extend painting beyond the canvas and into the existential Void. Several additional works by Yves Klein, including the sumptuous gold and pink Monochromes, MG 9, circa 1962, (est. $6/8 million) and MP 13, circa 1960, (est. $2/3 million), respectively, joined the collection shortly thereafter and, together with an Achrome, 1958, by Piero Manzoni (est. $4.5/6.5 million), sets the tone of the collection.
American Minimalist art was also part of the Zeitgeist of the day and is represented by key works such as Donald Judd’s Untitled, 1964, a landmark at the advent of Minimalist art and a dramatic statement of Judd’s emerging aesthetic practice (pictured here, est. $5/7 million). This bold structure – in the artist’s favored color of red – unites painting and sculpture as well as void and form with amazing sophistication, considering its place so early in the artist’s oeuvre. Untitled is Judd’s first floor sculpture in sheet metal and amounts to a declaration of a dramatic shift in his work. In scale, aesthetic presence, grand design and seductive simplicity, Untitled betokens Judd’s arrival on the New York scene as one of the progenitors of Minimalist’s art – it was the centrepiece of a group exhibition, Shape and Structure: 1965 at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, which is counted as one of the earliest shows of Minimalism. Other works from this area include Dan Flavin’s Untitled, 1964 (est. $700/900,000), Frank Stella’s Concentric Squares, 1966, (est. $2/3 million) and Carl Andre’s 36 Copper Square, 1968 (est. $2.5/3.5 million).
Other American art is also prominently represented in the Lauffs Collection with key works such as Robert Rauschenberg’s 1961 combine, entitled Slug (pictured here, est. $3/4 million). This innovative work entered the collection only eight years later and serves to highlight Wember’s immensely prescient understanding of American Pop Art at a time when its appreciation in Europe was still in an embryonic stage. Despite the controversy surrounding Rauschenberg’s unexpected win of the Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1963, Wember recognized this maverick genius with an exhibition of his work in Krefeld in 1964, only months after the completion of the artist’s first retrospective at the Jewish Museum in New York. Close on the heels of the 1969 acquisition came works by Robert Indiana (Love Wall (Red Green Blue)), 1966, est. $2.5/3.5 million), Claes Oldenburg (Soft Doors for Airflow Model #5, 1965, est. $600/800,000 million) and Tom Wesselmann, (Great American Nude no. 48, 1963, est. $6/8 million).
Property from a Distinguished American Collection
Rounding out the May 14th-15th sales is an offering of 79 works of predominantly Minimalism and Contemporary Photography from a Distinguished American Collection (est. in excess of $27 million), including works by Donald Judd, Richard Tuttle, Dan Flavin, Frank Stella, Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, Robert Mangold, Robert Smithson, Ellsworth Kelly, Sigmar Polke, Ad Reinhardt, John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, Thomas Ruff and Hiroshi Sugimoto, among many others. Attracted by the underlying rich complexity of the seemingly simplistic Minimalist aesthetic, these collectors believed in the idea of