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David Bowie’s art collection to be auctioned by Sotheby’s
Jul 19, 2016

This fall, Sotheby’s will stage an exhibit and auction of David Bowie’s personal art collection. Bowie/Collector, a three-part sale, reveals 400 items from the icon’s collection, such as the Casablanca Sideboard from Ettore Sottsass, as well as 200-plus pieces of modern and contemporary British art from artists including Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Frank Auerbach and Damien Hirst.


Casablanca Sideboard by Ettore Sottsass; Frank Auerbach’s “Head of Gerda Boehm”

“Art was, seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own,” Bowie told The New York Times in 1998. “It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way I feel in the mornings. The same work can change me in different ways, depending on what I’m going through.”

Bowie’s private collection will be on view on a preview tour, beginning with a three-week exhibit in London July 20 to August 9, followed by stints in Los Angeles, New York and Hong Kong. Sotheby’s in London will then exhibit the work from November 1 to 10, and the sale will unfold in three parts over November 10 and 11.


Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Air Power”

Among the pieces are Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Air Power”; Hirst’s “Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting”; a stereo cabinet made by brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni’s for Brionvega; and Harold Gilman’s “Interior (Mrs Mounter).”

“David’s art collection was fueled by personal interest and compiled out of passion,” shares a Bowie spokesperson. “He always sought and encouraged loans from the collection and enjoyed sharing the works in his custody. Though his family are keeping certain pieces of particular significance, it is now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate—and acquire—the art and objects he so admired.”

“I feel the very moment of his brush or crayon touching the canvas,” Bowie told Modern Painters of artist Basquiat. “There is a burning immediacy to his ever evaporating decisions that fires the imagination 10 or 15 years on, as freshly molten as the day they were poured onto the canvas.”


Damien Hirst’s “Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting”

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