[imagesource: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Dior]
The most sought-after trove of blue-chip art in recent memory, that of divorced mega-collectors Harry and Linda Macklowe, is about to hit the market.
It’s been around three years since the couple’s high-profile divorce proceedings were set in motion.
They married in 1959 and built their multi-billion dollar lifestyle together, with Harry doing the work of a New York real estate developer.
Besides a $72 million dollar apartment, a yacht, and multiple commercial properties, the couple also had a rather impressive art collection.
So impressive that it is estimated to fetch over $600 million (around R8,5 billion) in total, per CNN:
“[It is] the highest estimate ever placed on any collection to come to auction,” according to Sotheby’s — the collection of 65 artworks include those from Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Alberto Giacometti, Jeff Koons, Mark Rothko and Cy Twombly.
Back in 2018, there was a bit of a tussle over who would get the art collection in the divorce settlement, which may or may not have inspired Harry’s erection of a 42-foot-high photo of his new wife, Patricia Landeau, on the side of a New York building he owns.
That is clearly one way to say ‘up yours’ to an ex.
A New York State Supreme Court judge later intervened, ordering the Macklowes to sell the 65 artworks from their collection and split the profits.
The couple had hired a few experts who each provided contrasting appraisals of the worth of some of the artworks.
For example, Giacometti’s existential sculpture “La Nez” had valuations vary by a good $30 million.
Here it is on the left, with Warhol’s “Nine Marilyns” in the background:
This is Rothko’s painting “No. 7” (left) and Picasso’s sculpture “Figure”:
So it was only fair that auction houses like Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips were pitted against one another to see who would be fit enough to bring the collection to market.
The decision was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it seems Sotheby’s got the green light.
Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart was stoked:
“[It is] one of the most significant and museum-quality collections of modern and contemporary art ever to come to market.”
He added: “This sale will…make history as the defining moments in the art market.”
The first sale will be held in New York this November, with some of the heralded pieces travelling to Taipei, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London, and Paris.
The final sale will then take place next May.
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