"The collection that I know best and about which it is most difficult for me to speak is obviously my own. It is elusive. I have owned, I would say, thousands of objects. (…) To me, collecting is both indispensable and perfectly useless."
T he collection of Pierre Le-Tan, which Sotheby's has the honour of presenting in Paris, echoes the collector’s unforgettable personality, at once discreet and out of the ordinary. The man who made a name for himself with his covers for The New Yorker came from a background that was at once artistic, literary, international and Parisian.
A number of works from this ever-evolving collection were sold in October 1995 at Sotheby's London. Pierre Le-Tan continued to collect after that sale, more compulsively than ever, and with the same sharp and sensitive eye. This auction provides the opportunity for these diverse objects, reflections of Le-Tan’s unique universe and accompanied by some of his own drawings, to find a place with new owners who will appreciate them as much as this insatiable collector.
“Intensely, without hiding behind the primacy of great Art with a very capital A, and without false modesty, Pierre Le-Tan claimed his work as a “dessinateur”, a magnificent word, which refers as much to Plutarch as to the golden age of magazines (…)”
The Life and Work of Pierre Le Tan
“Books have never stopped accumulating, but I don't consider them as a collection. They to me simply an indispensable store of knowledge that a computer will never replace. “
“Everything, or almost everything, attracts me, from archaeology to Islamic art, passing through Asian art and drawings from all periods. Japanese art, which had taken such an important place for me during my childhood, has regained some ground.”
"Pierre loved fragments: 16th century Oushak carpets, Roman bas-reliefs, tiles, vases, sculptures…Free, idle, freed from the task that fell to them when they were part of a whole, they were just themselves, magnificent layabouts. Together we could have founded a secret society, the secret society of the good-for-nothing fragments."
All quotes by Pierre Le-Tan are from Pierre Le-Tan’s Quelques Collectionneurs, Flammarion, 2013.