Sotheby’s has announced that it will be handling the estate collection of the great American playwright Edward Albee. The dedicated auction will be held this September in New York with proceeds of the sale benefiting The Edward F. Albee Foundation, which provides residencies for writers and visual artists in Montauk, Long Island.
“He really loved objects, and he really loved painting,” said Amy Cappellazzo, the chairman of Sotheby’s fine arts division
Albee who died last year was one of America’s most-treasured cultural figures. He was a keen observer of modern life in the United States whose piercing dialogue and constant experimentation helped reinvent and define post-war theater internationally. Beginning with The Zoo Story in 1958, the dozens of plays he wrote over the following five decades include such icons as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), A Delicate Balance (1966), Three Tall Women (1991), and The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (2000).
For many, Sotheby’s September auction will offer a new window into Edward Albee’s life and creative mind. Sourced from artists, friends and galleries over several decades, the majority of the 100+ works on offer adorned the walls of Albee’s Tribeca loft, which he rehung often to explore new artistic connections. In keeping with his constant experimentation as a playwright, the collection focuses on the birth and evolution of Abstraction in 20th century art, and a highly-personal intellectual pursuit of the ephemeral and the elusive – from a stunning figural work by Milton Avery, to a whimsical relief by Jean Arp, a Bauhaus work by Wassily Kandinsky, and a group of geometric abstractions by John McLaughlin.
Ms. Cappellazzo said Albee, who died last September at 88, amassed the collection over many years and across many genres. She said some works were acquired based on relationships he had with the artists, some because they were connected to devotional practices that interested him, and some simply because they caught his eye.
The sale will take place on 26 September 2017