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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Halsey Minor Collection of Art and Design for Phillips de Pury & Company Auction

Phillips de Pury & Company New York has announced that it will offer The Halsey Minor Collection of Contemporary Art and Design at auction.

Mr. Minor, a technology entrepreneur, founded CNET Networks in San Francisco in 1993. Since then he has amassed a highly important collection of works by renowned artists and designers including Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari, Takashi Murakami, Mark Grotjahn, Florian Maier-Aichen, Walton Ford, Marc Newson, Diego Giacometti, Charlotte Perriand, and George Nakashima, among others.

Phillips de Pury & Company will present The Halsey Minor Collection as a single owner evening sale on Thursday May 13th at 7 pm. Immediately following the sale will be the company’s Contemporary Art Part I auction. Additional works from the collection will appear May 14th in the Contemporary Art Part II day sale and in the Design auction on June 9th. The collection comprises a total of 96 works.

Mr. Minor, a distinguished collector of contemporary art and design, assembled his collection as he built his business, with enthusiasm and unswerving devotion. The arrival to market of these major works will present a critical opportunity for buyers.

Richard Prince’s Nurse in Hollywood
The undisputed highlight of the group is Richard Prince’s Nurse in Hollywood #4 (2004), estimated at $5,000,000-$7,000,000. Inspired by the covers and titles of pulp romance novels, each painting in the series (first exhibited at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York) depicts a unique nurse with title set against a backdrop of acrylic color washes and gradients.

Aileen Agopian, Director of Contemporary Art in New York: “Richard Princes’ Nurse in Hollywood is emblematic of Halsey’s courageous and bold eye which has guided him to collect only the highest caliber contemporary and design works. Nurse in Hollywood is undoubtedly one of the artist’s most desired works of the series and a marquee piece of Halsey’s collection. The nurses become seductresses in Prince’s fictional world and Nurse in Hollywood, with its adoring associations with old Hollywood glamour, is by far one of the best examples of Prince’s infatuation with the sensationalized sexual temptress.”

Additional important Prince works to be offered include an early monochromatic joke painting, Chatterbox Hotel (1990), estimated at $800,000 – 1,200,000 and Untitled, Almost (Original) (2006), estimated at $60,000 – 80,000.

Marc Newson’s Prototype Lockheed Lounge
In addition to heavyweight contemporary artists, Mr. Minor is an ardent collector of star designer Marc Newson. Mr. Minor has assembled one of the most important collections of early limited edition works by Newson including his seminal Prototype Lockheed Lounge, which will appear with an estimate of $1,000,000-1,500,000.

Made from fiberglass-reinforced polyester resin and riveted sheet aluminum, Lockheed Lounge was entirely hand-crafted by Marc Newson at the advent of his post-graduate design career in the late 1980s. The form ably demonstrates the aerodynamic fluidity and seamlessness of his design vocabulary while maintaining a hand-wrought feel.

Alexander Payne, Worldwide Director of Design: “We’re thrilled to offer this magnificent prototype of the Lockheed Lounge, a work that has completely changed the vocabulary of late 20th-century design. Nearly a third of the fifteen examples of the Lockheed are held in permanent museum collections. This is a unique opportunity for a collector to acquire a prototype of this masterpiece.”

Mr. Minor’s collection of Marc Newson, ranging from early hand-built works like Lockheed Lounge to later refined pieces such as Voronoi Shelf, is a comprehensive survey of the designer’s entire career. Additional important examples by Newson to be sold the evening of May 13th include a prototype Pod of Drawers chest ($500,000 – 700,000), an Orgone lounge ($400,000 – 600,000), and an Event Horizon table ($250,000 – 350,000).

Ed Ruscha’s Angry Because It’s Plaster, Not Milk
Ed Ruscha’s Angry Because It’s Plaster, Not Milk (1965), estimated at $2,000,000 – 3,000,000, was first exhibited at the famed Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1965. That exhibition included a series of Ruscha’s paintings depicting birds and fish in bizarre settings. Angry Because It’s Plaster, Not Milk depicts a bird crying at a glass of plaster meant to look like milk. The glass is in fact a trompe l’oeil requiring the viewer to closely examine the piece to further understand his or her relation to the work’s content and composition.

Ruscha is a master of sophisticated paintings and this work reflects a keen attention to the Belgian surrealist artist Magritte and their mutual appreciation for skillful execution.

Angry Because It’s Plaster, Not Milk was exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1982 and later that same year at the Whitney Museum, New York.

Other important Ruscha works to be offered in the sale include Higher Standards/Lower Prices (2007), estimated at $1,500,000 – 2,500,000, a celebration of the artist’s fascination with landscape painting. In this work Ruscha continues to explore issues that have fascinated him for the past 40 years and successfully creates a powerful artistic statement with his majestic mountains which become mirror images of each other, much like a Rorschach inkblot. Ruscha’s Long Stormy (1995), estimated at $800,000 – 1,200,000 will also be included in the auction.

Other contemporary art highlights include John Baldessari’s Pink Pig (1996), estimated at $400,000 – 600,000; Walton Ford’s The Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros (2008), estimated at $550,000 – 750,000; and Mark Grotjahn’s Untitled (White Butterfly) (in two parts) estimated at $800,000 – $1,200,000; Florian Maier- Aichen’s Above June Lake (2005), estimated at $100,000 – 150,000 and Takashi Murakami’s important, Po + Ku Surrealism Mr. Dob (1996) estimated at $700,000 – $1,000,000.

Other major design highlights include Diego Giacometti’s Homage to Boecklin console ($200,000 – 250,000), Charlotte Perriand’s Bibliotheque Murale bookshelf
($100,000 – 150,000), and George Nakashima’s Minguren 1 coffee table ($80,000
– 120,000).