NEW YORK, NY.- Christies
announced the sale of works from the Collection of Douglas S. Cramer as a highlight of its highly anticipated Post-War & Contemporary Art sales in November 2012 in New York. Cramer is one of the most successful producers in the history of television and renowned for such legendary shows as Love Boat, Wonder Woman, Dynasty and for developing Batman, Peyton Place, and The Odd Couple. He is also recognized as one of America's leading collectors of contemporary art, whose pioneering vision and early patronage of artists and museums has long had a major impact on the artistic landscape. Cramer exemplifies an art connoisseur with an incredible curiosity and passion for the new, while being faithful to the leading artists of the late 20th century many of whom he has counted as his close friends. Consisting of ten works in the Evening sale, followed by a larger and comprehensive grouping of his collection that will lead the afternoon session of the Post-War and Contemporary Day sale, the collection is led by major works by Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Ed Ruscha, Cy Twombly, Richard Prince, John Currin, Elizabeth Peyton, Cecily Brown, Fred Tomaselli, and Mark Grotjahn. Cramer has also been a passionate collector of works on paper, with works as diverse as Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, David Hockney, Lucian Freud and Marlene Dumas.
Cramer is one of the founders of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and was president of its board. He is also a longtime Trustee, and was for six years head of the Painting and Sculpture Committee at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. Routinely ranked by the press as one of the top collectors worldwide, his generosity has earned him the 2011 Cincinnati Art Award. He has gifted works to major institutions such as the Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim and the Museum of Modern Art in New York amongst others. Works from his collection have been shown at many of the leading art museums in the United States and internationally.
This is a personal honor for me to work with a collector and taste-maker as revered as Douglas Cramer. During his amazing career as one of televisions leading producers, Cramer influenced generations of viewers around the world. This sale will be the first time that his collection is presented publicly in such a comprehensive way, and it is wonderful to share Dougs journey as a collector and patron, states Brett Gorvy, International Head, Chairman for Christies Post-War and Contemporary Art.
The Collection, estimated around $25 million, includes a cohesive range of works across a number of collecting fields and mediums. A major focus of the Collection is Cramers love for works on paper. Cramer has said that a collector should never buy a painting or a sculpture without first buying a drawing. He also recommends meeting the artist: Get to know the dealers; then the artists, if they are alive; and if possible, go to their studios. Most "hot" artists' shows are sold out before they open because people bought art in their studios. When artists know you, that makes an enormous difference. It's not by chance that my closest personal friends have included Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, Ellsworth Kelly and Jim Dine.**
The Collection focuses on several works from the 1960s and 1970s by American artists including Ellsworth Kelly, Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha and Cy Twombly. Cramer has collected works by Jasper Johns since he met the artist through Leo Castelli. Paregoric as Directed Dr. Wilder, (estimate: $3,500,000-5,000,000) is an important work from 1962 that Johns offered to his doctor, after he received a prescription. Cramer also has a remarkable friendship and collecting relationship with Ellsworth Kelly. The Cramer Collection contains works from throughout the artists career, including Orange Blue I, a stunning early painting executed in 1964-65.
The Collection also offers cutting edge works of art by the most sought-after artists working today, such as Mark Grotjahn, Fred Tomaselli, Richard Prince, John Currin and Cecily Brown. Mark Grotjahn is known for his ongoing investigation of perspective. Untitled (Red Butterfly II Yellow) from the Douglas S. Cramer Collection is a radiant masterpiece here the artist uses multiple vanishing points to create complex compositions of radiating lines in blood red, which seem to both recede from and approach the viewer at the same time. This painting is set to break the world auction record price for a work by the artist sold at auction.