CHRISTIE’S CELEBRATES THE ECLECTIC EYE OF THE TALENTED AND BELOVED KING OF CROONERS:ANDY WILLIAMS A group of works from the collection of crooner Andy Williams will be offered in the Evening and Day Sales, May 15th and 16th, and is expected to achieve in excess of $30 million.
of which he would exhibit at his own Moon River Theater. He saw every exhibition he could, read voraciously and developed an unwavering instinct for the best works. He was also fortunate to have amassed his collection at a time when one could still buy major examples, and he had the resources and courage to acquire them. This portion of Williams’ collection dedicated to Post-War and Contemporary art also includes significant works by Kenneth Noland, Ed Ruscha, Sean Scully, Arshile Gorky, Helen Frankenthaler, Clyfford Still, Jean Dubuffet, Morris Louis, Robert Motherwell, Claes Oldenburg, Nathan Olivera, Sam Francis, Joseph Albers, Francois-Xavier Lalanne and Jean-Michel Basquiat, to name a few.
illiams was an especially passionate collector of Willem de Kooning’s art, amassing numerous paintings and bronze sculptures by the artist. One of the highlights of the collection is Untitled XVII, a masterpiece of de Kooning’s final years of painting. Executed in 1984, Untitled XVII possesses the dynamism and immediacy of the artist’s best works. De Kooning had the remarkable ability to continually develop, refine and advance his work over 60 years, while maintaining his unique signature style. The lyrical 1984 work demonstrates the artist’s supreme confidence at the height of his fame, after six decades of painting.
Women Singing I exhibits de Kooning’s return to the female nude in 1966. De Kooning re-interprets classical subject matter according to the new image of American women—as pop singers, go-go dancers and Playboy models—forged by 1960s culture. For the first time, mass-media came to dominate all aspects of American life, and de Kooning found himself almost unconsciously engaging with the perennial theme in his art: the alluring yet monstrous female nude.
"Words have temperatures to me," notes Ed Ruscha. "When they reach a certain point and become hot words, then they appeal to me. Sometimes I have a dream that if a word gets too hot and too appealing, it will boil apart, and I won't be able to read or think of it. Usually I catch them before they get too hot." Mint (Red) is a wonderfully evocative picture from the famous series of "liquid word" paintings that Ruscha made between 1967 and 1969. In this small but seminal series, Ruscha's words seem to have been written in a syrupy liquid, as if they were the products of an idle finger doodling on a tabletop or the bar of a roadside diner.
Berkeley is a luminous example of Richard Diebenkorn’s translation of Abstract Expressionist methods through vivid, saturated color. Painted in 1955—the year dubbed by Diebenkorn the most “explosive” of his career—the work’s bold brushwork and coloration typify the final pictures of the series. In Berkeley, Diebenkorn consolidates his entire abstract visual vocabulary: merging gestural strokes and calligraphic line with pulsating jewel tones. The structured, interlocking planes were inspired by aerial views of California that he saw on a 1951 airplane flight. The bird’s-eye perspective offered a new economy of form, which found expressive potential in the urban hues and coastal expanses of the