11 Extraordinary Works from the Collection of S. I. Newhouse Head to Christie’s
The late publishing titan was one of the most important collectors of the 20th century
This May, Christie’s will present 11 extraordinary works from the collection of S. I. Newhouse, the late owner of Condé Nast (he passed away in 2017), over two evening sales. The auction house is estimating that the group will fetch upwards of $130 million.
Representing Newhouse’s renowned taste and instinct for historical significance, this group of works trace key developments in the evolution of modern art, from Paul Cézanne’s Bouilloire et fruits (estimate in the region of $40 million) to the quintessential image from Andy Warhol’s “Death and Disaster” series, Little Electric Chair (estimated to sell for $6 million to $8 million). However, no work is more emblematic of Newhouse’s intuition for the revolutionary than Jeff Koons’s 1986 sculpture Rabbit (estimated to sell for $50 million to $70 million).
“The collection of S. I. Newhouse is one of the most sought-after groupings of art in private hands, due entirely to the passion that Mr. Newhouse had for unadulterated brilliance, whether that be found within the art that he collected or the magazines that he published,” Alex Rotter, Christie’s chairman of postwar and contemporary art, said in a statement. “The selection that we are presenting here epitomizes each artist at a pivotal moment in their career, embodying the rebellion and sublimity that established them as pioneers within the canon of art history. This is particularly so of Jeff Koons’s Rabbit, a sculpture which, when it was released in 1986, would not only shake the art world to its core, but alter the course of popular culture as we now know it.”
The Rabbit sculpture is one of only four in existence and is the last in private hands.
Other major lots from the Newhouse collection are Vincent van Gogh’s Trees in the Garden of the Asylum (1889), estimated at around $25 million; Roy Lichtenstein’s Landscape with Boats (1996), expected to bring $7 million to $9 million; and Lucian Freud’s Painter’s Garden (2003), which might go for $4 million to $6 million.
Before the works hit the auction block on May 13 and 15, Christie’s will send them on a tour of its international galleries, beginning in Hong Kong this week to coincide with the city’s edition of Art Basel.