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Christie's sale in New York to include works from the collection of Ruth Horwich
John Chamberlain, Tonk #7-84 enamel on steel 44 x 13 3/4 x 6 in. Executed in 1984 Estimate: $100,000-150,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s will offer Works from the Collection of Ruth Horwich as part of the upcoming First Open Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art. Ruth Horwich and her husband Leonard were among the founders of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago and were extremely important to the development and support of the Chicago contemporary art world beginning in the late 1950s. Twenty-four works of art from the collection, including an extensive collection of jewelry by Alexander Calder, will be offered at auction on March 6th. The works will be exhibited at Christie’s Rockefeller Center Galleries from February 28th to March 3rd.

“We are thrilled to be honoring the legacy of Ruth Horwich with this selection of works from her collection. As a great patron of the arts and champion of artists such as Alexander Calder, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, and other names synonymous with the Chicago art scene, Ruth Horwich was a revered figure both in Chicago and beyond. Ruth Horwich was always ahead of her time and these works reflect her incredible eye, originality, and sense of style” declared Laura Paulson, Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art.

Although well known for his iconic mobiles and monumental outdoor sculptures, Alexander Calder also possessed an exceptional talent for working on a more intimate scale to produce exquisite pieces of jewelry. Each piece was individually designed and hand-made by the artist, displaying the artist’s signature working practice and the same sense of artistic formality and grace that is present in his larger-scaled works. These examples from the collection of Ruth Horwich display Calder’s incredible dexterity in the necklace, bracelet and brooch form, each containing a tightly wound coil of lustrous metal – which was a constant theme that ran throughout his jewelry practice. In Spiral Pin, a flat ribbon of gold wraps in on itself until it seemingly disappears in the center of an ever-coiling circle (estimate: $50,000-70,000). In Bracelet, Calder constructs a series of brass tendrils that extend up the wrist, snuggly gripping the forearm (estimate: $60,000-80,000). In Necklace, Calder arranges a cascade of miniature coils on a piece of leather chord to shimmering wave of golden hues that sways with a sense of excited animation (estimate: $100,000-150,000). Several works including Bracelet were first shown in a legendary exhibition of Calder’s jewelry at the Willard Gallery in New York in 1940.

In addition to her collection, Horwich was a dedicated supporter of many of Chicago’s art institutions, taking on leadership roles and donating many significant works from her collection. She served on the Twentieth-Century painting and sculpture committee at the Art Institute of Chicago and was appointed to the exhibitions committee of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago at a time when exhibition proposals were hotly debated. But perhaps her most longstanding and personally rewarding relationship was with the Hyde Park Art Center, one of the oldest alternative art spaces in Chicago. She served on their board for forty years and during her tenure was able to share her knowledge and indulge her passion for supporting and mentoring local artists such as Jim Nutt and Ed Paschke whose works will be offered during the sale.

Leading the sale of the collection are Andy Warhol’s Shoe with Diamond Dust and John Chamberlain’s Tonk #7-84 both estimated $100,000-150,000. Highlights of the jewelry include Calder’s exquisite Necklace and Necklace with Five Circle Drops, each with an estimate of $100,000-150,000.

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