Sculpture from The Collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet
Led by - THE BARNET FANG - A Fang-Mvaï Reliquary Statue by the Master of Ntem One of the Most Important Works of African Art Ever to Appear at Auction Featuring Masterpieces of African, Pre-Columbian, Oceanic, American Indian Art and Antiquities Spanning 3,000 Years of Art History
NEW YORK, 27 March 2017 – Sotheby’s is honored to present The Shape of Beauty: Sculpture from the Collection of Howard and Saretta Barnet this May during our marquee spring sale week of Impressionist & Modern Art and Contemporary Art.
The Barnet Collection is the result of many years of thoughtful, scholarly collecting by the New York couple, who began to acquire art in the 1950s. The tightly curated group covers an astonishingly wide geographic range and long span of time, featuring African, Pre-Columbian, Oceanic, American Indian Art and Antiquities and reveals an intellectual and inquisitive approach to collecting. From an 8th century Greek Bronze Figure of a horse to an exceptional and iconic 19th century Fang reliquary sculpture, each work is of exceptionally high quality. Many have been extensively published and exhibited, and stand as icons of their respective genres. The Barnets were sophisticated and knowledgeable collectors, who synthesized art from widely disparate human cultures into a universal aesthetic of beauty, prizing humanity and artistic greatness.
The Shape of Beauty pays tribute to the unique vision of Howard and Saretta Barnet and follows the highly successful auctions The Color of Beauty, which presented the contemporary paintings from the Barnet collection at Sotheby’s last fall, including works by 20th century icons such as Agnes Martin, Kenneth Noland and Ad Reinhardt; and The Line of Beauty, which presented the Barnets’ extraordinary collection of Old Master Drawings in January 2018.
Jean Fritts, Worldwide Chairman of African & Oceanic Art, commented: “Having known Saretta Barnet for more than twenty years, I was struck by the complete elegance of her and Howard’s Collection, which gathered works of seemingly disparate cultures together in a stunning setting where each work of art be it the Kenneth Noland painting or the Sugimoto photograph lived so well with wonderful ancient sculpture, African Art, and American Indian Art.”
A selection of highlights will be on view at Sotheby’s Paris where they will be exhibited from 27 – 30 March before traveling to Sotheby’s Los Angeles from 17 – 18 April. The full collection will be on view at Sotheby’s New York from 4 – 14 May, alongside our public exhibitions of Impressionist & Modern Art and Contemporary Art.
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