|Christie’s is honored to offer The Collection of Richard L. Weisman, an outstanding selection of paintings, drawings, works on paper and sculpture assembled by the passionate and prolific collector throughout his lifetime. The collection, an eclectic blend of works that will be offered through Christie’s major sales in New York this fall in the categories of Post-War & Contemporary Art, American Art, and Latin American Art, as well as an online-only sale of Picasso Ceramics. Additional sales in 2020 will offer works in the categories of Modern British Art and Photographs.Featuring important images of American icons and iconography by some of the 20th century’s greatest Pop artists, the Collection includes seminal works by Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, and Peter Beard who all became friends of the colorful collector. Additional works by Norman Rockwell, Tom Wesselmann, Alberto Giacometti, and Roy Lichtenstein highlight Weisman’s diverse and unique aesthetic. The collection is expected to exceed $15 million for the sales in 2019.Abby Weisman, daughter of Richard L. Weisman, said: “My father’s art collection reminds me of one of his dinner parties. Typically, these occasions included luminaries from the art, sports, entertainment, and social worlds. Every person at the table had a fascinating story to tell and was accomplished in his/her own medium. Chances are, you’d walk away with something to think about. And so it is with the Collection. The breadth reflects a lifetime’s progression from Fullerton High in the 1950s to the U.N. Plaza in the 70s and 80s, right through to a quieter focus on family values in later years. Through all this runs nostalgia for a personal ideology, which may have eluded my father at certain times in life. And if art offers us what nature does not, then the shiny comic book culture, which jumps from the canvases of Warhol, Ramos, and Lichtenstein, is not an unlikely dinner partner for the sentiments of Rockwell and George Hughes. Throw in the vitality of some lesser-known artists and the dinner party is complete.”Sara Friedlander, Head of Evening Sale, Post-War & Contemporary Art commented: “Richard L. Weisman was a collector whose love for art endeared him to some of the twentieth century’s most creative figures. Having grown up surrounded by art, it is Weisman’s close friendship with Andy Warhol for which he is best remembered. As an avid lover of art and sports, Weisman approached Warhol with the idea to combine the two. Completed between 1977 and 1979, Athletes consists of ten distinct subjects depicting the major sports stars of the age. Recognizing the growing commercialization of sports, it is through this series that Weisman challenged Warhol to embrace the changing nature of fame as athletes and sports stars rose to take center stage in American popular culture.” HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PERSONAL COLLECTION“I personally don’t like to limit the scope of my collecting — I just love the art,” Richard L. Weisman once explained. It was with a passion for creative expression that Weisman curated his cherished collection. Andy Warhol’s Athletes, which will be sold separately in Christie’s November sales, are multi-colored 40 x 40-inch acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas portraits that depict the most iconic sports stars of the 1970s. Being among the inner circle of Warhol’s Factory, Richard Weisman knew the artist well when he approached him to produce Athletes as a series of paintings completed between 1977 and 1979.||
The series features images of Muhammad Ali (boxing, estimate $4,000,000 – 6,000,000),Chris Evert (tennis, estimate: $250,000 – 350,000), Jack Nicklaus (golf, estimate: $200,000 – 300,000), Tom Seaver (baseball, $150,000 – 250,000), Willie Shoemaker (horse racing, $250,000 – 350,000), Dorothy Hamill (figure skating, estimate: $250,000 – 350,000), Pelé(soccer, estimate: $400,000 – 600,000), OJ Simpson (football, estimate: $250,000 – 350,000), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (basketball, estimate: $300,000 – 500,000), and Vitas Gerulaitis (tennis, estimate:$200,000 – 300,000).
“I chose the sports stars,” Weisman noted of his role in selecting the sports stars that would be featured. “Andy didn’t really know the difference between a football and a golf ball.” Using his Polaroid Big Shot camera, Warhol took each of the photographs himself. Eventually, these works appeared in magazines and billboards across the nation promoting everything from sportswear to cars and breakfast cereals. “The sports stars of today are the movie stars of yesterday,” Warhol later noted.