The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman – Sotheby’s, New York

During the last six decades the late A. Alfred Taubman fulfilled the role of a big businessman, philanthropist, former owner of Sotheby’s and boundless art collector. He paired his masterpieces from different centuries unusually, letting them bathe in each other’s aura. He also endured a very scandalous period, in 2002 he was convicted in a price fixing scheme involving not only Sotheby’s, but also the Koenig of all auction houses; Christie’s. It resulted in nine and a half months in prison and a fine of USD 7.5 million.

For this sentimental auction, Sotheby’s has assembled one of the greatest collections of art in private hands. Encompassing more than 500 works; that span from antiquity to contemporary art.

Lets talk about money now.
This is a special zeitgeist in contemporary time, as Sotheby’s is trying very hard to reach Christie’s “Looking forward to the past” standards, that reached USD 705,858,000 (remember last May when Picasso’s Le femmes d’Alger sold for USD 179,365,000? It did not only break the record for most expensive painting, but also resulted in the third highest auction sale of all time) … well Taubman’s auction sale is expected to fetch half a billion dollars (!), let’s see how high it will go.

The exhibition is on view in New York, from October 30th through November 4th. This is the first and only time that Taubman’s accomplishment as a collector can be seen by the public, before someone raises her well-polished (probably gloved) hand, or his hand, and the piece disappears for almost ever…

Pablo Picasso Tete de Femme Elusive Magzine
the superstar; Pablo Picasso
Tête de Femme
Est. Price USD 6 – 8 Million

Marc Quinn World of Desire Elusive Magzine
The beautiful, pure and sexual- simultaneously female and male; Marc Quinn
World of Desire
Mark Rothko Untitled - Lavender and Green Elusive Magzine
Mark Rothko
Untitled – Lavender and Green
Est. Price USD 20 – 30 Million


Alexander Calder Two red petals in the air Elusive Magzine
Incredibly poetic (notice the title): Alexander Calder
Two Red Petals in the Air
Est. Price USD 2 – 3 Million


Sam Francis Elusive Magazine
the late Sam Francis
Est. Price USD 100K – 150K


Paul Signac Comblat le Chateau la Valee Elusive Magzine
Paul Signac
Comblat le Chateau la Valee
Est. Price USD 2 – 3 Million

Paul Signac Comblat le Chateau la Valee detail Elusive Magzine
Paul Signac
Comblat le Chateau la Valee (pointillism detail)


Gabriel Cornelius von Max Elusive Magazine
A “monkeys do, what monkeys see” moment; Gabriel Cornelius von Max
Ambrosius Benson Madonna and Child Elusive MagazineThis tiny; Ambrosius Benson
Madonna and Child, which was already sold by Sotheby’s this January for USD 425,000.-
Lets see if after 10 months it will get better luck…

Auctioned Nov 04: The Collection of A. Alfred Tubman – Masterworks
Auctioned Nov 05: The Collection of A. Alfred Tubman – Modern and Contemporary Art

All imagery: Dimitria Markou

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