Christie’s New York Announces Property From The Estate Of Sondra Gilman

To be sold in the 20th Century evening sale and post-war & contemporary art day sale. Highlights include works by Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stelle, and Ed Ruscha.

Christie’s recently announced Property from the Estate of Sondra Gilman will be sold during the Spring Marquee Week of sales taking place this May in New York.

Highlighting the group are three works by Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, and Kenneth Noland which will be included in the 20th Century Evening Sale. An additional nine works will be sold in the Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale by leading names across the post-war and contemporary era, including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Ed Ruscha, and Lynda Benglis, among others. In total, the group of 12 works is expected to realize in excess of $11 million.

Sondra Gilman was a native New Yorker and an aficionado of art throughout the entirety of her life. Immersed in the contemporary art scene from a young age, she honed both her academic skills and connoisseurial eye through her studies in Art History at Syracuse University.

After college, she returned to Manhattan, forging relationships with artists and seeking out cutting-edge new works from the studios across the city. Her first major purchase for her own collection was a large-scale work by Frank Stella Hagmatana I, 1967 which will be a highlight of the Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale (estimate: $700,000-1,000,000).

Gilman was especially drawn to large-scale works that demonstrated an artist’s ability to fully immerse the viewer and sought out works that aligned with her interest in bold, colorful pieces that prompted both contemplation and conversation.

Darius Himes, Christie’s International Head of Photographs, remarks: “Sondra Gilman lived her life to the fullest, relishing her role as a generous patron of the rich cultural life of the city she loved. She had a sophisticated eye from early on and collected bold, beautiful works that pushed the edges of art-making at the time.

She embraced the whole range of visual and performing arts, showering her energy and support on the institutions with whom she worked. Christie’s is proud to highlight her taste, and spirit of custodianship, in our season’s sales. Her vibrant persona and infectious smile are deeply missed.”

Collection Highlights: 20th Century Evening Sale

Christie’s New York Announces Property From The Estate Of Sondra Gilman
Ellsworth Kelly (1923–2015)
Blue Red-Orange
oil on canvas
75 x 69¾ in. (190.5 x 177.2 cm.)
Painted in 1964-1965.
Estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000

Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue Red-Orange is exemplary of his ability to evoke feeling and human connectivity from abstract forms. In it, competing fields of vibrant color create a sense of drama, pushing the chromatic power of color to its limits. This tension between the strong presence of blue tightly juxtaposed within two slices of red creates the notion of a sculpture in relief.

It is unique for its remarkable scale and early date, from his coveted early works of the 1960s.

Agnes Martin’s Untitled #8 employs paint and graphite to unearth truths about perception, intimacy, and spirituality. Included in the artist’s retrospective at the Serpentine Gallery in London, Untitled #8 exemplifies Martin’s belief that art should be an act of enlightenment. The work comprises six horizontal grey stripes, almost levitating above the canvas.

Christie’s New York Announces Property From The Estate Of Sondra Gilman
Agnes Martin (1912–2004)
Untitled #8
acrylic and graphite on canvas
72 x 72 in. (182.9 x 182.9 cm)
Executed in 1990.
Estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000

Like an ethereal tapestry, the painting displays a wonderful interplay between foreground and background. It is a superb example of the artist’s work from the 1990s, evoking a meditative sense of calm, beauty, and otherworldliness.

Kenneth Noland’s Lunar Episode is a superlative early example of the artist’s bold and innovative target paintings that transformed gestural constructs of Abstract Expressionism into formal celebrations of pure color. Featuring concentric circles of vibrant yellow, orange, and blush set against a monochromatic gray and blue background, it is one of the most vibrant and important target paintings to come to market.

Christie’s New York Announces Property From The Estate Of Sondra Gilman
Kenneth Noland (1924–2010)
Lunar Episode
acrylic on canvas
68 x 70 in. (172.7 x 177.8 cm.)
Painted in 1959.
Estimate: $3,000,000-5,000,000

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectables, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.