Christie’s |44 works | The Essl Collection| stand-alone evening auction | London | Monday, 13 October 2014


London – Christie’s is delighted to announce the sale of 44 major Post-War works from The Essl Collection which will be sold in a landmark, stand-alone evening auction in London on Monday, 13 October 2014. The sale will comprise of masterpieces by the giants of German Post-War and Contemporary Art including Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger, Sigmar Polke and Neo Rauch, as well as major works by international artists such as Cindy Sherman, Frank Stella, Louise Bourgeois and Morris Louis. The selection for sale has been carefully made from the Museum’s holding of 7,000 works and will reflect the quality and breadth of the Museum’s collection, which has been put together with great care by Agnes and Karlheinz Essl over a period of 50 years.

Included in the sale will also be two works by the leading Austrian artists, Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Maria Lassnig, which reflect the Essl Museum’s reputation as the home of the greatest collection of Austrian Contemporary Art in the world. The sale of these 44 works from The Essl Collection carries a pre-sale estimate of £40,000,000-60,000,00.

Commenting on the sale, Jussi Pylkkänen- President of Christie’s EMERI adds “The collection that Agnes and Karlheinz Essl have carefully put together over so many years is one of the most renowned and admired collections of Contemporary Art in Europe. In recent years the prominence of the major German Post-War artists has risen season by season. The auction will give international collectors a unique opportunity to bid for masterpieces by the giants of modern German painting such as Baselitz, Richter, Polke, Kippenberger, Rauch and Oehlen. The exhibition of 44 paintings and sculptures will provide a fascinating overview of 50 years of work. It will be a great privilege to auctioneer the sale here at King Street in October at the beginning of Frieze Week”.
The Essl Museum, built by Austrian architect Heinz Tesar in Klosterneuburg, Vienna is dedicated to sharing its passion for art and giving back to society through their ever-evolving exhibition programme, which has presented many important international artists for the first time in Austria, and through an extensive educational program for children and adults alike, designed to build bridges in various ways.

“Ever since we started collecting works of art it was our concern to facilitate access to art as a source of inspiration for as many people as possible. Art enriches life and releases innovative forces. It is a vital ingredient of life and broadens our insights into the workings of life and human existence. In this spirit we would like to see it as a contribution to the positive development of our society. In order to secure our collection and museum for generations to come, we decided to part from 44 carefully selected works from our collection” stated Agnes and Karlheinz Essl.

“Agnes and Karlheinz Essl are among the most important collectors of contemporary art in the world. Any visitor to the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg, Vienna has borne witness not simply to an assembly of the most influential art of the past 60 years, but has felt Agnes and Karlheinz Essl’s passion for art and their desire to share it with the public. Identifying artists of keen interest, building relationships with the artists and their work and collecting in depth are hallmarks of their activity over the last fifty years. The selection for sale incorporates a landmark grouping of important artworks by giants of German Post-War and Contemporary art including Gerhard Richter, Georg Baselitz, Martin Kippenberger, and Sigmar Polke. From key self-portrait paintings and sculpture by Baselitz and Kippenberger to the much celebrated and unique Clouds by Richter and arguably the greatest grouping of Sigmar Polke’s works ever to come to market. Rich in the tapestry of styles he concocted, these works represent a remarkable mirror to the retrospective opening at Tate Modern in October. This, combined with Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy, will make Frieze week in October a great moment to celebrate the continued vibrancy of German art today,” commented Francis Outred, Chairman & Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie’s EMERI.

Katharine Arnold, Head of the Evening Auction, Post-War & Contemporary Art London, commented: “It has been a great pleasure to work alongside the Essl Museum, carefully curating this group of 44 outstanding works from the collection. We share the same passion for Post-War and Contemporary Art and I look forward to achieving a great result for this major Austrian institution.”

13 October 2014, 7 p.m. Christie’s London, 8 King Street
Viewing at Christie’s Mayfair
23 September – 3 October 2014 Christie’s Mayfair, 103 New Bond Street
Highlights on View
6 – 9 October 2014
Duke Street Gallery, Christie’s 8 King Street
Auction Viewing
10 – 13 October 2014 Christie’s, 8 King Street

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