re: Irving Blum
The Legendary Art Dealer Talks the Birth of Pop and Roy Lichtenstein’s Cartoon Beauty
Pop gallerist extraordinaire Irving Blum discusses the pivotal moment he discovered Roy Lichtenstein’s iconic masterpiece “Sleeping Girl” with Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art, Tobias Meyer. Becoming Director of Los Angeles’s Ferus Gallery in 1958 after buying the stake of departing artist and co-founder Ed Kienholz for the princely sum of $500, Blum made Ferus central to the burgeoning LA art scene through championing emerging New York stars like Frank Stella, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. “Ferus was pivotal,” enthuses Meyer, who also interviewed fashion designer Tom Ford and Chief Curator at MOCA Paul Schimmel as part of an upcoming series of films celebrating “Sleeping Girl.” “There was no other West coast gallery in 1962 that showed Andy Warhol. It was where all the important artists were showing.” Closeted in Beatrice and Phillip Gersh’s private collection for the past 50 years, Lichtenstein’s sultry “Sleeping Girl” is on display at Sotheby’s in London, before traveling to New York and going on auction in May with an estimate of $40 million—a substantial price tag for a work which originally sold for a mere $1,600. NOWNESS spoke to Tobias Meyer as the lauded painting went on display at Sotheby’s Bond Street.