I just want to make works that mean something. And I don’t know where it comes from or what it means all the time. How can you know what abstraction means? So much abstraction that I see doesn’t have any meaning. It looks like design, a set-up. I want something that continues over time.
The James W. Hyams Collection
James W. Hyams started collecting art in 1967 when he was a student in college. The first work Hyams purchased—Vegetable Soup Can from Campbell’s Soup I by Andy Warhol—was paid for in installments and hung in his dorm room. A few years later, he purchased his second work by Warhol and from there collecting became a way of life.
Over the years, Hyams has amassed a stunning collection of prints from 1960s to the present day. From Warhol to Hirst, or Lichtenstein to Doig, his collection is about as contemporary as it gets. Focusing on works that he likes by influential artists, his collection of more than 400 prints is an exceptional survey of the most important art movements of the second half of the 20th century and the start of the 21st century.
Generous with his collection, Hyams has loaned many works to galleries and universities, sharing his collection with a public audience. Further, his pieces are proudly on display in his home, his acclaimed interior widely published.
I don't buy pieces that I don't like. But I do have a purpose in my collection. I am interested in buying key artists from the period.
James W. Hyams
American minimalist painter and sculptor Ellsworth Kelly rendered his surroundings into abstract, essential shapes and varying planes of color and empty space. After studying at the Pratt Institute in New York, he was deployed to France during World War II, where his fascination with Paris and European artists was first sparked. While in France, Kelly surrounded himself with like-minded artists including Alexander Calder and began to develop his iconic style through paintings and collages “that were arranged according to the laws of chance.” In 1954, he returned to the U.S. and gained immediate success at New York gallery shows where he exhibited his geometric, minimalist paintings and totemic sculptures. Kelly earned his first retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1973, and has since been the subject of retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Tate Modern in London.
Auction Results Ellsworth Kelly