A Legendary Art Dealer's Personal Collection at Auction

On May 16-18, Millea Bros' Spring Select auctions will feature an impressive selection of 20th century art, including 75 works from the personal art collection of Ileana Sonnabend, the famous art dealer known for promoting artists like Warhol and Lichtenstein.

A Legendary Art Dealer's Personal Collection at Auction

Millea Bros' Spring Select auctions from May 16-18 will feature over 1,200 lots, from modern and contemporary art to Japanese lacquerware, British antiques and 16th century Mexican Spanish Colonial paintings. The personal collection of legendary art dealer Ileana Sonnabend is one of the sale's major highlights, which includes 75 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs by innovative, mid-century artists including Jim Dine, Jean Tinguely, John Latham, Brassai, Dan Graham and Ron Davis.

Here are the top works from the Sonnabend collection:

Jim Dine, 9 Little Flesh Paintings. 1959-60, acrylic on canvas.
Jim Dine, 9 Little Flesh Paintings. 1959-60, acrylic on canvas.

The marquee lot of the auction weekend is 9 Little Flesh Paintings by American Pop artist and Neo-Dadaist Jim Dine. The set of acrylic on canvas panels date to 1960, the beginning of Dine's career when he was conducting "Happenings" with other progressive artists of the era like Claes Oldenburg and Allan Krakow. His work was part of the first Pop Art exhibition held at the Norton Simon Museum in California in 1962, alongside Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
Estimated $30,000-35,000

John Latham, Unaddressed Letters. 1961, books, plaster, oil paint on canvas laid on board.
John Latham, Unaddressed Letters. 1961, books, plaster, oil paint on canvas laid on board.

British artist John Latham rose to notoriety with his "skoob" artworks (books spelled backwards) which used elements of books to create art and eventually moved into performance art, as Latham would burn or disfigure books, including religious texts which was very controversial. Latham used his "Skoob" paintings to question the power and danger of knowledge in books.
Estimated $10,000-15,000

Jean Tinguely, "Ma Prima". 1961, sheet metal, metal pan, wheel, electrical motor.
Jean Tinguely, "Ma Prima". 1961, sheet metal, metal pan, wheel, electrical motor.

Jean Tinguely (1925-1991) was one of the most original artists of the 20th century. His work focused on movement expressed in futuristic terms that brought everyday objects to life. Assembled as a single being, they became robots driven by the ‘mechanics of chance’. This metamechanic sculpture was characteristic of his oeuvre and is titled "Ma Prima," incorporating sheet metal, metal pan, wheel and electrical motor.
Estimated $8,000-12,000

Ronald Davis, Five Band Slab. 1970, polyester resin and fiberglass.
Ronald Davis, Five Band Slab. 1970, polyester resin and fiberglass.

In the late 1960s, Ron Davis pioneered new forms of abstract expressionist art, experimenting with transparent materials like resin and fiberglass, such as in this large-scale, hard-edged painting titled Five Band Slab.
Estimated $5,000-7,000

2 Views of Development, Dan Graham. 1966, chromogenic prints mounted on board.
2 Views of Development, Dan Graham. 1966, chromogenic prints mounted on board.

Dan Graham's interest in architecture spans his corpus of works, from his outdoor pavilions to his photography. Beginning in the 1960s, Graham began working on his series Homes For America where he would document homes in American suburbs. This work, 2 Views of Development, showcases his eye for pattern in a New Jersey suburb and captures the spirit of sameness that characterized suburban development in the mid-20th century.
Estimated $1,000-1,500

In addition to the Sonnabend collection, an impressive array of 20th century art will also be up for bids on May 18:

Pablo Picasso, Femme et Tete Antique. 1935, charcoal, ink and watercolor on paper.
Pablo Picasso, Femme et Tete Antique. 1935, charcoal, ink and watercolor on paper.

This Picasso drawing titled Femme et Tete Antique (Woman and Antique Head) dates to 1935, a period when Picasso explored Neoclassical themes as observed in the inclusion of the antiquarian bust. It was conceived in charcoal, ink and watercolor on paper.
Estimated $20,000-30,000

Diego Rivera, The Bathers of Tehuantepec. 1925, charcoal and pastel on cardboard.
Diego Rivera, The Bathers of Tehuantepec. 1925, charcoal and pastel on cardboard.

From 1925, The Bathers of Tehuantepec by Diego Rivera is characteristic of Rivera's work which depicted Mexican farmers and manual laborers in scenes of everyday life.
Estimated $8,000-12,000

Francisco Toledo, Woman with Rabbits. c. 1970, watercolor and ink on paper.
Francisco Toledo, Woman with Rabbits. c. 1970, watercolor and ink on paper.

A contemporary of Diego Rivera and a fellow Mexican artist, Francisco Toledo incorporated elements of Surrealism, graphic eroticism and concern for social justice in Mexico in his art. Woman with Rabbits is a watercolor work on paper painted in 1970.
Estimated $5,000-7,000

See all Millea Bros. lots on Barnebys

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