David Bowie’s Art Collection 100% Sold at Sotheby's
“White Glove” Sale of David Bowie’s Art Collection
Over 55,500 Visitors Attend Worldwide Pre-Sale Exhibitions
The Three Sessions last over 12 Hours, Attended by over 1750 Bidders
New Records for over 50% of Artists Represented in the Sale (59 Records in Total) More than a Thousand Online Bidders
Overall Sale Total: £32.9m / $41.1m
“David Bowie’s personal art collection captured the imagination of the tens of thousands who visited our exhibitions and the thousands who took part in the sales. Sotheby’s is truly honoured to have had the opportunity to share this collection with the world and, in doing so, offer a fresh insight into the creative mind of one of the greatest cultural figures of our time.”-- Oliver Barker, Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe
Bowie/Collector Sale Totals: £32.9 /$41.1m
Part I: Modern and Contemporary Art, Evening Auction: £24.3m / $30.3m Estimate: £8.1-11.7m (47 lots, sale lasted two hours)
Part II: Modern and Contemporary Art, Day Sale: £7.2m / $9.1m
Estimate: £1.7-2.5m (209 lots, lasted seven hours)
Part III: Design: Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis Group: £1.4m / $1.7 m Estimate: £77,070-117,020 (100 lots, lasted 3.5 hours)
Facts and Figures
Global exhibitions seen by 55,870+ visitors
London Exhibitions in July and November had a total of over 51,470 visitors – the highest
attendance for any pre-sale exhibition in London
Over 26,500 people watched the sales online
Over 1,750 people attended the sales
Over a thousand bidders registered through our BIDnow programme, powered by Invaluable
Please see “Bowie/Collector by numbers” below for full details
A spokesperson for the Estate of David Bowie said: “David always enjoyed sharing the works in the collection, loaning to museums and actively supporting the art and artists that were part of his world. While the family have kept certain pieces of particular significance, now was the time for others to share David’s love for these remarkable works and let them live on.”
IN DEPTH: COLLECTIONS WITHIN THE COLLECTION
“Bowie was drawn to the art for which he felt a profound personal connection, collecting with great intellect and passion. Alongside the sensational results for the better-known artists, there was equal enthusiasm from collectors for the quieter, hidden-gems of Modern British art which he so loved and championed.” - Simon Hucker, Senior Specialist in Modern & Post-War British Art
“Bowie’s passion for the artists in his collection has introduced a worldwide audience - and a whole new generation of collectors – to Modern British Art. From Lanyon to Gilman, from Barns-Graham to Tillyer, we’ve seen a truly remarkable succession of records over the course of the last two days, as collectors from every corner of the globe responded to the vision and intellect of Bowie as a collector.” - Frances Christie, Head of Department Modern & Post-War British Art
The collection included over 130 works of Modern and Contemporary British art – accounting for nearly 60% of the overall total for the Part I & II sales. 34 new auction records were set for British artists.
A record price was set for Frank Auerbach’s “Head of Gerda Boehm” of which Bowie once said “My God, yeah! I want to sound like that looks”. The painting sold for £3.8m (est. £300,000- 500,000, lot 18)
Bowie acquired Harold Gilman’s “Interior (Mrs Mounter)” in 1994 for a then record price for the artist. The work once again set a new record, achieving £485,000 (est. £150,000-250,000, lot 10).
A group of 11 works by David Bomberg, one of Bowie’s favourite artists, together realised over £1 million. Bowie named Richard Cork’s book on Bomberg as one of his favourite reads of all
time in 2013. The star lot was “Sunrise in the Mountains, Picos de Asturias” that realised
£353,000 (est. £150,000-250,000, lot 17).
A new record was also set for David Jones (David Bowie’s namesake), when “Crucifixion”
opened the Part II sale. The watercolour realised £93,750, more than 13 times the pre-sale high estimate (est. £5,000-7,000, lot 101).
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Air Power” was the top lot across all the sales. Eight bidders drove the work to £7.1m (est. £2.5-3.5m, lot 22). Bowie played the role of Andy Warhol in the 1996 film “Basquiat” around the time he purchased the work. In the same year, Bowie wrote a feature on the artist for Modern Painters magazine, illustrated with “Air Power”.
Hirst was one of only a handful of high-profile contemporary artists for whom Bowie publicly expressed his admiration. Two spin paintings soared over estimate, including “Beautiful, hallo, space-boy painting” which Bowie created with the artist in 1995 that sold for £785,000 (est. £250,000-350,000, lot 5).
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