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    Flesh And Spirit by Jean-Michel Basquiat

    Flesh And Spirit by Jean-Michel Basquiat is a highlight of Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Art evening auction on May 16. Made up of multi-canvas panels measuring a combined 145 by 145 inches, the 1983 work is one of the largest ever made by the artist. It was acquired from Champions, the legendary exhibition at Tony Shafrazi Gallery in January 1983, for $15,000 by visionary collector Dolores Ormandy Neumann that year and has remained in the collection of the Neumann family since.

    Dolores Ormandy Neumann was an early champion of graffiti artists. In fact, it was her discovery and encouragement of graffiti art that presciently drove the influence and recognition of these emerging artists in downtown New York in the early ’80’s, leading to their embrace by an audience outside of the East Village.

    In 1973, the year following President Nixon’s historic 1972 trip to China, Mrs Ormandy Neumann’s uncle, Eugene Ormandy, led the first American orchestra to perform in China as the trailblazing conductor of the Philadelphia Philharmonic. The tour, which took place seven years after the start of the Cultural Revolution and was attended by the Chinese First Lady Madam Mao in Beijing, is widely heralded the start of artistic exchange between the two countries.

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