No art is any good unless you can feel how it's put together. By and large it's the eye, the hand and if it's any good, you feel the body. Most of the best stuff seems to be a complete gesture, the totality of the artist's body; you can really lean on it.
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
Frank Stella b. 1936
Frank Stella is a key figure in postwar American modernism. Born in 1936 in a suburb of Boston, he attended the Phillips Academy where he was introduced to the work of Josef Albers and Hans Hoffman. In 1958, after graduating from Princeton with a degree in history, he moved to New York and worked as a house painter without intent to become an artist–his interest was solely in creation.
Shortly thereafter, while operating from a rented studio shared with artist Carl Andre, Stella was introduced to and later represented by dealer Leo Castelli. Inspired by the Abstract Expressionist movement, but in a departure from the period, he produced the Black Paintings series. His work emphasized a two-dimensional, flat application of monochromatic paint. At age 25, he exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and his work during this time gave way to the Minimalist movement that followed.
In the 1960s, Stella began to work in unique materials such as aluminum and copper paint and he moved away from the traditional square canvas. He experimented with the optical effect of arranging bold colors and geometric forms. Characteristic of the artist is his nonrepresentational painting, no allusion to a narrative or symbolism within the content of his work. In 1970, he became the youngest artist to receive a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Stella’s contributions to modern art are celebrated in the collections of major institutions such as Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others. He lives and works in New York.
Auction Results Frank Stella
Swan Engraving Square I (Swan Engraving V) from the Swan Engraving series
Merce Cunningham and Dance Company Latin America Tour; The Metropolitan Museum of Art (two works)