March 4, 2010 / 12:44 PM / 9 years ago

Sotheby's to sell modern collection in Amsterdam

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Sotheby’s will offer more than 160 works of post-war and contemporary art from the Peter Stuyvesant Collection which it expects will raise 4-5 million euros.

The collection was started by Alexander Orlow, who in 1960 invited 13 artists from 13 European countries to create paintings for the production hall at the Turmac Tobacco Company in the Netherlands as a way of brightening up the workplace.

He specified that the works should be large in scale and with vivid colors and shapes to fit in with his theme of “joie de vivre.” He noted that productivity actually increased after their installation.

The March 8 sale in Amsterdam includes artists who fetched new auction records at a recent sale in London, and Sotheby’s is hoping that demand is as strong next week.

Featuring in the auction will be Gunther Uecker and Jan Schoonhoven, two of the stars of Sotheby’s contemporary art sale last month.

An Uecker work fetched $1.3 million, more than five times its pre-sale estimate, and another by Schoonhoven raised $1.2 million, about four times expectations.

The auction helped launch their names on the international art market, which has seen a strong revival after the downturn caused by the global financial crisis and recession.

The works on offer in Amsterdam are the property of British American Tobacco The Netherlands and form the largest collection of post-war and contemporary art ever to come to auction in the country.

They are the latest corporate art collection to go under the hammer at Sotheby’s. The auctioneer recently set a world auction record when a Giacometti statue sold for $104.3 million in London after the work was offered to the market by Commerzbank.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, Editing by Paul Casciato

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