Sotheby auctions off artworks for USD 676 million after Macklowe divorce
- A painting by Mark Rothko sold for USD 82.5 million (72.6 million Euros) making it the most expensive item of the evening. The collection was previously owned by real estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his former wife Linda.
Works by pop-art master Andy Warhol and abstract painter Mark Rothko went under the hammer on Monday in New York, as Sotheby's auctioned off a modern and contemporary art collection previously owned by a wealthy couple.
Sotheby's said the Macklowe Collection represents "an unrivalled ensemble that charts the high points of Western artistic achievement of the last 80 years."
The collection was acquired by real estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his former wife Linda over 45 years. A judge had ordered them to sell the collection and split proceeds during their 2018 divorce trial.
'No. 7' at auction for the first time
A painting by Mark Rothko sold for USD 82.5 million (72.6 million Euros) making it the most expensive item for the evening. Rothko's "No.7," the 95 in (241 cm) high canvas painted in 1951 in bands of green, crimson and lavender, had never been put on an auction before.
This is the second highest price for a work by the abstract artist, behind the $86.9 million paid for "Orange, red, yellow" in 2012.
The Monday sale lasted for more than two hours, during which 35 out of the 65 pieces of art were sold. The art collection, which is being called the highlight of the Fall 2021 season brought in USD 676 million on its first night Monday.
The remaining artwork will be sold in the next auction season in the spring of 2022.
The 1947 sculpture "Le Nez" by Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti was the second most expensive item of the day, fetching USD 78.4 million. Sotheby's said both items were bought remotely by Asian collectors.
Two paintings by pop artist Andy Warhol —"Nine Marylins", a series of faces of the movie star Marylin Monroe, in black and white, was sold for USD 47.3 million, while a "Sixteen Jackies," depicting Jackie Kennedy, found a buyer for USD 33.8 million.
About 200-300 people attended the auction, after several virtual events due to pandemic-related closures.