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Sotheby's New York to offer property from the Estate of Theodore J. Forstmann
Roy Lichtenstein, Sailboats III. Est. $6/8 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced that it will offer Property from the Estate of Theodore J. Forstmann, the legendary financier and well known American philanthropist. Mr. Forstmann was also a collector of great connoisseurship and refinement, whose collecting interests spanned Impressionist and Modern art, Contemporary art, American art and Latin American art. A significant group of works will highlight Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 2 May 2012 and includes Pablo Picasso’s portrait of Dora Maar titled Femme assise dans un fauteuil, which exemplifies the artist’s wartime work and his passionate exchange with Dora Maar (est. $20/30 million*). Chaďm Soutine’s Le chausseur de chez Maxim’s is a masterwork of Expressionism and arguably the crowning achievement of the artist’s career (est. $10/15 million), and Soutine’s Le Chasseur (est. $4/6 million), both done in Paris in the 1920s will be major highlights, as will be Tęte humaine, a prime example of Joan Miró’s formative output of the 1930s (est. $10/15 million). Outstanding works by Lichtenstein, Basquiat and Gorky will be included in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 9 May 2012. These works will be sold across a series of sales at Sotheby’s in New York through May 2012, and are estimated in excess of $75 million.

“Teddy Forstmann strove for excellence in business and in life, which carried through effortlessly into his art collecting,” commented Stephane Connery, Executive Vice President at Sotheby’s New York. “He constantly reevaluated and refined his collection, keeping it fresh, fluid and ever-evolving. He truly lived with and appreciated his works, often rearranging them to explore new contexts and connections. Teddy had a passion for strong, powerful images with Expressionist tendencies, and this common thread runs throughout the works on offer this spring – from the two commanding Soutine canvases, to Picasso’s ever-powerful portrait of Dora Maar, to the charged works by Miró and Basquiat.”

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale – New York, 2 May 2012
A group of seventeen works from the Collection will open the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on May 2nd, led by Pablo Picasso’s Femme assise dans un fauteuil from 1941 (est. $20/30 million). As the tensions of the late 1930s gave way to war, Picasso’s paintings communicated the immediacy of his time. These emotions are felt most intensely in the portraits of his muse and lover during the war, Dora Maar, who is unmistakably the model for this work. Painted the same year as the artist’s masterful Dora Maar au chat, sold at Sotheby’s in 2006 for $95.2 million, the present canvas exemplifies the brilliance of Picasso’s wartime oeuvre.

Le chasseur de chez Maxim’s is one of Chaďm Soutine’s most striking paintings, and was purchased by Mr. Forstmann in 2004 for a then-record auction price for the artist of $6.7 million (est. $10/15 million). The artist’s portraits of anonymous sitters exude an emotional force unique within the history of 20th century art, and the dynamic brushwork and bold coloring of the present example position it at the pinnacle of this series. Le Chasseur is another extraordinary example of Soutine’s work from the 1920s (pictured right, est. $4/6 million). The artist chose vernacular subjects as a source of inspiration for his most successful works, characterized by strong contrasts of color, commanding presence, and rhythmically charged brushstrokes.

Surrealist works in the collection will be led by Joan Miró’s Tęte humaine, which provides a rare glimpse into artist’s personal iconography (est. $10/15 million). Miró painted Tęte humaine in 1931 during an intensely creative moment in his career, in which he broke away from discernible influences and created a wholly unique visual language. Here he provides an eloquent dialogue between precise painting and the incorporation of found objects. Though redolent of both Dadaism and Surrealism, Tęte humaine transcends the movements that dominated European Modernism at the time with a visionary expression.

The Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale will also offer significant works by other iconic artists, including Paul Gauguin’s Cabane sous les arbres from his Tahitian period (est. $5/7 million), Kees van Dongen’s L’Équilibriste that was painted at the height of the artist’s Fauve years (est. $4/6 million), and Pierre Bonnard’s Femme sortant du bain, an example of his renowned female nudes (est. $3/5 million). The evening auction will also offer a suite of ten important lithographs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – Mr. Forstmann purchased Elles (Wittrock 155-165) at Sotheby’s May 1999 auction of Impressionist and Modern Art from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney (est. $400/600,000).

Contemporary Art Evening Auction – New York, 9 May 2012
The following week, Sotheby’s will offer three outstanding paintings by Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Arshile Gorky. The group will be led by Lichtenstein’s Sailboats III, an interpretation of a theme that has been explored by artists for centuries (est. $6/8 million). In this and other series the artist worked on in the early and mid-1970s, he looked to the Cubists as well as more traditional paintings for inspiration. Sailboats III is the most evolved work from this series, and stands as a seminal composition of movement, geometry and color.

The Ring from 1981 is a striking self-portrait by Basquiat, which portrays the artist as a warrior poised for battle in the boxing ring, his arrow raised and ready to strike (est. $4/6 million). The work offers a rare insight into the mind of one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed yet tormented artists. Arshile Gorky’s Khorkom stands at the crossroads of European Surrealism and American Abstract Expressionism, painted during a time when the artist was looking to memories of his childhood in Armenia to inform his works (est. $3/4 million). The Surrealist movement that was gaining traction in New York in the 1930s was a major influence, and helped the artist to develop his individual style of painting. Traces of Cubism also can be seen in Gorky’s paintings from the 1930s, including the present work.

Theodore J. Forstmann
Theodore J. Forstmann was the senior founding partner of the preeminent investment firm Forstmann Little & Co. and the Chairman and CEO of IMG Worldwide Holdings, Inc. Forstmann was a pioneer of the leveraged buyout and a forerunner in the development of private equity as an industry who, for more than three decades, compiled an unparalleled record of investment performance which generated superior returns for Forstmann Little’s investors. His impact was profound: Mayor Michael Bloomberg commented, “Teddy saw the world more clearly than most people – and the thing that I admired most about him is that he always had the courage to act on his convictions.”

Nowhere was that conviction more lasting or meaningful than in his philanthropy. Mr. Forstmann was a founder and major contributor to numerous philanthropic causes, with a particular focus on helping disadvantaged children all over the world. In 1998 he co-founded the Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF), the country’s largest charity helping parents send their children to the schools of their choice. CSF is heralded not only for changing the lives of thousands of children, but also for spotlighting the huge demand for educational alternatives to the current system. His tireless efforts to improve the lives of children expanded well beyond the United States and were truly extraordinary in scope. As a Director of the International Rescue Committee, he established a medical program for war-injured children in Bosnia. And as the only non-African Trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, he worked to relieve the plight of South African street children by providing education, shelter and medical care. As Mayor Bloomberg recalled: “Teddy was an outsider to the end – because he knew that was where you had to be if you wanted to change the world. And Teddy wanted not only to change the world – he wanted to save it. Teddy always said if you save one child, you save the world. And Teddy saved the world many times over.”

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

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