Sotheby’s to Sell Picasso, Soutine and Miro From Forstmann Estate


A Picasso portrait of Dora Maar will lead a group of works from the collection of late financier and philanthropist Theodore J. Forstmann that will sell at Sotheby’s on May 2. The canvas, Femme assise dans un fateuil (1941), is estimated at $20–$30 million. The artist’s Dora Maar au chat from the same year sold at Sotheby’s in 2006 for $95.2 million.

Other notable works from the estate include Chaim Soutine’s Le chasseur de chez Maxim’s (est. $10–15 million) and Le Chasseur (est. $4–6 million), both painted in Paris in the 1920s. The former work set an auction record for the artist when Forstmann paid $6.7 million for it in 2004. Joan Miro’s Tête Humaine (est. $10–15 million) dates from 1931 and represents, Sotheby’s says, “the moment in which he created a wholly unique visual language.”

Bringing the sale closer to the contemporary is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s The Ring (1981), a self-portrait showing the artist in a boxing ring, holding aloft a large arrow. It’s estimated to sell for $4–6 million.

Forstmann was the senior founding partner of the investment firm Forstmann Little & Co., and is described in a press release as “a pioneer of the leveraged buyout.” He collected contemporary art, American art and Latin American art in addition to Impressionist and modern. He died in November.

Pablo Picasso, Femme assise dans un fauteuil, 1941, Oil on canvas, Est. $20/30 million.