Carol Vogel gets a nice big scoop with the news that another of Jeff Koons’s Pink Panther sculptures is coming to market. Philippe Ségalot re-ignited Koons market in 1999 when he sold sculpture. But the identity of the seller is only part of Vogel’s scoop. Sotheby’s has provided a guarantee for the work but we won’t know for some time whether they finally broke their self-imposed ban on providing the guarantees themselves:
In 1999, Christie’s sold one of the sculptures — it was made in an edition of three, as well as an artist’s proof 11 years earlier — to Peter Brant, the newsprint magnate, for $1.8 million, a record price for the artist at the time. On May 10 Sotheby’s will be selling the artist’s proof. Besides Mr. Brant, the Museum of Modern Art in New York owns a “Pink Panther,” as does the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
This “Pink Panther” is expected to sell for $20 million to $30 million. “It’s the last one,” said Tobias Meyer, director of Sotheby’s contemporary art department worldwide.
Although the seller’s name will not appear in Sotheby’s catalog, those familiar with Mr. Koons’s work say it is the publisher Benedikt Taschen, who has collected and sold Koons sculptures before. In 2007 he sold Mr. Koons’s “Diamond (Blue),” a solitary giant blue diamond fashioned from shiny steel, at Christie’s for $11.8 million; two years later he sold the artist’s “Large Vase of Flowers,” also at Christie’s, for $5.7 million.
Inside Art: Pink Panther, the Proof (New York Times)