NEW YORK – On Thursday, February 16, Capsule Auctions presents Fashion, Art, and Design, featuring property from the estate of legendary American fashion designer Geoffrey Beene (1924-2004). Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. Proceeds from the sale of the 40 lots of fashion illustrations and 20 lots of bespoke mannequins will benefit the Geoffrey Beene Foundation’s mission to support critical philanthropic causes, most notably the revolutionary cancer research efforts being facilitated through the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
All lots from the estate are being offered without reserve. The sale of property from Beene’s estate will continue throughout the year as a part of other upcoming auctions.
The fashion illustrations included in the auction paint a stunning portrait of Beene’s history, capturing the sleek grandeur of some of the most celebrated collections of his decades-long career. Though artists such as Joe Eula, Gene Meyer and Jesper Nyeboe each bring distinct individual styles to their drawings, Beene’s minimalist yet inventive aesthetic invariably shines through.
Fashion, Art, and Design also offers a selection of decorative mannequins used by Geoffrey Beene to showcase his designs. Beene often preferred dressing mannequins rather than live models, an innovative choice that gave his shows a theatrical flair. Fueled by a belief that hair and makeup looks are destined to become dated, the designer opted to use headless mannequins to preserve the timeless quality of his designs. Like the fashion illustrations, these mannequins are pieces of Beene’s history, speaking to his ethos as clearly as his famed designs do.
These illustrations and mannequins are being offered alongside an array of stunning artwork and design items, such as Herbert Bayer’s Chromatic Circles Tapestry, a manifestation of his lifelong interest in chromatic interplay and geometric forms. This piece, which has an estimate of $5,000-$7,000, has the capacity to dominate whatever space it inhabits, not only because of its large size but also because of its imposing aesthetic presence.
Mario Bellini’s Camaleonda modular seating group, estimated at $5,000-$8,000, represents another standout. Sometimes referred to colloquially as the bubble sofa, this design has become an icon of 20th-century furniture. B&B Italia has likened each piece to a pixel, able to be arranged and rearranged in endless configurations.
The work of Thornton Dial is imbued with a dynamism and reverence for collective memory that has earned the artist comparisons to Anselm Kiefer and Willem De Kooning. Though more subdued than his large-scale assemblage works, Athlete, a watercolor on paper with an estimate of $3,000-$5,000, is a brilliant example of his distinctive artistic sensibility.
About Geoffrey Beene
Geoffrey Beene’s legacy is one of perpetual achievement: as the New York Times put it, “fashion editors ran out of superlatives to describe Mr. Beene’s high-wire act.” Though his list of awards is impressive, Beene’s truest achievement was the body of work he left behind. Distinctly forward-looking and yet consummately timeless, his designs have had a huge influence on the fashion industry. Icons of American fashion have often been spotted sporting Beene’s creations, including Jacqueline Kennedy, who wore a Beene-designed dress to her husband’s inaugural ball.
About the Geoffrey Beene Foundation
The mission of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation is to support critical philanthropic causes, the most important being the establishment in 2006 of the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Since its creation in 2006, the Geoffrey Beene Cancer Research Center has served as the nucleus for revolutionary new research approaches in preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. Together, the Geoffrey Beene Foundation and Geoffrey Beene, LLC have been the sole funding sources for approximately 140 revolutionary research initiatives across all cancers to develop new treatments and diagnostics for cancer patients. The new research has resulted in major breakthroughs in multiple cancers, saving and prolonging thousands of lives.
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