Inside the $1.5 Billion Paul Allen Sale, the Most Expensive Art Auction of All Time

“Honestly, no one who loves art walks into this space and isn’t happier for a moment,” he said. “It gives me hope — that there’s going to be someone out of these thousands of people walking through the galleries and saying, ‘I want to buy it.'”

Making a sale the day after an election is always a risk. But barring tech layoffs and a falling Dow, art market concerns seemed to lighten their mood as the election essentially maintained the status quo. at Lodi, Ignacio Mattos’s Rock Center Trattoria, those who pre-ordered cocktails and Spuntino said they were expecting a few hits. In the showroom, the mood seemed borderline jubilant, as a former Sotheby’s rainmaker Tobias Meier Bro-hugged collector Tico Mugrabi in the aisle next to it Larry Gagosian and his team held court. steve martin, the actor and collector, took a seat in the middle of the room when megadealers such as Per Skarstedt and Amy Cappellazzo took up their normal perches. Instead of the usual classic tunes that precede auctions at Christie’s, the hi-fi-heavy Hendrix is ​​a nod to Allen’s rock ‘n’ roll heart.

“All things considered, this auction will be the most successful in Christie’s history,” remarked Adrien Meyer before beginning his auction. As he started banging, the bidding came fast and furious, shooting the hammer prices well above the lofty estimates. Specialist from Dallas Capera Ryan an Edward Steichen photo of the Flatiron Building for $11.8 million, just short of the world record for a photo. The consultant Deb Robinson of Art Market Advisors bought a Georgia O’Keeffe on behalf of a client for nearly $27 million, well above the high estimate of $8 million. A Gauguin Tahiti scene, a sister painting to one hanging in the Hermitage, was sold to Christie’s specialists Maria go‘s client for $105.7 million.

And then Xin Li beat Christie’s specialists to land the most enviable privately owned Seurat for $149 million, making it the biggest sale of the evening.

It is worth noting that the sale could have been even bigger – several works from the Allen collection were not put up for sale as they were being held by the family to either keep or sell at a later date. (All proceeds from sales will be donated to charities, although exactly which charities were not disclosed.) The record-breaking Monet’s Pile of Grains painting that Allen bought for $81.4 million? Unfortunately not in this offer. Neither was Roy Lichtenstein The kiss, that Allen bought from David Geffen. (Allen was an investor in Geffen’s DreamWorks, and the two convinced Lichtenstein to design the studio’s logo.) He also had a Rothko who was the author Blake Gopnik Renoir’s, which was casually valued at $80 million a decade ago The readerand Monet’s Le Bassin aux Nympheas, a water lily painting which was one of Allen’s first major purchases. There weren’t any on offer. The lots held back could arguably have pushed the auction into the over two billion range.

“It wasn’t like that Everyone of the Paul Allen collection, it was just the part that was in different houses,” Rotter said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen to them, they belong to someone else now and maybe they’ll come up for sale. Maybe they won’t come up for sale. But so far, none of the people who tell me what he’s not selling can get it out of him.”

Maybe having the most expensive sale ever was more than enough. With the final lots drawn, the collectors headed for their dinner reservations, certainly a bit late but not moody, giddy at the prospect of a strong art market even amidst everything else. And after Guillaume Cerutti had spent the auction overseeing his specialists and sending another auctioneer to complete the procedure, he sat quietly at the entrance to the salesroom. The CEO was already thinking about next week, when the house he runs has another billion dollars in art to outsource.

“What a night, what a exciting Night – but it’s not over yet,’ he said.

The Rundown

Your cheat sheet for comings and goings in the art world this week and beyond…

…The LACMA Art+Film Gala – is it the West Coast Met Gala? The Oscars of the art world? It’s certainly a whirlwind black tie Hollywood soiree, and last Saturday, Leonardo DiCaprio and Eve Chou once again hosted the fundraiser for the encyclopedic Tinseltown Museum, which selects one luminary from each of its two titular worlds to celebrate a night of spotlights. This year’s winners were heroic light and space artists Helen Paschgian and the filmmaker Park Chanwook, and the process helped the fundraiser raise more than $5 million for the museum, which is about halfway through its extensive rebuilding process that will cost more than $750 million. Why is the gala different from all the others? Well, the name says it all – we’re talking about art and movie, folks. Gucci, the host of the event, dressed Andrew Garfield and Olivia Wilde, but also Mark Bradford and Catherine Opie. Flashlights kept popping Kim Kardashian and sorted kardashian jenners, and the newly Oscar-less Sean Penn was there and Addison Rae She dutifully captioned her arrival picture ‘@lacma’ – but a good part of the 650-strong gala crew were the performers, such as Jonas Wood, Shio Kusaka, Jordan Wolfson, Louise Bonnet, Alex Hubbard, Lauren Halsey, Charles Gaines, Tacita Dean, Alex Israel, Betye Saar, Martine Syms, and so many more. But, okay, sure, everyone was eclipsed by the show Billie Eilish‘s art benefit friend reveal, both with her and Jess Rutherford in matching Gucci pajamas.

… It seems like a club opens for new members in Manhattan every week, but none has such a patina of exclusivity as newly opened London import Casa Cruz — the place doesn’t accept members, it accepts investors, and entry levels start at 250,000 $. While some of the restaurants in the six-story converted Beaux-Arts mansion are open to the public (if you can get a res), the rooftop and fourth floor are reserved for investors and their guests. Except last Thursday, when Gagosian took over the coveted private property to celebrate Anna Weyant‘s first show at the gallery with rooftop dining, which has the highest ticket price in town. The show was highly anticipated by a class of collectors, who have watched Weyant’s paintings sell for up to $1.6 million at auction. She is dating too Larry Gagosian, the founder of the gallery. All of this takes a backseat to the exhibition, which is anchored by seven paintings, including Two Eileens (2022), a lavish, masterful double portrait of the inner-city microstar and podcast host Eileen Kelly. The eatery is quite posh, and as I walked up the spiral staircase to this cabana-style bar next to the upstairs room, I met Kelly standing between the artist Stanley Whitney and the writer Emma Cline, and after saying hello to Gagosian, I was introduced to none other than Venus Williams. After a meal I’d say yes, access to the roof of Casa Cruz…probably worth the quarter of a million?

…that’s what we hear on the new show from Ronald Lauder‘s personal collection, which opens tomorrow at his Neue Galerie, there’s an entire room full of memorabilia from the classic 1942 film Casablanca. As well as snapping up German and Austrian masterpieces of the Art Nouveau era – including Klimts Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which he bought for $135 million in 2006 — he apparently spent a lot of time buying posters from the original release and props from the set of the Bogart Bergman classic, including the transit letters that Rick found so damn difficult to get from Ilsa im Movie. Hopefully all this cool Casablanca stuff can cheer Ron up after he’s poured all that money into it Lee Zeldin‘s campaign.

Raschid Johnson and other artists have each donated a work to be sold during Christie’s auction series next week to support the Right of Return Fellowship, a charity founded by the artists Jess Crimes and Russell Craig which helps formerly imprisoned people to support their creative or artistic activities. Johnson’s Transfer image “Sunshine” is expected to fetch an estimated $600,000 to $800,000 while a photo is over Mickalene Thomas could fetch $200,000 to $300,000.

Scene report: The art show

One could apologize for being a bit done with art fairs, what with the extended forays into London and Paris, and maybe even Toronto and Turin – maybe let’s chill for a second, at least until Miami? Not so fast. In early November there happens to be a nice little fair in the Big Apple called the Art Show presented by the Art Dealers Association of America. Even the bloodthirsty gallery circle has its nonprofit bureaucracies, and the ADAA has been around since 1962 and seeks to keep the art market honest by promoting “the highest standards of connoisseurship, scholarship, and ethical practice within the profession.” Inside the $1.5 Billion Paul Allen Sale, the Most Expensive Art Auction of All Time

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