Perelman to Sell Rothko, De Kooning Works at Christie’s Auction

Ronald Perelman, who’s sold more than $200 million of art from his extensive collection in recent months, is putting more trophies on the block.

The billionaire owner of Revlon Inc. is offering a group of works at a Christie’s auction on Oct. 6 that could bring more than $180 million, including paintings by Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the pieces are being offered anonymously.

Since the end of July, Sotheby’shas disposed of more than $200 million of Perelman’s art, both privately and at auction. Some proceeds from the sales were slated to pay down loans from Citigroup Inc., according to people with knowledge of the arrangements.

Representatives for Perelman and Christie’s declined to comment.

Perelman’s offerings have been a major boon for auction houses in what has been a difficult year for the art market. The global pandemic dramatically reduced the volume of sales, canceled live events and upended the decades-old calendar and formats.

Christie’s added the October sale — which will be live-streamed from New York — ahead of its traditional November auctions. Perelman’s consignment was finalized this week and by Friday paintings by Rothko and de Kooning were in Hong Kong for private viewings, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Perelman’s investment company, MacAndrews & Forbes, said in July it was reworking its holdings in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the ravages it caused to American businesses, including his own. The 77-year-old said in a statement last week that the time had come for him “to clean house, simplify and give others the chance to enjoy some of the beautiful things that I’ve acquired just as I have for decades.”

Read more: Perelman Selling Almost Everything as Pandemic Roils His Empire

Christie’s said it will offer Rothko’s 1967 “Untitled,” with a $30 million to $50 million estimate. The work last sold at auction for $1.2 million in 1998, according to the Artnet database. Perelman bought it privately in 2002.

De Kooning’s 1953-1955 “Woman (Green)” may fetch $20 million to $30 million, according to Christie’s website.

Also on Oct. 6, Sotheby’s will offer an abstract canvas by Gerhard Richter, owned by Perelman and estimated at $15 million to $18 million, at its contemporary auction in Hong Kong, testing Asia’s demand for high-end Western contemporary art.

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