The fall art auction season is kicking off in New York City, and the Big Apple’s auction houses are expecting to bring in record breaking sales.
“There are so many amazing works on offer,” Sotheby’s head of impressionist and modern art for the Americas, Julian Dawes, said. “The quality of the level of masterpieces, I think that the market rises to that,” “I certainly feel that we will see a very strong market this fall.”
Among the highlights is Christie’s Paul G. Allen Collection, which includes more than 150 pieces spanning 500 years.
The collection, from the estate of late Microsoft Corp co-founder Paul Allen, includes works by Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, Paul Cezanne and Lucien Freud, among others.
“Many of the works in the collection are expected to be records for the artist. Many of them actually were records for the artist at the time that they were purchased by Paul Allen from previous auctions, the Freud being one of them,” said Christie’s Vice Chairman Johanna Flaum. “We will expect records for Seurat, Cezanne, many of the masterpieces within the collection.”
The $1 billion estimated collection will be sold in two live auctions at Christie’s Rockefeller Center in New York on Nov. 9-10.
One of the top lots in Christie’s 21st century evening sale, which will take place on November 17, is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Sugar Ray Robinson,” a portrait of the legendary boxer.
“Our estimate is in the region of $35 million, estimate on request. This painting is an absolute masterpiece by the artist,” said Christie’s Head of the 21st Century Evening Sale, Isabella Lauria.
Sotheby’s expects to break records with Piet Mondrian’s “Composition No. II,” estimated in excess of $50 million, and Andy Warhol’s “White Disaster.”
“The Warhol is estimated to sell in excess of $80 million. There have only been three large scale disasters to come to market in the past 20 years, and each time one has come up in 2007 and 2013, it’s reset the auction record for Andy Warhol,” said Sotheby’s Head of Contemporary Art for the Americas, David Galperin.
Sotheby’s Modern Art Evening Auction will be held on November 14, followed by the Contemporary Evening Auction on November 16. ©Reuters