Christie’s Announces An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection
NEW YORK & PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep 5, 2018--Christie’s is honored to present An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection, which will be offered in a dedicated evening and day sale in November as a highlight of its flagship 20thCentury Week in New York. The collection of Barney A. Ebsworth represents an extraordinary achievement in the history of collecting — a singular assemblage of over 85 artworks that illuminates the rise of American art across the 20 th century. Highlights of the collection include Edward Hopper’sChop Suey, 1929, the most important work by the artist still in private hands (estimate in the region of $70 million), Jackson Pollock’sComposition with Red Strokes (estimate in the region of $50 million) and Willem de Kooning’sWoman as Landscape (estimate in the region of $60 million).
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EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967), Chop Suey, oil on canvas, 32 x 38 in. Painted in 1929. Estimate in the region of $70 million (Photo: Business Wire)
A global tour of highlights will commence in Paris 6-9 September, coinciding with La Biennale Paris, followed by highlight exhibitions in New York, Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and culminating with the auction preview at Christie’s Rockefeller Galleries in New York. The tour in Paris will include works by Hopper, Pollock, de Kooning, Kline, Nadelman, Davis, Sheeler, O’Keeffe and Glackens. The collection is expected to realize in excess of $300 million.
Marc Porter, Chairman, Christie’s Americas, commented : “Last season, Christie’s made the bold move of launching the $835 million Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller in Asia, underscoring our investment and deep commitment to collectors in this growing region. This season, Christie’s Paris will host the debut of this stunning collection for the global collecting community, positioning it in the heart of Europe and paying homage to Barney A. Ebsworth’s lifelong love affair with the city that first introduced him to great art. His unique journey as a collector resonates with the influence and art historical connections of Gertrude Stein’s Paris, and ultimately set a new high standard for the creation of a nuanced collection of 20thCentury Art that is without parallel in its exceptional depth and quality.”
As a tribute to the former Stieglitz gallery, Ebsworth bestowed the name “An American Place” on his home in Seattle, which was built in collaboration with architect Jim Olson and designed as a dialogue between art and architecture. Ebsworth’s credo in collecting was “quality, quality, quality,” and with that mindset he amassed the most comprehensive collection of American Modernism in private hands, with many works having been loaned to leading institutions throughout his years of ownership.
A seminal composition within the landscape of American Modernism, Edward Hopper’s Chop Suey was one of Mr. Ebsworth’s most prized possessions (estimate in the region of $70 million). Possibly derived from a Cantonese phrase, tsap sui, meaning ‘odds and ends,’ chop suey referred not only to a low-cost stir-fry dish but, moreover, to a public destination where the societal fusion of different cultural elements of the modern city came together. As in his masterwork Nighthawks (1942, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois), Hopper’s 1929 painting Chop Suey distills the atmosphere of this everyday eatery into a cinematic scene that at once depicts an implicit narrative while creating clear allusions to broader themes of social isolation, gender roles and art historical tradition. While having its roots in the French Impressionist and Ashcan traditions of painting city life , Chop Suey incorporates a thoroughly modern play of light and color to capture a specific restaurant that the Hoppers frequented on the Upper West Side of New York. The most important painting by Hopper left in private hands, Chop Suey epitomizes the psychologically complex meditations for which the artist is best known, while uniquely capturing the zeitgeist of New York during one of its most interesting eras of transition. Chop Suey was included in the groundbreaking retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris 2012-13, which broke attendance records for the location.
Porter continued, “Christie’s is honored to have been entrusted with this great collection which brings Hopper’s great masterpiece back to Paris five years after his retrospective at the Grand Palais. With Hopper’s Nighthawks traveling to the Shanghai Museum this fall, at the same time that Chop Suey tours to Christie’s Hong Kong, the artist’s two greatest masterpieces will be on view to the public in Asia, introducing new generations of collectors to the brilliance of this great American master.”
Willem de Kooning’s Woman as Landscape is a tour-de-force of 20 th century painting (estimate in the region of $60 million). Executed at the height of the artist’s career in 1955, this large-scale canvas belongs to a small group of works that are well positioned among the most powerful paintings in American art. Measuring over five and a half feet tall, Woman as Landscape is a heroic painting that encompasses the painterly bravado and radical use of color that singled out de Kooning as a leader of the Abstract Expressionist movement, and one of the pre-eminent painters of his generation. The shocking female forms sensationalized the art world, energizing and scandalizing in equal measure, but his vivid brushwork came to represent the dramatic shift in art that occurred in the postwar years, a change that would alter the course of art history. Now firmly established as part of the 20 th century art historical canon, many of de Kooning’s Woman paintings form the cornerstones of major international museum collections and as such, Woman as Landscape is one of the only paintings from this important period of the artist’s career to remain in private hands.
Jackson Pollock’s Composition with Red Strokes was executed in 1950 during the peak of his extraordinary creative output and is a central work to the artist’s oeuvre, demonstrating his new technique (estimate in the region of $50 million). It was these startling, original and accomplished paintings that, in Willem de Kooning’s phrase, finally ‘broke the ice’ for American painting, completely revolutionizing it and in the process reshaping the entire history of 20 th century art. The diverse, virtuosic and carefully controlled markmaking in Composition with Red Strokes represents the variety, subtlety and mystery that Pollock had achieved in his new language of paint. Displaying a fascinatingly dense, intricate and animated abstract surface, Composition with Red Strokes is one of the richest, most engaging and successfully resolved of all these famous works. Other works made by Pollock in this key period are held at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art.
GLOBAL TOUR OF HIGHLIGHTSParis: 6 - 9 September New York: 7 - 12 September Hong Kong: 28 September - 3 October London: 28 September - 5 October San Francisco: 16 - 20 October Los Angeles: 23 - 27 October
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Rebecca Riegelhaupt, 212-636-2680
Sara Fox, 212-636-2680
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PUB: 09/05/2018 04:30 AM/DISC: 09/05/2018 04:30 AM