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21 October 2010  |  Fine Art - Other   |  Article

The Collection of Robert Shapazian

Robert Shapazian’s passion for the arts was reflected in his life-long dedication to the field, his friendships with those in it and his personal, yet masterful collection which Christie’s will offer in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales and other various auctions, beginning this fall. The Collection of Robert Shapazian includes 69 works of art including standout examples by Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp and Roy Lichtenstein. 

Robert Shapazian’s affinity for art and collecting was deep and down to the core. Robert was raised in Fresno, California, where his family was involved in the agricultural business. He began collecting at age 13, and sold works to major museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, while in his teens. Shapazian parlayed his knowledge and reverence for the arts into modestly beginning a collection of Art Deco objets d’art and experimental photography, specifically the constructivist and Bauhaus photographs of Rodchenko, Lissitzky and Moholy-Nagy. He developed a fondness later on for 19th century photographers including Nadar, and Roger Parry, as well as 20th century avant-garde photography such as Man Ray. Shapazian, who completed a PhD in English at Harvard also, was deeply interested in Marcel Duchamp, who made an indelible impact on his life. There are 13 works from Duchamp in the Shapazian collection, including the rare and iconic Monte Carlo Bond NO. 1

After being elected to the photographic committees of both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Art, he moved to Los Angeles where he was tapped by Sam Francis to produce books for Lapis Press in Venice, California. It was there that Shapazian got to flex his creative muscles as well as his deft interpersonal skills, forging bonds with artists, writers and collectors. He published books on philosophy, art and literature and worked with artist such as Ed Ruscha and William Wegman as well as supporting young authors both by mentorship as well as financially.

In 1994, Larry Gagosian asked Shapazian to be the founding director of his Beverly Hills gallery, where he earned a reputation of being proactive about bringing new talent to the gallery and worked with artists and premier collectors such as Eli and Edythe Broad for a decade. At Gagosian, Shapazian honed his obsession with Andy Warhol and declared him to be the single greatest form-giver to art since the second half of the 20th century.

Shapazian’s collection embodies a lifetime of immersion in the arts, specifically of the Post-War and Contemporary period. There are 13 works by Duchamp, 16 works by Warhol and two by Damien Hirst, and Roy Lichtenstein.

The Andy Warhol group presents every important theme from Andy Warhol’s career: Campbell's Soup, Marilyn Monroe, The Electric Chair, Jacqueline Kennedy, Grocery Boxes, and the Dollar Sign, all to be offered in both the Post-War and Contemporary Evening and Day Sales. Duchamp’s Monte Carlo Bond, 1924, Damien Hirst’s Cefoperazone, 2007 and Chop (Steak) by Roy Lichtenstein, 1963, are other notable works to be presented in the Evening Sale. The Post-War and Contemporary Day Sale highlights include Marcel Duchamp's La Boite-en-Valise; Lichtenstein’s Still Life with Casserole (Sketches for Still Life with Candle), 1972.

There will also be works from the Shapazian Collection in the 20th Century Decorative Art & Design Sale on December 15, such as a Jules Leleu Lacquered Wood Three-Piece Salon Suite, 1931 and an Edgar Brandt Wrought Iron Bookcase, circa 1925.

Gallery Talk


Related Sale
Sale 2355
Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale
10 Nov 2010
New York, Rockefeller Plaza

Sale 2356
Post-War and Contemporary Morning Session
11 Nov 2010
New York, Rockefeller Plaza

Sale 2357
Post-War and Contemporary Afternoon Session
11 Nov 2010
New York, Rockefeller Plaza

Related Departments
20th Century Decorative Art & Design
Photographs
Post-War & Contemporary Art

Related Artists
Edgar Brandt
Marcel Duchamp
Damien Hirst
Jules Leleu
Roy Lichtenstein
Andy Warhol

Keywords
Paintings
Photographs
Edgar Brandt
Marcel Duchamp
Damien Hirst
Jules Leleu
Roy Lichtenstein
Andy Warhol

Lot 17, Sale 2355
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Marilyn
Price Realized: $4,450,500


Lot 12, Sale 2355
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Campbell's Soup Can (Tomato)
Price Realized: $9,042,500


Lot 14, Sale 2355
Andy Warhol (1928-1987)
Dollar Sign
Price Realized: $5,122,500


Lot 9, Sale 2355
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968)
Monte Carlo Bond (No 1)
Price Realized: $1,082,500