Spring 2021 • New York

This May, Sotheby’s is delighted to present masterworks from prominent Los Angeles collectors and philanthropists Morris and Rita Pynoos as highlights of the Contemporary Art Sales in New York.

The Pynooses are remembered as passionate collectors and innovative art patrons whose approach to collecting grew out of their appreciation, curiosity and respect for an artist’s creative process. Over the years, they developed close friendships with many contemporary artists, especially David Hockney, Willem de Kooning and Louise Nevelson. Assembled in partnership with these visionaries, The Collection of Morris and Rita Pynoos is highlighted by stunning selections of works by David Hockney and Willem de Kooning, whose signature approaches to figuration and abstraction, respectively, equally satisfied the Pynooses’s preference for bold and striking works.


The Pynoos Collection not only speaks to their enduring friendships with Hockney, de Kooning and many other artists, but also showcases various key facets of these artist’s celebrated careers.

Leading the selection are phenomenal artworks from the 1980s, including David Hockney’s monumental Self-Portrait on the Terrace from 1984. A deeply personal painting that expands on the artist’s best-known and definitive works, Self-Portrait on the Terrace captures the spirit of Los Angeles that Hockney's oeuvre so expertly embodies.

The collection is also distinguished by Willem de Kooning’s large-scale 1986 masterwork Stowaway, which the couple acquired directly from the artist in 1987, and well as numerous rare and exceptional works by their friend and fellow Los Angeleno David Hockney, including his seminal painting Ravel’s Garden with Night Glow from 1981 and Blue Pot of Purple Flowers from 1989. Each work comes to auction this spring after remaining in the esteemed collection of the Pynoos family for nearly a half century.

Step Inside Morris and Rita Pynoos’ David Hockney-Inspired Home

Testament to the couple’s close relationship with the artist, David Hockney personally selected the vibrant wall colors of the Pynoos house, and identified which of his and Willem de Kooning’s paintings should hang on each wall.

Additional works by other notable American artists, such as John McCracken, Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg and more, will be offered across Sotheby’s spring Contemporary Art Day Sale and Online Sale.

Auction Calendar

Contemporary Art Evening Auction | May 2021
Contemporary Art Day Auction | May 2021
Contemporary Art Online | Summer 2021
Impressionist and Modern Art Online | Summer 2021

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