Christie’s will auction off more works from the collection of the late billionaire media mogul S.I. Newhouse, four years after a sculpture that belonged to him fetched $91m at auction and set a record to make Jeff Koons the most expensive living artist at auction.
A single-owner evening sale, scheduled for May, will feature 16 works that belonged to Newhouse, who was among the most prolific collectors of his time. Highlights from the collection include Orestes (1947) by Willem De Kooning—which a Christie’s spokesperson described as the finest of the artist’s black-and-white works to ever appear at auction—that is expected to fetch more than $25m.
Also up for auction is Francis Bacon’s Self-Portrait (1969), valued in excess of $20m, and Pablo Picasso’s L’Arlésienne (1937), which is expected to bring in more than $20m. Christie’s said the artist completed L’Arlésienne between finishing his well-known works Guernica (1937) and La femme qui pleure (1937). The collection heading to auction also includes works by Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Lee Bontecou and others, a Christie’s spokesperson said. The lots are expected to collectively fetch more than $144m at auction.
The previous tranche of art from Newhouse’s collection came up for auction at Christie’s in 2019, two years after his death at age 89. The 11 works brought in a collective $216.2m (including fees) across two auctions. Jeff Koons’s sculpture Rabbit (1986) sold for $91m (including fees), which set an auction record for a work by a living artist. Other top lots from Newhouse’s collection included Paul Cézanne’s Bouilloire et fruits (1888-90) that sold for $59m and Vincent van Gogh’s Arbres dans le jardin de l’asile (1889), which brought in $40m, including fees.
Large single-owner auctions from wealthy collectors have served as a boon for auction houses over the past few years. In November, works that belonged to late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen fetched $1.6b at Christie’s to become the most valuable art collection ever sold at auction. The sale broke a record that had been set just six months earlier, when the collection that belonged to real estate mogul Harry Macklowe and his ex wife Linda brought in $922m over two auctions.