A very significant event is happening this Winter in the art world, and collectors as well as the general public will be on for a treat as the Macklowe collection will be for sale at Sotheby’s New York.
This auction is one for the records: with an estimate in excess of US$600,000 million, the sale is announced to be one of the highest ever for a single collection. A few reasons for that: the collection includes all the biggest names of modern and contemporary Western art, from Picasso to Giacometti all the way to Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, or Cy Twombly. But what is even more unique is that the collection encompasses a few of the artworks considered as milestones for both the artists and the history of art.
One of the highlights of the sale is definitively Le Nez (“the nose”), a striking sculpture of 1949 by Alberto Giacometti. In the spirit of the Surrealist movement that the artist embraced in his early days, the artwork is a powerful intriguing piece significative of Giacometti’s torments. It is so important that most casts have almost immediately been acquired by major museums around the world.
Another one is the N°7 painting of 1951 by Mark Rothko. It is one of the paintings marking the key moment during which Rothko developed his signature style of abstraction, using the bright colours that made him unique.
The collection also comprises a Nine Marylin by Andy Warhol. Executed in 1962 right after the death of the movie star, this large artwork features nine portraits of Marylin Monroe repeated on a metallic “silver screen”. It is part of these key artworks which are associated with the artist’s fame, while synthesising all of his fascinations: the cult of celebrity, popular icons and death.
The list goes on and on, with a monumental painting of Cy Twombly of 2007, Untitled, or the very rare Figure (Projet pour un monument à Guillaume Apollinaire) by Pablo Picasso conceived in 1928.
Lucky us, the collection will be on preview at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery from 7 to 11 October 2021 (Full details here).
Even without the means to bid at the auction, the collection will be a must-see: beyond their monetary value, the sixty-five masterpieces amassed over five decades by the sharped-eyes New-Yorker Macklowe tell the story of the evolution of art in the past eighty years. It is a rare chance for such an overview outside of a museum.