World-Renowned Chef Massimo Bottura and Sotheby’s Collaborate on Contemporary Curated Sale | Auction 26 September in NYC
NEW YORK, 4 September 2019 – Sotheby’s is pleased to open our fall 2019 auctions of Contemporary Art with the Contemporary Curated sale on 26 September in New York. This season’s auction features guest curator Massimo Bottura – world-renowned chef and proprietor of the three-Michelin-star restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy.
The September sale showcases a diverse group of works by Cecily Brown, Christopher Wool, Ed Ruscha, Jeff Koons, Kerry James Marshall, Joan Mitchell, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Andy Warhol, among others. An exemplary assortment of Latin American Post-War and Contemporary artists, ranging from Jesús Rafael Soto and Carlos Cruz-Diez to Fernando Botero and Olga de Amaral, also highlight the sale.
This season, Sotheby’s is honored to present works on offer from the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland and The Drawing Center in New York, as well as pieces from esteemed private collections, including but not limited to the Blema and H. Arnold Steinberg Collection; the Collection of Ulrich Otto Sauer, Germany; the Collection of Dr. David Sanders and Prof. Jesse Dukeminier; and a stunning ensemble of works by Sam Francis, on offer from the artist’s foundation with proceeds to benefit educational programs, including the catalogue raisonné project.
The September auction will also feature a dedicated sequence titled STOP BLADDER CANCER, which was organized by artist Ugo Rondinone, who was diagnosed with high-grade bladder cancer in 2017. The sequence includes works donated by Rondinone and 14 other artists to benefit bladder cancer research. The artists who contributed works to the benefit series are: Joe Bradley, Carroll Dunham, Latifa Echakhch, John Giorno, Peter Halley, Shara Hughes, Sarah Lucas, Chris Martin, Adam McEwen, Oscar Murillo, Elizabeth Peyton, Ugo Rondinone, Bosco Sodi, Pat Steir, and Franz West. All works sold will support critical funding for bladder cancer treatment research at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
With a pre-sale low estimate of $28.7 million, this season’s Contemporary Curated auction marks the highest-ever pre-sale estimate in the sales series’ 6-year history. All of the works on offer will be on view in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 20 September.
“I think it is really important to live with art everyday and to get to know it. You look at something, you buy it, but not until you actually live with it, pass by it, see it in a different light, a different time of day, or you have a conversation under it, in front of it or at your dining table do you really know it. Living with art is how you can affect change in your own life too. It’s not just a decoration but something that can affect you deeply and change the way you think.”
An innovative chef, restaurateur, writer, philanthropist and art lover, Massimo Bottura is widely known as one of the world’s most creative culinary figures. Since opening his three-Michelin-star restaurant, Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy in 1995, Bottura and his restaurant have been the recipients of the most prestigious accolades in the world of food, including topping The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016, and for the second time in 2018.
As this season’s curator, Bottura lends his unique outlook on contemporary and culinary art to select some of his favorite pieces from the 300+ lots on offer. Among his top picks are artworks by Alighiero Boetti, Cecily Brown, Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Tracey Emin, Eric Fischl, Sam Francis, Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Robert Longo, Kerry James Marshall, Malcolm Morley, Vik Muniz, Kenneth Noland, Richard Pettibone, Elizabeth Peyton, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Ugo Rondinone and Ed Ruscha.
The September sale is led by Cecily Brown’s powerful Have You Not Known, Have You Not Heard (estimate $2/3 million). Fantastically expressive and irresistibly bold, the commanding oil on canvas exemplifies Brown’s prodigious fusion of rich gestural abstraction with figurative allusion. Executed in 2011, the present work exudes an unbridled sense of visual pleasure and roots itself to the canon of art history, mining masterpieces of the past to forge a line towards the present in this tour de force of painterly delight. A triptych of monumental proportions, the painting derives its title from Isaiah 40:28-31, a Biblical verse that exalts God’s glory; Have You Not Known, Have You Not Heard’s three-panel format, which was historically reserved for Christian altarpieces, echoes the work’s nod to the influence of Western religiosity on the history of art.