Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction this May will present some of the most exciting examples of Post War and Contemporary Art to be seen at auction in recent years. It will be led by a selection of paintings of historic importance: Barnett Newman’s Onement VI, quite simply one of the most important archetypes of the Abstract Expressionist School; Gerhard Richter’s Domplatz, Mailand, a stunning landmark of the artist’s celebrated 1960s photopaintings; and Francis Bacon’s Study for Portrait of P.L., a portrayal of remarkable intensity and personal significance for the revered painter.
Further highlights include the most extraordinary sculpture by Yves Klein ever to be offered at auction, major works by Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still and Cy Twombly, and sublime examples by Richard Diebenkorn and Mark Rothko. More recent periods of Contemporary Art are surveyed by a group of highly important sculptures by Jeff Koons, alongside exemplary works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and Donald Judd.
The Contemporary Art Evening sale totaled $293,587,000, and was 82.8% sold-by-lot. There were exceptional prices for works from every decade from the 1940s through today with records set for Barnett Newman and Gerhard Richter, among others. The price achieved for Richter’s masterwork also established a new benchmark for any living artist at auction. The global nature of today’s art market was yet again underlined with collectors from 35 countries registering to bid in the sale, 20% of whom were new to either Sotheby’s or the category.
Please note that the correct provenance for this lot is as follows, and not as stated in the catalogue:
Maccarone Gallery, New York
Private Collection, California
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Please note that the correct measurements for this sculpture are:
33½ x 266¾ in. 86 x 677.5 cm.
Extended width: 62 ½ in. 158.7 cm
Please note that the present work was not illustrated in the following three literature references of 1959 as stated in the catalogue, but was mentioned in the respective texts:
"American Exhibit Scores," The American Weekend, April 18, 1959 (text)
"Peintures Français, Gare à vous! Gottlieb est Là!," La Gazette Lausanne, April 12, 1959 (text)
"Gottlieb," Les Beaux-Arts, April 24, 1959 (text)
Please note the correct title of this work is The Merry Widow.