The Harry Macklowe Collection set a new record for getting the highest total in sales at auction, hitting $922.2 million after a second round of sales was held by Sotheby’s. The round of sales brought in $246.1 million. The first part of the collection went for $676 million at auction last November.
Billionaire Harry Macklowe and wife Linda have gone through a bitter divorce dispute. One of the key issues was who would get Macklowe’s famed art collection. A judge ordered that all of the art be sold and the proceeds be split 50/50 between the two. The couple began their divorce almost four years ago.
The paintings sold included Mark Rothko’s Untitled, which sold for $48 million, Gerhard Richter’s Seestück (Seascape), which realized $30.2 million, Andy Warhol’s Self Portrait, which achieved $18.7 million, and Willem de Kooning’s Untitled, which sold for $17.8 million.
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Sotheby’s described the Macklowe Collection as an exemplary vision of connoisseurship: a peerless collection of rare and iconic masterworks from the 20th and 21st centuries. The result of decades of inquiry and pursuit, the Collection is driven by an innate understanding of quality and the patience to pursue the very best from each artist, creating a collection of unparalleled importance.
“I never thought I’d see a sale of the Macklowe collection,” Harry Macklowe said after the auction in a news conference. “I’m thrilled by it. Not by the economics, but by the quality being recognized by collectors. Everybody endorsing the choices we made over the last 65 years, that was the greatest payback,” he added.
“The Macklowe Collection tells the story of art in its highest form, with the utmost precision and clarity. Every artist here is represented at a moment of profound creativity,” said Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s chairman.
Sotheby’s said that individually, each of the works represented reflects the artist at their very best. Together, they trace the pinnacle of Western artistic achievement over the last eighty years, from Giacometti and Picasso through to Sigmar Polke, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Agnes Martin, Mark Grotjahn and more.