Composition With Red Strokes

In recent art world news, as an update to our recent post on the fall sale of American works from the $300 million Barney Ebsworth collection, the highly anticipated sale of American modern art occurred earlier this week and fetched $317.8 million at Christie’s New York.  A number of artist records were set at Tuesday evening’s auction, including one for Edward Hopper’s masterpiece “Chop Suey” (1929), which sold for $91.9 million (with buyer’s premium) and more than doubled the artist’s previous record.

All of the 42 lots offered for sale were backed either by auction house guarantees or third party guarantees in which third parties receive a financial incentive for assuming the risk.  The divide consisted of 34 lots backed by Christie’s and eight by third parties.  Of the 37 lots sold (five lots failed to sell), 20 fetched more than $1 million—of those, six sold for more than $10 million and three surpassed $50 million (in addition to Edward Hopper’s “Chop Suey”, Willem de Kooning’s “Woman as Landscape” (1954-55) sold for $68.9 million and Jackson Pollock’s “Composition with Red Strokes” (1950) sold for $55.4 million).

The sale prices of the three featured works by Hopper, de Kooning, and Pollock, set forth above exceeded the earlier reported estimates ($70 million, $60 million, and $50 million) for each respective work.

 

 

In recent art world news, more than 85 works from Barney Ebsworth’s art collection will be on the auction block in November at Christie’s in New York.  The late travel entrepreneur’s collection is estimated at over $300 million.  The auction house’s fall auction will highlight American art featuring works by Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning. According to Christie’s, Ebsworth’s art trove is regarded as the “greatest collection of American modernism ever to come to market.”

Ebsworth, who passed away this past April, is from a generation whose art collections are coming to the art market among a significant shift in wealth dynamics.  In a study by UBS Group AG, it was found that “[b]illionaires 70 or older will transfer $2.4 trillion to heirs and charities in the next 20 years.”  The Ebsworth collection is said to be at least the third significant estate sale scheduled for this upcoming fall auction season, among those assembled by the late food titan Harry “Hunk” Anderson and the late Museum of Modern Art trustee David Teiger.

Featured artist Hopper’s well known “Chop Suey” (1929) painting portraying two women in a restaurant, is expected to sell for about $70 million, surpassing the artist’s current auction record of $40.5 million set in 2013.  De Kooning’s “Women as Landscape” (1955) is estimated at $60 million, and Pollock’s “Composition With Red Strokes” (1950) is estimated at $50 million.

It will be interesting to see if the above estimates of the featured works will be surpassed in the upcoming auction sale this November.