Roy Lichtenstein - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | Phillips
  • “It was op and pop. And it was just anybody who was around whom I liked and whom I knew.” 
    —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 and Aaron Esman, Madrid, 1963


    • Literature

      Gemini G.E.L. 209
      see Mary Lee Corlett p. 27

Property from the Collection of Rosa and Aaron Esman


Untitled Head I (G. 209, see C. p. 27)

Brass sculpture, on a brass-plated machined steel base.
25 1/4 x 9 x 6 in. (64.1 x 22.9 x 15.2 cm)
Incised with signature, date and numbered 57/75 on a copper plaque affixed to the underside, published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $33,020

Contact Specialist
212 940 1220


Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 18 - 20 April 2023