Christie's opens new exhibitions in Aspen and Southampton

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Christie's opens new exhibitions in Aspen and Southampton
Grace Hartigan (1922-2008), East Side Peddler. Signed and dated 'Hartigan '56' (lower right) oil on canvas, 29 ½ x 39 in. (74.9 x 99.1 cm.) Painted in 1956. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces the second selling exhibition for its Summer 2021 Aspen residency, OUT WEST (July 17-28).

Christie’s latest private selling exhibition, OUT WEST, encapsulates the progression of various narratives and visions of the American West as reflected in 20th and 21st Century artwork. Works by major artists across various disciplines are represented in the exhibition, from Thomas Hart Benton, to Richard Misrach, and Wayne Thiebaud, all uniquely inspired by the American West. Paying homage to Aspen and the surrounding region, OUT WEST features works by artists who worked in, were inspired by, and depicted the American West. From Ed Ruscha mountain paintings to Richard Prince’s cowboys, OUT WEST brings together a group of artists connected by their love of western imagery and landscape. The private selling exhibition will take place this summer in a pop-up gallery space nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain from 17-28 July, 2021.

Emily Kaplan, Senior Specialist, Post-War & Contemporary Art, comments: “The ‘Wild West’ is both a symptom and symbol of mankind’s unparalleled advancement and fascination with exploration in the 20th Century. This radical shift away from traditionally structured society towards a preference for freedom and self-reliance was also mirrored in the art-making shifts that occurred in the 20th and 21st Century. OUT WEST showcases the curiosity, imagination, and wonder of the new frontier explored by major modern and contemporary artists of the 20th Century.”

One of the earliest works in the exhibition is John Rogers Cox’s golden Wheat Fields oil from 1943, demonstrating the artist’s uniquely magical depictions of landscapes. “A wheat field has a whispering sound and an awe-inspiring quality like drifting music and, like an ocean, it gives you a lonely feeling,” said the artist. The uncanny and surreal are also manifested in a highlight of the exhibition, Mark Tansey’s (First) Study for Forward Retreat from 1986. The painting has remained in the same collection for over 20 years and is the first study for a canvas that presently resides in the collection of The Broad, Los Angeles. Depicted in the work are three inverted horseback riders seated backwards, peering through binoculars behind them. With this work, Tansey has embodied a meditation on the progression of history and art-making as creative destruction of the past.

Kat Widing, Specialist, Post-War & Contemporary Art, remarks: “The nostalgia of the ‘Wild West’ lies in the excitement of being at the edge of discovery. Groundbreaking ways of expression have all blossomed from risk-taking and experimentation amid the unknown. OUT WEST is a celebration of the possibilities that propel history and art history forward. It is a special moment for Christie’s to host this exhibition within the very landscape that inspired these artists.”

Out West will be open to the public from July 17-28 with hours of 11am - 5pm from Monday to Saturday.

Additionally on view, from July 16-24, is Handbags | Out West, a curated selection of collectible handbags. During this week, Christie’s welcomes clients to meet our Handbags & Accessories Specialists and discover a curated selection available for immediate purchase. Alongside timeless pieces to build the foundation of a collection, the offering will also include contemporary takes on enduring classics, such as the Hermès limited edition Mini Picnic Kelly 20 and custom, horseshoe-stamped pieces in some of the brand’s most desirable colors. The crown jewel of the selection is an Hermès Exceptional, Gris Cendré Himalaya Birkin 30 with Diamond Hardware, whose delicate color-gradation famously mimics the snow-capped Himalaya mountains, and features 18k White Gold Hardware inset with brilliant diamonds. Prices for private sale Handbags begin at $20,000.

On view in Southampton | 17 July – 8 August 2021

Christie’s also announced Grace Hartigan: No Rules, a selling exhibition devoted to the mastery and creativity of Grace Hartigan (1922-2008). Open to the public from July 17 to August 8 at Christie’s newest gallery in the Hamptons, No Rules is comprised of 18 rarely-seen works from the 1940s through the 1970s that trace Hartigan’s radical and fearless evolution as an artist, exploring abstraction, figuration and their intersection.

In the 1950’s, Hartigan was arguably the most celebrated woman artist of her day, with profiles in Life Magazine, Newsweek and Time, and a string of major gallery shows in New York. In 1958, she was the only woman to be included in the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “The New American Painting” that later toured eight European countries. Museums and major collectors acquired the majority of her early works, including the architect Philip Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller, Peggy Guggenheim, and Beatrice Perry, among others. Her circle of artists and friends included Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Franz Kline, and the poet Frank O’Hara. Yet despite her fame, Klein notes that Hartigan’s name is not as instantly recognizable as many of her contemporaries, and her contributions to the history of New York painting and the Abstract Expressionist movement remain under-represented, despite her towering influence.

No Rules is a sweeping survey of Hartigan’s work across three decades, including oil paintings, works on paper, collage and watercolors. In keeping with the spirit of Christie’s east end location, many of the works selected for the show take their inspiration from the familiar landscapes of eastern Long Island, where Hartigan spent time in the summer during the years she lived and worked in New York City.

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