Sotheby’s to Auction Paintings from the Collection of Jerry Hall

. September 6, 2010 . 0 Comments

Sotheby’s London announced that it will offer for sale a group of 14 outstanding and revealing Contemporary artworks from the Collection of Jerry Hall, the world-famous American supermodel and actress, in its forthcoming October 2010 Contemporary Art sales, which coincide with London’s Frieze Art Fair. The artworks, together estimated to realise in excess of £1.5 million, will be offered in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on Friday, 15 October and Contemporary Art Day Auction on Saturday, 16 October.

This exceptional collection reflects two chapters of Miss Hall’s extraordinary life and career: firstly at the forefront of the glamorous avant-garde in 1970s and 1980s New York and subsequently her family-oriented life in London, the adored city of Lucian Freud and Frank Auerbach. Headlining the collection are Lucian Freud’s Eight Months Gone which he painted after meeting Jerry Hall at a dinner party, and Andy Warhol’s Dollar Sign which he gifted to Jerry Hall in recognition of her help with the production of his television show, Warhol TV. Works by Frank Auerbach, Robert Graham, Damien Hirst, David Bailey and R. B. Kitaj are also featured in the collection, alongside additional portraits of Jerry Hall by Ed Ruscha and Francesco Clemente.

Francesco Clemente (b.1952) Jerry Hall (detail), signed and dated 1997 on the overlap, oil on canvas, 117.4 by 234cm. 46½ by 92?in. Estimate: 100,000 GBP – 150,000 GBP. Photo: Sotheby’s

Commenting on the sale of Property from the Collection of Jerry Hall, Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s Senior Director and Senior International Specialist in Contemporary Art, said: “This exceptional offering represents a very special auction moment. These pieces provide a very personal and unique insight into the life of one of the most admired figures from the worlds of fashion, modelling, acting and contemporary culture and together they narrate Miss Hall’s outstanding story. We are delighted to be offering this revealing and completely fresh group of works which is sure to generate tremendous excitement when it appears at auction in October.”

Throughout her extraordinary career, Jerry Hall has long been a committed art lover and has assembled a collection of Contemporary Art that very much mirrors her natural exuberance. Jerry Hall has described the sale of these works from her collection as: “Movin’ on […] I think it’s about letting go of the past. At a certain age you just want to get rid of things. It’s good to be in the moment and change. I’m not afraid of change.” (cited in Jerry Hall: The Model Muse, Sotheby’s at Auction, September-October, 2010, p.30)

Undoubtedly the highlight of the collection is Lucian Freud’s (b.1922) 1997 oil on canvas Eight Months Gone, which is a remarkably intimate and sincere portrayal of one of the world’s most beautiful women by one of the greatest painters of this era. Depicting the reclining Jerry Hall eight months pregnant with her fourth child Gabriel in 1997, this painting shows her natural serenity as an expectant mother. In this capacity it provides a tranquil counterbalance to the considerable catalogue of iconic images she made with the likes of Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Francesco Scavullo during the preceding three decades.

The vestige of a wonderful encounter between these two cultural icons, the narrative of this work’s genesis has been recounted by Jerry: “When I was eight months pregnant with Gabriel, I sat next to Lucian Freud at dinner. He asked if he could paint me and wanted me to start the next day. I was flattered to be asked in my condition to model for such a great artist. I accepted and posed three times a week until I went into labour. […] It was so exhilarating to be appreciated for being natural and hugely pregnant. That was a great gift that Lucian gave me. […] We talked a lot about art, and he was very impressed that I had been so close to Andy Warhol. He loved Warhol’s work and rated him as a truly innovative artist. He also loved David Hockney, who we met for lunch, but his favourite artist and best friend was Frank Auerbach” (Jerry Hall: My Life in Pictures, p. 232).

Freud invests huge effort in his works and the present painting is especially noteworthy as there was clearly the nonnegotiable schedule of his sitter’s pregnancy. As the artist said when he first asked Jerry to sit for him: “Come tomorrow morning. We have to be quick, before you have the baby” (cited in Jerry Hall: The Model Muse, Sotheby’s at Auction, September-October, 2010, p.30). Jerry Hall played the part of artist’s muse from the moment she moved to Paris aged 16, first posing for the drawings of fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. She described how “Lucian was pleased with the way that I could get back into exactly the same position with the same angles. He told me that very few people could do that, and that I made a very good artist’s model. I was used to holding the same position for long periods of time and loved the peace and tranquillity of Lucian’s studio: no phones rang and no one ever rang the doorbell […] we stayed friends and after Gabriel’s birth I took him along in his carry-cot and we met for delicious lunches” (Jerry Hall: My Life in Pictures, p. 232).

Eight Months Gone exhibits Freud’s exceptional aptitude to describe form and character directly onto the canvas in the form of pigment and medium. The painting truly affords unique insight to the private side of one of the most public personas of our times and is estimated at £300,000-400,000. The collection also includes two further portraits of Jerry Hall: Francesco Clemente’s (b.1952) oil on canvas Jerry Hall, signed and dated 1997 (117.4 by 234cm.), which is estimated at £100,000-150,000 and Edward Ruscha (b.1937) Jerry Hall, October 23, 2003 (left), signed and dated 2003, and dedicated ‘For Jerry’, (15.4 by 10.8 by 1.5cm), which carries an estimate of £25,000-35,000. A further work by Lucian Freud in the collection is the artist’s oil on panel Quinces (23.8 by 18.4cm.), which was executed in 1944 and is estimated at £150,000-200,000.

Andy Warhol’s (1928–1987) acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, Dollar Sign, is an additional star lot of the collection. Warhol executed the work in circa 1982 and gifted it to Jerry Hall that same year. Jerry Hall was first acquainted with Andy Warhol in the early 1970s through her friend Antonio Lopez, a fashion illustrator, and this enduring friendship led to extraordinary collaborations. When Miss Hall moved to New York in 1974, Andy Warhol became one of her most frequent companions and occasional employer. Discussing her professional and personal relationship with the renowned pop artist, Jerry Hall commented: “I used to host “Andy Warhol’s TV,” which was on cable at three in the morning and only watched by a few drag queens. We had no office or meetings. I just found out if someone famous was in town and then I’d knock on the door of their trailer, if they were filming a movie, and ask them to come on the show. Andy only had two rules for me – he said never ask them about their work and never ask them anything important. So, for example, I’d ask them what they had for breakfast.” (Jerry Hall: The Model Muse, Sotheby’s at Auction, September-October, 2010). For all Hall’s work, Warhol paid her in art, as he was often known to do.

Describing Warhol, Miss Hall said: “Andy was a lovely guy, with a very kind heart. He came to all our family get-togethers and always brought presents for the children […] Andy wanted people to get his art instantly. He resented the idea of people having to have an art degree and discuss art, he felt it should be for the masses and they should be able to look at your art and get it without being educated or knowing anything about art. I liked that; he was very democratic.” (Jerry Hall, My Life in Pictures, London 2010, p. 149/ 162-6). Jerry Hall also famously adorned the cover of Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine. In addition to posing for fashion and advertising photo shoots, Miss Hall “also loved posing for artists…I always loved dressing up and posing…As well as posing for Antonio, I was painted by Andy Warhol and then by Ed Ruscha, Francesco Clemente and Paul Benney” (Jerry Hall, My Life in Pictures, London 2010, p. 57). “He [Andy Warhol] had founded Interview magazine, which was very popular with the in-crowd. He asked me to be on the cover, and I was happy to say yes; it was a cool, interesting magazine” (Jerry Hall, My Life in Pictures, London 2010, p. 162).

The work, signed by Warhol and dedicated “To Jerry” on the overlap, is completely fresh to the market and is estimated at £120,000-150,000.

A further highlight of the collection is Frank Auerbach’s oil on canvas (b. 1931) Head Of Helen Gillespie IV (61 by 61cm), executed in 1965. The painting, which was acquired by Jerry Hall in 1997, is in the highest tier of early paintings by the artist ever to be offered at auction. Like Francis Bacon, Auerbach infamously depicts only subjects with whom he is extremely familiar, proving that pre-existing intimacy affords degrees of artistic interrogation, analysis and exposure emancipated from the hesitancy of “getting to know” the subject. In this context Helen Gillespie is a comparatively rare feature in the artist’s career of the early 1960s and the exclusive nine appearances made by Helen Gillespie between 1962 and 1965 are very rare events. Head of Helen Gillespie IV encapsulates the tireless working and reworking of the paint strata, and vividly communicates to this day the focus and energy of its genesis. It is a remarkable portrait, which seems to continually fluctuate in mood and atmosphere owing to its physical presence, and is the precise crystallisation of Auerbach’s very best work. It is estimated at £700,000-900,000.

Category: Fine Art

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