Paul Allen Group brings in $1.5 billion at Christie’s

Paul Allen Group brings in $1.5 billion at Christie’s

Artwork from the collection of artworks by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen totaled $1.5 billion at Christie’s auction Wednesday night in New York, with works by Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Gustav Klimt, among others, sold at Christie’s. In millions of dollars.

The highest sold work was Seurart’s work Lee Busuz, Ensemble (small version), 1888, which sold for the hammer at $130 million, $149.2 million with fees, to bidder over the phone with Shen Lee Cohen, Christie’s vice president. The point-and-shoot oil painting, which last appeared at auction 50 years ago, was expected to fetch more than US$100 million.

Another remarkable price was for Cézanne La Montagne Saint Victoire, oil on canvas painted in 1888-90, which sold for a hammer at $120 million, $138 million with fees, for presenter on the phone with Josie Belkanen, Christie’s global head. The painting has been described as “A Gateway to Cubism”, and had a pre-sale estimate of over US$120 million.

Vincent Van Gogh, Verger avec cypres1888, oil on canvas, sold for $117.2 million

Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd. 2022

Vincent Van Gogh Verger avec cypres1888, third painting with an estimated price of $100 million or more, sold for $102 million, $117.2 million in fees.

This first part of the collection, comprising 60 artworks, was expected to attract exorbitant prices, with three paintings estimated to sell for $100 million or more, two at $90 million, and four at $50 million or more.

The total collection, which Christie called “Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection,” which would benefit a range of charities supported by Allen during his lifetime, was expected to bring in at least $1 billion. With that goal already breached, another 95 works will reach the auction arena starting at 11 a.m. Thursday at Christie’s.

According to Forbes, Allen, who passed away at the age of 65 in 2018, had a net worth of $20.8 billion US Dollars at the time of his death.

Adrian Mayer, who led the auction’s early stages, said at his inception that the sales, spanning 500 years of art, are “the largest and most extraordinary in Christie’s history.”

The title “Dreamer” was intended to embrace Allen’s range of talents and endeavors, which also include inventions and writing. According to the catalog, Allen saw the art and the pieces he collected as “the perfect lens through which to view and understand the world.”

Among other notable works accomplished in the first half of the Evening Sale was Gauguin
Maternité II1899, which sold for US$92 million, US$105.7 million with fees, while Gustav Klimt birch forest, sold for $91 million, $104.6 million in fees. Lucian Freud
W11 large indoor (after Watteau)1981-1983, grossed $86.3 million.

Sandro Botticelli
Madonna from Magnificat, A work created in the late 14th century although experts disagree on the exact date, sold for US$42 million, US$48.5 million with fees, while Édouard Manet
Le Grand Canal in Venicesold for $45 million, $52 million in fees.

Andrew Wyeth
Daydream1980, hit artist record high above pre-sale estimate of $3 million for $20 million, $23.3 million, with fees.

Rene Magritte
la voix du sang1948 also had strong results, selling approximately $27 million, with fees, above the estimated range between $12 million and $18 million.

Another double-digit sale made with Georgia O’Keeffe’s White Rose with Larkspur No. 1, 1927, which sold for US$26.7 million, with fees, after several rounds of bidding, to a sale-room buyer who had earlier purchased two more works, one for David Hockney and a cell phone for Alexander Calder. The end result was three times the high pre-sale estimate of US$8 million.

The same model later won Jasper Johns. Small false start1960, at a hammer price of US$48 million US$55.3 million, with fees,

O’Keefe Red hills with pedernal, white cloudsIt also performed well, selling for US$10.4 million, US$12.3 million, in fees, double the higher estimate of US$6 million, while it Autumn Leaves II1927, for approximately $15.3 million, in fees over $6 million.

Several pieces, including works by Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Klimt. She is a landscape. The selection in the Allen group was deliberate; He sought works that marked important moments in the development of landscape painting, often including works of places he was personally drawn to, “but also paintings that gave him a greater sense of place,” according to the catalog.

Quoting Allen, the catalog said, “It’s a way of looking outside, but at the same time the artist puts his own expression in landscape photography…They are windows on different realities.”

Shape also plays a role in the group, especially with Seurat Lee Bosuz, bandwith DaydreamFreud large interior, Works by Pablo Picasso and Paul Gauguin.

But Allen also collected summaries and photography, including Francis Bacon
Three studies of self-portrait and many of Johns’ works.

The historic sell-off occurred on a day when US stock markets tumbled, with the S&P 500 plummeting 2.1% on the back of mixed US election results and stubborn inflation. But many art advisors point out that art’s status as a tangible asset tends to maintain its value, while also providing fun, meaning that the market often holds up even in times of economic uncertainty, stock market volatility, and geopolitical turmoil.

Shortly after announcing the sale in August, Mark Porter, president of Christie’s America, said that’s a sentiment he hears often from collectors.

“It could be [that] The stock market decline points in one direction, but these mitigating factors point in another. It’s one of the reasons we’ve seen prices continue to rise, Porter said at the time.

This story has been updated to reflect the total amount sold.

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