A leading collector for more than 30 years, Blake Byrne acquired diverse and spirited works of art with an instinct that grew and expanded out of a tenacious passion for contemporary art. John Moran Auctioneers is pleased to present a curated selection from the late television executive, philanthropist, and Life Trustee of MOCA, Los Angeles. Included are works by Félix González-Torres, Robert Mapplethorpe, Henry Taylor, Ai Weiwei, Marlene Dumas, Tony Smith, and Tim Hawkinson; as well as artists he collected in depth including Rita McBride, Iva Gueorguieva, Alexander Kroll and Jim Shaw.
As a resident of Los Angeles and Paris, Blake Byrne acquired artwork on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. His incredible foresight and vast holdings are a testament to his collecting prowess. In his lifetime, Mr. Byrne made major donations to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
“He considered himself a steward of these remarkable, sometimes confrontational objects...”
The Blake Byrne Collection was created thoughtfully and deliberately, often with the objective of provoking an authentic exchange between artists and viewers. Mr. Byrne prided himself on purchasing art that moved him emotionally and addressed universal themes such as identity, sexuality, memory, and culture. He considered himself a steward of these remarkable, sometimes confrontational objects, and championed conversation across mediums, eras, and genres. When the collection is offered at auction on June 9, 2021, new owners will have the opportunity to create a fresh dialogue. Eighty works from this unrivaled contemporary art collection will be presented in Moran’s Post War & Contemporary Art + Design sale.