De Kooning’s early collection, Giacometti’s stained bronze, one of Marie Therese Walter’s first pictures of Picasso—these and other treasures from the collection of late art patron David Solinger may fetch $100 million at Sotheby’s this fall.
With 90 contracts on display across four sales in New York and Paris, this is the latest model to hit the market in what promises to be another hot season, led by Worth a billion dollars for the arts From the estate of Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft at Christie’s.
A custom auction of 23 lots will be held on November 14 in New York, followed by the day sale and two auctions in Paris.
Solinger, who died in 1996, acquired the majority of his post-war artwork in the 1950s, and most of the works he purchased remain in the collection today, providing a rare glimpse into how an earlier generation of collectors did their work.
A television and advertising lawyer, Solinger was a Sunday illustrator and avid patron of the gallery and connected with artists such as Alexandre Calder and dealers such as Pierre Matisse, buying works directly from the studios de Kooning and Giacometti. Among his clients were artists Louise Nevelson and Hans Hoffmann.
“He’s immersed himself in the art of his day,” said Oliver Parker, Sotheby’s Europe chairman, who helped secure the collection after Solinger’s second wife died earlier this year. “It’s a time capsule from that moment of assembly when the center of the art world moved from Paris to New York.”
The biggest part is de Kooning College (1950) estimated at $18 million to $25 million. Its vibrant, texture-rich surface is built with layers of paper, paint, charcoal, and silver paperclips. College It has been shown in many important exhibitions, from MoMA’s Historical Travel Survey in 1968-1969 to the “Abstract Expressionist” exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, London in 2016-2017.
Solinger first saw the Giacometti restaurant Trois hommes qui marchent (Great Plateau) In the artist’s studio in Paris. He asked the artist to paint the three figures in different shades of gold and then bought them through the Galerie Maeght in Paris. It is estimated at $15 million to $20 million.
Picasso Femme dans un fauteuil It was painted in 1927, just three weeks after the Spaniard met 17-year-old Walter. In this painting of two women, Picasso connects the graceful lines symbolizing his new love interest with sharp, angular shapes representing Picasso’s wife Olga. The business is estimated at $15 million to $20 million. During World War II, the painting was sent to the Museum of Modern Art for safekeeping, according to Sotheby’s. After the war, it was returned to France. Solinger bought it from Picasso dealer Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler.
Solinger was the first non-Whitney president of the Whitney Museum of American Art, making the museum public and leading a fundraiser for its Marcel Breuer building.
Alfred Barr, the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, asked Solinger to buy the museum’s first Franz Klein painting, a 1950 painting, president. He agreed, and the artist later made an oil painting of the drawing on Solinger’s phone book page. This drawing is now part of the collection destined for Sotheby’s.
Solinger’s collection includes many examples of European post-war painting, including examples by Jeanne Dubuffet and Nicolas de Stael.
Joan Miro’s painting femme, étoiles (1945) It is estimated at $15 million to $20 million. Abstract de Steel 1951 formation Estimated at $1.5 million to $2 million.
“This is a picture I bought in 15 seconds,” Solinger said in an interview. “I had never heard of de Stael before. I had never seen one of his pictures. It was love at first sight.” Pay $800 for it.
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