New York's First Night Auction for the Macklowe Collection Raises $676 Million

Sylvie Claire / November 16, 2021

The first night's auction of the Macklowe modern and contemporary art collection at Sotheby's in New York totaled $676 million, including a Mark Rothko painting for more than $80 million, putting it on track for an all-time record.
 
A highlight of this fall 2021 season in one of the world's auction capitals, the sale lasted more than two hours, during which all 35 pieces were sold, including four above 50 million dollars. This performance was greeted by the applause of the public, between 200 and 300 people once again allowed to attend the sale at Sotheby's headquarters, after several virtual seasons due to the pandemic.
 
Two lots were in the running to be the most expensive of the evening: it was finally a painting by the American expressionist Marc Rothko (1903-1970), No. 7, that won with $82.4 million, ahead of Alberto Giacometti's (1901-1966) The Nose, an impressive hanging bronze.
  
Both works were purchased remotely by Asian collectors, Sotheby's said.
  
In New York, the sale of two paintings by pop-art master Andy Warhol was also expected: his famous Nine Marylines (1962), a series of faces of the American star Marilyn Monroe, in black and white, was sold for $47.3 million, while a Sixteen Jackies, on Jackie Kennedy, found a buyer for $33.8 million.
  
The auction is the result of the 2018 divorce between real estate developer Harry Macklowe and his wife Linda Burg, who were a wealthy couple who amassed an impressive art collection.
 
Only 35 of the 65 pieces in the collection were sold Monday night, with the remainder to be sold during the next auction season in spring 2022.
 
 
But with $676 million on one night, the total could surpass the record set by the Rockefeller collection sold in 2018 at Christie's for $835 million.
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