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Architect Fred Clarke's art collection to hit the auction block in New York

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Ed Ruscha, "Standard Station (Engberg 5)" (1966)

This fall, Christie's will be offering the collection of renowned architect Fred Clarke and his wife, Laura, in a series of sales.

Over the past 50 years, the Clarkes have assembled an extensive collection of works on paper, sculpture, and design, including prints from the 1960s and 1970s.

The core of their art collection is formed by works by American pop artist Ed Ruscha, whose oeuvre chronicles the ever-changing landscape of California.

In the 1970s, the couple immersed themselves in the art scene around Venice and Cienega Boulevard, California, which were both home to many artists' studios and emerging galleries.

They particularly gravitated towards artists like Ruscha, who explored innovative techniques and processes.

As specialist publication Penta points out, the Clarkes discovered his work in the mid-1960s through his photobook "Some Los Angeles Apartment," which documented the city's built environment.

At the time, Ruscha was particularly experimenting with alternative mediums, including food, chewing tobacco, condiments, even blood.

An example from this period is his 1975 gunpowder drawing, "Wavy Robot," which will hit the auction block on September 27 along with thirty-five of his other works.

This piece, which is estimated between $400,000 and $600,000, is one of a large grouping of gunpowder ribbon drawings.

Among them are Ruscha's earliest work in the Clarke collection, "3 Forks," as well as "Electrical" and "Palm," which both date to the early 1970s.

Another highlight of the dedicated sale is a group of four "Standard Station" screenprints, based on an image featured in Ruscha's landmark 1963 photobook, "Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations."

The publication, which is now considered one of the most important artist books in history, features black-and-white photographs of petrol stations along the highway between Ruscha's home in Los Angeles and his parents' house in Oklahoma City.

Also on sale from the Clarke collection are Ken Price's glazed ceramic sculpture "Untitled (Slate Cup)," estimated between $200,000 and $300,000; Andreas Gursky's C-print on Diasec "PCF Paris," estimated between $300,000 and $500,000; and Vija Celmins' seascape "Long Ocean #5," estimated between $1.5 million and $2.0 million.

The dedicated sale of Ruscha works will take place on September 27 at Christie's New York.

It will be followed by the Prints & Multiples sale in October, the Post-War & Contemporary Art day sale in November, and the Design sale in December -- which will all feature artworks from the Clarke collection.