Thursday, July 14, 2016

David Bowie: his art collection dispersed in London – Le Figaro

The sale of part of the estate of David Bowie will be held in London on 10 and 11 November, under the hammer at Sotheby’s. An event that unveils the mad passion for the art of rockstar.

The public knew the singer, songwriter, actor and producer disc whose death on January 10 at the age of 69 years, resounded like a thunderclap in the world. But he knew nothing, or almost, the collector remained voluntarily in private. The veil is finally lifted on the least known facet of the British pop-rock icon whose choices speak volumes about his commitment, passion and taste for art. And therefore the influence that David Bowie may have at the time.

The sale of his collection, on 10 and 11 November in London, is sure a huge event. It is Sotheby’s which claimed that media dispersion which may attract crowds at the presentation of a selection of key pieces in London on July 20, on New Bond Street. Before embarking on a world tour of three weeks, from Los Angeles to New York via Hong Kong.

“Eclectic, unexpected, subtle, the collection of David Bowie is a unique testimony to the private universe which had surrounded one of the greatest creative minds of the twentieth century,” says Oliver Barker, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, which could hold the hammer. It brings together 400 pieces, sold in two days for a modest estimate more than 10 million pounds (just over $ 13 million). This policy of deliberately low prices for leave to pack the room is likely to operate. Buyers in euro or dollar being privileged if the book has not yet turned the corner …

A great collector

Given the pedigree of the star, this amount should be far exceeded. On its own, the Basquiat (2.5 to 3.5 million pounds) of impeccable provenance, one third of the overall estimate. “And the stakes could soar given the link between Bowie and artist, confirms Enrico Navarra merchant who published in 2010 the three volumes of this Brooklyn native died in 1988, at the peak of his career. This very good picture of 1984, which wrongly downplayed compared to 1981 and 1982, is symbolic of an era. It is no coincidence that Bowie, who influenced his time, bought the painting from an artist who was also the same kind of journey, leaving an imprint on future generations “

the acquisition of Air Power , 1984 (167.5 x 157.5 cm) was made just after the film directed by Julian Schnabel in 1996. Bowie played the role of Andy Warhol collaborator and mentor of young African-American. And then there is also the report of Basquiat with music that attracted Bowie. “It is not surprising to learn that ambition, without hiding, to become a rock musician, wrote the singer in the Modern Painters magazine in 1996. His work approaches the rock like few other artists have been able to do. “

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Xab & #; & # Xbb  Air Power ;, 1984 Acrylic on canvas and oilstick,  & # XA3; 2.5-3.5m / & # xA9; Sotheby's  ADAGP

Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Air Power” 1984 Acrylic on canvas and oilstick, £ 2.5-3.5m / ADAGP © Sotheby’s

“Art is the only thing I have always wanted to own, had confided to David Bowie New York Times in 1998. He has always been for me a source of inspiration. I am using it. It can change my mind when I wake up in the morning. The same work can influence me in different ways, depending on the situation I find myself. ” David Bowie who met Andy Warhol at the Factory in New York in 1971 was naturally attracted by the big names of his era. They were part of his universe. “I’m a collector, ‘he said. It seems I’ve always collected personalities, ideas … “.

The small art world knew Bowie artist, critic, philanthropist, publisher, curator and editor, placing the city of London – and the British modern art – at the heart of his passion. In 1994 he joined the editorial board of Modern Painters , academic circle open invitation only. It was then he realized interviews with artists like Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. In 1998 he was engaged in publishing art books, Karen Wright, then editor of Modern Painters , the gallery owner Bernard Jacobson and Sir Timothy Sainsbury. If this period remains engraved in the memories, it probably is also one of the most famous frauds in the history of art. Who does not remember the party in the studio of Jeff Koons in Manhattan for the launch of a book celebrating the life and work of a mysterious artist named Nat Tate, entirely fictional creation of his friend, the novelist William Boyd?

Attracted by Surrealism and design

“As a collector, Bowie was looking for artists with whom he felt a kind of connection and works capable of ‘move or inspire, notes Simon Hucker, expert on modern and postwar British art at Sotheby’s. He was particularly interested in the artists neglected the public. This is what led to British art, especially that of the early and mid-twentieth century, which, of course, made him feel at home. “The singer was relying on his shots heart, regardless of fluctuations in odds on the art market.

At the heart of his choice: Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Frank Auerbach and Damien Hirst. To this representative of the Young British Artist, which it acquired in 1995 a kaleidoscope of vibrant red, green, blue and yellow (250,000 to 350,000 pounds), Bowie had declared his admiration: “It is different. I find his work very emotive, subjective and closely related to her private fears – he fears death, in particular – and for me, his works are moving and in no case flippant “

Ettore  Sottsass & # Xab ; Casablanca & # Xbb  Sideboard; (1981) / & # xA9; Sotheby's ADAGP

Ettore Sottsass, “Casablanca Sideboard” (1981) / © Sotheby’s ADAGP

the curiosity of Bowie was also facing raw art, surrealism, contemporary African art and design. No wonder he has loved the eccentric Italian Ettore Sottsass, leading figure of the group Memphis. Of the latter, he had bought the famous shelf “Casablanca” (first collection of 1981) considered a seminal work of the post-mod design and now kept in many museums of the V & amp; A in London, the Philadelphia Museum of Art (4 000 to 6 000 pounds).

It is not surprising to discover that the most innovative and daring musician of his generation was listening to music on an extremely atypical turntable. Created by the brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni for Brionvega, the original stereo cabinet is an iconic piece of Italian design of the years 1960 (800 1 200 pounds). Additional copies are visible at the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York and the V & amp; A in London. Incarnation of a world Pop, David Bowie loved everything Pop. These are the strong works symbolizing this time that fans will seek priority in November in London …

World Tour Preview: London July 20-August 9 ; Los Angeles: September 20 to 21; New York: September 26 to 29; Hong Kong: 12 – 15 October. Exposure: Bowie / Collector, 1 – November 10, Sotheby’s New Bond Street, London; Sale: Part I: Modern and Contemporary Art, Evening sale, November 10, 2016, Part II: Modern and Contemporary Art sale day, November 11, 2016; Part III: post-modern Design: Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis group, November 11, 2016


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