The collection of Dr. M. Wallace and Mrs. Faega Friedman embodies a standard of excellence in Postwar Art, bringing together diverse artistic perspectives and aesthetic gestures into a unified whole. Led by Kenneth Noland’s seminal Target Painting Ember, the collection charts a course through the period’s most celebrated movements, highlighting the works of Alexander Calder, Ruth Asawa, Robert Motherwell, Richard Diebenkorn and Louise Nevelson in concert with one another. Bringing together Color Field painting and the Bay Area Figurative Movement with their antecedents in Abstract Expressionism, the Friedmans' collection is defined foremost by quality rather than style. Despite the range of artists represented, salient thematic threads emerge among the works, with a dual focus on both established New York artists with more avant-garde West Coast luminaries, as well as an emphasis on color and form at their most elemental, coming to the fore. A testament to the strong vision underlying the group, the Friedman’s acquired important works by female artists, including Ruth Asawa, decades before her ascendance in the market and broader cultural contexts, underscoring the primacy of quality in assembling the collection. An irreplaceable and singular collection that speaks to the best of Postwar Art, Sotheby’s is honored to be offering The Collector’s Eye: Property from the Collection of Dr. M. Wallace and Mrs. Faega Friedman as a highlight of the October 2 Contemporary Curated sale.
“[T]he reclining figure gives most freedom compositionally and spatially. The seated figure has to have something to sit on. You can’t free it from its pedestal. A reclining figure can recline on any surface. It is free and stable at the same time. It fits in with my belief that sculpture should be permanent, should last for eternity.’