Carol Vogel reveals the details of MoMA’s two recent acquisitions, both of which were held until recently by Gagosian Gallery. One is an important work by Robert Rauschenberg:
Rauschenberg’s “Overdrive,” a silk-screen incorporating images of a bird, a stop sign, a one-way-street sign, the Statue of Liberty and other objects, is a promised gift from Glenn Dubin, the Manhattan financier who is a MoMA trustee, and his wife, Eva. Sotheby’s had sold the painting at auction in New York five years ago, to Larry Gagosian, the super dealer, for $14.6 million. He recently sold it to the Dubins for an undisclosed price.
The other is an early Gerhard Richter:
The 1963 painting by Mr. Richter, which the museum bought from Mr. Gagosian, is “Tote” (the German word for dead). “It’s a man who has washed ashore underneath what appears to be an iceberg,” Ms. Temkin said. It is one of the earliest examples of the artist’s photo-paintings, based on a photograph of a shipwreck taken in March 1963 that he discovered in Quick, a German magazine.
The painting also has an auction history. Sotheby’s sold it in London 10 years ago for about $5.6 million to an unidentified buyer. Experts say it is now worth about $6 million. It is the museum’s earliest work by Mr. Richter and was included in his retrospective there in 2002.
There’s a slight error in the story. Vogel meant to write that the work sold in 2003 for slightly less than $1m and is now estimated to be worth about $6m. Whether Gagosian sold it for $5.6m or the number is simply a typographical error is not known.
Inside Art: Adding Rauschenberg and Richter to MoMA (New York Times)