Unsung Heroines 1967 – 1996

Women Artists from the Allan Stone Collection

The present lot is among the powerful selection of works by women artists from the Allan Stone Collection. Not only was Allan Stone a pioneering supporter of Abstract Expressionism and emerging artists, he also celebrated works by women who were forging new ground in the world of art, often without the support or recognition of the larger art community. Driven by personal experience and the need for expression, these women created inventive works exploring politics, gender roles, storytelling, abstraction and art history.  

He could make a visual decision very quickly. It was like love at first sight. He trusted his instincts.

Lorraine Shemesh

The Visionary Eye of Allan Stone

Allan Stone; Allan Stone Gallery, New York, c. 1975. Images courtesy of the Allan Stone Collection


Founded in 1960 by art dealer Allan Stone (1932–2006), the New York gallery known today as Allan Stone Projects has been admired for over half a century. Celebrated for its eclectic approach and early advocacy of pivotal artists of the 20th century, Allan Stone Gallery was a leading authority on Abstract Expressionism, the New York dealer for Wayne Thiebaud for over forty years, and showed the works of Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Arshile Gorky, Joseph Cornell, John Graham and John Chamberlain. Stone also promoted the work of a younger generation of artists that were in conversation with other artists in his collection, working in the mediums of assemblage, collage and new modes of abstraction. In addition to modern masterworks and contemporary art, Allan Stone also collected and exhibited international folk art, Americana and important decorative arts and industrial design.

Primarosa Cesarini Sforza b. 1946

Primarosa Cesarini Sforza draws upon art history and a surrealist sensibility to build her intimate and eclectic box constructions. Utilizing found objects and everyday materials, she creates poetic spaces of personal and symbolic significance, much like the assemblages of Joseph Cornell. Cesarini Sforza juxtaposes figures, animals and unexpected materials to imbue her works with a lively, dream-like energy. She connects these disparate elements with a network of knotted string that anchors her compositions and acts as a guide for contemplation. Cesarini Sforza has a thoughtful approach and a strong sense of narrative with which she encourages the viewer to embark on their own journey of interpretation.

Primarosa Cesarini Sforza was born in Bologna, Italy in 1946 and received her Master of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Rome. She has been the subject of exhibitions at galleries and museums in Rome, New York, Paris, Madrid, Cologne, Lisbon, Cairo, Istanbul and Bilbao, among others. Her work is represented in numerous permanent collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome; the Orestiadi Foundation, Gibellina; the Umberto Mastroianni Foundation, Arpino; the Italian Embassy of Brazil; the Italian Embassy of Cyprus; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Asilah; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Amman; and the Giuliano Briganti Foundation. The artist lives and works in Rome.

Auction Results Primarosa Cesarini Sforza