Sotheby's & ICA join forces for 75th anniversary auction during Frieze Week

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Sotheby's & ICA join forces for 75th anniversary auction during Frieze Week
Prem Sahib, Horizons VI, Estimate £4,000-6,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Sotheby’s London & ICA, 28 September 2022: Next month will see the ICA and Sotheby’s join forces to raise funds to benefit the pioneering contemporary art institution in its 75th year. More than 20 internationally renowned artists have generously donated artworks, with Yinka Shonibare, John Currin and Raymond Pettibon each creating entirely new pieces for this sale. All of the artists involved have played an important part in the ICA’s history, and conversely, many credit the institute with inspiring their work and supporting their practice from the very beginning of their careers.

Encompassing sculpture, paintings, prints and appliqué, highlights of the auction include a vibrant canvas by Richard Prince, who in 1983 staged a solo exhibition at the ICA, a 2019 watercolour by Anish Kapoor and a large-scale fluid Freischwimmer print by ICA’s Chair, Wolfgang Tillmans. Enrico David, whose first major public exhibition took place at the institution in 2007, has also donated an artwork alongside Tacita Dean, Marlene Dumas, Isa Genzken and Antony Gormley, among others.

The collection will go on public view in Sotheby’s London galleries from 8 October, before the works are offered as part of the Contemporary Art Day Auction on 15 October. Proceeds from the auction will support the future of the ICA which, since its inception, has been a progressive, alternative, and safe place for artists who are looking beyond the mainstream: the ones who are willing to go beyond the status quo, the artists who take risks and defy definitions. Under the leadership of new director Bengi Ünsal, the ICA hopes to continue in its mission to present a multidisciplinary programme across the arts and media – which challenges the past, questions the present and confronts the future – for the next 75 years.

Sotheby’s shares a long-standing association with the ICA, previously hosting an auction in celebration of the institute’s 60th anniversary in 2008. The proceeds from this sale helped establish a commissioning fund for emerging artists and provided resources for a new education programme. In 1997, Sotheby’s also staged a benefit auction at The Savoy in London honouring five decades of the ICA.


Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor, who was first shown at the ICA in the 1980s, has donated Untitled, a 2019 watercolour which will be offered with an estimate of £50,000 – £70,000.

When asked what the ICA means to him, Kapoor said: ‘The ICA has been a vital part of London’s contemporary world since 1946. It has since its inception championed the new, the inventive and the daring. Today across our world the contemporary is under assault from right wing conservatism and neo nationalism – the ICA thankfully is one of the few institutions that continues its work to re-establish the modern, the multicultural, the progressive. It is needed now more than ever. I wholeheartedly welcome the ICA’s new director Bengi Ünsal and wish her to know of the support of many, many artist colleagues.’

Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas, who staged a self-titled exhibition at the ICA in 1993, donated her portrait, Sweets for my Sweet (1998, est. £100,000 – 150,000). Speaking to the ICA, in her own words, she said: ‘The ICA is simply the best, better than all the rest! It was the most exciting place a younger me ever showed at. The talks dealt with issues that the official artworld is only waking up to now. Punk and reflective at the same time. What a history and present to cherish!’

Antony Gormley
Est. £65,000 – £85,000

‘The ICA has always championed the new and with its galleries, bookshop, café, and performance space offers platforms in which art in all its forms can be shared and discussed. The ICA has always been a catalyst for a full engagement with life and art. My life as an artist amongst other artists was initiated in the 1981 Objects and Sculpture show curated by Sandy Nairne and Iwona Blazwick – it was a launchpad like no other.’

Merlin James

Cardiff-born artist Merlin James reminisces ‘I started going to the ICA as soon as I got
to London at the end of the ’70s. It always felt bohemian despite, or because of, its unlikely location in the foundations of grand regency London. I remember things like the Women’s Depictions of Men exhibition and the Richter, and there was always a great film programme. Painting didn’t seem high on the agenda, but I had catalogues from earlier eras when they had shown, say, Jean Fautrier. And then they suddenly did an Alex Katz show when a lot of people here were only just waking up to him, and a Thomas Scheibitz show...’


• Raymond Pettibon
No Title (However I Am...)
Est. £200,000 – £300,000
This work on paper was created by Raymond Pettibon especially for the auction.

• Alvaro Barrington
Leaving on a jet plane
Est. £18,000 – £25,000

• Tacita Dean
Bubble House (spray)
Est. £10,000 – £15,000

• Isa Genzken
Est. £80,000 – £120,000

• Robert Gober
Rat Bait
Est. £80,000–£120,000

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