Note on Art
This note from LeRoy Neiman provides the history of the artist's painting of Ricardo's Bar in Chicago, through personal anecdote. The record is not only significant because it elucidates the piece's biography but also because the document provides a window into the artist’s attitudes towards both the modification of existing works and commissions.
Ricardo’s Bar, originally on exhibition at the Wrigley building, was purchased by Mogen David Wine, a New York state based winemaker and distributor originally founded in Chicago, under the precondition Neiman painted one of the company's bottles into the bar. Approximately five years later, a buyer of unknown designation desired to purchase the from Mogan David, with this sale predicated on the removal the wine company’s bottle. Neiman complied. It is unclear where the piece was located during the wine company’s ownership.
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My 6’ x 4’ oil of Ricardo’s Bar on Rush St Just behind the Chicago Wrigley Bldg. was on exhibit ([?] on OAK St) when Morgan David Wine contacted me that they would purchase the painting if I’d paint a bottle of Morgan David (standing) on the bar. Why not?
The price was agreed upon. I believe I remember jacking up the price a tad to make it appear it was a [?]. In any case I was [?] a jug of the Jewish grape and I kept my promise, a deal was a deal.
Maybe 8 year had passed when and I received another (now in NY) Ricardo (related) call. A new [?] was interested in the painting now on the 2nd market or was it an upcoming auction? Would I remove the Morgan David Bottle? Only so I said to the gentile! It stays on one of your walls for keeps. /
The The painting (sans Morgan David label bottle) found its permanent home
just as Ricardo’s still (remains) there where it was.
where it’s always been