The Ed­die Basha Col­lec­tion: A Se­lec­tion of West­ern Amer­i­can Art

Los Angeles, CA

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS -

Ed­die Basha was a col­or­ful force in Ari­zona for decades. He was the chair­man and CEO of the Bashas’ gro­cery store chain, a can­di­date for Ari­zona gover­nor in 1994, a fre­quent tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity, prom­i­nent phi­lan­thropist and de­voted col­lec­tor of West­ern art. When he died in 2013, Basha left more than 3,000 works of art, cer­tainly one of the largest col­lec­tions of con­tem­po­rary West­ern art in the coun­try, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble for a new gen­er­a­tion of West­ern en­thu­si­asts to ap­pre­ci­ate.

On Novem­ber 25 in Los Angeles, Bon­hams will of­fer bid­ders a chance to own 70 works of art from the col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing many pieces from Cow­boys Artists of Amer­ica mem­bers. The works be­ing of­fered were pre­vi­ously on view at the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery of West­ern Amer­i­can & Amer­i­can In­dian Art within the Bashas’ cor­po­rate head­quar­ters in Chan­dler, Ari­zona. Ad­mis­sion is to­day, and al­ways has been, free.

Tammy Fon­taine worked closely with Basha as he built the col­lec­tion, and to­day she’s the director of the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery, named after Basha’s aunt, who helped in­spire him to ap­pre­ci­ate and col­lect art. Be­cause

of the col­lec­tion’s vast size, she sees the auc­tion as an op­por­tu­nity to re-cu­rate the gallery. “There is so much art on the walls. So much that peo­ple would come in and walk through and the first thing out of their mouth after they went through was how over­whelm­ing it all was. There was sim­ply too much,” Fon­taine says, adding that the gallery will stay open and will even be pub­lish­ing a book about the col­lec­tion in 2020. “I’m ex­cited these pieces will be of­fered to peo­ple who ap­pre­ci­ate West­ern art as much as Ed­die did, and I’m ex­cited we can freshen up the gallery for new and re­turn­ing vis­i­tors.”

Bon­hams, which han­dled the L.D. “Brink” Brinkman Col­lec­tion ear­lier this year, will take key se­lec­tions from the

Basha Col­lec­tion and pre­view them around the world, in­clud­ing Ger­many and Hong Kong, and in the United States in Wy­oming, Ok­la­homa and New York.

“Ed­die al­ways wanted as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to ex­pe­ri­ence the Amer­i­can West, its rich his­tory and the many cul­tures through the art he col­lected,” says Na­dine Mathis Basha, on be­half of the Basha

fam­ily. “He would be ex­tremely proud to know that his pas­sion for art, for the his­tory of the West, for its land and its peo­ple were to be shared in both Asia and Ger­many.”

Scot M. Le­vitt, director of fine arts at Bon­hams, says that trav­el­ing the paint­ings around the world has a two-fold mis­sion: to pro­mote the sale and to pro­mote the gallery in Chan­dler. “It’s a great way to pre­view the sale and also high­light the gallery, which will con­tinue to ex­ist and show Ed­die Basha’s col­lec­tion,” Le­vitt says, adding that the sale will fea­ture works by artists who were close friends with the col­lec­tor. “We have great ex­am­ples from John Cly­mer, Howard Terp­n­ing and Tom Lovell—truly re­mark­able ex­am­ples. And also works from Joe Beeler, who was a dear friend of Ed­die’s.”

Works in the sale in­clude two ma­jor Terp­n­ing paint­ings: Crows in the Yel­lo­stone (est. $400/600,000), a piece from 1990 that was ex­hib­ited and sold at the 25th an­nual CAA sale in Phoenix; and My Medicine is Strong (est. $300/500,000), a piece that was shown a decade later at the 35th an­nual CAA show, also in Phoenix. “When you look at the de­tail and com­po­si­tion you im­me­di­ately see why Terp­n­ing’s works sell the way they do. He’s al­ways a main at­trac­tion and the proof is right there in the paint,” Le­vitt says.

The Lovell work be­ing of­fered is

Quick­sand – Horse­head Cross­ing, a work from 1976 that is es­ti­mated at $150,000 to $250,000. The im­age de­picts a band of Co­manche In­di­ans at the in­fa­mous Horse­head Cross­ing, “one of the few ford­able points on the Pe­cos River in Texas dur­ing the 19th cen­tury,” ac­cord­ing to Bon­hams. “It was the clos­est wa­ter­ing hole within a 60-miles ra­dius of the desert, but deadly for its quick­sand and high salin­iza­tion. Horse­head Cross­ing was named for the fore­bod­ing horse skulls that marked its banks. A Co­manche leader is shown test­ing the river with the end of his lance and safe­guard­ing the new way for his party.”

Mar­tin Grelle’s 1996 oil War­rior will be of­fered with an es­ti­mate of $200,000 to $300,000. Also in the sale are a num­ber of ex­cep­tional Cly­mer paint­ings: The White Buf­falo (est. $150/250,000), Lord of the Plains (est. $100/150,000), Big Horn Sheep (est. $70/90,000) and The Big Long Tail (est. $30/50,000). Cly­mer and Basha were es­pe­cially close friends, and Basha fre­quently vis­ited the stu­dio of the painter.

Le­vitt says the col­lec­tion says a lot about the man who brought the art­works to­gether. “When you look at the whole col­lec­tion it seems to me that it was brought to­gether by some­one who is ob­vi­ously very pas­sion­ate about West­ern art and knew these artists per­son­ally. He did not col­lect them to turn them around to sell them one day. He sin­cerely loved these artists and their work,” Le­vitt says. “Any­one who buys that much ma­te­rial and sup­ports a range of CA artists so broadly, you know they are su­per pas­sion­ate about West­ern art.”

Howard Terp­n­ing, Crows in the Yel­low­stone, 1990, oil on can­vas, 44 x 32” Es­ti­mate: $400/600,000 Es­ti­mate: $300/500,000

Howard Terp­n­ing, My Medicine is Strong, 2000, oil on can­vas, 33 x 44”

John Cly­mer (1907-1989), The White Buf­falo, 1972, oil on can­vas, 20 x 40” Es­ti­mate: $150/250,000

Mar­tin Grelle, War­riors, 1996, oil on linen, 40 x 60” Es­ti­mate: $200/300,000

Tom Lovell (1909-1997), Quick­sand – Horse­head Cross­ing, 1976, oil on Ma­sonite, 24 x 40” Es­ti­mate: $150/250,000

John Cly­mer (1907-1989), Lord of the Plains, 1987, oil on Ma­sonite, 15 x 30” Es­ti­mate: $100/150,000

John Cly­mer (1907-1989), Big Horn Sheep, oil on Ma­sonite, 30 x 40” Es­ti­mate: $70/90,000

John Cly­mer (1907-1989), The Big Long Tail, oil on Ma­sonite, 24 x 40” Es­ti­mate: $30/50,000

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.