Sotheby’s New York – Contemporary Art Evening Auction – The Sleeping Girl Film Series

May 2nd, 2012 by

Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Contemporary Art on 9 May 2012 will feature Roy Lichtenstein’s Sleeping Girl from 1964 (36 x 36 in., 91.5 x 91.5 cm) – one of the high-points of the artist’s comic book inspired paintings and an icon of Post-War American art. The sexy blonde women of the comic book series are not only one of the most instantly recognizable icons of the Pop Art movement but continue the long, rich tradition of artists’ celebrations of the sleeping female form. Paintings from this series are featured in the collections of major institutions throughout the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and this work has remained in private hands for the past 48 years. Sleeping Girl is estimated to sell for $30/40 million and will be shown in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London and New York prior to the auction on 9 May.

Sleeping Girl has not appeared on the market since it was purchased by noted West Coast collectors and philanthropists Beatrice and Phillip Gersh, from the Ferus Gallery in 1964. The Gershes were founding members of The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA) and part of a distinguished group of collectors who established the modern and contemporary art scene in the region.  Their commitment to supporting the arts in Los Angeles is evidenced in part by their generous donations of several major works to MOCA including Cubi III (1961), a stainless steel sculpture by David Smith and Jackson Pollock’s seminal painting Number 3, 1948 (1948), both of which are currently on view at MOCA as part of A Tribute to Beatrice and Philip Gersh: Gifts to The Museum of Contemporary Art through 27 February 2012.  Passionate collectors, they rarely loaned their works to museum exhibitions, preferring to keep them at home, and in the 48 years since its purchase, Sleeping Girl has been exhibited only once, in the 1989/90 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles exhibition Selections from the Beatrice and Philip Gersh Collection.