“I was a collector before I was a buyer,” Fred Clarke told Christie’s marketing team as they prepared his collection of Contemporary art for sale. “To be a buyer you have to have money, but to be a collector all you really need is to look and to do the work.”
Partnered with Cesar Pelli, Clarke designed some of the world’s most recognizable large-scale building projects like Canary Wharf in London, The World Financial Center in New York and Salesforce Tower in San Francisco. Partnered with his wife Laura, Clarke acquired a collection of art works, mostly on paper. The most valuable work is Vija Celmins’s Untitled (Long Ocean #5), from 1973 ($1.5-2m) but the most interesting aspect of Clarke’s collection that will be sold at Christie’s throughout the Fall is the group of 35 prints by the artist Ed Ruscha.
Although none of the prints on offer are major works, the fact that Christie’s has grouped the Ruscha prints into a single artist sale to be held on September 27th is a signal of the firm’s faith in the Ruscha market. Last year, the auctioneer did something similar, but on a larger scale, with a large collection of Richard Diebenkorn paintings owned by real estate developer Donald Zucker. That sale exceeded the goals set by a global guarantee by a significant margin. It will be interesting to see how Ruscha’s very different market responds to this sale.
Here’s Christie’s release:Continue Reading