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Billionaire Cohen’s Art May Fetch $60 Million at Auction

Andy Warhol
"Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz)" (1963) by Andy Warhol. The silkscreen ink and acrylic on linen work is estimated at $20 million - $30 million. Source: 2013 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/ARS/Sotheby's via Bloomberg

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire hedge-fund manager Steven A. Cohen, whose firm is facing huge fines for securities fraud, will sell three paintings from his art collection at auction in New York next month.

The group will include two pieces by Andy Warhol and a Gerhard Richter, according to the New York Times. Cohen’s $9 billion net worth includes an art collection valued at about $750 million, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors LP is accused in a grand jury indictment of insider trading. Last week, the company was told it would have to pay $1.8 billion and admit wrongdoing to resolve securities-fraud charges. Cohen has already agreed to pay $600 million.

His three works will be offered at Sotheby’s contemporary art sale on Nov. 13. Warhol’s 1963 “Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz)” is estimated at $20 million to $30 million. His “5 Deaths on Turquoise (Turquoise Disaster),” also from 1963, is valued at $7 million to $10 million. Sotheby’s showed the paintings as part of its exhibition at the Katara Art Center in Doha last week.

The Richter is a 1986, 10-by-8-foot abstract painting titled “A. B. Courbet,” according to a person familiar with the matter. It is estimated at $15 million to $20 million.

Cohen actively buys and sells in the art market. In May 2011, another Warhol Liz portrait from his collection fetched $26.9 million at Phillips. Cohen’s 1983 Richter canvas, “Prag,” was less successful; estimated at $9 million to $12 million, it failed to sell at Christie’s in November 2012.

Other Warhols

Cohen will face fierce competition from 12 other Warhols at the November evening sales, led at Sotheby’s by the large 1963 canvas “Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster),” estimated at more than $60 million.

A smaller “Green Car Crash -- Green Burning Car I” (1963) has been the artist’s record since 2007 when it sold for $71.7 million.

Christie’s seven lots on Nov. 12 include Warhol’s 1962 painting of an oversized Coke bottle, estimated at $40 million to $60 million.

To contact the reporters of this story: Katya Kazakina in New York at kkazakina@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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