Jackson Pollock’s masterpiece, Number 5 (Elegant Lady), painted in 1951, will be sold by Christie’s in New York on May 13. The painting which was bought by the German power company E.ON SE’s predecessor company Veba AG for about 1 million Deutsche marks ($500,000) in 1980 could now fetch $15 million to $20 million. Proceeds from the sale will support E.ON’s art and culture spending for the next few years.
“The sale of Number 5 (Elegant Lady, 1951) offers the rare opportunity for collectors to acquire a late Jackson Pollock masterpiece with exceptional provenance. This work has been owned by two legendary dealers from both sides of the Atlantic – the celebrated New York dealer Martha Jackson and one of the most powerful gallerists of Post-War Germany Alfred Schmela. It‘s an honor for Christie‘s to support E.ON to continue pursuing its outstanding dedication to the arts by facilitating this sale”, commented Robert Manley, International Director Post-War and Contemporary Art New York and Herrad Schorn, Director Post-War and Contemporary Art Düsseldorf.
” We do not part with Number 5 (Elegant Lady, 1951) easily, but this sale will allow us to secure E.ON‘s engagement with art and culture for years to come” explained Dr. Johannes Teyssen, CEO E.ON SE and Dorothee Gräfin von Posadowsky – Wehner, Head of Arts & Culture E.ON SE. Christie‘s holds the world auction record for a work by Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956) with Number 19 (1948) sold for $58,363,750 (£38,520,075/€45,523,725), in New York on May 15, 2013 in the Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Sale.