NEW YORK, NY.- Christies
will offer The Collection of Richard L. Weisman, an outstanding selection of paintings, drawings, works on paper and sculpture assembled by the passionate and prolific collector throughout his lifetime. The collection, an eclectic blend of works that will be offered through Christies major sales in New York this fall in the categories of Post-War & Contemporary Art, American Art, and Latin American Art, as well as an online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics. Additional sales in 2020 will offer works in the categories of Modern British Art and Photographs.
Featuring important images of American icons and iconography by some of the 20th centurys greatest Pop artists, the Collection includes seminal works by Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Peter Beard who all became friends of the colorful collector. Additional works by Norman Rockwell, Tom Wesselmann, Alberto Giacometti, and Roy Lichtenstein highlight Weismans diverse and unique aesthetic. The collection is expected to exceed $15 million for the sales in 2019.
Abby Weisman, daughter of Richard L. Weisman, said: My fathers art collection reminds me of one of his dinner parties. Typically, these occasions included luminaries from the art, sports, entertainment, and social worlds. Every person at the table had a fascinating story to tell and was accomplished in his/her own medium. Chances are, youd walk away with something to think about. And so it is with the Collection. The breadth reflects a lifetimes progression from Fullerton High in the 1950s to the U.N. Plaza in the 70s and 80s, right through to a quieter focus on family values in later years. Through all this runs nostalgia for a personal ideology, which may have eluded my father at certain times in life. And if art offers us what nature does not, then the shiny comic book culture, which jumps from the canvases of Warhol, Ramos, and Lichtenstein, is not an unlikely dinner partner for the sentiments of Rockwell and George Hughes. Throw in the vitality of some lesser-known artists and the dinner party is complete.
Sara Friedlander, Head of Evening Sale, Post-War & Contemporary Art commented: Richard L. Weisman was a collector whose love for art endeared him to some of the twentieth centurys most creative figures. Having grown up surrounded by art, it is Weismans close friendship with Andy Warhol for which he is best remembered. As an avid lover of art and sports, Weisman approached Warhol with the idea to combine the two. Completed between 1977 and 1979, Athletes consists of ten distinct subjects depicting the major sports stars of the age. Recognizing the growing commercialization of sports, it is through this series that Weisman challenged Warhol to embrace the changing nature of fame as athletes and sports stars rose to take center stage in American popular culture.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PERSONAL COLLECTION
I personally dont like to limit the scope of my collecting I just love the art, Richard L. Weisman once explained. It was with a passion for creative expression that Weisman curated his cherished collection.
Andy Warhols Athletes, which will be sold separately in Christies November sales, are
multi-colored 40 x 40-inch acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas portraits that depict the most iconic sports stars of the 1970s. Being among the inner circle of Warhols Factory, Richard Weisman knew the artist well when he approached him to produce Athletes as a series of paintings completed between 1977 and 1979.|
The series features images of Muhammad Ali (boxing, estimate $4,000,000 6,000,000), Chris Evert (tennis, estimate: $250,000 350,000), Jack Nicklaus (golf, estimate: $200,000 300,000), Tom Seaver (baseball, $150,000 250,000), Willie Shoemaker (horse racing, $250,000 350,000), Dorothy Hamill (figure skating, estimate: $250,000 350,000), Pelé (soccer, estimate: $400,000 600,000), OJ Simpson (football, estimate: $250,000 350,000), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball, estimate: $300,000 500,000), and Vitas Gerulaitis (tennis, estimate:$200,000 300,000).
I chose the sports stars, Weisman noted of his role in selecting the sports stars that would be featured. Andy didnt really know the difference between a football and a golf ball. Using his Polaroid Big Shot camera, Warhol took each of the photographs himself. Eventually, these works appeared in magazines and billboards across the nation promoting everything from sportswear to cars and breakfast cereals. The sports stars of today are the movie stars of yesterday, Warhol later noted.
A strong selection of American Illustration continues the collections narrative of American identity and iconography. Leading the group is Norman Rockwells Harvest Moon, a cover illustration epitomizing the artists quintessential nostalgia through the subject of young love (estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000). Other paintings by Rockwell in the collection include the large-scale oil painting Red Head (estimate: $600,000-800,000) and Laughing Boy (estimate $150,000-250,000), which has compositional similarities to Warhols Athletes series.
Fellow Saturday Evening Post illustrator George Hughes is represented by the 1950s cover illustrations Summer Romance Spoiled (estimate: $30,000-50,000) and Untidy Boys Bedroom (estimate: $25,000-35,000). Additional works by Hughes, as well as Gillette Elvgren and Kurt Ard, will be offered in the American Art online sale.
RICHARD L. WEISMAN (1940-2018)
Born to notable art collectors Frederick and Marcia Weisman, Richard L. Weisman grew up surrounded by art and artists. His parentsfamously depicted in David Hockneys American Collectors, now at the Art Institute of Chicagowere two of Californias most distinguished 20th century art connoisseurs and among the original founders of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Weisman was also the nephew of industrialist and collector Norton Simon, for whom an art museum in Pasadena, Calif. is named. A prolific and passionate collector in his own right, Weismans prescient eye allowed him to assemble a remarkable collection of masterworks that depict some of the 20th centurys most important Pop icons and iconography. For Weisman, art represented an opportunity to explore the vast scope of human creativity, free from all constraints.
In the Sixties, the recent college graduate began a lifetime of collecting with the purchase of his first piece of art: Roberto Mattas 1955 oil on canvas Early Urge (estimate: $80,000 120,000). In the years that followed, Weisman steadily assembled not only an exceptional grouping of masterworks, but also a remarkable circle of friends. Weisman became renowned for entertaining athletes, actors, and artists at his homes with gatherings that welcomed a coterie of creatives from Peter Beard, Roy Lichtenstein, and Barnett Newman to Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.