VAN NUYS, Calif. – Los Angeles Modern Auctions announces On the Arts: The Diana Zlotnick Collection, an exclusive presentation of works from the voracious collector, community builder and champion of Los Angeles-based contemporary artists. This single-owner auction on Tuesday, May 3 will feature more than 250 lots, including significant works from 20th-century luminaries Wallace Berman, Guy de Cointet, Richard Pettibone and Andy Warhol, alongside a formidable selection of groundbreaking artists who helped shape post-war American art. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Born in 1927 and raised in Los Angeles, Diana Zlotnick began collecting in earnest in the late 1960s when she purchased a painting by John Altoon from Ferus Gallery. She would later buy her first Ed Ruscha for $30 at an auction in 1963. With determination, savvy and a healthy dose of chutzpah, Zlotnick amassed an extensive collection from major artists as their stars were rising. Among those who most captivated her were Wallace Berman, Chris Burden, Llyn Foulkes, George Herms, Channa Horwitz, Gloria Kisch, Ed Ruscha, and Richard and Shirley Pettibone, all of whom are well-represented in this important auction event.
Zlotnick’s role as a collector was decidedly hands-on and nowhere, perhaps, is her passion, curiosity and zeal more apparent than within the pages of Newsletter on the Arts, which she wrote, published and disseminated on a sometimes monthly, sometimes seasonal basis from 1971 to 2019. Through Zlotnick’s idiosyncratic chronicling, the newsletter conjures a particular and exhilarating moment in art history; she shares not only exhibitions and performances in Los Angeles (as well as L.A. artists working in New York and abroad), but also birth announcements and obituaries, grant recipients and Guggenheim fellowships, acquittals, forthcoming publications, wanted ads, investment advice, personal invitations and – significantly – her own art criticism.
To engage with Diana Zlotnick and the works that she loved is to glimpse a truly unique collector, one who cast herself not merely as a benefactor, but as a co-conspirator. On the Arts: The Diana Zlotnick Collection is an invitation into her world and the historic milieu that she fervently bolstered as a collector, connector, and later, as an institutional donor. Prior to her passing in 2021, Zlotnick generously gave works from her collection to institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Orange County Museum of Art; the Laguna Art Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
LAMA is honored to bring the Diana Zlotnick collection to auction in Los Angeles, where Zlotnick made her home and helped define a creative generation. As she put it in the October–November 1976 issue of Newsletter on the Arts, “Art energies are flowing in Los Angeles with a large array of first-rate artists.”
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