Recently Sotheby’s unveiled highlights from their Contemporary Curated sale that will take place on 6 March in New York. This season, the world-famous auction house welcomed guest curator Kim Jones, one of the fashion industry’s preeminent voices who currently serves as Artistic Director for Dior Men Ready-to-Wear and Accessories. As the curator, Jones lends his celebrated eye to select his favourite works from the 250+ lots on offer. His selections include outstanding works by Cindy Sherman, David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, Kerry James Marshall, Nick Cave and Richard Prince, among others, reflecting his unique taste and distinct vision.
The March sale presents an extraordinary selection of pieces spanning the past seven decades of art history, anchored by exceptional artworks from some of the 20th and 21st century’s greatest creative voices, such as Wayne Thiebaud, Joan Mitchell, Lee Bontecou, John McCracken, Simone Leigh, Yoshitomo Nara and George Condo. Further distinguishing the March offering, an impressive ensemble of works from renowned private collections will also be on offer, including the collection of Robert A. Bernhard, the Levy Family collection, the collection of Pat and Michael York and the collection of Marc Jacobs. An exemplary assortment of Latin American post-war and Contemporary artists, ranging from Carlos Cruz-Diez to Fernando Botero and Olga de Amaral are also represented in the March offering.
All of the works on offer will be on public view in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries having started on Friday, 28 February.
“Both fashion and art are within culture, and I draw inspiration from both. And it’s an organic relationship for me. From the beginning of fashion, designers work with artists and artists work with designers, it kind of goes hand in hand.”Kim Jones
In March 2018, Jones was appointed as Artistic Director of Dior Men Ready-to-Wear and Accessories collections. His first collection was presented in June 2018, during the Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Jones has collaborated with visual artists including KAWS, Hajime Sorayama, Raymond Pettibon, Alex Foxton and Daniel Arsham among others. In 2019, Jones received GQ China’s Designer of the Year Award, the British Fashion Council’s British Designer of the Year Award, GQ Germany’s Designer of the Year Award and British GQ’s Designer of the Year Award.
Born in London in 1979, Jones attended London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where he obtained an MA in Menswear. His graduation show was covered extensively by the press which convinced him to launch his eponymous brand and his first collection was presented at London Fashion Week in 2003.
Following a stint as a designer for British high street sportswear brand Umbro, Jones followed with designs for Britain’s Topman, Mulberry, Alexander McQueen, Alfred Dunhill and others where he injected his own vibrant mix of high fashion and street style into classic English menswear. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011 as Men’s Studio Director and presented his last collection in January 2018.
A SELECTION OF KIM’S PICKS
ADDITIONAL SALE HIGHLIGHTS
On the heels of their record-breaking sale of Encased Cakes in November 2019, Sotheby’s will present an exceptional trio of works by Wayne Thiebaud, on offer from a Distinguished Private Collection, San Francisco. Leading the group is Civic Center, a radiant and expansive oil from 1986 with an estimate of $2.5-3.5 million.
In the present work, colour and shape inform each other, bringing the viewer on an emotional journey inspired by a wonder rooted in the limitless potential inherent to the imagination. As a site of a formal investigation, Civic Center subverts the standard illusionistic toolset, skewing the scale of objects in their relation to the landscape and each other with the sharp clarity of line and vision.
While works like Civic Center are intrinsically tied to the lived experience of the unique geography of San Francisco, the impossible angles and spatial distortions of the present work are only made possible by compositing multiple viewpoints and synthesizing them into a single composition.
Acquired by the present owner in 2010, Yoshitomo Nara’s Fire from 2009 further distinguishes the March offering and is expected to fetch an estimated $700 000 -900 000.
In Fire, Nara places his viewer in a penetratingly cerebral encounter with a figure that embodies the very essence of childhood by conflating two important archetypes—the rebellious youth and the lonely child—in order to emphasize both naivete and mischief. The child is by herself staring at the fire in awe, which hints to a viewer that she may have been the one to start the fire or makes no attempts to extinguish it.
Enchantingly enigmatic, the figure of the little girl is reflective of iterations in Japanese visual culture: the comics and graphic novels of manga and its video form, anime, and the absorption of Pop culture all powerfully collide with Nara’s unique mindscape. Ultimately, the mischievous gaze and defiant twist of the little girl’s hand from view makes her the singular most iconic figure in Nara’s overall output.
Created in 1965, Untitled is a sublime example of Lee Bontecou’s most renowned body of work: large-scale wall sculptures fabricated in the early 1960s. Bontecou’s ability to condense the dreams, anxieties and fears of her time into a sculptural form made her one of the most important artists in New York in the 1960s.
The fierce, powerful authenticity exuded by Untitled and other contemporary sculptures afforded the artist a singular position in the art world: Bontecou was the sole female artist represented by the famed Leo Castelli Gallery throughout the 1960s.
The present work’s exhibition history is a testament to the many meanings assigned to Bontecou’s works. The shows, from Leo Castelli Gallery and Greene Naftali in the 1990s and Michael Rosenfeld and Barbara Mathes Gallery in the 2010s, have showcased the present work’s varied embodiment of medium, gender and era.
Additional highlights include: Donald Judd’s Untitled from 1987, which typifies the artist’s revered body of multicoloured wall pieces (estimate $600/800,000); John McCracken’s Untitled (Red Plank) from 1976, which was created exactly ten years after the artist’s first plank sculpture and represents the deep influence of both the east and west coasts on his oeuvre (estimate $400/600,000); and Simone Leigh’s Decatur (Cobalt) from 2015, an engrossing sculpture that was acquired by the present owner the same year that it was executed and serves as a striking example of the artist’s signature investigative subject matter (estimate $60/80,000).