Four years ago Edvard Munch was crowned the most expensive artist at auction. Fast forward to today and the Norwegian painter will take center stage again in NYC next month.
It’s estimated that Munch’s 1902 canvas “Girls on the Bridge” is worth more than $50 million! The artwork, showing a group of women in long colorful dresses, will lead Sotheby’s evening sale of Impressionist and modern art on November 14th.
The painting was first brought into the U.S. by industrialist and collector Norton Simon in the 1960s, Sotheby’s said. It has been included in museum exhibitions, including London’s Tate Modern and New York’s Guggenheim, according to Sotheby’s. It is consigned by an anonymous collector who purchased the work for $30.8 million at Sotheby’s in 2008. The company guaranteed the seller an undisclosed minimum price and found a third-party backer who agreed to place an irrevocable bid, ensuring the work sells.
Sotheby’s evening sale has 43 lots, targeting more than $145.8 million, the company said. That’s a 52 percent decline from the result of the similar auction a year ago when just two paintings from the collection of billionaire William Koch tallied $101 million.
“There’s an appetite to buy but not many people wanting to sell,” said Shaw.
The season’s line-up was impacted by the lack of significant estate sales, he said. Discretionary sellers are affected by the uncertainty over U.S. presidential election, U.K.’s Brexit vote and oil prices, he said.
The top lot at rival Christie’s Impressionist and modern art sale is Claude Monet’s painting of a haystack, estimated at about $45 million.
Sotheby’s will also offer Pablo Picasso’s 1963 painting, “Le Peintre et son modele” that has been in the same collection since 1968 and is estimated at $12 million to $18 million.