Harry and Linda Macklowe’s $ 600 million art collection arrives at Sotheby’s


Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

Almost three years after the high-profile divorce proceedings of New York real estate developer Harry Macklowe and his wife, Linda, much of their jaw-dropping billion-dollar art collection is hitting the market.

Estimated at over $ 600 million in total – “the highest estimate ever placed on an upcoming auction collection,” according to Sotheby’s – the collection of 65 works includes those by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Alberto Giacometti, Jeff Koons, Mark Rothko and Cy Twombly.

Cy Twombly’s untitled 2007 work is estimated to be between $ 40 million and $ 60 million. Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

“It’s a collection that has never been moved (or) touched,” said Grégoire Billault, president of contemporary art at Sotheby’s, at a press conference. “A lot of times when we have collections to sell, a lot of it has already been sold, or some (works) are donated to museums; others are given to family members.

The Macklows were married in their early twenties in 1959 and had since have racked up all of their significant assets together, including a $ 72 million apartment, yacht and several commercial properties, according to court documents. They started their art collection shortly after their wedding.

at Giacometti "The nose" (left) and Warhol "Nine Marilynes."

“Le Nez” by Giacometti (left) and “Nine Marilyns” by Warhol. Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

In 2018, during their divorce proceedings, a New York State Supreme Court judge ordered the Macklows to sell 65 works of art from their collection and share the profits, after experts hired by the couple have provided very different estimates of the value of certain works. For Giacometti’s existential sculpture “La Nez”, for example, the valuation ranged from $ 30 million.

The court ruling sparked a battle between auction houses Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips to bring the collection to market; designated art dealer Michael Findlay delayed the decision last year due to the pandemic, according to Artnet.
Rothko's painting

Rothko’s painting “N ° 7” (left) and Picasso’s sculpture “Figure”. Credit: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

In addition to the Giacometti, other works include Warhol’s “Nine Marilyns” – one of the famous serigraphs of Marilyn Monroe by the Pop artist – as well as a painting by Rothko and a sculpture by Picasso designed to honor the poet. French Apollinaire.

Some of the pieces in the impressive offering will travel to Taipei, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London and Paris ahead of the first New York sale in November. The section and the final sale will take place next May.

In a virtual press event announcing the sale on Thursday, Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart called it “one of the most significant and museum-quality modern and contemporary art collections ever to hit the market. “.

He added: “This sale will … make history as defining moments in the art market.”

Top image: Harry and Linda Macklowe


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