Following the historic $676.1 million auction last year 30 works are to be offered in a dedicated auction in New York, this May, led by a masterpiece by Mark Rothko from 1960, which was a critical year for the artist.
The white-glove sale, last November, of 35 works from The Macklowe Collection was nothing less than historic, becoming, at $676.1 million, the most valuable single-owner auction ever staged: its success testament to the art of collecting in its highest form. This spring, Sotheby’s will offer a further 30 works from this celebrated collection, highlights from which are today unveiled in Sotheby’s London galleries by Will Gompertz, Artistic Director, Barbican and Eleanor Nairne, Curator, Barbican.
In May, there will be leading names making a return from the November sale represented this time by artworks from different, but equally important, moments that act as critical counterpoints to their November counterparts. Gerhard Richter is among those reappearing, represented in this sale by Seestück (Seascape), an extraordinary large-scale painting from 1975, capturing the magisterial beauty of the natural world, while at the same time blurring the distinction between photography and painting until they are almost entirely indistinguishable (est. $25-35 million).
Andy Warhol returns here too, represented this time by one of his very final works — a monumental self portrait painted as he contemplated his own legacy and status alongside those of the pantheon of stars who had peopled his works (est. $15-20 million). Not seen since it was exhibited at Anthony D’Offay’s seminal 1996 exhibition, Vanitas: Skulls and Self Portraits by Andy Warhol, the painting is joined in the May edition by another seldom-seen work, Mark Rothko’s meditative, richly-coloured Untitled from 1960 — a critical moment in his career (est. $35-50 million). Following the success of the two paintings by Willem de Kooning offered in the November sale (Untitled XXXIII, from 1977, which made $24.4 million; and Untitled IV, from 1983, which made $18.9 million), the May edition will include two further important works: one, Untitled, from 1961, and another, Untitled XIII, from 1984.
At the same time, those artists familiar from the November sale will be joined in May by others whose presence in the collection has not yet been revealed, including Jean Dubuffet, whose radical Grand Nu Charbonneux, from a breakthrough moment, has featured in almost every major exhibition dedicated to the artist (est. $4-6 million).
Individually, each of the works represented reflects the artist at their very best. Together, they trace the pinnacle of Western artistic achievement over the last eighty years, from Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso through to Sigmar Polke, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Agnes Martin, Mark Grotjahn and more.
Key highlights from The Macklowe Collection will be on view to the public in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries from Tuesday 22 February until 2 March, alongside preview exhibitions for the Modern & Contemporary and The Now evening auctions taking place in London on 2 March. Highlights will also be exhibited in Palm Beach, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai before returning to New York for public exhibition ahead of the sale on 16 May.
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