Sotheby’s Presents The World of Jean Stein
Contemporary Art Evening Auction
In the summer of 1994, Ms. Stein’s visionary literary magazine Grand Street chose Hollywood as its theme; to illustrate the issue, Ms. Stein and her art editor Walter Hopps – who also hosted Ed Ruscha’s first one-man show at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles – chose Ed Ruscha’s Light Leaks, picturing it in color on page 120 (estimate $1.5/2 million). Falling in love with the work, Ms. Stein acquired the painting just a year later. The painting itself is an exquisite representation of Ruscha’s command of form, light and shadow. The flowing cursive interrupted by silver flashes and vertical streaks – the effect of scratches and scrapes that mar film and projector lenses – hark back to the Hollywood of old, a world that Jean Stein inhabited before she packed her bags and left for New York, via Paris.
Contemporary Art Day Auction
With artists flitting in and out of her apartment, it is unsurprising to find a number of works in the collection that are gifts directly from artists. Andy Warhol’s Flowers is a perfect example (estimate $150/200,000). Gifted by the artist, the brightly-colored and signature painting is dedicated on the overlap: “To Jean V Love Andy Warhol”. Two additional works from the Collection of Jean Stein will be featured in the November sale series of Contemporary Art: Richard Prince’s Untitled (Protest Painting), acquired from the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in New York (estimate $400/600,000) and John Baldessari’s Buffalo and Deer (With Void), exhibited at Sonnabend Gallery’s exhibition of John Baldessari: Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (estimate $120/180,000).
The World of Jean Stein: Online
The autumn sales of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art will be complemented by an online-only auction titled The World of Jean Stein. Open for bidding from 3-20 November, with an exhibition in our New York headquarters, the offerings include paintings and sculpture by household names. The aforementioned group of portraits of Jean Stein by Alberto Giacometti makes an appearance in this auction alongside quintessential works by Joseph Cornell and John Chamberlain: Joseph Cornell’s Untitled (Parrot) is a painted wooden box construction with oil, wood, paper, mirror and metal (estimate $80/120,000) while John Chamberlain’s Untitled is a petite yet vibrant painted and chromium-plated steel sculpture, small enough to rest like an elegant paperweight on Jean Stein’s coffee table (estimate $60/80,000).
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