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New York – Christie’s is proud to announce that it will offer property from the distinguished collection of Adelaide de Menil and Edmund S. Carpenter as a highlight of its fall sales season. On November 14, 2012, the most important flock of sheep by Francois-Xavier Lalanne ever to come to market leads the auction at Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Evening Sale. Coming from the extraordinary East Hampton estate of Adelaide de Menil and her late husband, the anthropologist, author and broadcaster Edmund (Ted) Carpenter, this whimsical group of animal-shaped sculptures was a centerpiece of the couple’s Further Lane home, ideally nestled in a serene country setting amid a timeless cluster of eighteenth-century eastern Long Island houses and barns.
Conceived by the artist in 1965 and acquired directly from Alexander Iolas in 1976, this flock includes eight standing sheep and sixteen grazing sheep, as well as an extremely rare black sheep. The set is expected to realize between $4,000,000 and 6,000,000. The sale proceeds will benefit the Rock Foundation, which supports anthropological research, publishing, films and archaeological research.
Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, stated, “The de Menil name is globally synonymous with the highest standard of quality and elegance, combined with the most independent and pathbreaking exploration of every avenue of the arts. It is a privilege for Christie’s to be associated with this wide-ranging collection and the lifetime of involvement with the arts that it represents.”
Brent Lewis, Vice-President and Senior Specialist, 20th Century Decorative Art & Design, said of the Sheep that will lead the sales, “François-Xavier Lalanne introduced his iconic Mouton de Laine at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in Paris in 1965, placing a flock of 24 at the entrance, where the artists of the Salon were famously photographed sitting atop them. International acclaim was immediate, and by 1967 Lalanne’s Mouton was published in Life magazine and found in the collections of important impresarios and cultural figures such as Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. Originally presented with the title Pour Polyphème, evoking the episode of the Cyclops in Homer’s Odyssey, Mouton de Laine are the perfect manifestation of Lalanne’s reinvention of surrealism and the mythological, playful and poetic tradition of art animalier. This flock from the collection of Adelaide de Menil and Edmund S. Carpenter is of immense cultural significance and is undoubtedly among the most important works by Lalanne ever to come to market.”
The four historic timber-frame structures on the de Menil-Carpenter property were later gifted to the Village of East Hampton and were converted by Robert A.M. Stern Architects into the new Town Hall, completed in September 2010.
Related Departments Post-War & Contemporary Art