Christie’s auction of three dozen items from art collector and gallerist Adam Lindemann yielded nearly $31.5 million, with many items going well above their high estimates.
The evening sale on March 9 from the owner of the Venus Over Manhattan gallery included items by Jeff Koons, Jim Nutt, Etel Adnan, Andy Warhol, Karen Kilimnik and Jean Royère, as well as a 1974 Ducati motorcycle and an NFT by the digital artist Beeple of the singer Madonna.
Lindemann’s auction was considered notable because it wasn’t held due for the traditional reasons of death, divorce or debt; it featured living artists; and prominently featured the name of the seller. Christie’s even titled the sale “ADAM: Works from the Collection of Adam Lindemann“.
Some of the proceeds of the sale will go towards to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s renovation of its Michael C. Rockefeller wing, which includes works from sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, and the ancient Americas. Lindemann is the head of the wing’s steering committee and declined to specify an exact number in an interview with the New York Times beyond “seven figures”.
“I love African, Oceanic and pre-Columbian art. I’ve studied it my entire life,” he told the New York Times. “The first great work of art I bought was a fang from the French artist and collector Arman.”
The highest selling lots were Alexander Calder’s tuning fork mobile Black Disc with Flags ($5.46 million), Jean Royére’s ‘Ours Polaire’ Sofa and Pair of Armchairs ($3.42 million), Andy Warhol’s signed acrylic and silkscreen work Little Electric Chair ($4.5 million), Damien Hirst’s medicine cabinet The Sleep of Reason from his 2004 Pharmacy series ($2.22 million), and the Jeff Koon’s wood sculpture Ushering in Banality ($3.9 million).
Lindemann’s reputation for acquiring works and then selling them at much higher prices includes the sale of a 1982 canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat at Christie’s for $57.3 million in 2016 (he bought it for $4.5 million in 2004), as well as the sale of Jeff Koons’s Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold) at Sotheby’s for $23.5 million after purchasing it for $1.2 million in 2003.
He is also the author of the 2006 book Collecting Contemporary Art and wrote an art column for the New York Observer for four years.