Regina artelor este o romanca: Ileana Sonnabend

Pretextul acestui articol este expozitia pe care MoMA New York o va dedica doamnei Ileana Sonnabend in decembrie anul acesta, expozitie intitulata “Ileana Sonnabend, Ambasadoarea noului”. Ei i se atribuie popularizarea Pop Art in Europa si sustinerea curentelor Minismalism, Arte Povera plus descoperirea si promovarea unor nume uriase astazi precum Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein sau Michelangelo Pistoletto. Si-a inceput activitatea de impresariat in arta alaturi de si mai celebrul Leo Castelli, cu care a fost casatorita in prima tinerete. Apoi, prin galeriile sale de la New York si Paris a cunoscut un succes enorm si i-a facut si pe altii staruri mondiale ale pietei de arta. Este insa un personaj prea putin cunoscut in Romania si cred ca trebuie promovata intens in tara. Doamna Sonnabend a murit la 92 de ani la New York. Iar bilantul influentei ei in ceea ce a insemnat arta secolului 20 va fi facut la expozitia de la Muzeul de Arta Moderna din NY. Colectia si galeria Sonnabend exista si prospera si azi prin Sonnabend Gallery din NY.


Mai jos sunt materiale gasite repede in Wall Stree Journal, New York Times si Wikipedia.

Ileana Sonnabend
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ileana Sonnabend (née Schapira, born October 29, 1914, Bucharest, Romania, died October 21, 2007, New York City) was a dealer of 20th-century art. The Sonnabend Gallery opened in Paris in 1962 and was instrumental in making American art of the 1960s known in Europe, with an emphasis on American Pop Art. In 1970, Sonnabend Gallery opened in New York on Madison Avenue and in 1971 relocated to 420 West Broadway in SoHo where it was one of the major protagonists that made SoHo the international art center it remained until the early 1990s.[1] The gallery was instrumental in making European art of the 1970s known in America, with an emphasis on European conceptual art and Arte Povera. It also presented American conceptual and minimal art of the 1970s. In 1986, the so-called “Neo-Geo” show introduced, among others, the artist Jeff Koons. In the late 1990s, the gallery moved to Chelsea and continues to be active after Sonnabend’s death.[2] The gallery goes on showing the work of artists who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s like Robert Morris, Bernd and Hilla Becher and Gilbert & George as well as more recent artists like Jeff Koons, Rona Pondick, Candida Höfer, Elger Esser, and Clifford Ross among others.

Sonnabend_Ileana_11In 2008, Manuela Gandini publica la editura Castelvecchi monografia Ileana Sonnabend cu subtitlul “Regina Artelor”

Life and work
Sonnabend was born Ileana Schapira in Bucharest to a Romanian Jewish father, Mihail Schapira, and his Viennese wife, Marianne Strate-Felber.[3][4][5]

Her father, Mihail Schapira, was a successful businessman and financial advisor to King Carol II of Romania. Sonnabend was, for many years, married to Leo Castelli whom she met in Bucharest in 1932 and married soon after. The couple had a daughter, Nina Sundell.[6] She and her husband left Europe during the 1940s and settled in New York City. During the 1940s her mother Marianne Schapira divorced her father and met and married the Russian-born American painter John D. Graham[7] (who was a mentor figure to artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Arshile Gorky). Graham also became a mentor to Ileana and Leo by introducing them to his artist friends in the New York art world. In 1950, the couple curated a show of young American and European painters which included both Jean Dubuffet and Mark Rothko.[8] After divorcing Castelli (with whom she remained lifelong friends) in 1959 she married Polish-born Michelangelo scholar Michael Sonnabend whom she had met during the 1940s.

Two years later, they opened Galerie Ileana Sonnabend on Quai des Grands Augustins in Paris, where she introduced art by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and others, and helped establish a European market for their work.[9] In 1965 they acquired an additional apartment on Calle del Dose in Venice.[10] In 1968, the couple closed the Paris showroom and moved back to New York. At one time the couple thought that Michael Sonnabend would run the New York gallery while Ileana oversaw their Paris establishment, but he soon found that the art business did not suit him.[11]

In 1971, she opened the Sonnabend Gallery, in a building at 420 W. Broadway in Soho. The industrial chic restoration instantly became the center of the emerging SoHo art scene.[12] She inaugurated her gallery with a performance by Gilbert & George. She exhibited American artists like Jeff Koons and Vito Acconci, and introduced European artists like Christo, Georg Baselitz, and Jannis Kounellis, to U.S. audiences.[13] When the performance artist Vito Acconci announced that his performance piece Seedbed called for him to masturbate in her gallery for two weeks in 1972, Sonnabend simply replied, “You do what you have to do.”[14]

In 2000, after she had closed her other galleries, Sonnabend and her adopted son Antonio Homem moved the SoHo gallery to West 22nd Street in the Chelsea district.[15]

After Sonnabend’s death in October 2007 at the age of 92, the estate tax return pegged her total worth at $876 million, triggering a $471m tax bill.[16] Her heirs subsequently sold a portion of her postwar-art collection for $600 million—reportedly the largest private sale in history.[17] Although the family had been in talks with the auction houses, they chose to sell parts of the collection privately because of the uncertainties surrounding the financial markets during the 2008 crisis. Backed by members of the Al Thani family,[18] the art-dealers collective GPS Partners purchased $400m of paintings and sculptures dating mainly from the 1960s on behalf of private clients. This first cache is said to have included Jeff Koons’s 1986 sculpture Rabbit, which has been valued in excess of $80 million, as well as Roy Lichtenstein’s cartoon painting Eddie Diptych (1962), Cy Twombly’s abstract Blue Room (1957) and Andy Warhol’s Silver Disaster (1963), one of the artist’s paintings of an electric chair. The second transaction, a selection of paintings by Warhol, was sold to Gagosian Gallery for a reported $200m.[19] Among the Warhols sold by the heirs are Four Marilyns (1962); two paintings of Elizabeth Taylor; and three small paintings from the artist’s “Death and Disaster” series.[20]

In 2011, 59 paintings, sculptures, and photographs by 46 artists, selected from Sonnabend’s personal collection, were shown in “Ileana Sonnabend: An Italian Portrait” at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

 Ileana Sonnabend, Art World Figure, Dies at 92

Published: October 24, 2007

Ileana Sonnabend, whose eye, shrewdness and lasting alliance with her first husband, Leo Castelli, made her one of the most formidable contemporary art dealers of her time, died on Sunday at her home in Manhattan. She was 92.
Sonnabend Gallery
Ileana Sonnabend in 2004.

She died in her sleep after several months of illness, her daughter, Nina Sundell, said yesterday.

Starting in the 1960s, Mrs. Sonnabend was a force to contend with in the art world. She was especially important for introducing postwar American art to Europe in the 1960s, and later for bringing Americans up to speed with developments abroad. She was also famous for amassing an enormous art collection that remained mostly in storage.

Her galleries — Sonnabend Gallery in New York and Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris — showed new, usually top-tier talent from both continents for more than 40 years, from the Pop and Minimal Americans to the Italian Arte Poveristas, to various strands of Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Neo-Geo and beyond.

The list is long, and remains an astounding record of an artistic era studded with names like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, George Baselitz and Jeff Koons.

Mrs. Sonnabend’s exhibitions often had the art world talking. One was “Underneath the Arches,” in which the British team of Gibert & George, painted gold and wearing tweed suits, lip-synched a British vaudeville song over and over. The performance opened Mrs. Sonnabend’s gallery at 420 West Broadway — one of the earliest in SoHo — in 1971.

Also talked about was the Sonnabend 1991 show of Jeff Koons’s “Made in Heaven” series of paintings and sculptures that showed the artist engaged in sexual acts with his wife, Ilona Staller.

Mrs. Sonnabend was variously described as “an iron marshmallow” and “a cross between Buddha and Machiavelli.” Short and plump, she was grandmotherly in appearance from a relatively early age due in part to an illness that necessitated a wig.

Her genteel, old Europe manner belied an often imperious yet bohemian and self-deprecating personality. Her soft, fluty voice often left a listener unprepared for the force of her comments, which she could deliver in at least five languages. On leaving a dance concert in the 1960s, she is said to have remarked to a companion, speaking of the choreographer, “I’m not coming back until someone tells me his I. Q. has gone up.”

Mrs. Sonnabend was perhaps the last in a line of important European-born American art dealers that included Kurt Valentine and Pierre Matisse as well as Mr. Castelli, who died in 1998 but whose Leo Castelli Gallery continues to operate.

Sonnabend_Ileana_13New York’s Museum of Modern Art has just unveiled plans for ‘Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New.’ The show, to open Dec. 21, will turn a spotlight on the Romanian émigré. Andy Warhol’s 1973 portrait ‘Ileana Sonnabend’ will be part of the MoMA show.
Sonnabend Collection, NY. © Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ ARS, NY/MOMA

She was born Ileana Schapira in Bucharest, Romania, on Oct. 28, 1914, the daughter of Mihail Schapira, a prominent Jewish industrialist. She grew up in luxury, attended by nannies and governesses. But she demonstrated an early independence and interest in art that she may have inherited from her Viennese mother, Marianne, who years later divorced her father and married the Russian-born American artist John Graham.

Mrs. Sonnabend met Mr. Castelli when she was 17 and married him a year later, asking for and receiving a painting by Matisse instead of an engagement ring. In 1935, the couple moved to Paris, where they became part of the Surrealist circle. In 1939, Mr. Castelli, backed by his father-in-law, opened his first gallery with an interior designer named René Drouin.

After World War II broke out, the Castellis and their daughter, Nina, fled to New York, where Mrs. Sonnabend’s parents had already established themselves, having purchased a town house at 4 East 77th Street in Manhattan. The Castellis reached New York on a Portuguese steamer out of Lisbon and moved into an apartment in the building. In 1957, after dealing privately for more than a decade, Mr. Castelli opened a gallery in the couple’s living room.

Mrs. Sonnabend did not begin her own career in earnest until after 1959, when she divorced Mr. Castelli. With her second husband, an amateur Dante scholar named Michael Sonnabend, whom she had met in the 1940s while attending classes at Columbia, she moved first to Rome and then to Paris. In 1962, they opened a small gallery on Quai des Grands-Augustins with a show of Mr. Johns’s work.

There, and in a larger gallery on Rue Mazarine, the Sonnabends established a European bulkhead for new American art, often to the vehement dismay of French art critics. They introduced Pop and Minimal artists like Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Donald Judd and Robert Morris.

Sonnabend_Ileana_03When future New York art dealer Leo Castelli proposed to his 18-year-old Romanian girlfriend Ileana Schapira in 1932, she asked him for a Henri Matisse watercolor instead of an engagement ring. She got it, and the story has since become the stuff of art-world legend. She eventually divorced Mr. Castelli, married scholar Michael Sonnabend in 1960 and died in 2007 at age 92 with a personal art collection valued at nearly $900 million. Here, Ms. Sonnabend is shown at her desk at Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris, 1965.
Sonnabend Gallery, New York

Mr. Sonnabend was known for philosophical discussions while Mrs. Sonnabend sold work and arranged exhibitions. In the late 1960s, they hired as gallery director a slim, elegant Portuguese student named Antonio Homem, who bore a striking resemblance to Mr. Castelli as a young man and who became something of an alter ego to Mrs. Sonnabend. In the late 1980s, she and Mr. Sonnabend adopted Mr. Homem. Mr. Sonnabend died in 2001.

In addition to Mr. Homem and her daughter both of New York, Mrs. Sonnabend is survived by three grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

While the Paris gallery remained open until 1980, Mrs. Sonnabend’s interest began to shift to New York a decade earlier, when she opened a gallery on Madison Avenue near 73rd Street, a few blocks from Mr. Castelli’s. She began exhibiting material that was relatively new to New York: early photography and French Art Deco.

In the fall of 1971, she and Mr. Castelli opened galleries one floor apart in a building at 420 West Broadway, heralding the arrival of the SoHo gallery scene. There, Mrs. Sonnabend continued to present a complex mixture of American and European and new and old.

Her sense of daring, many agreed, exceeded Mr. Castelli’s. She gave first or early New York shows to a range of American Post-Minimalists, including Mel Bochner, Barry Le Va, William Wegman, Vito Acconci and John Baldessari as well as European artists like Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Gilberto Zorio, Boyd Webb and Bernd and Hilla Becher. One of her most notorious shows was Mr. Acconci’s “Seedbed,” a ramped floor beneath which the artist masturbated, his sounds projected over a loudspeaker.

She and Mr. Castelli consulted everyday and often lunched together. They sometimes teamed up for joint shows and established Castelli-Sonnabend Films and Tapes to accommodate artists interested in new media.

Sonnabend_Ileana_04For decades, Ms. Sonnabend and Mr. Castelli held court over the New York gallery scene—championing artists they discovered like Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg and collaborating on shows even after they got divorced and set up separate shops. Roy Lichtenstein’s 1962 ‘Little Aloha.’ ‘Little Aloha’ was a Sonnabend favorite that hung in her New York home for years.
Sonnabend Collection, New York. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/ MOMA

During the roaring ’80s, Mrs. Sonnabend gave New York debuts to the German painters A. R. Penck, Jörg Immendorf and Georg Baselitz, and she took on Neo-Geo artists like Ashley Bickerton, Peter Halley, and Mr. Koons as well as the painters Carroll Dunham and Terry Winters.

But many of her artists defected to other galleries in the early 1990s, and by then Mr. Castelli’s gallery had lost its prominence. Yet Mrs. Sonnabend persisted. To the surprise of many, she and Mr. Homem joined the wave of dealers leaving SoHo for Chelsea, opening a new gallery there in the spring of 2000.

The current exhibition there is in many ways a testament to Mrs. Sonnabend’s esthetic range and her own history, presenting a typical contrast of times and sensibilities: Robert Morris’s raw, Process Art “Blind Time” drawings of the 1970s and Candida Hofer’s new large color photographs of the often ornate interiors of palaces, theaters and libraries in Portugual, redolent of the old Europe with which Mrs. Sonnabend embodied an increasingly rare link.

Sonnabend_Ileana_05Ms. Sonnabend is pictured at a Roy Lichtenstein opening at her Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris, 1963.
Sonnabend Gallery, New York

Sonnabend_Ileana_06Chief curator Ann Temkin said the idea for the show came from Rauschenberg’s ‘Canyon,’ shown here, a 1959 ‘Combine’ piece that Ms. Sonnabend’s heirs donated to the museum last year. The gift buttressed the museum’s sizable Rauschenberg holdings but also resolved a legal dispute between the heirs and the federal government, which said the artwork couldn’t be sold because the artist had mounted a stuffed bald eagle, an endangered species, onto its canvas.
© Robert Rauschenberg Foundation/ VAGA, New York, NY/MOMA

Sonnabend_Ileana_07(From left) Ms. Sonnabend, Robert Rauschenberg, and Mr. Sonnabend circa 1968. Ms. Temkin said Pop master Rauschenberg was ‘dearest to Ileana’s heart,’ and the two remained lifelong friends.
© André Morain/ Sonnabend Gallery, NY

Sonnabend_Ileana_08The show will include a signature igloo-shape sculpture by Merz, an Italian installation artist whom Ms. Sonnabend gave a two-gallery show in New York in 1970.
© Fondazione Merz, Turin/ARS, NY/MOMA

Sonnabend_Ileana_09The Sonnabend show will include around 30 artworks, and Ms. Temkin said the show will aim to illustrate the cross-pollinating role that Ms. Sonnabend played in the art world—first by organizing early shows of American Pop artists in her namesake Paris gallery in 1962 and later by introducing European artists like Merz and Georg Baselitz to American audiences through her second gallery in New York, shown here in 1968.
Sonnabend Gallery, New York

Sonnabend_Ileana_12Sonnabend Collection
Roy Lichtenstein’s “Eddie Diptych” (1962), one of the works sold by the heirs of Ileana Sonnabend.