SAC’s Cohen to Auction Artworks Valued at $85 Million
Billionaire hedge-fund manager Steven A. Cohen is selling artworks from his collection during the big, semi-annual auctions in New York this month.
Most of the sales will be at Sotheby’s (BID) contemporary-art evening sale on Nov. 13, according to a person familiar with the matter. Cohen’s works by Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, Brice Marden, Cy Twombly and Joan Mitchell have been estimated at as much as $85 million, or 20 percent of the $424.6 million auction.
Christie’s has “minor” works from Cohen’s collection, estimated at less than $5 million, according to Brett Gorvy, chairman and international head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s.
Cohen regularly buys and sells at auction. The current group is hitting the market when his firm, SAC Capital Advisors LP, is accused in a grand-jury indictment of encouraging insider trading. The company was told it would have to pay $1.8 billion and admit wrongdoing to resolve securities-fraud charges. That includes a previous penalty of about $600 million.
Warhol’s 1963 “Liz #1 (Early Colored Liz)” leads the Sotheby’s group, for an estimated $20 million to $30 million. The 40-inch-square canvas depicts Elizabeth Taylor’s face on an acid-yellow background.
Richter’s 1986 abstract painting “A.B. Courbet” is estimated at $15 million to $20 million. The 10-by-8-foot canvas was last shown publicly on the Pace Gallery stand at the Art Basel fair in 2012. Its asking price was between $20 million and $25 million.
Warhol’s 1963 square canvas “5 Deaths on Turquoise” is valued at $7 million to $10 million. Like “Liz #1” it had belonged to the late art dealer Ileana Sonnabend.
Marden’s 7-foot-tall painting “The Attended” was also estimated at $7 million to $10 million. Painted in 1996-99, it depicts snaking lines in red, green, white and yellow on gray background. Cohen bought the painting from Matthew Marks Gallery in New York
Joan Mitchell’s 1960-61 abstract painting “Atlantic Side” is expected to bring $5 million to $7 million. Cohen bought the work at Christie’s for $5.1 million in 2007, during the last art-market boom.
Rudolf Stingel’s 11-foot-tall, black-and-white self-portrait as a young man is estimated at $3 million to $5 million. The 2010 painting was acquired from Gagosian Gallery where it was on view in 2011.
Cy Twombly’s 2009 bronze sculpture “Untitled (The Mathematical Dream of Ashurbanipal)” is estimated at $2 million to $3 million. Cohen purchased it from Thomas Ammann Fine Art gallery in Zurich.
All of these Sotheby’s works, except for the Mitchell painting, have been guaranteed, according to the catalog.
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