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.
When the artist moved to Southern California in 1966, he began his celebrated Ocean Park paintings, named for the Santa Monica boulevard where he worked. Ocean Park #92 illustrates Diebenkorn’s new system of abstraction, which sublimated Los Angeles’ landscape into a lyrical, compositional methodology. The work illustrates the artist’s renewed interest in flat color and collapsed perspective, reconciling Henri Matisse’s bright blues and greens with Piet Mondrian’s delineated grids. Painted in 1976, it was included that same year for Diebenkorn’s retrospective at the Albright-Knox Gallery. As one of the show’s most contemporary paintings, Ocean Park #92 undoubtedly influenced the gallery’s director who chose the California painter’s 1977-8 paintings for the American Pavilion at the next Venice Biennale.
“I was a delegate from California for Bobby Kennedy. I was coming back from the convention driving down Michigan Boulevard and I saw this wonderful painting in the window. Brilliant red and green and I just loved it and I didn’t know anything about it. And I stopped at Richard Gray Gallery and I said, “How much is it?” And he told me how much it was and I asked him if [Hofmann] was a good painter and he said, “Yes, he’s a great painter.” I had no idea but I bought it!” Andy Williams.
Hans Hofmann’s Beatae Memoriae, represents the culmination of the artist’s lifelong exploration of pictorial structure, spatial tensions, and color relationships. Celebrated for his exuberant, color-filled canvases, and renowned as an influential painting instructor— first in his native Germany, then in New York City and Provincetown— Hofmann played a pivotal role in the development of Abstract Expressionism. In Beatae Memoriae, Hofmann combines gestural strokes, dripped paint and high-relief impasto to create a mosaic of swirling color. Beatae Memoriae, held in Andy Williams’ private collection for the past three decades, emerges as a profoundly important work that brilliantly encapsulates Hofmann’s most celebrated period.
Sam Francis painted Untitled in 1958, at the end of his eight-year long stay in Paris and just after he toured Japan. Golden yellow, aubergine, black and red are layered in thin, bright washes of oil paint that drip and spray across the canvas. Inspired by Abstract Expressionism and Japanese ink painting, Francis illustrates both influences through his gestural, vigorous brushstrokes and thin, calligraphic washes of color. The work is a prime example of how Francis achieved a balance between openness and density, as his compositions find an equilibrium between saturated color and white canvas.
Kenneth Noland’s Circle, painted circa 1960 and Untitled, painted in 1958-59, are from Kenneth Noland’s early breakthrough series of Targets. Since 1958, Noland’s compositions have been regarded as quintessential examples of Color Field painting. In both Circle and Untitled, Noland distills pure color energy with eight and seven concentric bands, respectively. The artist’s distinctive Target series is considered the artist’s most successful formal endeavors, and one of the seminal icons of Post-War American painting.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s frenetically-drawn Furious Man exemplifies the artist’s creative and expressive power. Executed in 1982, the