This autumn, Christie’s will present the art collection of actor, director and film producer Ivan Reitman & his wife, Genevieve Reitman. This vibrant collection will be showcased during the Marquee Week of Sales in November. It is a testament to the visionary spirit of Ivan Reitman, the legendary filmmaker whose cinematic creations like Ghostbusters, Animal House, and Space Jam still make us laugh.
The collection resonates with the playfulness and humour that defined Reitman’s movies. It’s more than just an assembly of artworks; it’s a celebration of a creative eye and the magic that ensues when imagination meets canvas.
At the heart of this collection is Picasso’s Femme endormie, a vibrant portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter that has graced the Picasso family’s embrace for nearly six decades. Its forthcoming debut in Asia at Christie’s Hong Kong adds an exciting chapter to its storied journey. As it takes the stage, this masterpiece embodies the culmination of Picasso’s brilliance during a tumultuous era, a beacon of radiance amidst the shadows of history.
Beyond the illustrious Femme endormie, the collection unfurls like a tapestry, weaving together the brilliance of artists who defined epochs. The likes of Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Jean Dubuffet, Loie Hollowell, Brice Marden, Richard Diebenkorn, Agnes Martin, Joan Snyder, and Saul Steinberg join the dance, each canvas telling a tale of artistic evolution and expression. Rothko’s ethereal colour fields whisper ancient secrets, while Dubuffet’s playful abstraction dances with the joyous spirit of uninhibited creativity.
At this collection’s heart is a deeper narrative—a tale of love, hope, and the pursuit of beauty. Jason Reitman, the filmmaker’s son, reflects, “Growing up as a Reitman was growing up around magic. I watched one of the great storytellers make movies and make people laugh.” His sister, Catherine Reitman, adds, “My father had so much hope, and his films were positive and optimistic, and I think his art was the same way.” Their words echo the sentiments reverberating through every stroke, every hue, and every form in this curated ensemble.
This isn’t just an auction; it’s a celebration of a life that embraced creativity in its myriad forms. Ivan and Genevieve Reitman were not mere collectors but custodians of joy, curators of wonder, and architects of an artistic legacy. Their home in Montecito, California, designed in harmony with the legendary architect Robert A.M. Stern, served as a sanctuary for this collection. From the graceful sculptures by Dubuffet gracing their gardens to Picasso’s 1934 masterpiece adorning their living room, every corner breathed life into their passion for art.
In Picasso’s Femme Endormie, 1934 marked a tumultuous period for the maestro. Amidst political turmoil and personal strife, he painted this radiant vision of Marie-Thérèse Walter. It wasn’t just a canvas but an oasis—a haven of colour, form, and repose. Christie’s Vice Chairman of 20th and 21st Century Art, Max Carter, reflects, “This deeply personal image was and remained an oasis in its dazzling colour, magical forms, and tender repose.” The painting resonates with the essence of creativity—a force that triumphs even in the darkest times.
Ivan Reitman’s story is one of resilience, creativity, and the pursuit of magic. Born in the shadows of post-war turmoil, he found his calling in the flickering frames of cinema. His films, from Ghostbusters to Meatballs, became not just blockbusters but cultural touchstones. His impact reverberates through the ages, inspiring filmmakers and enchanting audiences with his tales of laughter and wonder.
In the luminescent October days, this collection embarks on a journey. From Hong Kong to Los Angeles, from Paris to the heart of New York, these artworks will grace Christie’s galleries, becoming more than mere exhibits—they’ll be portals into a world where creativity knows no bounds, where hope and joy dance in the vibrant hues of artistic expression. The Ivan & Genevieve Reitman: A Life in Pictures isn’t just an auction; it’s a testament to the enduring power of creativity, a celebration of life that continues to inspire, delight, and enchant.
Picasso’s Femme endormie, a brilliant and colorful portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, which was with the Picasso family for nearly sixty years before its acquisition in 1993 and is expected to achieve $25 million – 35 million. The additional nine works come from giants of the European avant-garde, Abstract Expressionism, and contemporary classics—with examples by Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Jean Dubuffet, Loie Hollowell, Brice Marden, Richard Diebenkorn, Agnes Martin, Joan Snyder, and Saul Steinberg. Additional works will being sold across the week’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale and future sales. In total, the collection is expected to achieve in excess of $60 million.
Ivan & Genevieve Reitman: A Life in Pictures Christie’s Hong Kong before touring to Los Angeles on October 16 and Paris on October 17. The full art collection will be on view at Christie’s New York Rockefeller Center galleries beginning October 28. Sale NOVEMBER 9, 2023 | NEW YORK