Arman - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | Phillips

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  • “I think a good dealer is also a collector.”
    —Rosa Esman

    Rosa and Aaron Esman assembled an outstanding collection of Modern, Post-War, and Contemporary art over the course of their seventy-year marriage. The collection’s highlights mirror that of Rosa’s career as a gallerist and print publisher (which Aaron, a psychoanalyst, strongly supported), with interests in Modernism, Dada, Russian Constructivism, and American Pop Art taking center stage. Rosa got her start publishing artists’ print portfolios in the 1960s, including the New York Ten Portfolio, 1965, and Ten for Leo Castelli, 1967, which featured works by rising contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg, and helped pioneer the field of artist’s editions and multiples. Her eponymous gallery exhibited in Manhattan for over twenty years, and she was a founding partner of Ubu Gallery, which is still in operation today.


    When asked about her wide artistic tastes in 2009, Rosa emphasized her love of drawing, “the quintessential bit of the art,” which can be seen across the collection, regardless of genre.


    The pair bonded over gallery visits when dating in the early 1950s. While Aaron already had begun collecting by then, the first work they purchased together was a drawing by Miró, early in their marriage. Rosa recalled: ‘sometimes we look at something, and I say, “Oh, isn’t that marvelous?”’ and Aaron would respond, ‘It’s for us.’


    Founded on lifelong love, the Collection of Rosa and Aaron Esman gives a unique vision of the art movements of the 20th century that shaped New York’s art scene.


    Rosa Esman (Left) and Aaron Esman (Center) with Arman (Right)
    • Catalogue Essay

      Including: Gazelles Tchi Wara; Masques Pounou; Masques de jugement Songué; and Reliquaires Kota

Property from the Collection of Rosa and Aaron Esman


Lot offered with No Reserve

Les Unités plénières (Plenary Units)

The complete set of four lithographs in colors, on Rives BFK paper, the full sheets, with justification and text in French by Tita Reut, all contained in the original white cloth-covered portfolio with collage of lithographs on the front.
all S. 29 3/4 x 21 3/4 in. (75.6 x 55.2 cm)
portfolio 30 3/4 x 24 x 1 1/2 in. (78.1 x 61 x 3.8 cm)

All the prints signed and numbered 'HC 1/15' in pencil, additionally signed by the artist and author on the justification (the edition was 99 and 20 artist's proofs), published by Éditions Tête à Tête Arts, Paris.

Full Cataloguing

$800 - 1,200 

Sold for $508

Contact Specialist
212 940 1220


Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 18 - 20 April 2023