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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
ANDY WILLIAMS: AN AMERICAN LEGEND Andy Williams (1927-2012) is fondly remembered as one of the most talented, beloved and successful performers of his time. Andy's long and prolific musical career spanned generations, with his love of song evident in almost every aspect of his life. With passions that extended far beyond his vocal abilities, Andy's generosity and charisma permeated both stage and screen for many decades and will continue to do so for years to come. Born in Wall Lake, Iowa in December 1927, Andy began his career with his older brothers, Bob, Dick and Don, as a member of the Williams Brothers Quartet singing in the choir of Wall Lake's Presbyterian Church. The group quickly became a town favorite and the boys parlayed their newfound star-power into a standing gig with WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa, where they soon became a local easy-listening staple. From Des Moines, the Williams Brothers found pervasive popularity in wartime radio, performing for stations in both Cincinnati and Chicago. Their success caught the attention of music legend, Bing Crosby, who soon invited the Williams Brothers to participate in his smash hit of 1944, Swinging on a Star, thereby launching the young group into nation-wide fame. They next joined up with the famed singer and nightlife personality Kay Thompson and quickly became the highest paid nightclub show in the country, working together until 1951. Andy then began to build on his experiences and ventured out East to take a chance at a solo singing career. His big break came in the form of Steve Allen's 1953 Tonight show, which brought the young Andy on the air for regular singing performances. Andy's musical talent was out-shone only by his ingratiating, warm, and wholeheartedly charming television presence. His experience with Steve Allen's Tonight show made clear his innate ability to please a large and diverse TV audience. In 1962, Andy became the star of his own weekly television show, the extremely popular and highly-regarded Andy Williams Show, which went on to win three Emmy Awards for Best Musical/Variety Series over the course of its run. On his show Andy enthralled audiences with legendary duets sung by himself and such phenomenal talents as Bobby Darin, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, and Peggy Lee. Concurrent to his highly successful plunge into The Andy Williams Show, Andy made a lucrative label change to Columbia Records with whom he produced, among many others, such hits as Can't Get Used to Losing You as well as a collaboration with Henry Mancini that inspired Andy's signature tune, Moon River. Andy's time with Columbia Records was extremely prolific--he at one point held more golden albums than any other singer, except Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and Johnny Mathis. His passion for singing, dancing and entertaining was equaled by his passion for building an exceptional art collection. Andy was a husband and a father, with a grueling travel and work schedule throughout his career, with seemingly little time to devote to art collecting. But once Andy fell in love with art, he pursued it with a single-minded passion that led to the creation of one of the most singular collections of Post-War art in the country. Initially interested in modern masters such as Picasso, Braque, and Juan Gris, Andy soon developed a taste for the Color Field painters of the 1950s because, as he said, "I just like color." His collection grew to encompass early American paintings alongside brilliant examples by De Kooning, Hans Hofmann, and Kenneth Noland. A strategic collector with an eye for quality, Andy created a veritable treasure trove of masterpieces, many of which he would come to share with the public through his own venue, The Moon River Theatre. Andy earned everything in life by learning and practicing, working harder than anyone else to be the best. One could draw an analogy between his entertainment career and his collecting career. In both, he was blessed with talent from birth --in the case of collecting, a precocious eye--but just as he tirelessly worked at his craft in singing and dancing, he was restless in his pursuit of building a great collection. "I could not imagine a life without paintings. I look at my paintings every day. At night I will go into the living room and look at the Dubuffet because I love it so much. Then to the drawing room, to look at the Picasso, the de Kooning, the Diebenkorn. I could not imagine a room without art."--Andy Williams Christie's is honored to be offering a selection of highlights from the collection of Andy Williams. BARCODE: aw-archival-49 ANDY WILLIAMS: AN AMERICAN LEGEND
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Composition (Figure féminine sur une plage)

Details
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Composition (Figure féminine sur une plage)
signed and dated 'Picasso 27' (lower right)
oil on canvas
7 3/8 x 6 7/8 in. (18.8 x 17.6 cm.)
Painted in Cannes, summer 1927
Provenance
Max Jiménez, Costa Rica (before 1947).
Daniel Yankelovich, Costa Rica.
Gesner Fine Art, Largo, Florida (acquired from the above).
Gerald P. Peters Gallery, Santa Fe (acquired from the above).
Terry DeLapp Gallery, Los Angeles (acquired from the above).
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 12 July 1982.
Literature
C. Zervos, Pablo Picasso, Paris, 1955, vol. 7, no. 89 (illustrated prior to signature, pl. 39).
The Picasso Project, ed., Picasso's Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Sculpture: Toward Surrealism, 1925-1929, San Francisco, 1996, p. 93, no. 27-035 (illustrated prior to signature).
S. Sheehan, "Andy Williams in Branson, The Entertainer's Art-Filled Retreat in the Missouri Music Capital" in Architectural Digest, December 1999, p. 189 (illustrated in color, p. 188).

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Brooke Lampley
Brooke Lampley

Lot Essay

Following the close on 11 July 1927 of his drawings exhibition at the Galerie Paul Rosenberg in Paris, Picasso, his wife Olga and son Paulo headed south to the Côte d'Azur for their annual extended seaside summer holiday. Staying first at a hotel in Cannes, they found nearby a comfortable villa, the Châlet Madrid, the top floor of which the artist could use as his temporary studio. Picasso installed his family, then quickly made a brief trip back to Paris to furtively tryst with his new girlfriend, the seventeen-year-old Marie-Thérèse Walter, whom he had picked out of the crowd in front of the Galeries Lafayette department store at the beginning of the year. He had quickly become obsessed with this sweet, shapely young blond, his amour fou, and relished this first opportunity to see her while Olga was far away.

Back in Cannes, Picasso imagined Marie-Thérèse frolicking on the beach in a magisterial sequence of bather drawings, rendered in shaded, sculptural volumes using ink or pencil, which came to comprise most of two carnets dated 17 July/11 September 1927 (Zervos, vol. 7, nos. 84-88, 90-109; Picasso Project 27/31-34, 36-45, 52, 55-58; Musée Picasso, Paris). John Richardson has described these works, often referred to as Picasso's Métamorphoses, as "one of the most astonishing of all his graphic feats: a series of highly finished biomorphic drawings of Marie-Thérèse's pumped-up body in the guise of his own engorged penis--hybrids composed of erectile tissue. Picasso visualizes the ithyphallic figure of his mistress alone on a sandy beach sunning her rubbery limbs, ballooning breasts, and glans penis of a head... Besides permitting Picasso to indulge in the fantasy that his penis and his girl had become one, these magnificent drawings constitute the first ideas for a monument to [the poet] Apollinaire... He also contemplated shaking up the city fathers of Cannes with the outrageous notion of setting up a row of giant femmes-phallus on the Croisette overlooking the Mediterranean" (A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932, New York, 2007, pp. 339 and 340).

The Andy Williams picture may well be the first Picasso painted on canvas in which he employs the bather subject rendered in the radically inventive surrealist figuration of the Métamorphoses drawings, rife throughout with ingenious and oddly sensual bodily distortions, dislocations and visual double-entendres. In stark, sun-bleached tones Picasso contrasts the bather's bulging features against the flattened stage of the simply outlined monolith of the cabana, the distant and vacant horizon, an empty sky--he liked to employ this kind of desolate, seemingly infinite and timeless expanse as the perfect backdrop to his most daringly adventurous deconstructed visualizations of the human form.

As in a dozen of the drawings, an additional sexual metaphor, miniscule in scale but potent in its meaning, is present here: the bather extends a tiny key to unlock and open the cabana. Investigating the "Cabana Text" Picasso authored in 1935 in conjunction with poetry he was writing during that time, Lydia Gasman has discussed at length the key and cabana as significant motifs in Picasso's work during this period (see Mystery, Magic and Love in Picasso, 1925-1938, doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, New York, 1981, chapters I-V). Wood cabanas were actually rare on the Côte d'Azur during the 1920s, gaily striped canvas tents having replaced them long before. Picasso was conjuring up childhood memories of the casetas, the little bathers' houses lining the beach at Corunna where his family lived during the early 1890s. Seconding Gasman, Richardson has noted that Picasso's cabana obsession related to his "first glimpse of a woman's pubic hair just outside a bathing hut on a Corunna beach. This revelation would forever make him associate beach cabanas with the mystery of sex" (op. cit., p. 342). The cabana represented for Picasso his unconscious, the unfulfilled desires tucked away in a previously hidden self, to which, as if by a fortuitous twist of fate in 1927, Marie-Thérèse offered him the necessary key.

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