THE SEMINAL KOONS SCULPTURE, A BERLIN LANDMARK, HAILS FROM THE WORLD RENOWNED DAIMLER ART COLLECTION
Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Christie’s New York – November 10, 2010
New York/London – Jeff Koons’ magnificent Balloon Flower (Blue) will highlight Christie’s New York’s November 2010 Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale. The work, executed from 1995-2000 is estimated from $12,000,000 to $16,000,000.
Balloon Flower (Blue) is one of Koons’ most important outdoor sculptures and belongs to his acclaimed and beloved Celebration series, which has contributed to the artist’s global status and taken his market to the highest level at auction. In July 2008 Koons’ Balloon Flower (Magenta), 1995-2000, another unique version of this sculpture, broke a world record for the artist at auction, selling at Christie’s London for $25,752,051. There are only five Balloon Flowers in existence, each a different color.
Koons’ Celebration series is inspired by the trappings of holidays, birthdays and other special occasions. Koons rendered these works with brilliant reflective surfaces and vibrant colors that suggest a perpetual cycle of happiness and optimism. Other large-scale sculptures in the Celebration series include hanging hearts, diamonds and balloon dogs.
Images of flowers have played an especially important role in Koons’ work over the course of his career. Balloon Flower, for Koons, specifically commemorates the springtime when blossoms begin to grow, and the optimism that accompanies that moment of the year. As Koons once stated, “I have always enjoyed flowers. Since taking art lessons as a child, I have had flowers in my work. I always like the sense that a flower just displays itself. The viewer always finds grace in a flower. Flowers are a symbol that life goes forward.”
A highlight of the Daimler Art Collection, Balloon Flower (Blue), was acquired directly from the artist and has for many years graced Berlin’s famous Potsdamer Platz. Its monumental curves, with their idiosyncratic reflections of the surrounding cityscape, made it a notable landmark of contemporary art in the city.
The Daimler Art Collection is part of the automobile company Daimler AG, and was founded over 30 years ago. It comprises almost 2,000 works by over 700 international artists, and has a long established exhibition and global education program. A selection of the collection has been traveling throughout the world and has been on display in major international museums in Germany, Austria, Spain, the United States, South Africa, Japan, Brazil and Argentina, where it has attracted over 500,000 visitors and nearly 50,000 students for its education program. Approximately 30 works of museum quality are acquired each year by the Collection. The proceeds from the sale of Balloon Flower (Blue) will be used to develop the Daimler Art Collection’s commitment to art and securing its long term future.
“It is an honor to be entrusted with the sale of this magnificent sculpture for such a worthy institution as The Daimler Art Collection.” says Brett Gorvy, International Co-head of Contemporary Art and Deputy Chairman, Americas. “Balloon Flower (Blue) is one of the most important sculptures by Jeff Koons and it has long been a beloved landmark in Berlin. We look forward to showcasing it for the first time in America in Rockefeller Plaza, where its beauty and perfection will delight the public and make it the most talked about object for sale this season.”
Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Christie’s New York
November 10, 2010
About The Daimler Art Collection
The Daimler Art Collection was started in 1977 and currently includes almost 2000 works by German and international 20th century artists. The collection focuses on abstract and geometrical pictorial concepts, from which it derives its distinctive character. The starting-point is fundamental tendencies in 20th century Modernism in south-west Germany, and this basic direction has been expanded in the 90s by adding exemplary works by European and American artists. One future policy will be to acquire a representative selection of photography and media art. A changing selection from the collection is accessible to Daimler employees and the public at the company's various locations. As well as this, the Daimler Art Collection started as early as the 80s to acquire a high-calibre ensemble of sculpture by contemporary artists, and this is a striking feature of the company's Stuttgart, Sindelfingen, Ulm and Berlin premises. It is well known for its education program, which it has brought to international venues in Europe, Asia and North and South America.
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction, private and digital sales in 2017 that totalled £5.1 billion / $6.6 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.
Alongside regular sales online, Christie’s has a global presence in 46 countries, with 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.
*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.
*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.