Auction cycles are driven by fresh material and new desires. Sotheby’s November sales is gaining momentum from a clutch of Abstract Expressionist works owned by Wisconsin collector Sidney Kohl. With a total estimate for the eight works of $80-100m, the collection is the beating heart of the house’s Autumn season (and they can’t be happy to have been bumped from the top slot in Carol Vogel’s column.)
Top among the group is Jackson Pollock’s “Number 4, 1951,” created with layers of red, blue, yellow, green, ocher and silver. It is estimated to sell for $25 million to $35 million. “There hasn’t been a drip painting on canvas at auction for years,” said Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s director of contemporary art worldwide.
A 1956 action painting by Franz Kline, “Shenandoah,” […]. “Impatience,” a 1945 canvas by Arshile Gorky […] Also of historical importance is “Abstraction,” one of Willem de Kooning’s paintings from around 1949. Estimated to sell for $15 million to $20 million, it combines his urban-landscape work with the biomorphic figures that presage his return to his famed “Woman” series.
Pollock Painting (Inside Art/The New York Times)