Carol Vogel has a tantalizing but fragmented report in the New York Times about a sale at Christie’s that comes by way of Ydessa Hendeles, a Toronto dealer who assembled a substantial group of Cindy Sherman’s film stills that will now be auctioned at Christie’s as a single lot. Selling the works together is a bit of a risk as the Cole Weston trust discovered just two weeks ago. But the owner, Mitchell Rales, can afford to take the risk.
What’s not clear from Vogel’s story is the nature of the transaction that is bringing the lot to market:
“When we bought the collection, we knew there were duplicates,” Mr. Rales said in a telephone interview. “We are deep into Cindy’s work and will continue to collect it.” He added that he felt strongly that this collection of “Untitled Film Stills” should stay together, because “Ydessa did a fabulous job putting it together, and it would be almost impossible to replicate it today.”Proceeds from Christie’s sale of Ms. Sherman’s “Film Stills” are going toward future acquisitions at Glenstone, which is undergoing a major expansion, adding a second museum building on the property.
From the way Rales describes it, the 21 lots represent the duplicates from the film stills. Does that mean Glenstone, Rales’s private museum in Maryland, now has a complete set of the 69 images? How many did Hendeles originally put together? Finally, there’s this addendum:
In addition to the “Untitled Film Stills,” the Christie’s acquisition, made last year, includes some of the finest examples by artists like Louise Bourgeois, Maurizio Cattelan, Hanne Darboven, Katharina Fritsch, Jenny Holzer, Bruce Nauman and Jeff Wall.