, but my painting solution is very diferent,” Scully has elucidated. “Mine includes sensuality and the body and I pursue a kind of pathos that is ever-present in our attempts to capture these moments” (Sean Scully, quoted in Kevin Power, “Questions for Sean Scully”, April 2003, online). Scully has also cited Impressionist painting as a precursor to his Wall of Light series: the raw, blurred edges of the bricks are a reference to the optical sensitivity present in Édouard Vuillard’s works such as The Laden Table, circa 1908, Tate, London. Coalescing French modernism’s interest in human perception with the expressive gesture of Abstract Expressionism, Red Bar is the culmination of a century-long investigation of abstraction. Red Bar demonstrates the raw power and storytelling capacity of Scully’s Wall of Light series that was celebrated in the exhibition “Sean Scully: Wall of Light” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 20062007. Scully has a penchant for simultaneously using abstraction and physicality to contemplate universal, transcendental experiences: as the artist himself has stated, “I’m trying to turn stone into light” (Sean Scully, quoted in David Grosz, “The Miracle of Turning Stone into Light”, New York Sun, September 28, 2006, online). As in A Wall of Light White, 1988, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Wall of Light Brown, 2000, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Red Bar exhibits Scully’s ability to succinctly capture a sense of place while conveying vivid emotion through color, light, and solidity.
Property of an Esteemed Private Collector
31. Jean Arp
Torse Végétal stamped with the artist’s monogram and number “I/V HA” on the inside and on the inside of the base. bronze. 52 1/2 x 10 x 6 7/8 in. (133.4 x 25.4 x 17.5 cm.). Conceived in 1959 and cast in 1960, this work is number 1 from an edition of 5 plus 1 artist’s proof. We thank the Fondation Arp, Clamart, for their help cataloguing this work. Estimate $1,200,000-1,800,000
Provenance Galerie Denise René, Paris Getz Collection, Chicago (acquired from the above in 1961) Sotheby’s, New York, November 13, 1997, lot 322 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited London, Tate Gallery, Jean Arp, November 24 - December 23, 1962, no. 38 (another example exhibited) Literature Jean Clay, “La singulière ascension de Jean Arp”, Réalités, no. 180, January 1961, Paris, p. 67 (marble version illustrated) Giuseppe Marchiori, Arp, Milan, 1964, no. 119, p. 139 (another example illustrated, p. 137) Eduard Trier, Jean Arp, Sculpture, His Last Ten Years, Stuttgart, 1968, pl. 21, no. 204, p. 111 (marble version illustrated, p. 20) Edward Lucie-Smith, Sculpture Since 1945, London, 1987, pl. 5, p. 84 (marble version illustrated, p. 85) Arie Hartog, ed., Hans Arp: Skulpturen – Eine Bestandsaufnahme / Sculptures – A Critical Survey, Ostfldern, 2012, no. 204, p. 149 (another example illustrated)
As an artist who was a key fgure in many of the most important avant-garde movements of 20th century— from his instrumental role in the creation of Dada to his work alongside the Surrealists—Arp developed a visual language wholly and originally his own. Though he was in his seventies when he created Torse Végétal in 1959, Arp remained innovative and vital late into his life. The 1950s was a signifcant decade for Arp, one which saw the artist receive international recognition and acclaim. In 1954, he was awarded the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale, a commission for the UNESCO building in Paris followed in 1958 and in that same year he was the subject of a major retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Sculpture was a part of Arp’s artistic practice as early as the 1910s, when he frst created relief structures fashioned in painted overlapping abstract shapes, such as in Woman, 1927, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. In the early 1930s, he began to produce works in the round rather than solely in relief. Throughout his career, Arp employed chance as an active collaborator: using neither models nor preparatory drawings for his sculptures, he removed the constraints of the conscious mind. Beginning with
form rather than subject, he only titled works afer they were fnished. As Arp explained, “each of these bodies has a defnite signifcance, but it is only when I feel there is nothing more to change…it is only then that I give it a name” (Jean Arp, quoted in Herbert Read, Arp, London, 1968, p. 87). What came from allowing his unconscious mind free reign was the creation of biomorphic abstraction. In the spirit of his Dadaist heritage the works are a synthesis of the “unlike,” neither wholly human nor plant but rather whole through their duality, which is aptly captured in the title of the present work, Torse Végétal. Arp’s sculptures appear to be in constant metamorphosis, a state of becoming, rather than static and fxed. In Torse Végétal, the smooth curvilinear shapes at the top of the fgure read as buds, not as leaves of a fully-grown plant but rather intimations of growth sculpted with an inherent impermanence. This state of fux brings no agitation in Arp’s sculptures; instead, the unblemished surface and undulating line create a sense of serenity. Arp shares his practice of reducing form to its most essential and minimalist presence with another towering fgure in the history of modern sculpture, Constantin Brancusi.
Jean Arp, Woman, 1927. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris © CNAC/ MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS),New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
“To open my eyes to see, to look, to contemplate the world. . . ever since my childhood this has been my greatest joy.” Jean Arp, 1958
As much as Arp’s sculptures belong to the realm of plants, they are also recognizably human. It was rare for Arp to sculpt an entire body as he preferred to use only the torso. As Eduard Trier noted, “Arp knows only the torso, but not as a fragment of something originally whole. The torso becomes an independent complete form” (Eduard Trier, Jean Arp: Sculpture, 1957-66, London, 1968, p. XI). Eschewing any classical representation, such as in the torso of Aphrodite Anadyomene at the Musée du Louvre, Paris he did not entirely escape tradition as female beauty has long been associated with nature. The sof curves of Torse Végétal are evocative of a woman’s body but without specifcity, as there is an intrinsic ambiguity in its abstraction which allows the work to occupy the two worlds of human and plant at the same time.
Above/below: Female torso derived from the Aphrodite Anadyomene, 3rd–1st century B.C.E. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Photo: Hervé Lewandowski © RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space, 1923. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Succession Brancusi - All rights reserved (ARS) 2019
Arp’s own story is one of dichotomy: born in Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, he was neither entirely German nor French and he moved fuidly between nationalities, languages, and modes of creation. Though he refused to be defned by a singular epitaph—writer, painter, sculptor—one constant was that Arp set out not to merely copy nature, but to make visible its processes. With his sculptures Arp succeeded in that pursuit; as Henry Geldzahler elucidated, “his genius gave the world a new family of forms that parallels, comments on and competes successfully with nature. All this Arp achieved within the new syntax of twentieth century art. His respect for the natural and his profound understanding of the modernist tradition were never in confict. His triumph was to afect a new synthesis of the familiar and the invented” (Henry Geldzahler, Jean Arp from the Collections of Mme Marguerite Arp and Arthur and Madeleine Lejwa, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1972, n.p.).
32. Jef Koons
Hulk (Friends) polychromed bronze. 71 1/4 x 48 1/2 x 26 in. (181 x 123.2 x 66 cm.). Executed in 2004-2012, this work is number 1 from an edition of 3 plus 1 artist’s proof. Estimate $3,000,000-5,000,000
Provenance Sonnabend Gallery, New York RBS Collection Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Frankfurt, Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Jef Koons, The Sculptor, June 20 - September 23, 2012, pp. 114, 188 (illustrated, p. 115) Brussels, Almine Rech Gallery, Jef Koons, October 6 November 15, 2012, pp. 36, 89 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 37; installation views of another example illustrated, pp. 30, 33, 38, 40) Paris, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Empire State. New York Art Now, November 17, 2013 - February 15, 2014 (another example exhibited) Hong Kong, Gagosian, Jef Koons: Hulk Elvis, November 6 December 20, 2014, p. 32 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 34; details of another example illustrated, front cover and pp. 33-35) Vienna, Galerie Belvedere, Jef Koons – Hulk (Friends), September 4 - October 5, 2015 (another example exhibited) Porto, Museu Serralves, A Coleção Sonnabend / The Sonnabend Collection. Part II, May 11 - September 23, 2018, pp. 120, 133 (another example exhibited and illustrated, front cover and p. 121) Mexico City, Museo Jumex, Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, Appearance Stripped Bare: Desire and the Object in the Work of Marcel Duchamp and Jef Koons, Even, May 19 - September 29, 2019, pp. 224, 240, 253 (details of another example exhibited and illustrated, pp. 4-5; another example illustrated, p. 241) Literature George Pendle, “Welcome to the Funhouse”, The American Visual Arts in China, Summer/Fall 2012, p. 37 (Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung, Frankfurt, 2012 installation view illustrated) “Jef Koons’s New Sculptures, Sexy Contemporary Antiques”, The Economist, July 7-13, 2012, p. 76 (another example illustrated) Andrew LaSane, “Jef Koons’s “Hulk Elvis” Exhibition Opens Soon at Gagosian Gallery in Hong Kong”, Complex, October 17, 2014, online (another example illustrated) Darryl Wee, “Jef Koons Opens Solo Show at Gagosian Hong Kong”, BLOUIN ARTINFO, November 6, 2014, online (another example illustrated) Michael Polsinelli and Sasha Burkhanova, “The Words”, Garage Magazine, Fall/Winter 2014, p. 87 (another example illustrated) Gagosian, November 2014 - January 2015, p. 138 (detail of another example illustrated, front and back cover)
Hulk (Friends), 2004-2012, extends Jef Koons’s careerlong engagement with child-like wonderment and transmutation, elegantly captured through his use of infatables. At once menace and protector, Koons’s Hulk (Friends) is an infatable toy brought to life with awe-inspiring exactitude. The artist’s decision to bring the Marvel comics hero into his pantheon of imagery was inspired by his son: “I saw him standing in front of a mirror, seeing his whole body for the frst time… It reminded me of Andy Warhol’s Elvis - it was a male identity thing…” (Jef Koons, quoted in Fionnuala McHugh, “Jef Koons brings artworks to Hong Kong”, South China Morning Post, November 19, 2014, online). Koons’s Hulks together form a series of large-scale infatable characters that include such playful subjects as monkeys, caterpillars, and dolphins. The most successful of these works from the early 2000s are from Koons’s Hulk series, and their immediate precursor, Popeye, which expand upon the artist’s ongoing dialogue with the readymade and American
Jef Koons, Popeye, 2009–2011. Private Collection, Artwork © Jef Koons Opposite: The Incredible Hulk magazine advertisement, 1970s. Image The Advertising Archives/ Alamy Stock Photo
Pop culture. As Katy Siegel notes, Koons’s engagement with the Marvel comics hero is one “in a long string of self-made men that before Superman and Popeye included Dr. Dunkenstein, Jesus Christ, and Michael Jackson” (Katy Siegel in, Hans Werner Holzwarth, ed., Jef Koons, Cologne, 2009, p. 510). Hulk (Friends) is emblematic of Koons’s chosen cast of characters who are all “distinguished by a physical—rather than psychological—transformation of speed, skill, size, costume, or coloration (the King of Pop turns white just as the Hulk turns green). That is, they seem to change from the outside in, ofen in response to some material event (downing a can of spinach, exposure to radioactivity), or in pursuit of a social reward (cultural or athletic stardom)” (Katy Siegel, Jef Koons, Cologne, 2009, p. 510). Hulk (Friends) extends Koons’s career-long engagement with infatable objects, a central tenet in his diverse practice. In earlier series, Koons displayed infatables on mirrors and then later transformed the vinyl infatables into bronze and stainless steel sculptures. The infatable object and its ability to provide a commentary on high and low art, the readymade and the veracity of the gaze, have all ensured it as an enduring motif in the artist’s practice. As Katy Siegel espouses, “Koons’ continued involvement with infatables is also, of course, a quotation of his own art-historical past” (Katy Siegel, Jef Koons, Cologne, 2009, p. 510). Conceived with an astonishing exactitude, Koons has ensured the accurate representation of every facet of the source object when transformed in bronze. In so doing, Koons puts Hulk’s ostensible strength in jeopardy, retaining the Achilles’ heel in the inclusion of the air valve. The use of the trompe l’oeil technique evokes the work of master Renaissance sculptors such as Michelangelo and Bernini whose def manipulation of marble could convey an array of textures, from the suppleness of skin to the gauziness of cloth. Koons too revels in the alchemical possibilities inherent in his artistic transmutation, reproducing each dimple and divot of infated plastic in his chosen medium of cast bronze, captivating the eye and betraying the senses.
“They’re there as protectors. . . but at the same time they can become very, very violent. . . The Hulks are like that—they’re really high-testosterone symbols.” Jef Koons
It is the Hulk’s ability to transform that makes him the ultimate protector; an inconspicuous scientist turns into a hulking green mass of power and menace when provoked. Speaking of his Hulks, Koons notes their connection to both Western comic-book culture and Eastern guardian gods: “They’re there as protectors…but at the same time they can become very, very violent... The Hulks are like that—they’re really high-testosterone symbols” (Jef Koons, artist statement, Gagosian, online). This quality is perhaps most aptly captured in Hulk (Friends) where the six infatable critters perched on his shoulders operate as both protected charges and goading audience. Like a child turning to a cherished toy for comfort, Hulk becomes a Golem in Koons’s world, “a guardian, a protector, that at the same time is capable of bringing the house down” (Jef Koons, quoted in Fionnuala McHugh, “Jef Koons brings artworks to Hong Kong”, South China Morning Post, November 19, 2014, online).
Andy Warhol, Superman, 1961. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Detail of the present work
Property of an Important East Coast Collector
33. Henry Moore
Family Group bronze. 15 7/8 x 10 1/2 x 7 in. (40.5 x 26.7 x 17.8 cm.). Executed in 1947, this work is from an edition of 7 plus 2 artistâ€™s proofs. This work is recorded in the archives of the Henry Moore Foundation. Other examples from the edition are housed in the collections of the GĂśteborgs Konstmuseum, the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Estimate $2,500,000-3,500,000
Henry Moore in his studio at Perry Green with a plaster of Family Group, circa 1949. Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation Â© The Henry Moore Foundation, All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019/www.henry-moore.org
Provenance Ewan Phillips, London Frank and Ivy Avray Wilson, England and France (acquired in 1955) Acquired from the above by the present owner on August 29, 1996 Exhibited Hempstead, Hofstra Museum, Hofstra University; University Park, Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University; Philadelphia, Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania; The Baltimore Art Museum, Mother and Child: the Art of Henry Moore, September 10, 1987 - April 17, 1988, no. 31, pp. 138, 141 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 54) Literature David Sylvester, ed., Henry Moore: Volume 1, Complete Sculpture 1921-48, London, 1957, no. 267, p. 16 (another example illustrated, p. 149) Erich Neumann, The Archetypal World of Henry Moore, New York, 1959, no. 53, p. xi (another example illustrated, p. 86) Will Grohmann, The Art of Henry Moore, London, 1960, no. 122, p. 8 (another example illustrated, p. 168) John Hedgecoe, ed., Henry Moore, New York, 1968, no. 3, p. 528 (another example illustrated, p. 176) Ionel Jianou, Henry Moore, Paris, 1968, no. 251, p. 75 Robert Melville, Henry Moore: Sculpture and Drawings 1921-1969, London, 1970, no. 364, p. 353 (another example illustrated, p. 170) Alan G. Wilkinson, Henry Moore Remembered: The Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Toronto, 1987, fg. 61, p. 129 (another example illustrated)
Henry Moore’s Family Group sculptures made between 1946 and 1947 represent a pivotal moment in his career. In these works such as the present one, he abandoned the naturalistic approach he took in 1944 and 1945 in favor of a more abstracted arrangement of the fgural group. Depicting a mother, father and two children in sofly rounded forms angled towards each other, the present example was cast at a critical point in Moore’s life both personally and professionally. In 1946, just one year before this work’s creation, Moore and his wife, Irina, gave birth to their only child, a daughter named Mary, making the subject of family an even more profound statement. In 1948, a year afer this work was conceived, Moore would be awarded frst prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, cementing his international prominence as a leading post-war artist.
Originally carved from a single piece of stone, this fourfgure arrangement captures a unique sense of familial harmony. As the mother and father fgures gaze inward, their arms join to form the two children, creating a sheltering recess for their embrace. As Moore said of his uniquely abstract, yet representational approach to the subject of family units, “If both abstract and human elements are welded together in a work, it must have a fuller, deeper meaning” (Henry Moore, quoted in Philip James, ed., Henry Moore on Sculpture, London, 1966, p. 72). This motif of internal forms cacooned within an external shape would serve as the genesis for a completely abstract series of sculptures and drawings he would embark upon beginning in the early 1950s, such as Upright Internal/External Form housed in the collection of Tate, London.
Constantin Brancusi, Mademoiselle Pogany I, 1912-1913. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Photo: Philippe Migeat © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Succession Brancusi All rights reserved (ARS) 2019
Henry Moore, Upright Internal/External Form, 1952-1953. Tate, London, Photo credit © Tate, London/Art Resource, NY, Reproduced by permission of the Henry Moore Foundation © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019/www.henrymoore.org
Moore’s interest in primitive and Pre-Columbian art was another source of inspiration for his abstractdriven practice. Stylistically, this is evident through his incorporation of simplifed organic forms with emotive power, which he frst encountered as a student visiting the Cycladic fgurines in the British Museum’s collection in the 1920s. “I love and admire Cycladic sculpture. It has such great elemental simplicity…The Cycladic marble vases are remarkable inventions, seen just as sculpture in themselves – and the thinness, looked at from the side, of the standing idol fgures, adds to their incredible sensitivity,” he recalled (Henry Moore, quoted in a letter to Lord Eccles, June 1969 in Henry Moore, Henry Moore at the British Museum, London, 1981, p. 13). Moore’s afnity for primitivism is also evident through his sculptural process in which he adopted direct carving. By working this way, Moore allowed himself to stay true to his chosen medium. He said his goal was “not making stone look like fesh or making wood behave like metal. This is the tenet that I took over from sculptors like Brancusi and Modigliani. It made me hesitate to make material do what I wanted until I began to realize this was a limitation in sculpture so that ofen the forms were all buried inside each other and heads were given no necks…Out of an exaggerated respect for the material, I was reducing the power of the form” (Henry Moore, quoted in John Hedgecoe, A Monumental Vision: The Sculpture of Henry Moore, London, 1998, p. 46).
In the present Family Group, Moore combined fgurative representation with the rounded forms featured in his earlier series of Reclining and Stringed Figures of the 1930s. These works bore a kinship with the prevailing Surrealist movement, placing him squarely in the school of early 20th century modernism. By the 1940s, sculptures like Family Group become the frst to separate Moore from these avant-garde movements, freeing him from those artistic ideologies. As Andrew Causey aptly described of the diference between Moore and his modernist peers, for him “Abstraction was a tool, not an objective” (Andrew Causey, “His darkened imagination: Henry Moore”, Tate Etc., issue 18, January 1, 2010, online).
This preoccupation of being true to the medium led to a fxation on the relationship between positive and negative space. This was ofen achieved through voids carved into the fgure’s bodies and beneath the supports on which they sit, both of which are used in the present work. Of this Moore espoused, “Making a hole in stone is such a willed thing, such a conscious efort, and ofen the holes became things in themselves. But then the solid stone around them sufers in its shape because its main purpose is to enclose the hole” (Henry Moore, quoted in Alan Wilkinson, ed., Henry Moore: Writings and Conversations, London, 2002, p. 276).
Henry Moore with his wife Irina and daughter Mary, June 1948. Photograph by Francis Goodman © National Portrait Gallery, London
Moore’s Family Group works have become synonymous with his infuence on post-war and contemporary sculpture, a legacy which is celebrated still today. He frst explored the subject in the mid-1930s when asked to create an outdoor sculpture for a local college near Cambridge, England. Originally a schoolteacher and born the seventh in a family of eight children, Moore decided on a humanist image that would promote the values which fuel education. As Moore recalls of the commission, “The idea of the family group crystalized before the war. Henry Morris, the Director of Education for Cambridgeshire, asked me to do a sculpture for the Impington Village College, the frst of the modern schools in England…designed by Walter Gropius. As the College was going to be used for adult education as well, the idea of connecting parents to children came into my mind” (Henry Moore, quoted in John Hedgecoe, A Monumental Vision: The Sculpture of Henry Moore, London, 1998, p. 106). While the project did not come to fruition due to a lack of funds, Moore continued to explore the motif of the family unit in drawings and small-scale maquettes throughout and afer the war. Indeed, Moore’s family group sculptures are ofen thought of as direct successors to his shelter drawings made during wartime, which depicted fgures huddled together seeking shelter from the bomb raids in London. As he explained, “…the scenes of the shelter world…remained vivid in my mind. I felt somehow drawn to it all. Here was something I couldn’t help doing” (Henry Moore, quoted in James Johnson Sweeney, “Henry Moore”, Partisan Review, New York, March - April 1947, p. 184). Moore’s preoccupation with the subject would culminate with his frst realized public commission in bronze by the Barclay School in London in 1948-1949, for which he made a fve-foot-tall Family Group cast in an edition of 5. Examples of this large-scale Family Group are housed in important museum collections such as Tate, London and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the latter of which hosted the artist’s frst major solo exhibition in 1946, just one year before the
present work was conceived. It was this project that solidifed Moore’s reputation as the internationally recognized sculptor that he is today, making the late 1940s the most crucial years in the artist’s career and the Family Group works indisputably his most famous. Originally housed in the collection of Ewan Phillips— renowned art historian, critic and dealer—and later in the collection of British abstract painter Frank Avray Wilson, the present example was cast in an edition of 7, two of which are housed in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Göteborgs Konstmuseum.
Early Cycladic marble fgurine, circa 2300-2200 B.C. British Museum, London.
FINAL DAYS Afrormosia wood. 82 5/8 x 76 3/4 x 53 7/8 in. (210 x 195 x 137 cm.). Executed in 2013, this work is from an edition of 3 plus 2 artist’s proofs. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance Friedman Benda, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner
A colossal portrayal of the hybrid between a cartoon Smurf and KAWS’s signature COMPANION fgure, FINAL DAYS, 2013, epitomizes the artist’s capacity to create images that are simultaneously humorous and disturbing in order to subvert conventional distinctions between high art and street culture. Meticulously executed in Afrormosia wood, the same medium as ALONG THE WAY, 2013, Brooklyn Museum, the subject is captured midstride with his arms outstretched, perpendicular to his body, in an eerie pose reminiscent of the iconic stalk of Frankenstein’s monster in the 1931 flm adaptation. Through KAWS’s repeated use of its iconography, FINAL DAYS has become a motif in his oeuvre that epitomizes his astute ability to reimagine nostalgic symbols for the contemporary era. In a sharp divergence to the art historical canon of mythological and biblical depictions rendered in the classical medium of sculpture, FINAL DAYS confronts the viewer with an uncanny, hybrid character that is emblematic of the visual tactic of cartoon appropriation KAWS has become internationally renowned for. A sardonic portrayal of a cross between a Smurf and Mickey Mouse—perhaps the most instantly identifable cartoon character of all time—FINAL DAYS employs a ubiquitous subject matter that was previously utilized by Pop masters such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, such as in the latter’s Look Mickey, 1961, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. However, the imperturbable ebullience typically associated with these childhood characters is subverted here by KAWS’s supplanting of Mickey’s three-circled head with his trademark sinister skull, a derisive supplanting that exudes a disconcerting sense of the uncanny. Simultaneously nostalgic and regal, FINAL DAYS exemplifes KAWS’s ability to manipulate the evocative faculty of hybridity as a means of challenging and deconstructing cultural boundaries. In exploiting the sentimental potency of universally treasured cartoon characters, KAWS imbues them with emotionally charged undercurrents to reinvent them in a contemporary context.
Frankenstein’s monster, 1931. Bettmann/Contributor Getty Images
Jef Koons, Popples, 1988. Private Collection, Artwork © Jef Koons
A long-time admirer of H. C. Westermann’s distinctive approach to wood carving, KAWS chose to render FINAL DAYS with an exposed wood grain illustrative of his preoccupation with materiality. His experimentation with wood began in 2005, when he partnered with Karimoku, a Japanese furniture company, to produce his frst small wooden COMPANION, and this collaboration galvanized him to consider the aesthetic possibilities of the material on a larger scale. “I was thinking of the relationship I’ve had to wood toys growing up and the warmth and feeling they have when you hold them in your hand or place them on a shelf or table and stare at them,” KAWS recalled. “I wanted to expand on that, to create a wooden sculpture that makes you feel small but at the same time I want the viewer to feel like they should somehow help or console the work, despite its towering size” (KAWS, quoted in “KAWS: The Story Behind an Artwork, in the Artist’s Own Words”, Modern Painters, February 2016). Evocative of the centuriesold technique of marquetry, the natural striations of the wood produce an exquisite swirling ornamentation along the polished surface of FINAL DAYS, with each strip of wood punctiliously fabricated to align with the contours of the subject’s body. The resulting texture creates a marked contrast between its traditional wooden medium and the COMPANION’s empathically contemporary appearance. The implications of the sculpture’s title are unclear: are these the fnal days for a character from our youth, brought back to life to haunt us during adulthood? Or are these the fnal days before the present is superseded by the future, just as the present pushed the cartoons from the past into irrelevancy? Through its seeming apocalyptic title, enucleated skull, and Frankensteinian posture, FINAL DAYS transmits an ambivalent message utilizing characters that are typically associated with humor and nostalgia. “COMPANION is a fgure in the world now, and it’s not all great out there,” KAWS has elucidated. “Even though I use a comic language, my fgures are not always refecting the idealistic cartoon view that I grew up on…COMPANION is more real in dealing with contemporary human circumstances. I think when I’m making work it also ofen mirrors what’s going on with me at that time” (KAWS, quoted in KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 5). Detail of the present work
35. Cy Twombly
Untitled signed and dated â€œCy Twombly 1969â€? on the reverse. oil and wax crayon on paper. 22 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (57.8 x 45.1 cm.). Executed in 1969. Estimate $2,500,000-3,500,000
Provenance Vrej Baghoomian, Inc., New York Private Collection Sotheby’s, New York, November 8, 1989, lot 51 C-Two Network Co. Ltd., Tokyo Sotheby’s, New York, February 25, 1994, lot 60 Gallery Mukai, Tokyo Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited New York, Vrej Baghoomian, Inc., Cy Twombly, September 24 October 22, 1988, n.p. (illustrated, cover) Literature Nicola Del Roscio, Cy Twombly Drawings, Cat. Rais. Vol. 4 1964-1969, New York, 2014, no. 240, p. 204 (illustrated)
“Twombly has descended from the heights of a mature realized art to the elemental beginnings. After the capitulation of a vast style, Twombly has learned to write again.” Robert Pincus-Witten, art critic and curator
Lyrical yet elegant, penetrable yet inefable, Untitled, 1969 captures Cy Twombly’s idiosyncratic ability to emanate the emotional power of poeticism and gesture through painting. In Untitled, the artist has flled the desert-colored expanse with numerous layers of free-fowing cobalt blue coils reminiscent of cursive handwriting despite their illegibility. Birthed during the just fve-year production of his acclaimed blackboard works, the work features the same enigmatic, activated loops that characterize the series but shifs the “writing” surface from a blackboard to a notebook page. Afer embarking on this chapter in 1966, Twombly had hit his artistic stride by 1969, and paintings from that year are held in preeminent institutions such as the Dia Center for the Arts, New York; Broad Collection, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Kunstmuseum Basel. Refective of his preoccupation with art history and exploration of then-in-vogue Minimalism, Untitled
André Masson, Automatic Drawing, 1924. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris
September 18, 1994, online). The American artistic climate during the second half of the decade was characterized by the unadorned coolness and clarity of Minimalism, which was rapidly dominating both the institutional and commercial focus of the art world; meanwhile, the period between 1966 to 1971 marked Twombly’s swif progression toward his acclaimed, mesmerizing calligraphic paintings and drawings following his precipitate abandonment of the ecstatic and vibrant so-called “Baroque paintings.” While Twombly’s interests in the emotion-charged poignancy of paint dramatically difered from Minimalists’ purely phenomenological concerns, the movement’s ethos can still be subtly detected in Untitled’s repetition of a single motif and intention to reduce painting to its most essential form.
Jackson Pollock, Full Fathom Five, 1947. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gif of Peggy Guggenheim, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Pollock-Krasner Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
embodies Twombly’s transition from the vivid and climactic European narratives that defned his artistic production in the early 1960s to an investigation of the inimitable and evocative capacity of infnite spirals on a page. Though he was principally based in Italy since 1957, Twombly painted Untitled in his Manhattan studio, his second home during the late 1960s because “if you really are interested in being in the art world,” he once explained, “you are in New York, not in Gaeta” (Cy Twombly, quoted in Alan Cowell, “Art: The Grandaddy of Disorder”, The New York Times,
Despite these formal afnities with Minimalism, the work principally betrays Twombly’s persistent engagement with Italian visual culture even from across the world, echoing Leonardo da Vinci’s frightful Deluge drawings of cataclysmic storms that he likely executed in the last years of his life. The resemblance between both sets of logarithmic spirals is extremely conspicuous, portraying the same sense of motion within a pictorial space that captivated Marcel Duchamp and the Italian Futurists. By arriving at contemporaneous aesthetics through Renaissance art history, Untitled functions as the fulcrum between his embrace of European heritage and his exposure to the newly developed vocabulary of Minimalism. Moreover, in its simultaneous expressivity and inefability, Untitled betrays the afnity of Twombly’s poetic approach to that of Abstract Expressionism; it is unsurprising, then, that his visual language has specifcally and consistently been likened to the intimately charged lyricism of Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings. Embodying more than just formal similarities, however, Untitled is also reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism’s predecessor: the Surrealists’ rigorous investigation of automatic drawing spearheaded by the group’s staunch leader, André Breton. In these experiments, the Surrealists would approach paper with no preconceived
composition, subject, or motif in mind, channeling their subconscious minds—as a psychic would with a supernatural spirit—to move their pens rapidly around the surface in front of them, such as in Automatic Drawing, 1924, The Museum of Modern Art, New York by the concept’s most enthusiastic employer, André Masson. Though there is a similar sense of profound interiority in Twombly’s “scribble” works—with its potent immediacy further accentuated by the use of paper in Untitled—the artist was very much in charge of his mark-making, meditatively considering not only the size or number of cylindrical forms, but also the pressure and sensitivity behind the execution of each stroke. In this sense, Untitled elegantly coalesces the subliminal mysticism of Surrealist automatism with Abstract Expressionism’s conviction of the individual personality and gestural intentionality of each mark. By envisioning signs, symbols, gestures that are impossible to translate into words, Untitled evinces Twombly’s cognizance that certain frameworks exist within the language, or vocabulary, of drawing that are at least as intricate or enigmatic as those of literature or any form of spoken communication. It is this essence—an ironically true understanding between artist and viewer that is facilitated by these continuous, illegible loops—that constitutes Untitled’s inimitable nature. Inspired by a few of Twombly’s drawings, renowned French philosopher Roland Barthes famously recorded his attempts to recreate the artist’s melodic pictures in his seminal essay, “The Wisdom of Art.” When he sat down at his worktable, however, confronted with paint and paper, Barthes found himself paralyzed, unable to even remotely reproduce the grace of Twombly’s touch. “I realize that I shall never be able to reproduce this background (or what gives me the illusion of a background): I don’t even know how it’s done!” the philosopher recalled. “I could never make it so light, or rarefy so much the space that surrounds it… [I was]
Above/below: Donald Judd, untitled, 1990. Tate, London, Photo credit © Tate, London/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Giacomo Balla, Velocità di motocicletta (The Speed of the Motorcycle), 1913. Private Collection.
in other words spoiling all; and my own mistake made me grasp what wisdom is in the actions of the artist” (Roland Barthes, Writings on Cy Twombly, Munich, 2002, p. 112). Each element of Untitled—the sense of infnity, the cerulean blue, the delicacy with which the paint is applied to the paper—are so meticulously yet expressively constructed, so carefully decided upon, that it would be impossible to adequately emulate any one of them. For Twombly, handwriting was a means of artistic rebirth, a way of combatting any ready labeling by a school or movement in a New York milieu crowded with Minimalism, Conceptualism, Pop Art, and lyrical abstraction. By exploring the evocative power of the line in Untitled, Twombly invoked the youthful experience of practicing the Palmer Method on a sheet of paper, one of the frst tools a child is given to communicate his thoughts orthographically. This metaphor of infnite renewal imbues Untitled, in which the artist returned to the basics—paint and paper, rudimentary activities—a year afer his large museum survey at the Milwaukee Art Centre, his frst in the United States. Thus, Untitled represented Twombly’s inner psyche during a defnitive moment in his oeuvre when he was, fguratively and literally, erasing all that he knew and starting from scratch again. By relinquishing the Baroque climax of his earlier paintings, art critic Robert Pincus-Witten illuminated, “Twombly casts down all that was grandiose in his mature style, rejecting a lush manner for simple and stringent exercises… Twombly has descended from the heights of a mature realized art to the elemental beginnings. Afer the capitulation of a vast style, Twombly has learned to write again” (Robert Pincus-Witten, “Learning to Write”, Writings on Cy Twombly, Munich, 2002, p. 60).
Property of a Private Collector ○
36. Jasper Johns
Figure 6 signed and dated “J. Johns 1964-72” on the reverse; further signed and dated “J. Johns 64-72” on the stretcher. Sculp-metal and collage on canvas. 10 x 7 3/4 in. (25.4 x 19.7 cm.). Executed in 1964-1972. Estimate $2,000,000-3,000,000
Provenance Owen Lee, Edisto Beach (gifed by the artist in August 1973) Private Collection, Paris (acquired in October 1997) Christie’s, New York, May 17, 2007, lot 122 Attanasio Family Collection (acquired at the above sale) Sotheby’s, New York, November 11, 2014, lot 57 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited Columbia, McKissick Museum, University of South Carolina, Jasper Johns, April 30 - August 6, 1989 Literature Roberta Bernstein, Jasper Johns Catalogue Raisonné of Painting and Sculpture, vol. 3, New York, 2016, no. P184, p. 16 (illustrated, p. 17)
René Magritte, La Clef des songes (The Interpretation of Dreams), 1935. Collection Jasper Johns, Artwork © 2019 C. Herscovici, Brussels/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
A monochromatic, contemplative foil to the aesthetic impulsivity of Abstract Expressionism, Figure 6, 1964-1972 exemplifes Jasper Johns’s 65-year-long conceptual dismantling of the signs, semantics, and orthography of postmodern life. Executed in a familiar typeface from a packing-case stencil, the painting’s “6” is reminiscent of a number from a classroom exercise or house address and thus takes its place among Johns’s ubiquitous subjects which he characterized as “things the mind already knows,” such as fags, targets, and maps of the United States (Jasper Johns, quoted in Kirk Varnedoe, ed., Jasper Johns, Writings, Sketchbook Notes, Interviews, New York, 1996, p. 82). Coated and silkscreened with Sculp-metal, a gray lacquer with the viscosity of toothpaste that resembles metal when dry, Figure 6 features a lush, highly-worked surface that is unique to its medium. Johns frst began the painting while working on Numbers, 1964, his only public commission, which he made at Philip Johnson’s request for Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York where it is still on view today. Afer painting it using the same method and in roughly the same size as each of the panels of Numbers, Johns returned to Figure 6 and one other numbered piece at his Houston Street studio in 1972, framing, dating, and possibly reworking the surfaces before gifing the present work to his sister and keeping the other for himself. In his mission to depict familiar objects, numbers have become a key pictorial theme in Johns’s oeuvre; while his earliest surviving known work, Construction with a Toy Piano, 1954, Kunstmuseum Basel depicts a row of integers out of sequence, chains of digits can also be found in his more recent production. The artist’s frst works featuring individual numbers, Figure 6’s direct predecessors, were four encaustic paintings from 1955, two of which reside in the Museum Ludwig, Cologne and Los Angeles County Museum of Art and one which remains in the artist’s collection. Depicting numbers in four unique arrays—sequentially, isolated, superimposed, or listed from 0-9—these subsequent pieces have been executed over seven decades in as diverse media as encaustic, acrylic, aluminum, lithograph, and, as in Figure 6, Sculp-metal. As numerals themselves don’t carry specifc meaning— they are typically adjectives, not nouns—their
“Take an object / Do something to it / Do something else to it.” Jasper Johns, circa 1963-1964
uncanniness as a discrete object makes them a quintessential recurring subject for an artist who has spent his career relentlessly investigating the enigmatic intricacies of linguistics and conceptions. Figure 6 asks the viewer to consider: Are there six of something, or six of nothing, in which case the qualifer has metamorphosed into the qualifed? Is this a “6,” or a depiction of a “6”? By illustrating the incongruity between the orthographic recognition of the number “6” and the observation of six objects, Figure 6 accentuates the same discrepancy between perception and language that René Magritte represents in his Interpretations of Dreams series, a work which Johns owns. Furthering Figure 6’s afnity with Dada and Surrealism is the burgeoning friendship between Johns and Marcel Duchamp that developed during the evolution of the former’s numeral motif in the late 1950s and 1960s. In 1958, Johns went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to view the institution’s extensive collection of works by Duchamp, to whom Johns’s work had consistently been linked by critics, and was immediately struck by the modernist’s manipulation of chance, objecthood, and language. This association rapidly intensifed: in 1959, Duchamp visited Johns’s studio, and by the early 1960s, they had established a mentor-mentee relationship and Johns had begun collecting work by his predecessor. Johns had also acquired a copy of Duchamp’s Green Box, a collection of documents outlining his musings during the creation of the Dadaist’s chef-d’oeuvre, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even, 1915-1923, Philadelphia Museum of Art. In fact, Johns’s notes from 1963-1964, just before the creation of Figure 6, are extremely redolent of Duchamp’s Green Box, with one entry reading “Take an object / Do something to it / Do something else to it” (Jasper Johns, quoted in Kirk Varnedoe, ed., Jasper Johns, Writings, Sketchbook Notes, Interviews, New York, 1996, p. 54). Though he began experimenting with numbers before visiting Philadelphia, Johns applied this exact Dadaist
Marcel Duchamp, Bottle Rack (Porte-Bouteilles), 1914/1959. The Art Institute of Chicago, Photo The Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris/Estate of Marcel Duchamp
methodology to Figure 6, the culmination of a decade of revisiting the same motif with diverse media and techniques. By detaching the cardinal “6” from its usual reference point, Johns exploits the physical number’s thingliness and invites the observer to view it as an object instead of as a qualifying function, just as Duchamp did with his ready-mades. From maps to targets and letters to fags, Johns has produced gray articulations of nearly every salient graphic theme thought out his career; indeed, Johns used his favorite color so ofen that its pervasiveness
Though the artist frst mentioned the word “gray” in his masterpiece False Start, 1959, in which he sought to divorce the perception of color from language, Johns soon began to employ the shade in countless works that did not explicitly claim Abstract Expressionism as their victim. As the artist hinted to Young, gray also allowed him to underscore his assertion of painting as object, and thus it became a tool to direct the viewer’s attention to the conceptual nature of his pictorial interrogations. As art historian and curator Alan R. Solomon illustrated, “For Johns gray alone has always ofered so great a potential as to be almost inexhaustible by itself… This kind of close exploration of a subtle and restricted range in search of the most abundant and commodious discoveries, as we have seen so ofen, exactly suits Johns…” (Alan R. Solomon, Jaspers Johns, exh. cat., Jewish Museum, New York, 1964, p. 13). His partiality for gray—which led him to Sculp-metal—was due to its potential as a means of achieving a concentrated focus on the conceptual and non-“painterly” aspects of Figure 6.
and signifcance in his oeuvre was surveyed in the 2007-2008 exhibition, Jasper Johns: Gray, at the Art Institute of Chicago and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. To Johns, the monochromatic utilization of gray was frstly a device to negate the Abstract Expressionist fetishism with the expressive subjectivity of vibrant bursts of color and vigorous gesture. “I used gray encaustic to avoid the color situation. The encaustic paintings were done in gray because to me this suggested a diferent kind of literal quality that was unmoved or unmoveable by coloration and thus avoided all the emotional and dramatic quality of color,” Johns recalled. “[Gray] seemed to me to allow the literal qualities of the painting to predominate over any of the others” (Jasper Johns, quoted in Joseph E. Young, “Jasper Johns: An Appraisal”, Art International, vol. 13, no. 7, September 1969, p. 51).
In Figure 6, Johns embarks on the terribly ironic task of creating a portrait of a number, encouraging the viewer to confront the rudimentary elements of language. As Johns’s digits have thus become symbols of postmodernism, other numbered works are held at the Broad Collection, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Tate, London, while the individual numerals of Figure 2 and Figure 3, both from 1969, are housed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. By making an adjective a noun, or a descriptor an object to be described and depicted itself, Figure 6 betrays not only Johns’s preoccupation with signs and semantics but also his philosophy of painting, which is that canvas is a surface that something should be “done to,” one that should be manipulated and experimented with. As the artist elucidated, “I’ve always thought of a painting as a surface; painting it in one color made this very clear…” (Jasper Johns, quoted in Kirk Varnedoe, ed., Jasper Johns, Writings, Sketchbook Notes, Interviews, New York, 1996, p. 82).
Gerhard Richter, Stuhl im Profl, 1965. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Artwork © 2019 Gerhard Richter (98)
Jasper Johns working on Numbers, 1964, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, 1964. Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection, Gif of the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation, Photograph by Dan Budnik, all rights reserved, Artwork ÂŠ 2019 Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York
Property from an Important Private Brazilian Collection
37. Lygia Clark
Bicho - O antes ĂŠ o depois aluminum. installation dimensions variable, approximately 15 1/2 x 19 x 19 in. (39.4 x 48.3 x 48.3 cm.). Executed in 1963, this work is variant 1 of 5 variants plus 1 artistâ€™s proof and is accompanied by a certifcate of authenticity issued by the Authentication Committee from the Estate of Lygia Clark. Estimate $800,000-1,200,000
Provenance Gifed by the artist to the present owner circa 1963 Exhibited Barcelona, Fundació Antoni Tàpies; MAC, galeries contemporaines des Musées de Marseille; Porto, Fundação de Serralves; Brussels, Société des Expositions du Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lygia Clark, October 21, 1997 - September 27, 1998, p. 163 (illustrated) New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948-1988, May 10 - August 24, 2014, no. 254, p. 203 (another variant exhibited and illustrated) Literature Lucia Leao, Interlab: Labirintos do Pensamento Contemporâneo, São Paulo, 2002, p. 183
Executed in 1963, O antes é o depois is a rare work from Lygia Clark’s acclaimed Bicho series, which represented a critical juncture in her practice as she shifed away from painting to metal sculpture and performance. Carefully constructed from malleable strips of aluminum, O antes é o depois inscribes geometric line in space. While engaging in dialogue with Russian Constructivism’s groundbreaking deconstruction of pictorial language through metal sculpture, the work also refects the organic dimension of Clark’s art, rooted in mid-century Brazilian countercultural ideas on the body and living things. A founding member of the 1950s Brazilian Neo-Concrete movement, Clark’s conceptual legacy has long been celebrated in Brazil, where she is credited for her radical investigations into the relationship between the object and the viewer. Over the past few decades, Clark’s legacy has been re-examined internationally, celebrating her remarkable practice as a bridge between the legacy of the modernist avant-gardes and contemporary sculpture. The present work was exhibited in a traveling show throughout Europe beginning at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona in 1997, while more recently another variant featured prominently in Clark’s major retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2014. Notably, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art just acquired one of the Bicho works for their collection earlier this year.
Clark’s turn to the three-dimensional began with her studies in Paris in the early 1950s, where she became deeply infuenced by Piet Mondrian’s exploration of spatial compositions. Following the return to her native Rio de Janeiro in 1953, Clark began to move away from abstract painting, and commencing in 1960, the artist created around seventy Bichos, translating colloquially to “critter”. This concept drew upon avant-garde Brazilian thought that imagined the country as a cultural cannibal, enlivened by its absorption of diverse European and indigenous cultures. “Each Bicho is…a living organism, a work essentially active”, Clark wrote in 1960 (Lygia Clark, “The Bichos”, 1963 in Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2014, p. 160). In concept and design, O antes é o depois is intimately related to its Bauhaus and Russian Constructivist precursors, while also uncannily prescient of postMinimalist ideas. With its unadorned surface and starkly sculptural planes, the work evokes Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist architectons of the early 1920s, built out of white plaques which cluster around one centripetal block in three dimensions, which he imagined as a way to overcome the limitations of the fat canvas. As the esteemed Brazilian poet and author Ferreira Gullar recalled in an essay about the inception of the Bichos, “When faced with a blank canvas she adopted an attitude even more drastic than
Naum Gabo, Head No. 2, 1916 (detail). Tate, London, Photo credit © Tate, London/Art Resource, NY, The Work of Naum Gabo © Nina & Graham Williams
Malevich’s…a new three-dimensional object in real space, but which was not a sculpture, since it was born from the painting, from the crisis of pictorial language, from the deconstruction of easel painting, and which I named ‘non-object’” (Ferreira Gullar, Cold America: Geometric Abstraction in Latin America, exh. cat., Fundación Juan March, Madrid, 2011, p. 51). This innovation anticipates Donald Judd’s freestanding, conceptually-driven sculptures and their blurred boundaries between art and the surrounding environment.
Lygia Clark making a Caminhando (Walking), 1963 with paper and scissors. Digital image © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art, NY/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork reproduced courtesy Associação Cultural O Mundo de Lygia Clark, Rio de Janeiro.
The central idea behind the “objectlessness” of the Bichos was that they animated themselves through their relationship with the viewer. In the initial phase, Clark’s creatures were activated by their structure of articulated plaques and hinges, allowing each sculpture to change its shape depending on how the viewer handled it. While O antes é o depois is composed of articulated plaques, its fexible design without hinges signifes a breakthrough from the early, mechanical Bichos towards a more organic, participatory form of art. Clark’s process crystallized in the 1963 proposition Caminhando (Walking), a performance act in which Clark cut a Mobius strip to capture the movement of line beyond geometry and into space. “In the end, the path is so narrow it
can no longer be cut…In being the work and the act of making the work itself, you and it become completely inseparable,” Clark wrote (Lygia Clark, “Caminhando”, 1963 in Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2014, p. 160). The essence of this performance, in which the transient experience of creation becomes emblematic of the passage of time itself, is distilled in the form of O antes é o depois, which refects the double spiral of the cut Mobius strip and its synonymous emphasis on the participant’s ability to create art. The hand-cut curves— free of any sculptural base which would mark it as an objet d’art—emanate a raw directness which invites the spectator to take part in the total experience of the work. It is in works such as O antes é o depois that Clark’s legacy becomes clear. Indeed, as Glenn D. Lowry, the director of The Museum of Modern Art, writes, “Clark was a pioneer in dismantling a long tradition of centering art in the materiality of objects…Hers was a truly foundational accomplishment that pushed the boundaries of art beyond art towards a new psychic and physical understanding of the human self” (Glenn D. Lowry, Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2014, p. 7).
Property from an Important Private New York Collection
38. Carmen Herrera
Amarillo “Uno” signed, titled and dated ““AMARILLO UNO” Carmen Herrera.- 1971.-” on the reverse. acrylic on wood, in 2 parts. 45 1/4 x 60 1/8 x 3 1/8 in. (114.9 x 152.7 x 7.9 cm.). Executed in 1971. Estimate $1,300,000-1,800,000
Provenance Latincollector Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner Literature Carmen Herrera, exh. cat., Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2009, p. 22 (illustrated, p. 23) Dana Miller, Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2017, no. 55, pp. 30, 156 (illustrated, p. 157)
One of the most important works by the artist to come to auction to date, Carmen Herrera’s Amarillo “Uno” is from her renowned series of Estructuras. Conceived in the late 1960s, the Estructuras are the artist’s frst explorations in sculpture. Born from schematic drawings, they were based on paintings from earlier in the decade which Herrera claimed were “really crying out to become sculpture” (Carmen Herrera, quoted in “Carmen Herrera: Artist in Exile, Part 3”, Frederico Seve Gallery, PBS, 1994, online). The present work is one of the earliest examples made in 1971, of which there are only a handful, each composed of painted wood in diferent primary colors. The title of the present work perhaps signals its position as the frst in the series; its sister work, Amarillo “Dos”, was included in Herrera’s celebrated traveling retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in 2016 while a blue example is housed in the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Recently, Herrera has reprised the concept in a new series of metal Estructuras, large-scale versions which were recently on view this year in City Hall Park, New York in a show organized by the Public Art Fund. This continues what has been a long overdue period of acclaim for the 104 year-old artist. The paintings Herrera refers to as those which inspired the Estructuras are more than likely the important Blanco y Verde works, begun at the end of the 1950s. In these paintings, Herrera created a dichotomy between the white canvas and bisecting geometric forms rendered in green. In the later part of the 1960s,
Herrera explored the idea of turning these paintings into sculpture through sketches, suggesting that instead of painting these shapes onto canvas, she would cut them out of their existing supports, projecting the painting into the viewer’s space. “It became clear to me that the linear elements in my work required a hard surface to integrate structurally the ‘hard edges’” (Carmen Herrera, quoted in “Carmen Herrera: Artist in Exile, Part 3”, Frederico Seve Gallery, PBS, 1994, online). To realize this project, Herrera used the funds she had just received for her second of two awards from the CINTAS Foundation, an organization supporting Cuban artists working outside their home country, to hire a carpenter who would help her build these structures. Soon afer initiating the series, however, the carpenter passed away and Herrera was forced to abandon the project, emphasizing the rarity of the early Estructuras. Bridging the gap between painting and sculpture, the present work thus represents a pivotal moment in Herrera’s career when she transformed geometric abstraction into three dimensions. Afer moving back to New York from Paris in 1954, where she was infuenced by European avant-garde movements such as Russian Constructivism and Suprematism, Herrera was met with the prevalence of Abstract Expressionism, her work cast aside in favor of paintings by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Despite popular trends, Herrera stuck to her
Ellsworth Kelly, Yellow Piece, 1966. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY, Artwork © Ellsworth Kelly Foundation, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Donald Judd, untitled, 1991. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
preferred aesthetic, focusing on precise line, color and form, rather than active and tactile brushwork. This was undoubtedly a result of her background in architecture, which she studied in 1938 at the University of Havana before leaving Cuba for the United States. As such, Herrera’s Estructuras have a strong afnity with the work of American minimalists including Donald Judd and Carl Andre, who were at the time of the series’ conception concurrently exploring form and space in their industrial sculptural installations. This is evident not only in the three-dimensionality of the works, but also in the paint she used which has a slightly metallic sheen. Despite their emphasis on the space in which they inhabit, Herrera’s Estructuras of 1971 continued what was before, and continued to be, a life-long preoccupation with color. Emphasized by its title, Amarillo “Uno” is frst and foremost a celebration of the color yellow, making the pigment the central player in the composition. While the Estructuras were the frst monochrome works in Herrera’s oeuvre, their incorporation of the white walls on which they hang, as well as the contrast created by the shadows, make them just as much a study of tonality as the Blanco y Verde paintings. As Whitney curator Dana Miller espoused, “To the best of my knowledge, the Estructuras are Herrera’s only monochromes, though it is probably more accurate to read these as dichromatic, since the white wall showing through the negative space acts as the second color” (Dana Miller, Carmen Herrera: Lines of Sight, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, p. 30). Further, approaching Amarillo “Uno” from various vantage points reveals diferent shades of yellow not only within the crevices of the bisecting forms, but also in the refections of surrounding light as it hits the painted surface. In the exhibition catalog accompanying Herrera’s frst exhibition in Europe in 2009 at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, curator Carmen Juliá described these notions in the context of the present work: “Amarillo [“Uno”] (1971) is made out of two bright yellow monochrome paintings, that when placed together— one above the other—converge on the central axis, leaving two triangular shapes exposed at either side making the edges of the canvases [sic] the more
apparent. The inclusion of real space introduced a new color (white) in the composition, while adding a threedimensional volume to the canvas [sic] that revealed Herrera’s concern with the physical presence of her painting” (Carmen Juliá, Carmen Herrera, exh. cat., Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2009, p. 22). Reinterpreted a diferent way, the work is also a study in harmony. With the “central” axis just of-center to the lef, Amarillo “Uno” reminds us of the artist’s hand behind her precision. When asked in 2016 if works like the present one are meant to express emotion, Herrera said simply “Yes.” Aptly described by Simon Hattenstone, “The deliberate imperfection humanizes the work; it could be a couple cuddling or making love. For such precise, arithmetic art, it is surprisingly sensual. Lines come at each other from all directions, narrowing like arrows, touching, or almost touching. The perfect kiss, or the kiss denied” (Simon Hattenstone, “Carmen Herrera: ‘Men controlled everything, not just art’”, The Guardian, December 31, 2016, online).
Property from an Important Private American Collection
UNTITLED signed and dated â€œKAWS..14â€? on the reverse. acrylic on shaped canvas on panel. 56 1/8 x 116 1/8 in. (142.6 x 295 cm.). Painted in 2014. Estimate $1,000,000-1,500,000
Provenance Gary Tatintsian Gallery, Moscow Acquired from the above by the present owner Exhibited Moscow, Gary Tatintsian Gallery, MUTATED REALITY (organized in collaboration with the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow), November 27, 2015 - March 2, 2016 (installation views illustrated, pp. 48-49, 58-59; illustrated, pp. 50-51, 62)
An idiosyncratic portrayal of one of Japan’s most iconic cartoon characters of all time, UNTITLED, 2014 exemplifes KAWS’s ability to blur abstraction and fguration and to collapse conventional distinctions between high and low culture. The present work depicts the larger-than-life silhouette of Astro Boy sufused with the disparate cartoon elements that comprise KAWS’s visual lexicon. Astro Boy, a manga series written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka, was published in the magazine Shōnen from 1952 to 1968 and has since been adapted into four anime series with unprecedented global appeal. Emblematic of KAWS’s engrossment with cartoon imagery, the kaleidoscopic palette, chaotic energy, and hard-edge technique of UNTITLED are also evocative of the artist’s creations from his time as a street artist in New York in the 1990s, during which he transformed preexisting advertisements by incorporating his own aesthetic language. Redolent of Andy Warhol’s Pop Art themes, and Jef Koons’s embrace of kitsch, UNTITLED nods to its art historical ancestry while embodying the groundbreaking style that is KAWS’s own. The tale of Tezuka’s Astro Boy follows a sentient android that is saved from a cruel circus owner by Professor Ochanomizu, who subsequently treats Astro as a son, helping him to lead a normal, human life and chaperoning him on his many adventures. KAWS’s presentation of the shaped canvas is likely a reference to the frst scene in all adaptations of the story: the birth of Astro Boy, where he is introduced at the moment of his animation, laying supine. While the comics have sold approximately 100 million copies, the frst television series is credited with instigating the phenomenon known worldwide as “anime” and, at its peak, was viewed by 40% of the Japanese population who owned
or had access to a television. Astro Boy was also the frst Japanese animated television series to be picked up by American screens, and its success abroad made Astro Boy an instantly-recognizable worldwide phenomenon, and hence an obvious subject candidate for KAWS. KAWS frst visited Tokyo in 1997 at a time when his tags were gaining notoriety in New York and New Jersey. While in Japan, KAWS was struck by the ability for cartoons to bridge cultural diferences and transcend language barriers. “It was difcult to communicate since I didn’t speak Japanese, but I could walk down the streets and see shops full of Simpsons merchandise,” he explained. “It was like, ‘You know Homer, I know Homer.’ We might not be able to have a meaningful conversation, but to all of us, it’s still Homer” (KAWS, quoted in KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 31). KAWS returned to Japan ofen in the early 2000s, during what was a formative period in his career: he painted his frst acrylic on canvases in 2001, and opened his collectibles store, OriginalFake, in 2006. This coincided with Takashi Murakami’s coining of the term Superfat, which denoted a postmodern neoPop movement infuenced by manga and anime. Indeed, both KAWS and Murakami make slick, commercial works, grounded in contemporary Japanese aesthetic concepts, that rely on cartoons for source material and confate the ostensibly fxed dichotomy of art and commerce. Thus, when considering Japan’s infuence on KAWS visual language, it seems unsurprising—even inevitable—that he would eventually turn to Astro Boy as a subject.
KAWS, THE WALK HOME, 2012. Private Collection, Sold $5,955,000, Phillips New York, May 2019. Artwork © KAWS
UNTITLED denotes a gradual progression from KAWS’s earlier works depicting coherent narratives specifc to well-known personages, such as Mickey Mouse, the Smurfs, and the Simpsons, to more deconstructed, ambiguous compositions that highlight the precarious boundary between abstraction and fguration. Though Astro Boy’s profle and distinctive haircut informs the shape of the canvas, and two silhouettes of him fying are discernible in the painting, UNTITLED is replete with numerous other cartoon references and abstract forms that KAWS has rearranged in a Frankenstein-ian array that alludes to Astro Boy’s own origin myth. While some forms are perceptible, including pairs of eyes marked with the artist’s signature X’s as well as a sea of dismembered hands and an open mouth that populate his paintings of SpongeBob SquarePants, others are less easily decipherable, such as the enigmatic eye-like confguration between his legs. “Although an iconic cartoon character seems like a seamless portrait of a cartoon personality, it is in fact made up of eccentrically formed parts: mouths, eyes, ears, hands…Looking carefully at cartoons reveals a fundamental part-towhole construction,” Michael Auping has elucidated. “KAWS steals parts from various characters to create new ones, and the result of these oddly proportioned conglomerations is a peculiar…humanness” (Michael Auping, KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS, exh. cat., Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, 2016, p. 68). In this sense, KAWS has subverted the very presence of Astro Boy in UNTITLED by enveloping him in his own limbs and abstract shapes to unearth the poignant humanity hidden in cartoons, the same astute perception present in his Where the End Starts, 2011, as well as Philip Guston’s Painter’s Forms II, 1978, both
Above/below: Roy Lichtenstein, Look Mickey, 1961. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Image © Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein KAWS at work on a shaped canvas in his Williamsburg studio, 2013. Photographed by Rebecca Smeyne. Artwork © KAWS
held in the permanent collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. By coalescing cartoon imagery typically deemed “unserious” with ambiguous abstract forms in UNTITLED, KAWS embraces the kitsch and rejects Clement Greenberg’s modernist consecration of pure abstraction. Like Warhol, who similarly worked as an illustrator before transitioning to fne art, KAWS champions the immense communicative power of the everyday and investigates the communal—even global—experience of television and mass media. Despite UNTITLED’s seeming invocation of Ellsworth Kelly’s colossal shaped canvases, it is thus ftting that the painting pays homage to one of the most signifcant personalities in Asian television culture. The large-scale manifestation of his preoccupation with Astro Boy in UNTITLED, as well as its fusion of “high” and “low” art, is a tribute to the one of the most conspicuous and undeniable infuences on his oeuvre: Japanese visual heritage.
40. James Rosenquist
Highway Temple signed, titled and dated ““HIGHWAY TEMPLE” James Rosenquist 1979” on the reverse. oil and painted wood on canvas on panel. 36 x 84 x 2 1/4 in. (91.4 x 213.4 x 5.7 cm.). Executed in 1979. Estimate $600,000-800,000
Provenance Private Collection, Sweden Meridian Fine Art, New York Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg and Paris Evelyn and Jonathan Read, United States Private Collection Acquavella Galleries, New York and Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London (acquired from the above in 2004) Private Collection, Houston (acquired from the above in 2005) Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above in March 2011) Sotheby’s, New York, November 11, 2014, lot 64 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner Exhibited Salzburg and Paris, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Ensemble Moderne: das Moderne Stilleben / The Still Life in Modern Art, July 25 - October 30, 1998, no. 103, p. 189 (illustrated, pp. 126-127) Fort Lauderdale, Museum of Art; Wellesley, Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; Minneapolis, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Surrounding Interiors: Views Inside the Car, October 5, 2001 January 3, 2003, pp. 8-9 (illustrated) Literature American Pop Art, exh. cat., Loggiato S. Bartolomeo, Palermo, 1998, p. 31 (illustrated)
Executed in James Rosenquist’s signature billboard format, Highway Temple, 1979, is emblematic of the artist’s distinctive ability to utilize advertising imagery to present a poignant commentary on the pervasive power of marketing in contemporary American culture. Featuring one of Rosenquist’s most iconic motifs, the automobile, the painting depicts a building pile of a bubble-gum pink substance into a silver car window; afxed to the canvas is a three-dimensional element in the form of a vibrant red wooden ladder, furthering the work’s resemblance to a highway billboard. The artist used the same source image—a cropped and magnifed magazine advertisement for Velveeta macaroni and cheese—in three works in the mid to late 1970s, including Chocolate Highway Trust and Highway Trust, 1977, though the present painting is the only one to evoke the ladder in Robert Rauschenberg’s Winter Pool, 1959, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Though Rosenquist made his reputation as a seminal fgure of Pop Art in the early 1960s, Highway Temple embodies the artist’s interest in the enigmatic scenes of Surrealism: its hypnotizing combination of promotional imagery confuses the viewer as to where one advertisement ends and where the other begins, a suiting metaphor for a contemporary culture dominated by consumerism and commercialism. Afer studying Studio Art at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Rosenquist began painting billboards in Saint Louis in 1954 for Corby’s Whiskey and promotional signs in Minneapolis for Coca-Cola, Northwest Airlines, and the flm Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. A few years later, the artist returned to the craf, painting numerous automobile advertisements on Minneapolis building exteriors and other billboards in New York before becoming the head painter at Artkraf Strauss Sign Corporation at 25 years old. Though he quit outdoor sign painting in 1960, his experience painting large-scale advertisements inspired him to swim against the Abstract Expressionist current and conspicuously infuenced the rest of his oeuvre. “I had to manipulate the paint well enough to sell a product. I had to make food look delicious and cigarettes seem smokable... Then, I began to realize that my style of painting billboards had an accuracy and a grandeur,” Rosenquist refected. “I had a real
James Rosenquist, The Friction Disappears, 1965. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., Photo Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C./Art Resource, NY Artwork © 2019 James Rosenquist/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
which allocated 26 billion dollars to the construction of a comprehensive network of national interstate highways that would span the country. Indeed, a sense of construction, advancement, and progress is captured in the slow-pouring sludge of Highway Temple, which mimics the consistency of cement.
thrust and thought—how can I use these magnifed fragments to make an abstract painting? I thought I could change people’s heads around by forcing them to identify these fragments at a certain rate of speed. It was a way to put mystery into my art... Everyone [else] was smearing and splashing. I knew that whatever I did my art wasn’t going to look like everyone else’s” (James Rosenquist, quoted in Judith Goldman, James Rosenquist: The Early Pictures 1961-1964, exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery, New York, 1992, pp. 91, 98-100).
Above/below: Roy Lichtenstein, In the Car, 1963. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein Robert Rauschenberg, Winter Pool, 1959. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, Artwork © 2019 Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
In addition to using the automobile as a key symbol of the technologically advanced, mythologized American lifestyle, Highway Temple evokes Rosenquist’s youth in Minnesota, where his father managed a Mobil gasoline station and the artist developed a deep childhood interest in classic cars and highways. Afer moving to Manhattan in his adult life, Rosenquist frequently experienced pangs of nostalgia triggered by the sight of cars speeding by, a sentiment also captured in I Love You with My Ford, 1961, Moderna Museet, Stockholm. “I was brought up with automobiles,” Rosenquist recalled in a 1972 interview with Jeanne Siegel, “and I used to know the names of all of them. I came… to New York and I didn’t know anything that was stylish. I found myself standing on the corner, and [seeing cars] going by, and I couldn’t recognize anything and… I began to feel that what was precious... was what I could remember” (James Rosenquist, quoted in Jeanne Siegel, “An Interview with James Rosenquist”, ArtForum, vol. 10, no. 10, Summer 1972, pp. 30-32). Furthering Highway Temple’s sense of 1950s nostalgia is the inspiration behind it, which was President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956,
Perhaps, then, the billboard-sized scale and ladder of Highway Temple are an ode to his six years spent on a ladder painting outdoor advertisements, and—to a greater extent—the cars, foods, and signs that characterized American middle-class life. By using an uncanny fusion of images, the work undermines the standard aims of commercialism and encourages a more ruminative study of the objects and ideas that come to defne a generation. It is likely that Rosenquist selected the name Highway Temple from J.M.W. Turner’s The Temple of Jupiter Panellenius Restored, 1814-1816—a monumental vision of a Greek wedding procession in front of now-destroyed ancient temple—which was owned by Rosenquist’s friend Richard Feigen and was one of the artist’s favorite paintings. In this sense, just as the temple of Jupiter was an unfathomable achievement for the Greeks, Rosenquist’s painting is a temple to the interstate highway system, one of the largest-scale national developments of the 20th century, and the modern American experience.
41. Tom Wesselmann
Bedroom Painting for Roz signed and dated “Wesselmann 71” upper lef; further signed, titled and dated “BEDROOM PAINTING FOR ROZ Wesselmann 71” on the stretcher. oil on canvas. 24 x 42 1/8 in. (61 x 107 cm.). Painted in 1971. Estimate $600,000-800,000
Provenance Private Collection, Europe (acquired directly from the artist circa 1975) Sotheby’s, New York, May 11, 2005, lot 191 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Combining bright, saturated colors with a croppedin perspective of a perfectly arched foot, Bedroom Painting for Roz is a quintessential example of Tom Wesselmann’s Bedroom Painting series. Radically cropping his sitter’s foot, poised on a faux leopard print sheet alongside dafodils, an orange, and a tissue box, Wesselmann here presents the viewer with an intimate vignette that hovers between fguration and abstraction. Reminiscent of a detail one might fnd in a large-scale fgure painting, this work perfectly encapsulates the strategy of zoomingin that is characteristic for the Bedroom Paintings that Wesselmann created between 1967 and 1984, of which other examples reside in such collections as the Philadelphia Museum of Art. : In spite of the title, little is known about the work’s conception as Wesselmann knew no fewer than four women named Roz. Painted in 1971, this work perfectly encapsulates how Wesselmann continued to develop his practice to new formal and conceptual heights afer gaining critical acclaim for his Great American Nude series in
the early 1960s. Widely celebrated as the paragon of Pop Art, Wesselmann’s Great American Nude series revolutionized the feld of art making by recasting the art historical trope of the female nude through the lens of American contemporary culture. With an ironic nod to such masters as Titian and Henri Matisse, Wesselmann painted highly charged scenes of female nudes seductively lounging or posing. Embracing a reductive aesthetic synonymous with the visual language of advertising, Wesselmann typically rendered the interiors with a palette of patriotic red, white, and blue and abstracted the fgures into emblems of desire – reducing any expressive facial features and instead focusing on signifers of sexuality. In contrast to the odalisques of the traditional art canon, Wesselmann’s fgures have tan lines – frmly situating them within the contemporary context in a way that powerfully echoes Édouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, 1863, or Jean August Dominique Ingres’s The Grand Odalisque, 1814. It is testament to Wesselmann’s tireless inventiveness that he began to shif his focus from his Great American Nudes starting in 1967, exploring more intimate, close-ups of the female nude in his series of Bedroom Paintings. As Wesselmann stated in an interview, “I’d gotten a little tired of doing full length nudes because everything else in the painting had to be so small…I wanted to deal with these big shapes; so I came in closer and closer” (Tom Wesselmann, quoted in Irving Sandler, “Oral History Interview with Tom Wesselmann”, in Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., January 3 February 8, 1954, online). While similarly focusing on the female nude as in his preceding series, Wesselmann here hones in on the background details of his Great
Jean August Dominique Ingres, The Grand Odalisque (detail), 1814. Musée du Louvre, Paris, Image Bridgeman Images
American Nude. In works such as the present one, Wesselmann isolates segments of the body, such as a foot, hand, or breast, and juxtaposes them against bedroom objects ranging from pillows, lamps, curtains, and light switches – fusing the modes of fgure and still life painting into one subversive painterly vignette. By cropping and isolating a particular body part, Wesselmann efectively adopts the seductive strategies of advertising agencies to awaken desire. In Bedroom Painting for Roz, Wesselmann strategically crops out the rest of the female body and instead focuses on the perfectly arched foot lying on the leopard bedsheet. “Historically, the nude as a subject has a somewhat intimate and personal relationship to the viewer, even if only in terms of scale,” Wesselmann once noted. “Too big a scale and eroticism decreases…” (Slim Stealingworth (a.k.a Tom Wesselmann), Tom Wesselman, New York, 1980, p. 33). While then devoid of the overt sexuality characteristic of his Great American Nudes, the compressed composition and smaller scale of Wesselmann’s Bedroom Paintings by extension possess a heightened intimacy. Yet while Bedroom Painting for Roz is distinct for its reference to a specifc person in its title – the majority of paintings in the series are titled with numbers – it nonetheless retains a sense of anonymity and detachment so characteristic of Wesselmann’s pictorial idiom.
Above/below: Allen Jones, First Step, 1966. Private Collection Tom Wesselmann, Bedroom Painting No. 7, 1967–1969. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Purchased with the Adele Haas Turner/Bridgeman Images, Artwork © 2019 Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
At the same time, Wesselmann’s compositional and formal choices have an equalizing efect – the foot is placed seductively next to such everyday objects as the orange, tissue box, and dafodil. Fusing signifers of intimacy and desire with consumer products, Wesselmann puts forth a conceptually multi-layered painting that provocatively integrates the language of consumer-based advertising. At the same time, Bedroom Painting for Roz powerfully evidences Wesselmann’s intuitive sense of composition and use of color, line and shape: while representational in function, the fattened objects fuse into an abstracted landscape of interlocking positive and negative shapes reminiscent of Matisse’s late work. At once conceptually subversive and formally complex, this work captures the core tenets of the series Wesselmann would come to view as central to his oeuvre. As Wesselmann indeed declared of his Bedroom Paintings, “That was really when my work began for me, when I made that realization of what I’m excited by” (Tom Wesselmann, quoted in Irving Sandler, “Oral History Interview with Tom Wesselmann”, in Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., January 3 February 8, 1954, online).
Property from a Prominent Private American Collection
42. Alex Katz
Alexandra oil on linen. 66 1/8 x 78 1/8 in. (168 x 198.5 cm.). Painted in 1984. Estimate $400,000-600,000
Provenance Marlborough Gallery, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner
Painted in 1984, Alexandra is a particularly ethereal example of Alex Katz’s larger-than-life portraits. Allusive yet unknowable, the eponymous character is plunged in a feld of light, her face dominating the full expanse of the composition while she casts a meditative gaze into the distance. With her crystallineblue eyes, rose lips and pristine complexion, Alexandra falls within Katz’s pantheon of graceful female characters that strive to capture an idealized form of beauty, rendered with the artist’s characteristic elimination of high detail. Oscillating between realism and fction, her appearance is made all-the-more enthralling by the enigmatic nature of her identity: she is at once unknown and familiar, embodying a perception rather than a palpable reality. “I think my
painting can be a little shocking in all that it leaves out,” the artist once declared. “But what happens is that the mind flls in what’s missing. It’s about being able to see something in a specifc way. Painting is a way of making you see what I saw” (Alex Katz, quoted in “I prefer Stan Getz to Sartre”, The Irish Times, March 3, 2007, online). With its captivating subject and alluring palette, Alexandra exemplifes Katz’s ability to infuse reality with painterly passages of fantasy. Over the course of his career, Katz’s characters have comprised friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and fashion models, whilst incorporating art historical, theatrical and cinematic connotations that systematically transcend the realm of mere representation. In Alexandra, the protagonist
Andy Warhol, Birth of Venus (Afer Botticelli), 1984. Private Collection, Artwork © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
calls comparisons with references both old and new, her beauty bearing notes at once inherently classical and potently cinematic. On the one hand, Alexandra’s celestial, quasi-mythological features – namely her blue eyes and delicate golden locks – are evocative of Botticelli’s Venus in The Birth of Venus, 1485-1486; on the other, her charismatic presence, emphasized by the face-level angle from which Katz has chosen to capture her, bears an irrepressible contemporary edge. The enlargement and cropping of her face recall the techniques employed in 1950s Hollywood flms, whereby the lead female characters’ sof, delectable features are seized from close-up. As a result, Alexandra recalls such eminent actresses as Jayne Mansfeld, Anita Ekberg and Kim Novak, whose beauteous fgures were ofen spotlit or formally glamorized in slow motion. The cinematic facet within the painting signals the solidifed shif of Katz’s creative direction, which, from the 1970s onwards, became increasingly in line with fourishing technical developments, as well as the widespread nature of cinema and billboard advertising.
Above/below: Richard Prince, Untitled (Three Women Looking in the Same Direction), 1980. Rubell Family Collection, Contemporary Arts Foundation, Miami, Artwork © 2019 Richard Prince Roy Lichtenstein, Crying Girl, 1964. Milwaukee Art Museum, Photo credit: John R. Glembin, Artwork © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein
Yet despite the painting’s inherent cinematic sensibility, paired with the youthful thrust radiated by Katz’s model, the artist’s style of portraiture pays a debt to graphic two-dimensionality. While it is undeniable that Katz is attentive to fgurative verisimilitude, he simplifes and smooths her features to the point of impenetrable sleekness. In the 1950s, he was among the frst to reduce the gestural brushwork that pervaded fgurative painting, whilst maintaining the size and scale associated with Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Abstraction. As such, his compositions
bore an ambivalence that aligned them with Pop and abstraction. Departing from the New York School’s hazy and energetic fgurative style, he developed a clean and vibrant visual language, infuenced in part by the aesthetics of billboard advertising. Here, he has employed a luminous color palette and sof contrasts to increase an impression of dreamlike realism, whilst maintaining a minimalist sense of fatness. Focusing on Alexandra’s characteristically aggrandized features, the present composition is as though glazed, crystallized as an immaculate still. With the protagonist’s luminous presence, seemingly sunlit by Katz’s idiosyncratic gesture, Alexandra exudes warmth as well as an unknowable sense of intimacy, demonstrating the artist’s talent in depicting otherworldly beauty.
Sale Information Sale begins at 5pm
Auction & Viewing Location 450 Park Avenue New York 10022
20th Century & Contemporary Art Department
Auction License 2013224
Auction Thursday, 14 November 2019, 5pm Admission to this sale is by ticket only. Please call +1 212 940 1236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Auctioneers Hugues Joffre - 2028495 Sarah Krueger - 1460468 Henry Highley - 2008889 Adam Clay - 2039323 Jonathan Crockett - 2056239 Samuel Mansour - 2059023 Rebecca Tooby-Desmond - 2058901 Susan Abeles - 2074459 Aurel Bacs – 2047217 Blake Koh – 2066237 Susanna Brockman – 2058779 Rebekah Bowling - 2078967
Viewing 1 – 12 November Monday – Saturday 10am–6pm Sunday 12pm–6pm Sale Designation When sending in written bids or making enquiries please refer to this sale as NY010719 or 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale. Absentee and Telephone Bids tel +1 212 940 1228 fax +1 212 924 1749 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Catalogues firstname.lastname@example.org New York +1 212 940 1240 London +44 20 7318 4024 Hong Kong +852 2318 2000 $35/€25/£22 at the gallery Client Accounting Sylvia Leitao +1 212 940 1231 Michael Carretta +1 212 940 1232 Buyer Accounts Dawniel Perry +1 212 940 1317 Seller Accounts Carolina Swan +1 212 940 1253 Client Services 450 Park Avenue +1 212 940 1200 Shipping Steve Orridge +1 212 940 1370 Anaar Desai +1 212 940 1320 Daren Khan +1 212 940 1335
Wrap Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Ring, 1981, lot 26 (detail) © 2019 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1985. Photographed by Michael Halsband. Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1985. Photographed by Michael Halsband. Jef Koons, Hulk (Friends), 2004-2012 lot 32 (detail) © Jef Koons. Front cover Yoshitomo Nara, Little Thinker, 2000, lot 4 © Yoshitomo Nara Inside front cover Philip Guston, Smoking II, 1973, lot 11 © The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth Ed Ruscha, Start Over Please, 2015, lot 25 (detail) © Ed Ruscha Joan Miró, Paysan catalan inquiet par le passage d’un vol d’oiseaux, 1952, lot 5 (detail) © 2019 Successió Miró/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris Jean-Michel Basquiat, The Ring, 1981, lot 26 (detail) © 2019 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1985. Photographed by Michael Halsband. Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1969, lot 35 (detail) © 2019 Cy Twombly Foundation Richard Diebenkorn, Berkeley #66, 1956, lot 21 (detail) © The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation
Andy Warhol, Late Four-Foot Flowers, 1967, lot 17 (detail) © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Keith Haring, Untitled, 1984, lot 29 (detail) © The Keith Haring Foundation Inside back cover Sturtevant, Johns Painting With Two Balls, 1987, lot 3 (detail) © Estate of Sturtevant, Paris Back cover Pablo Picasso, Femme assise dans un fauteuil, 1948, lot 7 © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Portraits of Miles & Shirley Fiterman Andy Warhol, Miles Fiterman, 1975. Artwork © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Andy Warhol, Shirley Fiterman, 1976. Artwork © 2019 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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2 Bidding in the Sale
Buying at Auction The following pages are designed to ofer you information on how to buy at auction at Phillips. Our staf will be happy to assist you. Conditions of Sale The Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty which appear later in this catalogue govern the auction. Bidders are strongly encouraged to read them as they outline the legal relationship among Phillips, the seller and the buyer and describe the terms upon which property is bought at auction. Please be advised that Phillips generally acts as agent for the seller. Buyer’s Premium Phillips charges the successful bidder a commission, or buyer’s premium, on the hammer price of each lot sold. The buyer’s premium is payable by the buyer as part of the total purchase price at the following rates: 25% of the hammer price up to and including $400,000, 20% of the portion of the hammer price above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000 and 13.5% of the portion of the hammer price above $4,000,000.
Pre-Sale Estimates in Pounds Sterling and Euros Although the sale is conducted in US dollars, the pre-sale estimates in the auction catalogues may also be printed in pounds sterling and/or euros. Since the exchange rate is that at the time of catalogue production and not at the date of auction, you should treat estimates in pounds sterling or euros as a guide only. Catalogue Entries Phillips may print in the catalogue entry the history of ownership of a work of art, as well as the exhibition history of the property and references to the work in art publications. While we are careful in the cataloguing process, provenance, exhibition and literature references may not be exhaustive and in some cases we may intentionally refrain from disclosing the identity of previous owners. Please note that all dimensions of the property set forth in the catalogue entry are approximate.
O Guaranteed Property Lots designated with the symbol [O] are the subject of a minimum price guarantee. In such cases Phillips has guaranteed to the seller of the lot that regardless of the outcome of the sale the seller shall receive no less than a minimum sum. This guarantee may be provided solely by Phillips or jointly with a third party. ♦ Third Party Guarantee Where Phillips has agreed to a minimum price guarantee it assumes the fnancial risk of a lot failing to sell or selling for less than the minimum price guarantee. Because the sums involved can be signifcant Phillips may choose to share the burden of that fnancial risk with a third party. The third party shares the risk by committing in advance of the sale, usually by way of a written bid, to buy the lot for an agreed amount whether or not there are competing bidders for the lot. If there are competing bidders third party guarantors may also bid above any written bid. In this way the third party guarantor assumes the risk of the bidding not reaching the amount of the minimum price guarantee.
In return for underwriting or sharing this risk Phillips will usually compensate the third party. The compensation may be in the form of a fxed fee or an amount calculated by reference to the hammer price of the lot. If the third party guarantor is the successful bidder they will be required to pay the full hammer price and buyer’s premium and will not be otherwise compensated. Disclosure of fnancial interest by third parties Phillips requires third party guarantors to disclose their fnancial interest in the lot to anyone whom they are advising. If you are contemplating bidding on a lot which is the subject of a third party guarantee and you are being advised by someone or if you have asked someone to bid on your behalf you should always ask them to confrm whether or not they have a fnancial interest in the lot. ∆ Property in Which Phillips Has an Ownership Interest Lots with this symbol indicate that Phillips owns the lot in whole or in part or has an economic interest in the lot equivalent to an ownership interest. No Reserve •Unless indicated by a •, all lots in this catalogue are ofered subject to a reserve. A reserve is the confdential value established between Phillips and the seller and below which a lot may not be sold. The reserve for each lot is generally set at a percentage of the low estimate and will not exceed the low pre-sale estimate.
Bidding at Auction Bids may be executed during the auction in person by paddle, by telephone, online or prior to the sale in writing by absentee bid. Proof of identity in the form of government issued identifcation will be required, as will an original signature. We may also require that you furnish us with a bank reference. Bidding in Person To bid in person, you will need to register for and collect a paddle before the auction begins. New clients are encouraged to register at least 48 hours in advance of a sale to allow sufcient time for us to process your information. All lots sold will be invoiced to the name and address to which the paddle has been registered and invoices cannot be transferred to other names and addresses. Please do not misplace your paddle. In the event you lose it, inform a Phillips staf member immediately. At the end of the auction, please return your paddle to the registration desk.
GAME CHANGERS New York, 10 December 2019, 5pm Exhibition Viewing 5 - 10 December Enquiries email@example.com
The Jack Nicklaus Rolex Day-Date, ref. 1803. An iconic, highly attractive, and historically important 18 karat yellow gold wristwatch with champagne-colored dial, circa 1967. Property of Jack Nicklaus. All sale proceeds will directly beneft the Nicklaus Childrenâ€™s Healthcare Foundation Estimate On Request Credit: Courtesy of Nicklaus Companies
Bidding by Telephone If you cannot attend the auction, you may bid live on the telephone with one of our multi-lingual staf members. This service must be arranged at least 24 hours in advance of the sale and is available for lots whose low pre-sale estimate is at least $1,000. Telephone bids may be recorded. By bidding on the telephone, you consent to the recording of your conversation. We suggest that you leave a maximum bid, excluding the buyer’s premium and any applicable taxes, which we can execute on your behalf in the event we are unable to reach you by telephone.
$5,000 to $10,000 $10,000 to $20,000 $20,000 to $30,000 $30,000 to $50,000
Online Bidding If you cannot attend the auction in person, you may bid online on our online live bidding platform available on our website at www.phillips.com. The digital saleroom is optimized to run on Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer browsers. Clients who wish to run the platform on Safari will need to install Adobe FlashPlayer. Follow the links to ‘Auctions’ and ‘Digital Saleroom’ and then pre-register by clicking on ‘Register to Bid Live.’ The frst time you register you will be required to create an account; thereafer you will only need to register for each sale. You must pre-register at least 24 hours before the start of the auction in order to be approved by our bid department. Please note that corporate frewalls may cause difculties for online bidders.
3 The Auction
Absentee Bids If you are unable to attend the auction and cannot participate by telephone, Phillips will be happy to execute written bids on your behalf. A bidding form can be found at the back of this catalogue. This service is free and confdential. Bids must be placed in the currency of the sale. Our staf will attempt to execute an absentee bid at the lowest possible price taking into account the reserve and other bidders. Always indicate a maximum bid, excluding the buyer’s premium and any applicable taxes. Unlimited bids will not be accepted. Any absentee bid must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the sale. In the event of identical bids, the earliest bid received will take precedence.
Consecutive and Responsive Bidding; No Reserve Lots The auctioneer may open the bidding on any lot by placing a bid on behalf of the seller. The auctioneer may further bid on behalf of the seller up to the amount of the reserve by placing consecutive bids or bids in response to other bidders. If a lot is ofered without reserve, unless there are already competing absentee bids, the auctioneer will generally open the bidding at 50% of the lot’s low pre-sale estimate. In the absence of a bid at that level, the auctioneer will proceed backwards at his or her discretion until a bid is recognized and will then advance the bidding from that amount. Absentee bids on no reserve lots will, in the absence of a higher bid, be executed at approximately 50% of the low pre-sale estimate or at the amount of the bid if it is less than 50% of the low pre-sale estimate. If there is no bid whatsoever on a no reserve lot, the auctioneer may deem such lot unsold.
Employee Bidding Employees of Phillips and our afliated companies, including the auctioneer, may bid at the auction by placing absentee bids so long as they do not know the reserve when submitting their absentee bids and otherwise comply with our employee bidding procedures. Bidding Increments Bidding generally opens below the low estimate and advances in increments of up to 10%, subject to the auctioneer’s discretion. Absentee bids that do not conform to the increments set below may be lowered to the next bidding increment. $50 to $1,000 $1,000 to $2,000 $2,000 to $3,000 $3,000 to $5,000 (i.e., $4,200, 4,500, 4,800)
by $50s by $100s by $200s by $200s, 500, 800
$50,000 to $100,000 $100,000 to $200,000 above $200,000
by $500s by $1,000s by $2,000s by $2,000s, 5,000, 8,000 by $5,000s by $10,000s auctioneer’s discretion
The auctioneer may vary the increments during the course of the auction at his or her own discretion.
Conditions of Sale As noted above, the auction is governed by the Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty. All prospective bidders should read them carefully. They may be amended by saleroom addendum or auctioneer’s announcement. Interested Parties Announcement In situations where a person allowed to bid on a lot has a direct or indirect interest in such lot, such as the benefciary or executor of an estate selling the lot, a joint owner of the lot or a party providing or participating in a guarantee on the lot, Phillips will make an announcement in the saleroom that interested parties may bid on the lot.
4 Afer the Auction Payment Buyers are required to pay for purchases immediately following the auction unless other arrangements are agreed with Phillips in writing in advance of the sale. Payment must be made in US dollars either by cash, check drawn on a US bank or wire transfer, as noted in Paragraph 6 of the Conditions of Sale. It is our corporate policy not to make or accept single or multiple payments in cash or cash equivalents in excess of US$2,000 in any calendar year. Credit Cards As a courtesy to clients, Phillips will accept American Express, Visa and Mastercard to pay for invoices of $30,000 or less.
Collection It is our policy to request proof of identity on collection of a lot. A lot will be released to the buyer or the buyer’s authorized representative when Phillips has received full and cleared payment and we are not owed any other amount by the buyer. Promptly afer the auction, we will transfer all lots to our warehouse located at 29-09 37th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, New York. All purchased lots should be collected at this location during our regular weekday business hours. As a courtesy to clients, we will upon request transfer purchased lots suitable for hand carry back to our premises at 450 Park Avenue, New York, New York for collection within 30 days following the date of the auction. We will levy removal, interest, storage and handling charges on uncollected lots. Loss or Damage Buyers are reminded that Phillips accepts liability for loss or damage to lots for a maximum of seven days following the auction. Transport and Shipping As a free service for buyers, Phillips will wrap purchased lots for hand carry only. Alternatively, we will either provide packing, handling and shipping services or coordinate with shipping agents in order to facilitate such services for property purchased at Phillips. In the event that the property is collected in New York by the buyer or the buyer’s designee (including any private carrier) for subsequent transport out of state, Phillips may be required by law to collect New York sales tax, regardless of the lot’s ultimate destination. Please refer to Paragraph 17 of the Conditions of Sale for more information. Export and Import Licenses Before bidding for any property, prospective bidders are advised to make independent inquiries as to whether a license is required to export the property from the United States or to import it into another country. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to comply with all import and export laws and to obtain any necessary licenses or permits. The denial of any required license or permit or any delay in obtaining such documentation will not justify the cancellation of the sale or any delay in making full payment for the lot. Regulated Species Items made of or incorporating plant or animal material, such as coral, crocodile, ivory, whalebone, Brazilian rosewood, rhinoceros horn or tortoiseshell, irrespective of age, percentage or value, may require a license or certifcate prior to exportation and additional licenses or certifcates upon importation to any foreign country. Please note that the ability to obtain an export license or certifcate does not ensure the ability to obtain an import license or certifcate in another country, and vice versa. We suggest that prospective bidders check with their own government regarding wildlife import requirements prior to placing a bid. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to obtain any necessary export or import licenses or certifcates as well as any other required documentation. Please note that lots containing potentially regulated
20th Century & Contemporary Art Hong Kong Evening Sale 24 November 2019, 6pm Viewing 22 - 24 November JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong Enquiries +852 2318 2026 CharlotteRaybaud@phillips.com
Roy Lichtenstein Mobile I painted bronze Executed in 1989 76.8 x 89.5 x 21.6 cm 30 1/4 x 35 1/4 x 8 1/2 in. Estimate HK$ 4,000,000 â€“ 6,000,000 ÂŠEstate of Roy Lichtenstein
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20th Century & Contemporary Art Hong Kong Evening Sale 24 November 2019, 6pm Viewing 22 - 24 November JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong Enquiries +852 2318 2026 CharlotteRaybaud@phillips.com
Visit us at phillips.com
Helen Frankenthaler Scorpio acrylic on canvas 234.9 x 333.3 cm. (92½ x 131¼ in.) Painted in 1987. Estimate HK$ 7,500,000 – 9,500,000 © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Conditions of Sale The Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty set forth below govern the relationship between bidders and buyers, on the one hand, and Phillips and sellers, on the other hand. All prospective buyers should read these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty carefully before bidding. 1 Introduction Each lot in this catalogue is ofered for sale and sold subject to: (a) the Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty; (b) additional notices and terms printed in other places in this catalogue, including the Guide for Prospective Buyers, and (c) supplements to this catalogue or other written material posted by Phillips in the saleroom, in each case as amended by any addendum or announcement by the auctioneer prior to the auction. By bidding at the auction, whether in person, through an agent, by written bid, by telephone bid or other means, bidders and buyers agree to be bound by these Conditions of Sale, as so changed or supplemented, and Authorship Warranty. These Conditions of Sale, as so changed or supplemented, and Authorship Warranty contain all the terms on which Phillips and the seller contract with the buyer. 2 Phillips as Agent Phillips acts as an agent for the seller, unless otherwise indicated in this catalogue or at the time of auction. On occasion, Phillips may own a lot directly, in which case we will act in a principal capacity as a consignor, or a company afliated with Phillips may own a lot, in which case we will act as agent for that company, or Phillips or an afliated company may have a legal, benefcial or fnancial interest in a lot as a secured creditor or otherwise. 3 Catalogue Descriptions and Condition of Property Lots are sold subject to the Authorship Warranty, as described in the catalogue (unless such description is changed or supplemented, as provided in Paragraph 1 above) and in the condition that they are in at the time of the sale on the following basis. (a) The knowledge of Phillips in relation to each lot is partially dependent on information provided to us by the seller, and Phillips is not able to and does not carry out exhaustive due diligence on each lot. Prospective buyers acknowledge this fact and accept responsibility for carrying out inspections and investigations to satisfy themselves as to the lots in which they may be interested. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we shall exercise such reasonable care when making express statements in catalogue descriptions or condition reports as is consistent with our role as auctioneer of lots in this sale and in light of (i) the information provided to us by the seller, (ii) scholarship and technical knowledge and (iii) the generally accepted opinions of relevant experts, in each case at the time any such express statement is made. (b) Each lot ofered for sale at Phillips is available for inspection by prospective buyers prior to the auction. Phillips accepts bids on lots on the basis that bidders
(and independent experts on their behalf, to the extent appropriate given the nature and value of the lot and the bidder’s own expertise) have fully inspected the lot prior to bidding and have satisfed themselves as to both the condition of the lot and the accuracy of its description. (c) Prospective buyers acknowledge that many lots are of an age and type which means that they are not in perfect condition. As a courtesy to clients, Phillips may prepare and provide condition reports to assist prospective buyers when they are inspecting lots. Catalogue descriptions and condition reports may make reference to particular imperfections of a lot, but bidders should note that lots may have other faults not expressly referred to in the catalogue or condition report. All dimensions are approximate. Illustrations are for identifcation purposes only and cannot be used as precise indications of size or to convey full information as to the actual condition of lots. (d) Information provided to prospective buyers in respect of any lot, including any pre-sale estimate, whether written or oral, and information in any catalogue, condition or other report, commentary or valuation, is not a representation of fact but rather a statement of opinion held by Phillips. Any pre-sale estimate may not be relied on as a prediction of the selling price or value of the lot and may be revised from time to time by Phillips in our absolute discretion. Neither Phillips nor any of our afliated companies shall be liable for any diference between the pre-sale estimates for any lot and the actual price achieved at auction or upon resale. 4 Bidding at Auction (a) Phillips has absolute discretion to refuse admission to the auction or participation in the sale. All bidders must register for a paddle prior to bidding, supplying such information and references as required by Phillips. (b) As a convenience to bidders who cannot attend the auction in person, Phillips may, if so instructed by the bidder, execute written absentee bids on a bidder’s behalf. Absentee bidders are required to submit bids on the Absentee Bid Form, a copy of which is printed in this catalogue or otherwise available from Phillips. Bids must be placed in the currency of the sale. The bidder must clearly indicate the maximum amount he or she intends to bid, excluding the buyer’s premium and any applicable sales or use taxes. The auctioneer will not accept an instruction to execute an absentee bid which does not indicate such maximum bid. Our staf will attempt to execute an absentee bid at the lowest possible price taking into account the reserve and other bidders. Any absentee bid must be received at least 24 hours in advance of the sale. In the event of identical bids, the earliest bid received will take precedence. (c) Telephone bidders are required to submit bids on the Telephone Bid Form, a copy of which is printed in this catalogue or otherwise available from Phillips. Telephone bidding is available for lots whose low pre-sale estimate is at least $1,000. Phillips reserves the right to require written confrmation of a successful bid from a telephone bidder by fax or otherwise immediately afer such bid
is accepted by the auctioneer. Telephone bids may be recorded and, by bidding on the telephone, a bidder consents to the recording of the conversation. (d) Bidders may participate in an auction by bidding online through Phillips’s online live bidding platform available on our website at www.phillips.com. To bid online, bidders must register online at least 24 hours before the start of the auction. Online bidding is subject to approval by Phillips’s bid department in our sole discretion. As noted in Paragraph 3 above, Phillips encourages online bidders to inspect prior to the auction any lot(s) on which they may bid, and condition reports are available upon request. Bidding in a live auction can progress quickly. To ensure that online bidders are not placed at a disadvantage when bidding against bidders in the room or on the telephone, the procedure for placing bids through Phillips’s online bidding platform is a one-step process. By clicking the bid button on the computer screen, a bidder submits a bid. Online bidders acknowledge and agree that bids so submitted are fnal and may not under any circumstances be amended or retracted. During a live auction, when bids other than online bids are placed, they will be displayed on the online bidder’s computer screen as ‘foor’ bids. ‘Floor’ bids include bids made by the auctioneer to protect the reserve. In the event that an online bid and a ‘foor’ or ‘phone’ bid are identical, the ‘foor’ bid may take precedence at the auctioneer’s discretion. The next bidding increment is shown for the convenience of online bidders in the bid button. The bidding increment available to online bidders may vary from the next bid actually taken by the auctioneer, as the auctioneer may deviate from Phillips’s standard increments at any time at his or her discretion, but an online bidder may only place a bid in a whole bidding increment. Phillips’s bidding increments are published in the Guide for Prospective Buyers. (e) When making a bid, whether in person, by absentee bid, on the telephone or online, a bidder accepts personal liability to pay the purchase price, as described more fully in Paragraph 6 (a) below, plus all other applicable charges unless it has been explicitly agreed in writing with Phillips before the commencement of the auction that the bidder is acting as agent on behalf of an identifed third party acceptable to Phillips and that we will only look to the principal for such payment. (f) By participating in the auction, whether in person, by absentee bid, on the telephone or online, each prospective buyer represents and warrants that any bids placed by such person, or on such person’s behalf, are not the product of any collusive or other anti-competitive agreement and are otherwise consistent with federal and state antitrust law. (g) Arranging absentee, telephone and online bids is a free service provided by Phillips to prospective buyers. While we undertake to exercise reasonable care in undertaking such activity, we cannot accept liability for failure to execute such bids except where such failure is caused by our willful misconduct.
20th Century & Contemporary Art Hong Kong Evening Sale 24 November 2019, 6pm Viewing 22 - 24 November JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong Enquiries +852 2318 2026 CharlotteRaybaud@phillips.com
KAWS TALK BACK acrylic on canvas 243.8 x 223.5 cm. (96 x 88 in.) Painted in 2013. Estimate HK$ 8,000,000 â€“ 12,000,000
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(h) Employees of Phillips and our afliated companies, including the auctioneer, may bid at the auction by placing absentee bids so long as they do not know the reserve when submitting their absentee bids and otherwise comply with our employee bidding procedures. 5 Conduct of the Auction (a) Unless otherwise indicated by the symbol •, each lot is ofered subject to a reserve, which is the confdential minimum selling price agreed by Phillips with the seller. The reserve will not exceed the low pre-sale estimate at the time of the auction. (b) The auctioneer has discretion at any time to refuse any bid, withdraw any lot, re-ofer a lot for sale (including afer the fall of the hammer) if he or she believes there may be error or dispute and take such other action as he or she deems reasonably appropriate. Phillips shall have no liability whatsoever for any such action taken by the auctioneer. If any dispute arises afer the sale, our sale record is conclusive. The auctioneer may accept bids made by a company afliated with Phillips provided that the bidder does not know the reserve placed on the lot. (c) The auctioneer will commence and advance the bidding at levels and in increments he or she considers appropriate. In order to protect the reserve on any lot, the auctioneer may place one or more bids on behalf of the seller up to the reserve without indicating he or she is doing so, either by placing consecutive bids or bids in response to other bidders. If a lot is ofered without reserve, unless there are already competing absentee bids, the auctioneer will generally open the bidding at 50% of the lot’s low pre-sale estimate. In the absence of a bid at that level, the auctioneer will proceed backwards at his or her discretion until a bid is recognized and will then advance the bidding from that amount. Absentee bids on no reserve lots will, in the absence of a higher bid, be executed at approximately 50% of the low pre-sale estimate or at the amount of the bid if it is less than 50% of the low pre-sale estimate. If there is no bid whatsoever on a no reserve lot, the auctioneer may deem such lot unsold. (d) The sale will be conducted in US dollars and payment is due in US dollars. For the benef t of international clients, pre-sale estimates in the auction catalogue may be shown in pounds sterling and/or euros and, if so, will ref ect approximate exchange rates. Accordingly, estimates in pounds sterling or euros should be treated only as a guide. If a currency converter is operated during the sale, it is done so as a courtesy to bidders, but Phillips accepts no responsibility for any errors in currency conversion calculation. (e) Subject to the auctioneer’s reasonable discretion, the highest bidder accepted by the auctioneer will be the buyer and the striking of the hammer marks the acceptance of the highest bid and the conclusion of a contract for sale between the seller and the buyer. Risk and responsibility for the lot passes to the buyer as set forth in Paragraph 7 below.
(f) If a lot is not sold, the auctioneer will announce that it has been “passed,” “withdrawn,” “returned to owner” or “bought-in.”
(d) As a courtesy to clients, Phillips will accept American Express, Visa and Mastercard to pay for invoices of $30,000 or less.
(g) Any post-auction sale of lots ofered at auction shall incorporate these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty as if sold in the auction.
(e) Title in a purchased lot will not pass until Phillips has received the Purchase Price for that lot in cleared funds. Phillips is not obliged to release a lot to the buyer until title in the lot has passed and appropriate identifcation has been provided, and any earlier release does not afect the passing of title or the buyer’s unconditional obligation to pay the Purchase Price.
6 Purchase Price and Payment (a) The buyer agrees to pay us, in addition to the hammer price of the lot, the buyer’s premium and any applicable sales tax (the “Purchase Price”). The buyer’s premium is 25% of the hammer price up to and including $400,000, 20% of the portion of the hammer price above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000 and 13.5% of the portion of the hammer price above $4,000,000. Phillips reserves the right to pay from our compensation an introductory commission to one or more third parties for assisting in the sale of property ofered and sold at auction.
(b) Sales tax, use tax and excise and other taxes are payable in accordance with applicable law. All prices, fees, charges and expenses set out in these Conditions of Sale are quoted exclusive of applicable taxes. Phillips will only accept valid resale certifcates from US dealers as proof of exemption from sales tax. All foreign buyers should contact the Client Accounting Department about tax matters. (c) Unless otherwise agreed, a buyer is required to pay for a purchased lot immediately following the auction regardless of any intention to obtain an export or import license or other permit for such lot. Payments must be made by the invoiced party in US dollars either by cash, check drawn on a US bank or wire transfer, as follows: (i) Phillips will accept payment in cash provided that the total amount paid in cash or cash equivalents does not exceed US$2,000. Buyers paying in cash should do so in person at our Client Accounting Desk at 450 Park Avenue during regular weekday business hours. (ii) Personal checks and banker’s draf s are accepted if drawn on a US bank and the buyer provides to us acceptable government issued identifcation. Checks and banker’s draf s should be made payable to “Phillips.” If payment is sent by mail, please send the check or banker’s draf to the attention of the Client Accounting Department at 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022 and make sure that the sale and lot number is written on the check. Checks or banker’s draf s drawn by third parties will not be accepted. (iii) Payment by wire transfer may be sent directly to Phillips. Bank transfer details: Signature Bank 485 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022 SWIFT code: SIGNUS33 ABA routing no.: 026013576 For account of: Phillips Auctioneers LLC Account no.: 1502977462 Please reference the relevant sale and lot number.
7 Collection of Property (a) Phillips will not release a lot to the buyer until we have received payment of its Purchase Price in full in cleared funds, the buyer has paid all outstanding amounts due to Phillips or any of our afliated companies, including any charges payable pursuant to Paragraph 8 (a) below, and the buyer has satisfed such other terms as we in our sole discretion shall require, including completing any antimoney laundering or anti-terrorism fnancing checks. As soon as a buyer has satisfed all of the foregoing conditions, he or she should contact our Shipping Department at +1 212 940 1372 or +1 212 940 1373 to arrange for collection of purchased property. (b) The buyer must arrange for collection of a purchased lot within seven days of the date of the auction. Promptly afer the auction, we will transfer all lots to our warehouse located at 29-09 37th Avenue in Long Island City, Queens, New York. All purchased lots should be collected at this location during our regular weekday business hours. As a courtesy to clients, Phillips will upon request transfer on a bi-weekly basis purchased lots suitable for hand-carry back to our premises at 450 Park Avenue, New York, New York for collection within 30 days following the date of the auction. Purchased lots are at the buyer’s risk, including the responsibility for insurance, from the earlier to occur of (i) the date of collection or (ii) seven days afer the auction. Until risk passes, Phillips will compensate the buyer for any loss or damage to a purchased lot up to a maximum of the Purchase Price paid, subject to our usual exclusions for loss or damage to property. (c) As a courtesy to clients, Phillips will, without charge, wrap purchased lots for hand-carry only. We will, at the buyer’s expense, either provide packing, handling, insurance and shipping services or coordinate with shipping agents instructed by the buyer in order to facilitate such services for property bought at Phillips. Any such instruction, whether or not made at our recommendation, is entirely at the buyer’s risk and responsibility, and we will not be liable for acts or omissions of third party packers or shippers. Third party shippers should contact us by telephone at +1 212 940 1376 or by fax at +1 212 924 6477 at least 24 hours in advance of collection in order to schedule pickup. (d) Phillips will require presentation of government issued identifcation prior to release of a lot to the buyer or the buyer’s authorized representative.
8 Failure to Collect Purchases (a) If the buyer pays the Purchase Price but fails to collect a purchased lot within 30 days of the auction, the buyer will incur a late collection fee of $10 per day for each uncollected lot. Additional charges may apply to oversized lots. We will not release purchased lots to the buyer until all such charges have been paid in full. (b) If a purchased lot is paid for but not collected within six months of the auction, the buyer authorizes Phillips, upon notice, to arrange a resale of the item by auction or private sale, with estimates and a reserve set at Phillips’s reasonable discretion. The proceeds of such sale will be applied to pay for storage charges and any other outstanding costs and expenses owed by the buyer to Phillips or our afliated companies and the remainder will be forfeited unless collected by the buyer within two years of the original auction. 9 Remedies for Non-Payment (a) Without prejudice to any rights the seller may have, if the buyer without prior agreement fails to make payment of the Purchase Price for a lot in cleared funds within seven days of the auction, Phillips may in our sole discretion exercise one or more of the following remedies: (i) store the lot at Phillips’s premises or elsewhere at the buyer’s sole risk and expense at the same rates as set forth in Paragraph 8 (a) above; (ii) cancel the sale of the lot, retaining any partial payment of the Purchase Price as liquidated damages; (iii) reject future bids from the buyer or render such bids subject to payment of a deposit; (iv) charge interest at 12% per annum from the date payment became due until the date the Purchase Price is received in cleared funds; (v) subject to notifcation of the buyer, exercise a lien over any of the buyer’s property which is in the possession of Phillips and instruct our afliated companies to exercise a lien over any of the buyer’s property which is in their possession and, in each case, no earlier than 30 days from the date of such notice, arrange the sale of such property and apply the proceeds to the amount owed to Phillips or any of our afliated companies afer the deduction from sale proceeds of our standard vendor’s commission and all sale-related expenses; (vi) resell the lot by auction or private sale, with estimates and a reserve set at Phillips reasonable discretion, it being understood that in the event such resale is for less than the original hammer price and buyer’s premium for that lot, the buyer will remain liable for the shortfall together with all costs incurred in such resale; (vii) commence legal proceedings to recover the hammer price and buyer’s premium for that lot, together with interest and the costs of such proceedings; (viii) set of the outstanding amount remaining unpaid by the buyer against any amounts which we or any of our afliated companies may owe the buyer in any other transactions; (ix) release the name and address of the buyer to the seller to enable the seller to commence legal proceedings to recover the amounts due and legal costs or (x) take such other action as we deem necessary or appropriate.
(b) As security to us for full payment by the buyer of all outstanding amounts due to Phillips and our afliated companies, Phillips retains, and the buyer grants to us, a security interest in each lot purchased at auction by the buyer and in any other property or money of the buyer in, or coming into, our possession or the possession of one of our afliated companies. We may apply such money or deal with such property as the Uniform Commercial Code or other applicable law permits a secured creditor to do. In the event that we exercise a lien over property in our possession because the buyer is in default to one of our afliated companies, we will so notify the buyer. Our security interest in any individual lot will terminate upon actual delivery of the lot to the buyer or the buyer’s agent. (c) In the event the buyer is in default of payment to any of our afliated companies, the buyer also irrevocably authorizes Phillips to pledge the buyer’s property in our possession by actual or constructive delivery to our afliated company as security for the payment of any outstanding amount due. Phillips will notify the buyer if the buyer’s property has been delivered to an afliated company by way of pledge. 10 Rescission by Phillips Phillips shall have the right, but not the obligation, to rescind a sale without notice to the buyer if we reasonably believe that there is a material breach of the seller’s representations and warranties or the Authorship Warranty or an adverse claim is made by a third party. Upon notice of Phillips’s election to rescind the sale, the buyer will promptly return the lot to Phillips, and we will then refund the Purchase Price paid to us. As described more fully in Paragraph 13 below, the refund shall constitute the sole remedy and recourse of the buyer against Phillips and the seller with respect to such rescinded sale. 11 Export, Import and Endangered Species Licenses and Permits Before bidding for any property, prospective buyers are advised to make their own inquiries as to whether a license is required to export a lot from the US or to import it into another country. Prospective buyers are advised that some countries prohibit the import of property made of or incorporating plant or animal material, such as coral, crocodile, ivory, whalebone, Brazilian rosewood, rhinoceros horn or tortoiseshell, irrespective of age, percentage or value. Accordingly, prior to bidding, prospective buyers considering export of purchased lots should familiarize themselves with relevant export and import regulations of the countries concerned. It is solely the buyer’s responsibility to comply with these laws and to obtain any necessary export, import and endangered species licenses or permits. Failure to obtain a license or permit or delay in so doing will not justify the cancellation of the sale or any delay in making full payment for the lot. As a courtesy to clients, Phillips has marked in the catalogue lots containing potentially regulated plant or animal material, but we do not accept liability for errors or for failing to mark lots containing protected or regulated species.
(d) Subject to subparagraph (e) below, none of Phillips, any of our afliated companies or the seller shall be liable to the buyer for any loss or damage beyond the refund of the Purchase Price referred to in subparagraph (a) above, whether such loss or damage is characterized as direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential, or for the payment of interest on the Purchase Price to the fullest extent permitted by law. (e) No provision in these Conditions of Sale shall be deemed to exclude or limit the liability of Phillips or any of our afliated companies to the buyer in respect of any fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation made by any of us or in respect of death or personal injury caused by our negligent acts or omissions. 14 Copyright The copyright in all images, illustrations and written materials produced by or for Phillips relating to a lot, including the contents of this catalogue, is and shall remain at all times the property of Phillips and such images and materials may not be used by the buyer or any other party without our prior written consent. Phillips and the seller make no representations or warranties that the buyer of a lot will acquire any copyright or other reproduction rights in it. 15 General (a) These Conditions of Sale, as changed or supplemented as provided in Paragraph 1 above, and Authorship Warranty set out the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the transactions contemplated herein and supersede all prior and contemporaneous written, oral or implied understandings, representations and agreements. (b) Notices to Phillips shall be in writing and addressed to the department in charge of the sale, quoting the reference number specifed at the beginning of the sale catalogue. Notices to clients shall be addressed to the last address notifed by them in writing to Phillips. (c) These Conditions of Sale are not assignable by any buyer without our prior written consent but are binding on the buyer’s successors, assigns and representatives. (d) Should any provision of these Conditions of Sale be held void, invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and efect. No failure by any party to exercise, nor any delay in exercising, any right or remedy under these Conditions of Sale shall act as a waiver or release thereof in whole or in part. 16 Law and Jurisdiction (a) The rights and obligations of the parties with respect to these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty, the conduct of the auction and any matters related to any of the foregoing shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with laws of the State of New York, excluding its conficts of law rules.
(b) Phillips, all bidders and all sellers agree to the exclusive jurisdiction of the (i) state courts of the State of New York located in New York City and (ii) the federal courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York to settle all disputes arising in connection with all aspects of all matters or transactions to which these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty relate or apply. (c) All bidders and sellers irrevocably consent to service of process or any other documents in connection with proceedings in any court by facsimile transmission, personal service, delivery by mail or in any other manner permitted by New York law or the law of the place of service, at the last address of the bidder or seller known to Phillips. 17 Sales Tax (a) Unless the buyer has delivered a valid certifcate evidencing exemption from tax, the buyer shall pay applicable sales tax on any lot picked up or delivered anywhere in the United States. (b) If the point of delivery or transfer of possession for any purchased lot to the buyer or the buyer’s designee (including any private carrier) occurs in New York, then the sale is subject to New York sales tax at the existing rate of 8.875%. (c) If the buyer arranges shipping for any purchased lot in New York by a common carrier (such as the United States Postal Service, United Parcel Service, or FedEx) that does not operate under a private agreement or contract with negotiated terms to be delivered to an out of state destination, then the sale is not subject to New York sales tax.
Authorship Warranty Phillips warrants the authorship of property in this auction catalogue described in headings in bold or CAPITALIZED type for a period of fve years from date of sale by Phillips, subject to the exclusions and limitations set forth below. (a) Phillips gives this Authorship Warranty only to the original buyer of record (i.e., the registered successful bidder) of any lot. This Authorship Warranty does not extend to (i) subsequent owners of the property, including purchasers or recipients by way of gif from the original buyer, heirs, successors, benefciaries and assigns; (ii) property where the description in the catalogue states that there is a confict of opinion on the authorship of the property; (iii) property where our attribution of authorship was on the date of sale consistent with the generally accepted opinions of specialists, scholars or other experts; (iv) property whose description or dating is proved inaccurate by means of scientifc methods or tests not generally accepted for use at the time of the publication of the catalogue or which were at such time deemed unreasonably expensive or impractical to use or likely in
our reasonable opinion to have caused damage or loss in value to the lot or (v) property where there has been no material loss in value from the value of the lot had it been as described in the heading of the catalogue entry. (b) In any claim for breach of the Authorship Warranty, Phillips reserves the right, as a condition to rescinding any sale under this warranty, to require the buyer to provide to us at the buyer’s expense the written opinions of two recognized experts approved in advance by Phillips. We shall not be bound by any expert report produced by the buyer and reserve the right to consult our own experts at our expense. If Phillips agrees to rescind a sale under the Authorship Warranty, we shall refund to the buyer the reasonable costs charged by the experts commissioned by the buyer and approved in advance by us. (c) Subject to the exclusions set forth in subparagraph (a) above, the buyer may bring a claim for breach of the Authorship Warranty provided that (i) he or she has notifed Phillips in writing within three months of receiving any information which causes the buyer to question the authorship of the lot, specifying the auction in which the property was included, the lot number in the auction catalogue and the reasons why the authorship of the lot is being questioned and (ii) the buyer returns the lot to Phillips to the saleroom in which it was purchased in the same condition as at the time of its auction and is able to transfer good and marketable title in the lot free from any third party claim arising afer the date of the auction. Phillips has discretion to waive any of the foregoing requirements set forth in this subparagraph (c) or subparagraph (b) above. (d) The buyer understands and agrees that the exclusive remedy for any breach of the Authorship Warranty shall be rescission of the sale and refund of the original Purchase Price paid. This remedy shall constitute the sole remedy and recourse of the buyer against Phillips, any of our afliated companies and the seller and is in lieu of any other remedy available as a matter of law or equity. This means that none of Phillips, any of our afliated companies or the seller shall be liable for loss or damage beyond the remedy expressly provided in this Authorship Warranty, whether such loss or damage is characterized as direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential, or for the payment of interest on the original Purchase Price.
450 Park Avenue New York 10022 phillips.com +1 212 940 1200 firstname.lastname@example.org Please return this form by email to email@example.com at least 24 hours before the sale. Please read carefully the information in the right column and note that it is important that you indicate whether you are applying as an individual or on behalf of a company. Please select the type of bid you wish to make with this form (please select one): Paddle Number
In-person Absentee Bidding Telephone Bidding
• Company purchases: If you are buying under a business entity, we require a copy of government-issued identification (such as the certificate of incorporation) as well as proof of owners and directors to verify the status of the company. • Conditions of Sale: All bids are placed and executed, and all lots are sold and purchased, subject to the Conditions of Sale printed in the catalogue. Please read them carefully before placing a bid. Your attention is drawn to Paragraph 4 of the Conditions of Sale.
Please indicate in what capacity you will be bidding (please select one):
As a private individual On behalf of a company
• If you cannot attend the sale, we can execute bids confidentially on your behalf.
Sale Title Title
• Private purchases: Proof of identity in the form of government-issued identification and proof of address will be required.
Sale Number First Name
Surname Account Number
Company (if applicable) Address
• Phillips charges the successful bidder a commission, or buyer’s premium, on the hammer price of each lot sold. The buyer’s premium is payable by the buyer as part of the total purchase price at the following rates: 25% of the hammer price up to and including $400,000, 20% of the portion of the hammer price above $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000 and 13.5% of the portion of the hammer price above $4,000,000 on each lot sold.
• “Buy” or unlimited bids will not be accepted. Alternative bids can be placed by using the word “OR” between lot numbers.
• For absentee bids, indicate your maximum limit for each lot, excluding the buyer’s premium and any applicable sales or use tax. Your bid will be executed at the lowest price taking into account the reserve and other bidders. On no reserve lots, in the absence of other bids, your bid will be executed at approximately 50% of the low pre-sale estimate or at the amount specified, if less than 50% of the low estimate.
Zip Code Phone
• Your bid must be submitted in the currency of the sale and may be rounded down to the nearest amount consistent with the auctioneer’s bidding increments.
Phone (for Phone Bidding only)
• If we receive identical bids, the first bid received will take precedence.
Phone number to call at the time of sale (for Phone Bidding only) 1.
Please complete the following section for telephone and absentee bids only Lot Number
In Consecutive Order
US $ Limit* Absentee Bids Only
* Excluding Buyer’s Premium and sales or use taxes
By checking this box, you confrm your registration/bid(s) as above and accept the Conditions of Sale of Phillips as stated in our catalogues and on our website.
Index Arp, J. 31 Basquiat, J.-M. 26 Celmins, V. 9 Clark, L. 37 Curtiss, J. 1 Diebenkorn, R. 21, 22 Giacometti, A. 6 Guston, P. 11, 12 Haring, K. 29 Herrera, C. 38 Johns, J. 36 Katz, A. 42 KAWS 28, 34, 39 Koons, J. 32 Krasner, L. 20 Lichtenstein, R. 16 Louis, M. 24 Mirรณ, J. 5 Moore, H. 33 Nara, Y. 4 Picasso, P. 7 Polke, S. 15 Puryear, M. 14 Rockwell, N. 8 Rosenquist, J. 40 Ruscha, E. 25 Ryman, R. 10 Scully, S. 30 Self, T. 2 Sturtevant 3 Tamayo, R. 23 Thiebaud, W. 19 Tuymans, L. 13 Twombly, C. 35 Warhol, A. 17 Wesselman, T. 41 Wood, J. 18 Wool, C. 27
Phillips presents our 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 14 November 2019.