AMSTERDAM - The sale of the world-renowned BAT ArtVenture Collection, formerly known as The Peter Stuyvesant Collection, Part Two, realised a total of ˆ2,941,725 / £2,582,732/ $4,198,489, a figure well above the pre-sale expectations of ˆ1 million. Presale interest had been huge and more than 500 clients had registered to bid in tonight’s sale – either in person, by phone, online or by leaving absentee bids -- and the sale established sell-through rates of 95.4% by lot and 98.7% by value, set 43 new artist records and 25 benchmarks for artists new to auction. These notable results further build on the outstanding successes established by Sotheby’s Amsterdam with the sale of the first part of the collection on 8 March 2010.
The toplot was Patrick Heron’s , Violet, Orange and Reds with Green Disc: March 1972-March 1974. No fewer than 14 bidders, both on the telephone as in the room, competed for the oil on canvas which brought ˆ174,750, more than three times pre-sale expectations (est. ˆ50,000 – 70,000). The British artist painted this work in the early 1970s and is probably one of his most instantly recognisable works.
Commenting on the results of the sale, Bert-Jan Van Egteren, Deputy Director and Head of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Department in Amsterdam, said:’ The very successful total result of this sale shows us again the strong demand for paintings with strong provenance and good quality. Buyers came from across the world with particularly strong participation from Latin America, North America and Europe.’
Another top-selling lot was Atmosphère Chromoplastique No. 266, executed in 1969, from the Argentinean artist Luis Tomassello. This work saw competitions from both the saleroom and telephone, finally selling for ˆ156,750 against a pre-sale estimate of ˆ40,000 – 60,000, setting a new record for the artist at auction. Tomasello is particularly known for his ‘Atmosphères chromoplastiques’ in which he poses white cubes on a identical white background, creating an engaging optical effect of play of light and shadows.
The price achieved of ˆ60,750 Claude Tousignant’s Accélérateur Chromatique 90, which has a diameter of 244 cm., set a new record for the artist at auction and is more than three times pre-sale expectations (est. ˆ20,000—30,000). Tousignant, a Canadian abstract painter, pushes the boundaries to simplify the expression itself in the act of painting, incorporating huge circles, square angles and vivid colors in his pieces.
Pour Pierre Reverdy – Etude by Simon Hantai performed also very well. The artist’s oil on canvas sold for ˆ120,750, more than three times the pre-sale estimate of ˆ40,000 – 60,000.
British artist William Henderson Brixton Music commanded ˆ61,014. Executed in 1978, the acrylic on canvas, realizes more than 60 times the pres-sale expectations (ˆ1,000 – 1,500).
The former Peter Stuyvesant Collection represents a pioneering approach to using art in a factory setting to inspire workers by transforming their surroundings. This was the concept of the Collection’s founder, Alexander Orlow (1918 – 2009), whose great innovation was to change the context in which art is appreciated. In 1960 Orlow invited 13 artists from 13 different European countries to create paintings for the production hall in the Turmac Tobacco Company in the Netherlands. The theme he chose was “Joie de Vivre” and he specified that the works were to be large in size with vivid colours and shapes, powerful enough to stand out in the large factory halls. While the initial responses of employees ranged from surprise to disbelief, they soon came to enjoy the enhancement to their workplace and Orlow made the serendipitous discovery that productivity actually increased.
On 8 March 2010, Sotheby’s Amsterdam sold the first part of this collection. The sale exceeded all expectations, achieving a total of ˆ13,6 million ($18,6 million / £ 12,2 million), well in excess of pre-sale expectations (Est. ˆ4 -6 million) and the highest total ever achieved in the Netherlands for a sale of fine art.
* Pre-sale estimates do not include buyer’s premium.