Stefan Edlis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Stefan Edlis (1925 in Vienna, Austria – October 15, 2019) was an Austrian born American art collector and philanthropist. As a collector he initially focused on Pop Art.[1]

Biography[edit]

Edlis escaped Nazi Reich annexed Austria with his mother and two siblings in 1941 and emigrated to the United States. He was later drafted into the U.S. Navy and stationed in Iwo Jima where he buried Japanese prisoners.[2][3]

Edlis founded Apollo Plastics in 1965 and initially only collected art made from plastic.[4] He later found out that art dealers told artists to create works in plastics because "Stefan would buy it".[5]

In 1977 Edlis began his foray into forming a major collection with his purchase of Piet Mondrian’s Large Composition With Red, Blue, and Yellow.[5] He then proceeded over the next four plus decades with his wife and collecting partner Gael Neeson to create a major collection of Pop Art and other closely associated art genres. Among the works in his collection were Roy Lichtenstein's 1966 painting Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But..., Jeff Koons' Rabbit (created in edition of 3 - one of which sold at auction for $91.1 million US setting a new all time price record for a work by a living artist) as well as works by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, Maurizio Cattelan, Gerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, and Richard Prince.[6]

In 2015 Edlis and Neeson donated more than 40 works to the Art Institute of Chicago. With an estimated value of $400 million, it is the largest bequest in the museum's history. The museum in turn agreed to exhibit the collection for at least the next fifty years.[7] In 2000 Edlis and Neeson made a partial gift of their Jeff Koons "Rabbit" to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.[3][8]

In 2018 Edlis appeared in Nathaniel Kahn's HBO art market documentary The Price of Everything and delivered a quote from the Oscar Wilde play Lady Windermere's Fan which became the title of the film: "There are a lot of people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing".[9][10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Edlis was married twice.[12] Edlis and his second wife Gael Neeson, whom he married in the 1970s, pursued their passion for art together and had homes in Chicago and Aspen, Colorado.[13][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stefan Edlis, Who Went From Refugee to Eminent Art Collector and Museum Patron, Has Died at Age 94". artnet News. October 16, 2019. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  2. ^ Durón, Maximilíano (October 15, 2019). "Stefan Edlis, Towering Chicago Collector of Pop Masters and Contemporary Art, Is Dead at 94". Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  3. ^ a b O'Donnell, Maureen (October 15, 2019). "Stefan Edlis dies at 94; war refugee became plastics magnate, donated valued pieces to Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Institute". Chicago Sun-Times.
  4. ^ "Stefan Edlis, prolific Chicago philanthropist and collector of contemporary art, has died, aged 94". www.theartnewspaper.com. Archived from the original on 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  5. ^ a b "Stefan Edlis (1925–2019)". www.artforum.com. Archived from the original on 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  6. ^ Crow, Kelly (April 22, 2015). "Art Institute of Chicago Gets $500 Million Gift of Art". Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020 – via www.wsj.com.
  7. ^ "Why $400M Worth of Contemporary Art Didn't End Up at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art". WTTW News. Archived from the original on 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  8. ^ "Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986". MCA. Archived from the original on 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  9. ^ "Review: 'The Price of Everything' Asks $56 Billion Questions About Art :: WRAL.com". www.wral.com. Archived from the original on 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  10. ^ "'The Price of Everything' Has a Vision of the Art Market to Sell You. Don't Buy It". artnet News. October 31, 2018. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  11. ^ Scott, A. O. (October 16, 2018). "Review: 'The Price of Everything' Asks $56 Billion Questions About Art (Published 2018)". Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020 – via NYTimes.com.
  12. ^ "Stefan T. Edlis". MCA. Archived from the original on 2020-12-22. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  13. ^ "Stefan T. Edlis and Gael Neeson". June 8, 2015. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  14. ^ "Art news daily: 16 October". Apollo Magazine. October 16, 2019. Archived from the original on December 22, 2020. Retrieved June 16, 2020.