News-Antique.com - May 07,2008 - SOTHEBY’S SPRING 2008 SALES OF CONTEMPORARY ART IN NEW YORK ON MAY 14-15TH TO FEATURE IMPORTANT WORKS BY FRANCIS BACON, MARK ROTHKO, ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG AND JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT, AMONG MANY OTHERS
WORKS FROM THE COLLECTION OF HELGA AND WALTHER LAUFFS, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT GERMAN PRIVATE COLLECTIONS OF CONTEMPORARY ART TO EVER APPEAR ON THE MARKET, TO BE OFFERED
New York, New York – On the evening of May 14th, 2008, Sotheby’s will offer a masterpiece of the 20th century, Francis Bacon’s Triptych, 1976, the most important work by the artist in private hands (est. in the region of $70 million; separate press release available), as the cornerstone of its spring sale of Contemporary Art in New York, which will also be highlighted by works by Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among many others. The sale will also feature the Collection of Helga and Walther Lauffs, one of the most important German private collections of Contemporary art to ever appear on the market. This collection includes major works from artists ranging from Joseph Beuys,
Yves Klein and Piero Manzoni, to Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Tom Wesselmann and Robert Rauschenberg, and comprises important representatives of Minimalism, Pop art, New Realism, Conceptual art and Arte Povera. Approximately 33 works from the Lauffs Collection will be offered in Sotheby’s May 14th-15th sales (est. in excess of $49 million*; property included at the end of release; separate press release also available), with further works being offered in London later this year in sales of Contemporary Art and Prints**. Rounding out the sale is a rich offering of Minimalism and Contemporary Photography from a Distinguished American Collection.
Property from Various-Owners
A masterwork of the first order, the potent concentration of imagery in Francis Bacon’s Triptych, 1976, provokes a wide range of possible interpretations in a painting which matches the tragic grandeur of Aeschylus, the 5th century B. C. Greek playwright. The work was the centrepiece of Francis Bacon’s most important show of new work of the 1970s, held at the Galerie Claude Bernard in Paris in 1977, which closely documented Bacon’s unease and restless mind during that time. Speaking of the work by Bacon, Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Contemporary Art, said: “This is undoubtedly the most important Bacon in private hands. It has been in the same collection ever since it was acquired from the Bernard show over thirty years ago, and it is a masterpiece of the 20th century. The world has been waiting for a great Bacon triptych, and this is it.” One of only three large-format triptychs in the Bernard exhibition, it was illustrated on the cover of the catalogue. Acquired by the present owner at that time, it has been included in all the major surveys of the artist’s work to date, including the Tate Gallery, London, in 1985; Museo d’Arte Moderna, Lugano, in 1993; and the Musée National d’Art Moderne Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, in 1996. In the catalogue from the Museo d’Arte Moderna exhibition, Francis