The years-long bitter fight separation of American billionaire couple Macklowe, culminated yesterday in an auction on the orders of a judge of part of their joint art collection. At Sotheby‘s in New York, 35 works of art came under the hammer. Everything has been sold, total revenue $676 million.
The former couple couldn’t agree on the value of the collection. That‘s why the art is sold and the proceeds split in half.
The highest amount, more than 82 million including payouts, was counted for No. 7, by Mark Rothko, a 1951 painting, well above the expected yield (70 million). The buyer is a person from Asia.
The other works of art, such as Jackson Pollock and Alberto Giacometti, were also offered generously. A collector who attended the auction wasn’t surprised, he told The New York Times: “Top quality always sells.” According to the newspaper, the demand for top art is greater than the supply. Collectors see the auction of a leading collection as an opportunity and a tax-favourable investment.
For the New York auction, the Macklowe collection went on a journey, as a pre-viewing process. In Taipei, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Paris, thousands of curious people took a look.
The auction of post-war and contemporary works of art is in two parts, the second is scheduled for May next year. It is also expected that auction will raise several hundred millions. This will make it the biggest auction of a private art collection of all time.
Real estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda created their collection over a period of 50 years, and Linda was the biggest collector of the two. “She had a strong, unrelenting love for abstract art, and also a keen eye for figurative art,” said an art dealer, who did a lot of business with her. “Every work here at auction is subtle and unique.”
Now that the collection breaks down, there is a chance that the works of art will end up in an unknown private collection and will not be seen anywhere for the time being.