The Macklowe Collection, which features important works by artists including Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter and Mark Rothko, will sell for an estimated total of over $600 million at Sotheby’s, the auction house announced on Thursday. come to the auction.
Sotheby’s CEO Charles F. Stewart described it as “one of the most important and museum-quality collections of modern and contemporary art ever to hit the market” at a press conference broadcast live from the auction house’s New York galleries. “It will attract the best collectors from around the world and will go down in history as a defining moment in the art market.”
Given the last 18 months of pandemic-driven activity, this market could use a boost. Auction sales fell 30 percent from $25.2 billion in 2019 to $17.6 billion in 2020. latest Art Market reportReleased by Art Basel and UBS, it brings the market to a decade low.
Also, auction houses have suffered from a shortage of top-quality inventory, making a meaty property like Macklowes’s an especially energizing prize. (Christie competed for it.)
“In recent months we have seen record demand around the world and a real hunger for great masterpieces, and demand has far outstripped supply,” Sotheby’s chief auctioneer Oliver Barker said at a press conference.
The 65-piece collection on display in Sotheby’s Upper East Side showrooms belongs to billionaire real estate developer Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda. disagreeing on valuations during the vicious divorce proceedings that resulted in a court-ordered auction.
Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s president and global sales manager of fine arts, described the collection as “the fruit of fifty years of thoughtful and persistent pursuit, driven by an innate sense of quality”.
Sotheby’s said the product will be sold in two parts, one in November and the other in May. The fall sale will feature 34 works of 20th and 21st century art, including pieces from the 1940s and some painted less than a decade ago. These include Alberto Giacometti’s 1964 sculpture “Le Nez” (the long-nosed figure suspended in a cage) and Rothko’s luminous “No. 7” from 1951 are expected to bring in about $70 million each.
Warhol’s haunted 1962 “Nine Marilyns”, a metallic silkscreen, and Twombly’s expansive 2007 “Untitled” canvas of dripping red peonies are estimated to cost between $40 million and $60 million each.
Patti Wong, president of Sotheby’s Asia, which accounted for 50 percent of the auction house’s total sales last year, said Sotheby’s expects strong interest from Asia. Asian buyers are “entering the arena in unprecedented numbers and are poised to participate at the highest level,” he said.
Sotheby’s said highlights of the collection will travel to Taipei, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London and Paris before returning to New York ahead of the November sale, and there will be virtual tours.