NEW YORK – Today Sotheby's announces additional highlights from the historic sales series devoted to the remarkable collection of the late A. Alfred Taubman – legendary collector, philanthropist and businessman – as well as the first public opportunities to view works from the collection.
Alexander Rotter, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Contemporary Art Department, said: “As a self-made man, Mr. Taubman transformed the lives of millions of Americans through the force of his entrepreneurial genius. It is therefore fitting that he was drawn to Contemporary artists who fundamentally altered their field. Towering figures such as Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella and John Chamberlain completely re-imagined the landscape of visual art in the 20th century, and Mr. Taubman’ selections reflect both a prescient eye and remarkable awareness of the artistic changes that were taking place in real time. The powerful De Kooning canvas serves as an illustrative example: acquired by Mr. Taubman in 1977, just one year after it was painted.”
WILLEM DE KOONING, UNTITLED XXI, 1976. ESTIMATE: $25,000,000–35,000,000.
Untitled XXI epitomizes the illustrious series of large-scale, color-saturated canvases that rank among the finest achievements of Willem de Kooning’s career. The work dates to 1976, when the artist relaunched his lifelong interrogation into the limits of figuration in painting, having relocated to the far end of Long Island like many of his fellow Abstract Expressionists. Mr. Taubman quickly and prophetically acquired Untitled XXI in 1977 from the James Corcoran Gallery in Los Angeles.
MARK ROTHKO, UNTITLED (LAVENDER AND GREEN) AND NO. 6 / SIENNA, ORANGE ON WINE,
1952 AND 1962, RESPECTIVELY. ESTIMATES: $20,000,000–30,000,000 EACH.
The collection features two remarkable canvases by Mark Rothko – paradigms of Abstract Expressionism that brilliantly exemplify the artist’s position as a leading member of the New York School. The works also reflect the influence of artists from preceding centuries who were concerned with the pure effects of color and light, such as J.M.W. Turner, Claude Monet, and Henri Matisse. The luminous zones of color in both Untitled (Lavender and Green) from 1952 (pictured above) and No. 6 / Sienna, Orange on Wine from 1962 create an ethereal arena that represents Rothko’s ultimate artistic achievement. Both works have remained in Mr. Taubman’s collection for decades.
FRANK STELLA, DELAWARE CROSSING, 1961. ESTIMATE: $8,000,000–12,000,000.
The stunning Delaware Crossing belongs to a small group of Frank Stella’s celebrated Benjamin Moore Paintings series, named for the brand of paint used, which he began the same year. The group debuted in the artist’s first one man show at Galerie Lawrence in Paris in 1961, and the present work has since been exhibited in a number of the most important exhibitions of the artist’s work. The painting has remained in Mr. Taubman’s collection since he purchased it in 1982. The November sale coincides with the highly-anticipated retrospective of Stella’s work opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York on 30 October.
THE COLLECTION OF A. ALFRED TAUBMAN
Sotheby’s New York
4 November 2015
MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART
5 November 2015
18 November 2015
27 January 2016