A Blue-Chip Art Bonanza: Macklowe Collection Goes to Sotheby’s

With main items by artists like Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter and Mark Rothko, the Macklowe Collection will probably be offered at Sotheby’s with an estimated whole worth of greater than $600 million, the public sale home introduced on Thursday, the best estimate on a set to come to public sale.

Calling it “one of the most significant and museum-quality collections of modern and contemporary art ever to come to market,” Charles F. Stewart, Sotheby’s chief govt, stated at a livestream information convention from the public sale home’s New York galleries that the sale “will captivate top collectors from around the world and that it will make history as a defining moment in the art market.”

That market may use a lift, given the final 18 months of pandemic-dampened exercise. Auction gross sales declined 30 p.c to $17.6 billion in 2020 from $25.2 billion in 2019, in accordance to the newest Art Market report, revealed by Art Basel and UBS, bringing the market to its lowest stage in a decade.

Moreover, public sale homes have suffered from a shortage of top-quality stock, making a meaty property like that of the Macklowes an particularly energizing prize. (Christie’s competed for it.)

“In recent months we’ve seen record demand from across the globe and a real hunger for great masterpieces, with demand far outstripping supply,” Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s principal auctioneer, stated on the information convention.

The assortment of 65 works, on view in Sotheby’s Upper East Side showrooms, belongs to the billionaire real-estate developer Harry Macklowe and his former spouse, Linda, who have been unable to agree on valuations throughout acrimonious divorce proceedings, leading to a court-ordered public sale.

Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s chairwoman and worldwide head of gross sales for world fantastic artwork, described the gathering as “the fruit of five decades of thoughtful and tenacious pursuit, driven by an innate understanding of quality.”

It will probably be offered in two components, one in November and the subsequent in May, Sotheby’s stated. The fall sale will function 34 works of 20th- and 21st-century artwork, like items from the 1940s and a few painted lower than a decade in the past. They embody Alberto Giacometti’s 1964 sculpture “Le Nez” (a long-nosed determine suspended inside a cage) and Rothko’s luminous “No. 7” from 1951, every of that are anticipated to result in $70 million.

Warhol’s haunting 1962 “Nine Marilyns,” a metallic silk-screen, and Twombly’s expansive 2007 “Untitled” canvas of dripping crimson peonies are every estimated at $40 million to $60 million.

Sotheby’s expects robust curiosity from Asia, stated Patti Wong, chairwoman of Sotheby’s Asia, which accounted for 30 p.c of the public sale home’s whole gross sales final 12 months. Asian patrons are “entering the field in unprecedented numbers and are ready to engage at the highest level,” she stated.

Highlights from the gathering will journey to Taipei, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London and Paris earlier than returning to New York forward of the November sale, Sotheby’s stated, and there can even be digital excursions.