Sotheby’s fall contemporary art sale


It’s not all bad that summer is over, the arrival of autumn brings with it the first of Sotheby’s contemporary art fall auctions, the Contemporary Curated sale.


Going on sale on 26 September in New York, this season’s auction features guest curator Massimo Bottura, the world-renowned chef and proprietor of the three-Michelin-star restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. With a pre-sale low estimate of $28.7 million, it also has the highest-ever pre-sale estimate in the sale series’ six-year history.


Lending his unique outlook on contemporary and culinary art to the auction, Bottura has selected his top picks from the 300+ lots on offer that date from the post-war period to the present. These include artworks by Tracey Emin, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joan Mitchell, Malcolm Morley, Sam Francis, Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Robert Longo, Vik Muniz, Kenneth Noland and Cecily Brown.


Sotheby S Contemporary Curated Sale Lot 219 Tracey Emin

And I Said I Love You! by Tracey Emin


Sotheby S Contemporary Curated Sale Lot 259 Damien Hirst


Beautiful Raging Collision of Nuclear Mutation Painting by Damien Hirst



Massimo Bottura said: “I think it is really important to live with art every day and to get to know it. You look at something, you buy it, but not until you actually live with, pass by it, see it in a different light, a different time of day, or you have a conversation under it, in front of it or at your dining table do you really know it. Living with art is how you can affect change in your own life too. It’s not just a decoration but something that can affect you deeply and change the way you think.”


The September sale will be led by Cecily Brown’s Have You Not Known, Have You Not Heard, which has an estimate of $2/3 million. Executed in 2011, the painting derives its title from Isaiah 40:28-31, a biblical verse that exalts God’s glory, and has a three-panel format, giving a nod to Christian altarpieces.


Sotheby S Contemporary Curated Sale Lot 210 Cecily Brown 

Have You Not Known, Have You Not Heard [Triptych] by Cecily Brown



Sotheby’s will also be offering another work by Kerry James Marshall: Untitled (Self-Portrait) Supermodel, which has an estimate of $800,000/1.2 million. Using the archetypal figure of the supermodel, Marshall engages other archetypes to propose broader questions about the foundations of beauty in culture. The names “Kate”, “Cindy” and “Linda” are also incised into its surface.


Sotheby S Contemporary Curated Sale Lot 206 Kerry James Marshall

Untitled (Self-Portrait) Supermodel by Kerry James Marshall



In support of bladder cancer research, the auction house will also be partnering with Ugo Rondinone and collaborating with 14 other celebrated contemporary artists including Chris Martin, Joe Bradley, Shara Hughes and Pat Steir to offer works in a dedicated portion of the sale titled Stop Bladder Cancer. All works sold will support critical funding for treatment research at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.


All of the works on offer are available to view in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries until 25 September.


Sotheby S Contemporary Curated Sale Lot 264 Robert Longo

 Untitled (Two Women) by Robert Longo

Sotheby S Contemporary Curated Sale Lot 323 Vik Muniz

Pictures of Garbage by Vik Muniz


Sotheby S Contemporary Curated Sale Lot 34 Sam Francis Untitled Cool Violet

Untitled (Cool Violet) by Sam Francis


Sotheby S Contemporary Curated Sale Lot 225 Francesco Clemente

The Skull by Francesco Clemente