Carol Vogel gives us a tantalizing reminder of the art collection Dennis Hopper might be sending to the auction block this Autumn had his personal life not been so chaotic. Even so, $10 million worth of art, mostly a Basquiat and Warhol, will be sold at Christie’s in November. Hopper had a talent for friendship and catholic desire to be an artist in the broadest sense. The brought him into contact with the persons and work of Warhol, Rauschenberg, Oldenberg, Baldessari and Schnabel:
“Dennis was passionate about art from Day 1,” recalled Bob Colacello, the writer who interviewed him shortly before his death for a story in this month’s issue of Vanity Fair. “He bought Ed Ruscha’s first Standard gas station painting, which is now in Sid Bass’s collection, and one of Andy’s Campbell’s soup cans for $75 in 1962.”
In the early 1960’s, Mr. Colacello said, Hopper transformed his house in the Hollywood Hills into a haven for Pop Art. He bought several billboard images and literally wallpapered the house with them. The home was filled with art by Warhol and Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein and David Salle. “He would mix real art with folk art and found art,” Mr. Colacello said. But after his marriage to Brooke Hayward dissolved in 1969, “she got most of the collection in the divorce and has been selling it off piecemeal,” Mr. Colacello said.
Inside Art: Dennis Hopper, Collector (New York Times)