Christie’s via Bloomberg
The 40-lot consignment comes from the estate of the late
Pennsylvania philanthropist and art patron David Pincus, who
died last December. Thirteen pieces will highlight Christie’s
postwar and contemporary art evening sale on May 8; the rest
will be offered during the day sale on May 9.
Pincus, the former chairman of apparel manufacturer Pincus
Brothers-Maxwell, and his wife, Gerry, began collecting soon
after getting married in 1959. They bought Andy Warhol, Claes
Oldenburg, Anselm Kiefer, Nan Goldin and Jeff Wall.
“They were very engaged, very active,” said Laura
Paulson, Christie’s postwar and contemporary art department’s
international director, who has known the couple for more than
25 years. “The artists were very connected to them because of
their great personality and the love of the art.”
One of the couple’s major early acquisitions was an 8-by-7-
foot Rothko, “Orange, Red, Yellow” (1961), which they bought
from the Marlborough gallery. Expected to bring $35 million to
$45 million at Christie’s, the painting hung for many years at
the Philadelphia Museum of Art, loaned by Pincus, a former
“They looked long and hard for the right Rothko,” said
Paulson. “In those days you had a choice and they probably
chose the best one. It has incredible power.”
Another highlight is Pollock’s “No. 28” (1951), estimated
to bring $20 million to $30 million. The work was included in
the artist’s 1967 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in
Newman’s 1952 “Onement V,” purchased from the artist’s
widow, Annalee Newman, has a $10 million to $15 million
estimate. The canvas, featuring his signature “zip,” had also
been on loan to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Pincus group includes six works by Willem de Kooning,
including four sculptures and two paintings. “Untitled V”
(1983), estimated at $4 million to $6 million, was recently
included in the artist’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern
Art in Manhattan. The proceeds from the sale of three sculptures
and “Untitled V” will benefit the Pincus Family Foundation.
The Pincuses became friends with German artist Kiefer,
whose 1990 “Lilith’s Tochter,” a 12-by-9-foot canvas featuring
four small dresses and two airplanes, is expected to bring
$800,000 to $1.2 million.
‘Dead Troops Talk’
Jeff Wall’s 1986 “Dead Troops Talk (A vision after an
ambush of a Red Army patrol, near Moqor, Afghanistan, winter
1986)” could set an auction record for the Canadian artist; it
has an estimated sale range of $1.5 million to $2 million.
A board member of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity,
Pincus was known for his humanitarian work. He traveled to
refugee camps in Ethiopia, Sudan, Bosnia and Croatia. He brought
a Bosnian Muslim family of five to the U.S.
He always carried plastic figures of Snoopy, the comic-
strip beagle, as a way of breaking down barriers, Paulson said.
“You’d meet him, and the next thing there was something in
your hand,” she said. “It was a little Snoopy.”
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