MEDIA ALERT | Christie's Announces the Fiterman Collection | New York | October 9, 2015


New York

The Artist's Muse: A Curated Evening Sale of 20th Century Art, Monday November 9

Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Tuesday November 10

Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Thursday November 12

New York – Christie’s is honored to present at auction the collection from the extraordinary collecting eye of Miles and Shirley Fiterman. From Minnesota to Palm Beach, New York, and beyond, the Fitermans held a lifelong and deeply shared affinity for fine art, encompassing the work of such influential figures as Calder, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Miró andWarhol. The Fitermans’ collection was built on scholarship, visual delight, and the ineffable connection between artist and patron. Twelve works, estimated in the region of $70 million, will be offered in November between the three evening sales of Post-War and Contemporary ArtImpressionist and Modern Art and The Artist's Muse: A Curated Evening Sale of 20th Century Art.

Among the highlights of the sale, which include works by Alexander Calder, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miró, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein's Crying Girl is a paragon of American ideals, she transcends the notion of the cliché, becoming an eternal icon. Lichtenstein’s Girls constitute a significant body of work from the most prolific period of the artist's career, acquired by the Fitermans from Leo Castelli, this work is estimated at $7,000,000 to $9,000,000. In Mirror #9, executed in 1972, Lichtenstein’s characteristic Ben-Day dot system replaces our own reflection, suggesting a witty commentary on the role of the artist, while addressing issues of vision and perception (estimate: $2,500,000-3,500,000).

Claes Oldenburg’s Clothespin Ten Foot (estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000) is one of the artist’s monumental replicas of everyday objects, famous for having been part of public commissions whose giant companion is part of the Philadelphia scenery. This slender sculpture has been compared to the "embracing couple" in Constantin Brâncuși's sculpture The Kiss.

Joan Miró’s sculptures were the crowning achievement of his late career, Jeune fille s’évadant (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000) ranks among the most ambitious and successful of the painted bronzes Miró created from found objects in his fertile later years, the second one, Personnage, appears as a potent but whimsical Neolithic god (estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000).

CLAES OLDENBURG (B. 1929) Clothespin Ten Foot, 1974. Estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000

JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983), Personnage, bronze with brown and green patina, conceived in 1970. Estimate: $4,000,000-6,000,000

Miles and Shirley Fiterman

Miles and Shirley Fiterman began to collect soon after they were married. Initially drawn to the work of local Minnesota artists, they became ardent students of the wider art historical canon. Spirited bidders at the New York sales, the couple also worked closely with East Coast dealers such as Leo Castelli and the esteemed Minnesota gallerist Gordon Locksley. It was Locksley who introduced the Fitermans to Andy Warhol, when the gallerist staged the artist’s first exhibition in Minneapolis. When Warhol photographed Miles and Shirley Fiterman for his celebrated series of Polaroids, he managed to capture the dynamism of two individuals profoundly connected with the art of their time. It was a passion the collectors believed in sharing with others in ways both large and small—a combination of personal leadership and prodigious financial support that became a model of cultural philanthropy.

Renowned patrons and philanthropists, and dedicated supporters of the arts throughout their life, Miles and Shirley Fiterman were especially committed to the Walker Art Center, with Miles Fiterman serving as a board member and chair of the museum’s Acquisitions Committee. Over several decades, the Fitermans gifted or facilitated the purchase of some seventy works of art at the Walker, including Claes Oldenburg’s sculpture Geometric Mouse-Scale A. The couple were also benefactors and board members of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Tel Aviv Museum, and Shirley Fiterman served as president of the board of the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. In 1993, they delivered a groundbreaking gift in American educational philanthropy, donating a fifteen-story building to the City University of New York in downtown Manhattan.


The Artist's Muse: A Curated Evening Sale of 20th Century Art, Monday November 9

Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Tuesday November 10

Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Thursday November 12


October 31st - November 12th

Christie’s New York – 20 Rockefeller Plaza


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