Sotheby’s announced that Audrey Irmas of Los Angeles is selling the Cy Twombly blackboard painting she and her husband bought 25 years ago from Charles Saatchi at Sotheby’s. Proceeds from the sale will go toward the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. The work is a massive 8ft wide and likely to compete with the top Twomblys sold at auction and privately by Christie’s in the last two years above $60m.
“The date, scale, and distinguished provenance of Untitled, 1968 [New York City] place it as one of the most important examples of Cy Twobmly’s celebrated ‘Blackboard’ series remaining in private hands,” commented Anthony Grant, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman, Americas. “It is always a pleasure to welcome spectacular works of art back to Sotheby’s – we last offered the painting in 1990 as part of the Saatchi Collection. The brilliance of the artist’s gestural genius is on full display as the written form dissolves into a nuanced grey background. All of us who know and care about the arts in Los Angeles have benefited from the extraordinary generosity of Audrey Irmas and her late husband Sydney, and so we are thrilled to be offering this Twombly masterpiece to benefit such a wonderful cause.”