Breaking the record for a single-owner auction, the Sotheby Auction was a historic event, achieving $676 million with real estate developer Harry Macklowe’s and his ex-wife Linda’s art collection. Selling artworks by Twombly, Rothko, Pollock, and Giacometti, the November 15 sale was estimated to bring $400 million, but it far exceeded expectations and set the bar for high-priced art.
Sotheby Auction featured 35 masterpieces, including postwar to contemporary works. This was the first of to auction to reveal Macklowe’s pieces. If the second one is as successful as this one, it will also break the record as the most expensive art collection ever sold at an auction! Right now, banker David Rockefeller holds this record, whose art sold for $835.1 million in 2018 at a Christie’s auction.
The Macklowe Collection is a compendium of masterpieces like no other. Its visceral and intellectual power proved completely irresistible to collectors the world over.Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s chairman and worldwide head of sales for global fine art
At the historic sale, Mark Rothko’s No. 7 (1951) was the evening’s top lot, sold to an anonymous bidder from Asia, achieving $82,468,500, the second-highest price ever for a work by the artist.
The tour de force that is Mark Rothko’s No. 7 was a bedrock of the Macklowe Collection, a perfect symphony of color, light and scale, this painting stands shoulder to shoulder with the greatest works the artist ever painted.Gregoire Billault, Sotheby’s chairman for contemporary art
Exceeding the $50 million mark were Alberto Giacometti’s Le Nez (1947), one of eight examples of this limited edition work created (Three of these masterpieces belong to private hands); a 2007 Untitled work by Cy Twombly, and Number 17 (1951) by Jackson Pollock, that set a new auction record for the artist when it sold for $61,161,000.
The Macklowe Collection charts the evolution of painting over the last 80 years, but it is with these powerful works by Giacometti and Picasso that the conversation really starts.
Helena Newman, Sotheby’s chairman, Europe, worldwide head of Impressionist and modern art.
Approximately 300 viewers were seated in Sotheby Auction during the sale, and bidders from 25 countries competed, rising prices and helping set new auction prices for works by Agnes Martin, Robert Irwin, Michael Heizer, and also, two works by Andy Warhol were on the list of Macklowe’s collection. Besides, Pablo Picasso’s Figure (Project pour un monument à Guillaume Apollinaire), Willem de Kooning’s Untitled XXXIII (1977), and Philip Guston’s Strong Light (1976) were some of the stars of the night!