Hindman will sell Property From The Geoffrey Beene Archive: Clothes That Care, featuring significant designs from iconic fashion designer Geoffrey Beene’s personal collection that have been carefully preserved for the past 15 years.
The auction in Chicago on November 20th includes lots dating from the 1960’s to the early 2000’s. All net proceeds from the sale of the Geoffrey Beene Archive will benefit the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs asked separately who they felt was the greatest designer produced by the United States in the 20th century, a figure who could be placed alongside couturiers of the calibre of Chanel and Balenciaga, both replied without hesitation, “Geoffrey Beene,” according to fashion writer Colin McDowell who interviewed them for The Business of Fashion.
Beene did not care to be a big brand. In his gentlemanly Southern drawl he said: “I’m not a driven businessman, but a driven artist, I never think about money – beautiful things make money”.
“At Hindman, we love any opportunity to celebrate exemplary designs, and this sale is replete with highlights of modern American fashion design,” said Timothy Long, Hindman’s director and senior specialist of luxury accessories and couture. “We are proud that the proceeds of the Property From The Geoffrey Beene Archive: Clothes That Care© sale will benefit cancer research.”
Geoffrey Beene was one of the greatest American fashion designers of the 20th century and a prominent figure in the emergence of the American fashion industry after World War II. Beene was a pioneering force in creating an American style that was independent from the dictates of European Haute Couture. From the launch of his own line in 1963 to his death in 2004, Geoffrey Beene was an independent force in American fashion, and was awarded the prestigious Coty Fashion Award no less than eight times—the highest number awarded to any designer to date.
Beene started his career during the era when Parisian designers still dominated the fashion world and Americans were expected to look to them for inspiration. However, though Beene was trained in the traditional manner, educated in New York and Paris, he broke out of the mould after his training and apprenticeship working for other designers. His first collection made the cover of Vogue, and he has been regarded as a Dean of American design ever since. His high-profile clients have included several Presidential First Ladies, and he designed the wedding dress of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson, in 1967.
The Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Centre at Memorial Sloan Kettering was created in 2006 to support and fund new research approaches in preventing, diagnosing and treating all cancers. Together, the Geoffrey Beene Foundation and Geoffrey Beene, LLC have awarded a total of over $175 million to the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center, funding approximately 130 separate new revolutionary research projects that have resulted in major breakthroughs in multiple cancers.
About The Geoffrey Beene Foundation
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation was founded in 2006 by G. Thompson (“Tom”) Hutton, Esq., under his discretionary authority as Executor of the Estate of Geoffrey Beene, who died in 2004. The mission of the Foundation is to support critical philanthropic causes, the most important being the establishment in 2006 of the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Tom Hutton initiated and orchestrated the creation of the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center with Harold Varmus, M.D. (Nobel Laureate and former CEO of MSK), because Hutton wanted to fund new revolutionary research initiatives that would lead to new treatments for cancer patients. Together the Geoffrey Beene Foundation and Geoffrey Beene, LLC (until 2018 when its business was sold) have been the sole funding sources and have funded approximately 130 separate new revolutionary research initiatives across all cancers to develop new treatments and diagnostics for cancer patients. The new research has resulted in major breakthroughs in multiple cancers, saving and improving thousands of lives.
About the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center and has devoted more than 130 years to exceptional patient care, innovative research, and outstanding educational programs. Today, they are one of 50 National Cancer Institute–designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, with state-of-the-art science flourishing side by side with clinical studies and treatment.
The close collaboration between physicians and scientists is one of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s unique strengths, enabling them to provide patients with the best care available, as they work to discover more effective strategies to prevent, control, and ultimately cure cancer in the future. Their education programs train future physicians and scientists, and the knowledge and experience they gain at Memorial Sloan Kettering has an impact on cancer treatment and biomedical research around the world.
For more information about the auction please contact visit Hindman.
Forthcoming Johannesburg sale, to be held at Strauss & Co’s Houghton offices on Monday, 11 November will focus collectors’ attention on the strong influence Paris has exerted on South African art throughout the twentieth century.
“Paris was a beacon for countless South African artists,” says Susie Goodman, executive director at Strauss & Co. “The first South African artist to study in Paris was Robert Gwelo Goodman, in 1895. The list of local artists who followed in his footsteps is as remarkable as it is long. The top three lots in our upcoming sale are by Alexis Preller, William Kentridge, and Penny Siopis, highly acclaimed artists who each spent time in Paris early in their careers.”
The top lot is Preller’s Icon Barbare (Adam), an oil painting quoting his powerful 1969 intaglio Adam (sold by Strauss & Co in 2016 for R6.8 million). Shown on the artist’s 1972 Pretoria Art Museum retrospective, Icon Barbare (estimate R8.5 – 10 million) depicts the biblical first man with Prelleresque flourishes.
“The Christ-like beard and hair are ambiguously transformed with green and leaf-like tendrils thus assuming a pagan quality,” notes artist and Preller expert Karel Nel. “The transmuted presence feels more like an icon of Pan, the Greek god of nature, of fertility, the mountains and wilds.”Assuredly loose in style, this oil on canvas reveals Preller’s admiration for French Fauvist painter Raoul Dufy, a lifelong friend of painter Othon Friesz.
Preller met Friesz, a teacher at Académie de la Grande Chaumière, in 1937 during his first trip to Paris. Lacking funds to study at his art school, Preller
invested his energies in the “tireless examination of the works of modern artists on view in galleries,” according his biographer Esmé Berman. During these expeditions Preller recognised in Gauguin “a guide to the direction he himself might follow”. This influence is evident in Mapogga Wedding (R2 – 3 million), a 1952 oil depicting a bride and groom set slightly askew with Gauguinesque figures in the background.
The influence of Paris is also evident in the work of contemporary masters such as William Kentridge and Penny Siopis. In 1981 Kentridge studied mime and theatre at a Paris acting school founded by Jacques Lecoq. A decade later, having decisively returned to making art, he produced the collage Iris, a highly unusual colour work portraying a single flower in Van Gogh’s Provencal tones of blue and purple (estimate R3 – 5 million).
Five years later, Siopis undertook a seven-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts after winning the Volkskas Atelier Award with her well-known painting Melancholia. The forthcoming sale includes a companion work, Act I Scene II (estimate R2.8 – 3.5 million), which was interrupted by Siopis’s stay in Paris and completed upon her return to Johannesburg à la Melancholia. This lot includes various pictorial elements (tortoise shell, porcupine quills, classical statuettes, red arum lilies) appearing in Melancholia.
The upcoming sale is an opportunity for collectors and art lovers to explore South African art’s indebtedness to Paris. Artists from various periods are represented in the catalogue, including Ruth Everard Haden, Clément Sénèque and Maud Sumner, who all studied in Paris during the interwar years. Sumner’s Woman Seated at a Mirror (estimate R350 000 – 500 000) is an intimate domestic scene in the style of Bonnard and Vuillard.
Postwar painters also feature prominently. They include Erik Laubscher, who studied at the Académie Montmartre under Fernand Léger, Bettie Cilliers-Barnard, Sydney Goldblatt and Anna Vorster, who all studied at the Paris art school founded by cubist painter André Lhote. Standout lots include Laubscher’s School of Paris work from 1956, Abstract Landscape (R250 000 – 300 000) and Cilliers-Barnard’s international style Abstract Composition (estimate R80 000 – 120 000) painted a year later.
Paris was more than simply a workshop for painterly innovation; it provided shelter for dissidents and exiles. Following in the footsteps of pioneering abstract painter Ernest Mancoba, who settled in Paris in 1938. Gerard Sekoto choose to leave apartheid South Africa for the City of Lights a decade later. A highly collectible artist, Sekoto is represented in a wine-coloured composition from 1968, Three Figures (estimate R350 000 – 500 000).
Highlights from the contemporary selection include Diane Victor’s There’s Fire in the Thatch (estimate R300 000 – 500 000), a large charcoal and chalk pastel drawing portraying six figures locked in an embrace hovering over a burning landscape. Victor won the 1988 Absa l’Atelier Art Competition and – like Siopis – stayed at the Cité Internationale des Arts. During her ten-month residency she produced drawings combining classical references with contemporary social comment and autobiographical detail.
All these works will go under the hammer on Monday, 11 November at Strauss & Co’s new sales and exhibition space at 89 Central Street, Houghton, in Johannesburg. The Paris-themed sale will also include a collection of Edoardo Villa bronze sculptures from the estate of Aldo Carrara, a lifelong friend of the artist, as well as a number of noteworthy landscape scenes by JH Pierneef.
For more information about the sale please contact:
Julian Roup, Bendigo Communications [email protected], +44 7970 563 958