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Scull's Angles

Parasitic Ventures Press
Artists' Books
21 × 29.5 cm
84 pages

This book (a novel, really), tells the story of Robert and Ethel Scull. While Robert came from an impoverished immigrant background, he married Ethel Redner, whose father ran a small taxi company (not rich, but certainly comfortable enough that their marriage was announced in the New York Times). They met while Robert was a struggling freelance illustrator and Ethel was taking classes at Parsons. Gifted a third of his father-in-law’s company, Robert built the enterprise into a multi-million dollar venture under the name of Scull’s Angels. As aggressive collectors of Pop Art in the sixties (and, in a less social-status driven mode, as patrons of the land art movement), they became integral to the social life of contemporary art in New York at the time. Of more importance, it was the auction of fifty works through Sotheby Parke Bernet in 1973 which solidified their place in contemporary art history. This benchmark auction brought post-abstract-expressionist art into the secondary market as a full player, and ushered in the upward spiral of inflationary pricing to which we have now become accustomed as by-standers. In this novel, which reproduces all their appearances in the New York Times, we follow their rise in social status through the visual arts, fashion, and society events, as well as the their tumultuous marriage (ending in a messy divorce that itself set precedence in Ethel’s unprecedented alimony agreement), finishing with a consideration of their legacy in the recovery of the art market following Wall Street’s infamous Black Friday.

  1. Scull’s Angles

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