Heritage Finds Middle-Market Sweet Spot with Reiner Estate

Jeff Koons' Ice Bucket makes an appearance.

Jeff Koons Ice Bucket (1986)
Image: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Two years ago, Christie’s raked in millions when it sold property from the estate of esteemed collector and contemporary patron Anita Reiner, including a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting that fetched almost $35 million.

Now Heritage Auctions is following up with some lower priced but still significant artworks from the estate that observers say reflect the strength of mid-market buyers.

“Anita purchased her first piece of art in 1967,” the catalogue quotes Reiner’s youngest daughter, Renée, as stating. “It came from Leo Castelli and cost $540. She asked for and received a 10 percent discount off of the $600 price. It was Andy Warhol’s black-on-black Self Portrait.”

Martin Kippenberger, Untitled I/III (1994)Image: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Martin Kippenberger, Untitled I/III (1994).
Image: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

The highest lot, and the cover lot of Heritage Auctions May 2 evening sale of contemporary art in New York, is a Jeff Koons’ Ice Bucket (1986), one of an edition of three, that was featured in the major Whitney Museum retrospective last year. The Koons bucket is estimated at $300,000 to $500,000.

The three other lots from Reiner’s considerable estate will be offered in the May 2 afternoon session. These include Martin Kippenberger’s Untitled VII (Rosa) (1994), which is estimated at $60,000 to $80,000.

Miquel Barcelò, Melon (1985)Image: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Miquel Barcelò, Melon (1985).
Image: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

In addition, Miquel Barceló’s Melon (1985), is estimated to sell for $25,000–35,000.

Douglas Gordon, always and forever (for sibila) (2001)Image: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Douglas Gordon, always and forever (for sibila) (2001).
Image: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

And Douglas Gordon’s work always and forever (for sibila) (2001) has an estimate of $8,000–12,000.

“Reiner was an avid collector of contemporary art for close to 50 years,” said Leon Benrimon, director of modern and contemporary art at Heritage Auctions in New York, while praising her “legacy and good taste.”

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