Two major sculptures by the American artist Jeff Koons will go under the hammer at Christie’s and Sotheby’s this Autumn. Both works of art belong to well know collectors. Moon (Yellow) comes to market at Sotheby’s and is owned by the Turner Prize winning artist Damien Hirst. It was part of his MurderMe collection. The second Koons belongs to the Manchester born collector Frank Cohen who is often referred to as “the Saatchi of the North. He is best known for creating the Dairy Arts Centre, a non-profit exhibition space in London. His Koons sculpture is an orange balloon monkey, which carries an estimate of $20–30 million. It has been reported that the sculpture was too large for his gallery, which is why he has decided to sell.
Koons is currently top of his game, with a Whitney retrospective under his belt. He recently broke auction records with the sale of one of his balloon dog series, which realised $58.4 million at Christie’s, New York, in November of 2013. This auction price has made Koons the most expensive living artist. The Balloon Monkey sculpture will go on display outside Christie’s Rockefeller Center headquarters for six weeks, starting 6 October.
Two great icons of Modern sculpture will anchor Sotheby’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York on 4 November 2014: Alberto Giacometti’s Chariot, one of the seminal achievements of modern art, and Amedeo Modigliani’s Tête, a revered masterwork of 20th century sculpture. Both works are appearing at auction for the first time, and together bookend the modern era, with Tête carved in 1911-12 and Chariot conceived in 1950.
Bill Ruprecht, Sotheby’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “It is a privilege and a thrill for Sotheby’s to bring these two remarkable sculptures – both pillars of modern art – to the market. They will join a spectacular group of works of art that we have assembled this November in New York, including The Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon. We look forward to welcoming you to our galleries in both London and New York in the coming weeks.”
Regarding Giacometti’s Chariot, Simon Shaw, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, said: “Few works of art capture a historical moment with the power and poignancy of Giacometti’s Chariot. With its connotations of healing, strength and magic, this heroic sculpture is a symbol of renewal following the Second World War. Given the $104.3 million achieved at Sotheby’s by Giacometti’s Homme qui marche I in 2010, we believe that Chariot could sell for in excess of $100 million.”
Regarding Modigliani’s Tête, Simon Shaw said: “Modigliani’s Têtes rank among the most revered sculptures of the 20th century. Working alongside Constantin Brancusi, he believed that direct carving and staying true to materials were critical if sculpture was to be reborn for the Modern age. The present Tête has a truly mesmerizing aura and is recognized to be the greatest Modigliani sculpture in private hands.” The work is estimated to achieve in excess of $45 million in the November sale.