Sotheby’s has released the catalogue for their New York Contemporary art sale to be held on November 9, 2010. The top lot is this Mark Rothko work estimated at between $20 and $30 million. Other top lots have already been announced in the press, including important works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, Bacon, Richter, Koons and many others.
Today’s announcements add works by Willem de Kooning and Arshile Gorky. The de Kooning is described by the auction house this way:
The bold and pivotal Montauk III by Willem de Kooning captures the inherent paradox in which the artist’s unique merging of figuration and abstraction mirrored his thoughts on the elusive and variable quality of life in the 20th century (est. $5/7 million). The work is one of five de Kooning paintings all called Montauk, several of which are in public or major private collections. De Kooning loved the landscape of eastern Long Island which reminded him of his native Holland and moved in 1963 to The Springs, the village close to Montauk which was also home to other artists including Jackson Pollock. The influence of seascape and beaches is seen in the palette and compositions of the figurative abstractions of the 1960s. Montauk III, painted in 1969, serves as a culmination of these sunlit 1960s paintings, and as a prelude to the more abstract and darker colored landscapes of the 1970s.
And the Gorky too gets a write up:
Housatonic was executed by Arshile Gorky in 1943, a breakthrough year for the artist (est. $800,000/1.2 million). The work is named after the large New England river familiar to Gorky from visits to the Connecticut countryside and exemplifies Gorky’s skill at combining the application of jewel-toned crayon within velvety black ink contours to achieve an array of moods related to the sense of sunshine, shade, rocky precipices, water and foliage. Acquired by businessman and philanthropist Clarence Day in 1974, Housatonic was previously in the prestigious Norton Simon collection.