As the art market readies itself for the biggest season it has ever seen, the full complement of Sotheby’s May auction week is today unveiled to the public in its entirety in Sotheby’s New York Galleries.
Carrying a combined estimate in the region of $1 billion— on a par with last November’s record-breaking season –  the exhibition and sales will be anchored by a dedicated evening sale of 30 masterworks from The Macklowe Collection – one of the greatest collections of any kind ever to come to the market. A previous sale of works from this collection – held at Sotheby’s New York last November – realized a record-breaking total of $676.6m, making it the most valuable single-owner sale ever staged. This season’s offering is no less exciting, featuring important works by Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Andy WarholSigmar PolkeWillem de Kooning, and many more. Highlights include:

  • A monumental Self-Portrait by Andy Warhol (estimated at $15/20 million). Painted in 1986, just months before Warhol’s death in February 1987, this larger-than-life portrait has only been exhibited twice before.
  • An important & previously unseen work by Mark Rothko from 1960, a critical year for the artist (estimated $35/50 million).
  • Gerhard Richter’s spectacular large-scale Seestück (Seascape) (estimated at $25/35 million), is an ethereal work that captures aspects of Richter’s photo-based paintings and anticipates his abstract tendencies.

The sale of The Macklowe Collection will be followed, the next day, but Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction – is among the most valuable sales of its kind ever staged by Sotheby’s.  The sale will include:

  • A groundbreaking portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter by Pablo Picasso was completed in 1932 making its auction debut (estimate in Excess of $60m)
  • One of Claude Monet’s Finest Works depicting Venice (estimated in the region of $50 million)
  • Expressionist Masterpiece Nile, by Philip Guston (estimate $20/30m – the highest ever for a work by the artist)
  • Clairière (The Glade), is one of the largest landscapes ever painted by the father of modern art, Paul Cézanne (estimated $30/40 million).

The Now and Contemporary  Evening Auctions will cap off the week’s marquee offerings. The former marks a watershed market moment for women artists, who – along with their counterparts later in the sale – represent an unprecedented 60% of the total offering. The Contemporary sale, meanwhile, will shine a spotlight on the work of one of Germany’s most celebrated living artists, Georg Baselitz, with an offering of four major works, none of which has appeared on the market before. Among them is Falle [Trap], one of the artist’s celebrated ‘Hero’ paintings, which carries an estimate of $812m – higher than any ever put on a work by the artist.
Further highlights across the two sales include:

  • A Pope painting by Francis Bacon was first unveiled at the artist’s landmark 1971 retrospective (estimated $40/60 million)
  • A silkscreen of Elvis by Andy Warhol from 1963 (estimated $15/25 million), a historic paradigm of Pop Art created one year after Warhol had perfected his quintessential silkscreen technique.
  • The dynamic ‘Beauty Examined’ by Kerry James Marshall, was sold to Benefit Loma Linda University (estimated at $8/12 million).
  • Ed Ruscha’s tribute to his beloved California; ‘Cold Beer Beautiful Girls’ (estimated $15/20 million), an exemplary of the artist’s archetypal text paintings.
  • Cy Twombly’s ‘Untitled’ from 1969 (estimated $40/60 million), a large-scale work that marked the artist’s return to New York and subsequent shift to his signature monochromatic style.
  • ‘Birmingham’ by Simone LeighGolden Lion winner at this year’s Venice Biennale (estimate $150,000$200,000)

Including:

The Macklowe Collection
30 Masterworks from The Most Important Collection of Its Kind

The Modern Evening Sale
Among the Most Valuable Ever Staged

Contemporary Evening Sale
Including Standout Offering of Works by German Artists,
Led by Highest Estimated Work by Georg Baselitz ever to come to Auction

The Now Sale
In which Women Artists Outnumber Male Counterparts