Tech Billionaire Paul Allen Is Likely Seller of $35 Million Gerhard Richter at Phillips

Is the world's 40th richest man selling his private 'jet'?

Gerhard Richter, Jet Fighter (1963). Image courtesy of Phillips.

Tech billionaire and founder of the Seattle Art Fair, Paul Allen is the likely consignor of a Gerhard Richter photo-realist painting of a jet, Düsenjager (1963), that will be offered by Phillips at its major evening auction next month (November 16) with an asking price of of up to $35 million, according to a report in Bloomberg by Katya Kazakina.

Michael Sherman, a spokesman for Phillips, declined to comment to Bloomberg.

According to the artnet Price Database, the painting last sold at auction in 2007, for $11.2 million at Christie’s New York, against an estimate of $10–15 million. Allen was the buyer at the time, sources confirmed to artnet News. The current auction record for Richter is $46.3 million, the price paid for Abstraktes bild (1986) at Sotheby’s London in February 2015.

According to data recently analyzed by artnet News and artnet Analytics, Richter tops the list of living artists whose work has sold at auction by volume in the past few years, with total sales of over $1 billion.

As the Bloomberg report notes, there are quite a few Richters on the auction block this fall; there are at least 18 of the artist’s works slated for sale, and the estimate for the combined group, largely made up of abstract paintings, is $114.3–to $165.2 million. Sotheby’s alone is offering ten pieces, from the collection of Steven and Ann Ames, while Christie’s has four works, including one consigned by Eric Clapton, which is priced in the region of $20 million.

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