NEW YORK, NY. - Christie’s presents The Eclectic Eye: The Barry Friedman Collection. Taking place 25-27 March, the four auctions encompassing the collection will coincide with the retirement of the celebrated dealer, and the closure of his namesake gallery. Friedman is known for making markets for countless artists and art forms as a result of his insatiable curiosity and his keen eye for distinct brilliance. The auctions will represent the diversity of mediums and periods that Friedman has presented to the marketplace over the course of his career, including Decorative Arts and Design from the 20th and 21st centuries, Contemporary Art, Photography and Ceramics as well as Italian and Contemporary Glass. The sales will include a combined total of approximately 400 lots, with estimates ranging from $2,000-120,000.
“...That is what Barry is great at -- showing us things that expand our visual aesthetic.” - Peter Marino
“Looking back, I realize that what has made him such an extraordinary dealer is that he really was never a dealer at all, but a collector at heart.” - Reed Krakoff
“Akin to Jacques Cousteau, Barry had investigated almost every art form, movement or aesthetic that any coherent group of people had come up with in the 100 or so years prior. And he has owned, lived with, exhibited, and published key art works of every single artist that passed muster.” - Marc Benda
50-Years in the Business
Barry Friedman began his career in the art business in the 1960’s, and within a decade had become one of the top dealers of Art Nouveau furniture. In subsequent years, Friedman has become a pioneer of many mediums, introducing fresh artists to important collectors, and single-handedly establishing markets for new and previously overlooked artistic movements. The Barry Friedman Collection is, among many things, a celebration of his extraordinary vision, and the exquisite objects that have been brought to light as a result.
“The big leap has been made. This month, period photography at last came into its own. The occasion that triggered its consecration on a grand scale was the sale of photographs from a collection put together by one of the cleverest dealers of our time, Barry Friedman.” - Souren Melikian, Period Photography Comes Into Its Own, The New York Times, October 24, 1998
Evening and Day Sales
The Eclectic Eye will commence on 25 March with an evening sale that encompasses a grouping of many of Friedman’s most important examples of Decorative Arts, Contemporary Art, Photography, Glass and Ceramics and will continue on 26 March with a day sale. Highlights from this sale will include works from Wendell Castle, Michael Eastman, Ron Arad, Shiro Kuramata, Ettore Sottsass, Humberto and Fernando Campana, Tiffany Studios, Man Ray, Edward Burne-Jones, André Arbus, Hector Guimard and Zhang Huan and jewelry from Louise Bourgeois and Alexander Calder among others.
''Italian glass from the 1930's was full of new ideas, strong colors and interesting organic forms,'' Mr. Friedman said. ''It was really new and very different.'' - Barry Friedman, New York Times, 1997
On 27 March, The Eclectic Eye will continue with a standalone auction of Italian Glass. Friedman began collecting began collecting 20th-century Murano glass in the early 1980's, preceding the market. Since then, Barry Friedman, ltd. has staged several acclaimed exhibitions of early 20th Century Italian Glass, both on its own, and within the greater context of its influence on contemporary glass. The Italian Glass Sale represents Friedman’s long-term commitment to the medium with works by Napoleone Martinuzzi, Vittorio Zecchin, Fratelli Toso, Flavio Poli and Tobias Scarp.
I don't know another market in the contemporary craft field that is as strong as glass,'' Mr. Friedman said. ''There are so many clubs and organizations of glass collectors -- more than 10 nationwide -- that are helping to fuel interest in contemporary work.'' - Barry Friedman
The final sale of the Eclectic Eye, will focus on Contemporary Glass, taking place on the afternoon of 27 March. Friedman’s interest in contemporary glass was sparked with the discovery of the work of Michael Glancy in 1996. From that point, Friedman distinguished himself from other studio glass dealers by defining this medium as a “Contemporary Decorative Art.” In addition to Glancy, Friedman has represented Laura de Santillana, Toots Zynsky and Yoichi Ohira, whose work, among others, will be included within the sale.