NEW YORK - “I come from an emotional – rather than an intellectual – place with art,” says Hartley, a producer and the founder of Candescent Films, a company that supports social issue documentaries including Private Violence, Art and Craft, and Sons of the Clouds. “The pieces I like warm some part of me, and they frequently connect to my youth.” Of course, some works are more personal than others. “Tom Wesselmann has always been a favourite, because my mother used to sit nude for him. It’s become a family joke. Once my sister went to MoMA on a school trip and mailed an unsigned Wesselmann postcard to my mom. Two weeks later she received it, and the only thing scrawled on the back was, “’Is this you?’” Here, Hartley shares more of the art that inspires her, selected from our March Contemporary Curated sale.

Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild, 1988. $350,000–500,000.

“I love Richter and I think this is an exquisite, dramatic, vibrant piece.”


Willem de Kooning's Untitled, 1967. $60,000–80,000.

“It has a lot of life to it. It feels theatrical in a way.”


Tom Wesslemann's Nude for the Peace Tower, 1966. $180,000–220,000.

“I love his work. It’s electric and fun and of a certain time—a freer moment. I’m definitely obsessed with him. But I also like Wesselmann for a more personal reason; my mother used to sit for him.”


Louise Nevelson's America VI, 1964. $20,000–30,000.

“This is sculptural and intriguing without being too distracting to put in my house. Black wood on a white marble base feels very subtle and easy to live with.”


Jean Dubuffet's Le Jardin, 1966. $18,000–25,000.

“The shapes have a sort of electric feeling, like a machine. There’s so much going on I could look at it all day.”


Richard Phillips' Small Riot, 2000. $20,000–30,000.

“Growing up we had a piece in the kitchen, a beautiful woman dressed in a rainbow cloth. This reminds me of it, it’s so alive and bright and sexy. It feels very Pop.”


Ross Bleckner's Study for Metallic Dome, 1990. $15,000–20,000.

“I’m really drawn to this one. The metal makes it look really rich, and the round construction is soft, not jarring. It would be beautiful in my home.”