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$100 Million Collection of Former Whitney President David M. Solinger Comes to Sotheby's

As his love of painting grew, so too did his desire to understand how other painters addressed the same challenges he encountered. So, he started to visit galleries and museums, quickly falling in love with the art he saw there. From admiring works on gallery walls came a strong desire to hang them on his own. The first painting he purchased was by Reuben Tam (now in the Whitney Museum), after which he was, in his own words, unstoppable: “Once I broke the ice, I was incorrigible.”8 In the process, Solinger’s eye quickly honed to the point that, by his own admission and as his collection attests, he “was able to really single out the major talents.”9

Fortuitously perhaps, David Solinger’s collecting journey coincided almost exactly with a new wave of American abstract painting which appealed to him so much: “[my] eye was pretty good for abstract expressionist painting.”10 Though the market for, and potential longevity of, this kind of art was at the time untested, Solinger embraced it unreservedly.

And yet, in spite of the excitements of the New York art scene, Solinger’s approach remained resolutely global: he was among the first American collectors to fully embrace the art of great European talents of the moment, some of whom, like Jean Dubuffet and Pierre Soulages, were just making their US debuts.

Forming lasting relationships with the most influential dealers and gallerists of the day, including Samuel Kootz, Pierre Matisse, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Sidney Janis, Edith Halpert of the Downtown Gallery, and Aimé Maeght, Solinger sought out great works by established masters as well as the very best of the avant-garde generation. At a moment when the two creative capitals of Paris and New York vied for cultural dominance, and artists from both cities challenged and influenced each other’s artistic ideas, Solinger built not just a collection but a transatlantic bridge: an exceptionally insightful dialogue between the two great epicenters of Modern art in the pre- and post-war eras.

Complementing all of this, Solinger also assembled a remarkable group of African and pre-Columbian objects of the kinds that served as inspiration to the artists represented in his collection.






  • 14.11.2022
    Auktion »
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus »

    AUCTIONS

    New York
    14 November
    The David M. Solinger Collection

    15 November
    Modern Day Sale

    22 November
    The David M. Solinger Collection:
    Art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas

    Paris
    6 December
    The David M. Solinger Collection:
    Art Contemporain Evening Sale

    HIGHLIGHTS  EXHIBITIONS

    Hong Kong
    2 – 5 October

    London
    9 – 12 October

    Paris
    19 – 24 October

    PRE-SALE EXHIBITION

    New York
    4 – 14 November
     



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  • Willem de Kooning, Collage, 1950, oil on lacquer on paper with thumbtacks, est. $18-25 million
    Willem de Kooning, Collage, 1950, oil on lacquer on paper with thumbtacks, est. $18-25 million
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  • Alberto Giacometti, Trois hommes qui marchent (Grand plateau), conceived in 1949, cast by 1952, painted bronze, est. $15-20 million
    Alberto Giacometti, Trois hommes qui marchent (Grand plateau), conceived in 1949, cast by 1952, painted bronze, est. $15-20 million
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  • Pablo Picasso, Femme dans un fauteuil, 1927, oil on canvas, est. $15-20 million
    Pablo Picasso, Femme dans un fauteuil, 1927, oil on canvas, est. $15-20 million
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  • Joan Miró, Femme, étoiles, 1945, oil on canvas, est. $15-20 million
    Joan Miró, Femme, étoiles, 1945, oil on canvas, est. $15-20 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Dubuffet Épisode, 1967, acrylic on canvas, est. $3.5-4.5 million
    Dubuffet Épisode, 1967, acrylic on canvas, est. $3.5-4.5 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Ruinen mit Styliten (Ruins with Stylites), 1918, watercolor and pen on paper laid down on the artist’s mount, est. $500,000-700,000;
    Ruinen mit Styliten (Ruins with Stylites), 1918, watercolor and pen on paper laid down on the artist’s mount, est. $500,000-700,000;
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  • Photo credit Visko Hatfield
    Photo credit Visko Hatfield
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus