Will Kopelman's Picks

Launch Slideshow

Will Kopelman is the founder and chairman of Kopelman Contemporary, LLC, an advisory firm that focuses on secondary-market fine art and deals mainly with estates and institutions aquiring distressed assests. He also serves as an advisor to various brands and several growth venture firms in the areas marketing strategy and brand management. Kopelman is the author of Elements of Style and A Touch of Style. His work has also been published in Elle Decor and Architectural Digest

Will Kopelman's Picks

  • Mangelos (Dimitrije Bašičević), Capone (alcapone), 1957-63. Estimate $15,000–20,000.
    I like the immediate impact of this work, where a single name can instantly evoke images that aren’t even present. The artist has taken subtle measures with the top weighted placement and uneven bottom serrated edge, which both marry well. I’m not familiar with this artist at all, but when you discover it was produced in the 1950s, it’s surprisingly ahead of it’s time, graphically. This is the sort of artwork where it would be even more striking if you put it where an old master might traditionally be, like in some Edwardian library.

  • Edvard Munch, Two Human Beings (The Lonely Ones), 1895. Estimate $35,000–45,000.
    Munch had this eerie, unmistakable talent of making something seem depressingly morbid and beautiful all at once...I think few other artists capture that so well. Even the title says it all: they’re together, but simultaneously lonely, and this duality in monochrome is classic Munch.

  • Alexander Calder, The Nose (Maquette), 1968. Estimate $180,000–50,000.
    Everyone love the mobiles, and I do as well, but I’m always drawn to Calder’s meatier stabile ironworks. There’s a sort of brute, architectural gravity to them, as opposed to the lighter, delicate works. His greatest magic trick here is taking something as hard as steel and by finding a rhythm of sloping angles, making the construct look like something far more malleable.

  • Robert Motherwell, Automatism with Splash, 1966. Estimate $80,000–120,000.
    It looks like a happy accident. Motherwell was always masterful with pops of color in unexpected ways, and the band of blue with echoes of a reversed horizon line makes this artwork. This is visual caffeine.

  • Joseph Cornell, Chamber Gothique Moutarde Dijon pour Aloysius Bertrand "Sulphide", 1950. Estimate $80,000–120,000.
    Since I first started studying art, I was immediately attracted to Cornell’s bric-a-brac assemblages. It’s like a dream captured in a box. I confess, I’ve fantasized about one day having a tiny womb-like bedroom surrounded by about two dozen of these, where I could go to sleep for 12 hours.

  • Ed Ruscha, Broken Pencil, 1963. Estimate $350,000–450,000.
    As Ed is my favorite living artist, I come into this with some bias, but frankly it has everything: striking composition, playfulness, perfect rendering, and a bit of mystery. You find yourself asking, “Why am I drawn to such a simple image?”. You know you’re a good artist when you can make something like a broken pencil assume dramatic proportions. Additionally, there is no one who can do color-play like Ruscha, and here he has his classic deep textured cobalt underneath a bright, alien yellow. The best touch is how he brilliantly rendered the tiny specks of pencil paint that lends a sense of realness next to subject matter that effectively looks like it could be floating in space.


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