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Software Leader Norton to Sell $25 Million of Art at Christie’s

"Tomato Head (Green)" by Paul McCarthy is part of Peter Norton's collection to be sold at Christie's in New York in November. Source: Christie's via Bloomberg

Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Sixty contemporary artworks from the collection of computer-software developer Peter Norton are heading to the auction block at Christie’s in New York this fall.

The group, which includes pieces by Matthew Barney, Takashi Murakami and Paul McCarthy, is expected to bring in more than $25 million during the auction house’s evening and daytime contemporary-art sales in Nov. 8-9.

Norton’s interest in three-dimensional art is represented by McCarthy’s 7-foot-high “Tomato Head (Green).” Robert Gober’s 1992 “Prison Window” features a two-foot-square cutout in a wall with iron bars and blue sky in the background.

There is also Kara Walker’s sprawling 1996 frieze “African’t,” made with 25 cut-paper silhouettes, and Murakami’s cheerful sculptural mushroom ensemble, “DOB in the Strange Forest,” from 1999.

“One of my ideals for an artwork is that there are thoughts and ideas behind it, but that the work nevertheless has so much visual content that it appeals to viewers who have no understanding of those ideas,” Norton said in a statement.

The creator of Norton AntiVirus and other software programs, now produced by Symantec Corp., Norton is a collector of emerging art and a philanthropist. A trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, he gave more than 1,000 works from his collection to 32 institutions around the world in 2000.

Family Foundation

He has supported hundreds of organizations through the Peter Norton Family Foundation, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Symphony Space in New York.

“We have long been donating works to museums we’re involved in, and now is a time to be increasing that. The sale will allow us to further our giving in other ways, as the proceeds will go toward establishing a new charitable trust,” he said in the statement.

To contact the reporter of this story: Katya Kazakina in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at

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