SOTHEBY'S TO OFFER FINE AND DECORATIVE ARTS FROM THE NEW YORK TOWNHOUSE OF GIANNI VERSACE
242 PAGES,485 LOTS,ALL COLOR
CONTEMPORARY, IMPRESSIONIST AND MODERN AND 19TH CENTURY PAINTINGS WILL BE OFFERED AT SOTHEBY'S SPRING 2005 SALES IN NEW YORK AND LONDON
New York, New York, February 3, 2005 - Sotheby's is once again honored to offer Property from the Collection of Gianni Versace, the late design genius whose name remains one of the most influential in the world of fashion and design. Following Sotheby's highly successful sale in 2001 of Mr. Versace's art and furnishings from his Miami home, Casuarina, this sale will present collectors with a unique insight into his New York lifestyle and brilliant taste. He filled his magnificent Upper East Side, New York townhouse with Contemporary paintings juxtaposed by neoclassical European furniture. The impressive collection of beautiful Italian glass, some of which Mr. Versace designed himself, and 19th century paintings are further complemented by suites of contemporary upholstered furniture, many in Versace signature prints.
"Gianni Versace's home in New York is a sanctuary of sophistication," commented Elaine Whitmire, Senior Vice President and specialist in charge of the sale. "Located on one of the most beautiful blocks, just steps from Central Park, the interior of the house is beautifully designed with an unparalleled attention to detail, all the while very emblematic of Mr. Versace's personal style. Where the Miami house was filled with bold colors and patterns, New York is very architectural and appropriately reflective of the City."
The Contemporary works in Mr. Versace's collection will be offered at Sotheby's in New York in May and London in June. Tobias Meyer, Sotheby's Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art, noted, "This Collection reflects Mr. Versace's wide ranging taste and impeccable eye, and many of the works were commissioned directly from the artists. Outstanding later examples from champions of the Pop movement, such as Roy Lichtenstein, are juxtaposed with masterpieces from the most visible artists of the 1980's, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and the collaborative genius of Basquiat and Warhol, as well as Francesco Clemente. This presents Mr. Versace's group of works as a mini-retrospective of the greatest artistic talents of this most dynamic of decades."
Chief among the highlights is Roy Lichtenstein's Blue Nude, an oil on canvas from 1995 (est. $2.5/3.5 million). Here, Lichtenstein returns to his celebrated comic book imagery of the 1960s with a perfect depiction of the female form shaded with Ben-Day dots, while at the same time incorporating iconic aspects of earlier works, in this an oval mirror within the interior scene.
Another magnificent work by Lichtenstein is Still Life with Envelope from 1982 (est. $600/800,000). This classic composition of lemons, a potted plant and an envelope is presented to the viewer just slightly off center and is framed on one side with a baroque style molding. Also by the artist is Ritual Mask, a stainless steel and enamel sculpture from 1992 (est. $300/400,000). Measuring 51