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Bowie’s private art collection to be revealed to the public

It's not quite Tutankhamun's tomb, but it's pretty darn exciting.

David Bowie's extensive private art collection is going to be revealed to the public for the first time. Almost 300 works by a huge range of artists are going to go on display at Sotheby's auction house in London, before being sold in November. The total collection is expected to sell for over £10m.

Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby's Europe, stated "David Bowie's collection offers a unique insight into the personal world of one of the 20th Century's greatest creative spirits."

Amongst the vast number of works that will be sold are pieces by Damien Hirst, Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley Spencer, Patrick Caulfield, Peter Lanyon, Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach and John Virtue. Bowie was a fan of 20th Century British artists, as well as images of British landscapes.

Sotheby's describes how, "Bowie’s famously inquisitive mind also led him to collect Outsider Art, Surrealism and Contemporary African art, as well as pieces by eccentric Italian designer Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis group. Bowie's diverse tastes nurtured his extensive archive of important works from celebrated, and less widely-known, artists in a collection of uparalleled eclecticism."

The most valuable piece in the collection is by American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (mentored by Andy Warhol), a graffiti-style painting entitled Air Power. It is expected to sell for a price between £2.5m and £3.5m. Bowie played the role of Warhol in the 1996 film Basquiat and bought the painting the following year.

Bowie told the BBC in 1999 that, "The only thing I buy obsessively and addictively is art," but he never made public the full extent of his collection.

Alongside 267 paintings, more than 120 items of furniture and sculptures will also be auctioned, including a 1960s stereo cabinet designed by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.

The proceeds of the sale will go to Bowie's family, who have cited a lack of space as the reason for the sale.

The collection will be displayed at Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries in London 1-10 November, with preview exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong between July and October - entry to all exhibitions will be free.

(Image: Rex)

[via BBC]