Rare Untitled V by Willem de Kooning will be major highlight at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale, New York, scheduled for November 13th. Painting which belonging to a rare and celebrated series from 1975, is expected to fetch $25 – 35 million. The work was originally purchased by the owner of the Fourcade Droll Gallery, NYC, the year it was painted, when he paid about $100,000 for it.
Untitled V hasn’t been seen in public since 1980. A large-scale painting (70 by 80 inches) is very rich in color – suffused with blazing hues of reds and yellows balanced by cooler blues and creamy whites.
“The unveiling of ‘Untitled V’ and the other Fourcade gallery exhibition paintings in the autumn of 1975, marked the renaissance of Willem de Kooning,” said Tobias Meyer, worldwide head of contemporary art at Sotheby’s. “Today, the force of the work is as powerful and affecting as it was 40 years ago.”
The auction record for any de Kooning work was achieved at Christie’s New York in November 2006, when his slightly later “Untitled XXV” (1977) sold for $27,120,000 to New York dealer Nicholas Maclean (unpublished estimate). This was the highest price for a Post-War work at the time.