NEW YORK - Sotheby’s is honored to offer for sale this season a selection of artworks from an extraordinary private collection in Colorado: five works will be offered in the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on May 5th (lots 53-57) and a further fifteen works the following day on May 6th (lots 147-161). This group represents just a portion of a truly exceptional collection that has been assembled over the last twenty years, with tremendous care and connoisseurship.
The collection is remarkable not only for its coherence but also for the attention with which masterpieces of Modernism have been incorporated into the owner’s majestic Colorado estate and grounds. The majority of the large sculptures were exhibited outdoors – radical and often monumental beacons watching over the dramatic Rocky Mountain surroundings and nobly fulfilling the artists’ grandest intentions. Indeed, the effect of this creative vision reminds one of a similar set-up in France, that of the wonderful Fondation Maeght museum and sculpture garden in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Like the bronzes by Chadwick, Maillol, Miró and others, the impressive stone house fits perfectly into its environment; its large glass windows and double-height ceilings drawing the bright mountain light into the house and providing a unique and ideal context to display seminal canvases by Léger, Soutine, Degas and Matisse alongside bronzes by Hepworth, Moore, Lipchitz and Giacometti.
This is truly a collection built to be lived with and enjoyed, which thrills any visitor even before they enter the house itself. The visual and art-historical dialogue between the works is testament to the underlying connections running from Impressionism to Abstract Expressionism which the collector (an artist himself) is deeply attuned to is profoundly palpable to those who experience the collection. We are delighted to present these works, many of which have never been seen at public auction before, and to offer an exceedingly rare opportunity to own part of an impeccably curated collection.