This online auction has been extended and will begin to close from Tuesday, 4 June at 10am EDT.
CHUCK CLOSE (1940-2021)
Norman Lear
signed, inscribed and dated 'for Norman with great respect - Chuck Close 2017' (lower edge)
34 x 2112 in. (86.3 x 54.6 cm.)
Executed in 2017.
Gift of the artist to the present owner
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Lot Essay

As a writer and producer, Norman Lear redefined American television. With award winning shows like All in the Family and The Jeffersons, Lear held up a mirror to American society and tackled social issues that many others shied away from. During his 101 years, Norman developed a voracious and compassionate curiosity and, together with his wife Lyn Davis Lear, the couple built a collection which reflected not only the vibrant creative community of California of which they were a pivotal part, but also the wider values which they espoused.

The Collection of Norman & Lyn Lear reflects their vision. Works by groundbreaking artists such as David Hockney and Ed Ruscha, each acquired nearly fifty years ago and pillars of the collection, sought to challenge the conventions of art by finding new forms of visual expression. Many works exhibit the bold use of color that became a signature of West Coast artists, while others reflect a deeper interrogation of American society.

In 1981, at the height of his television career, Lear retired as an active producer to launch People for the American Way, to promote the values and ideals of democracy which he deemed were under threat. In 2001, the Lears’ love for the American values of truth, democracy, and freedom of expression led them to acquire a copy of the Declaration of Independence, touring it across the country in a bid to bring the people’s document directly to the people themselves.

Over decades, the couple’s extensive collection represented the changes that were taking place in American society. Led by legends of 20th-century art, the collection embodies the authenticity and dedication to truth at the heart of Lear’s life and legacy.

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