Anton & Annick Herbert's minimal art collection auctions at Christie's

Christie's has announced its auction of November 9 featuring selected works from the celebrated Anton and Annick Herbert Collection of Minimal Art, Conceptual Art and Arte Povera.

Formed in Ghent, Belgium, by the Herberts, beginning in the 1960s, the collection is considered to be one of the most important in the world and has been exhibited publicly all over Europe.

The collection is notable for its high quality, its critical engagement with key issues of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and its origins in the personal relationships enjoyed by the Herberts with the visionary artists they supported.

A total of 35 exceptional pieces from the collection will be offered at auction in New York on November 9 and are expected to fetch $5 million to $7 million in support of establishing the Herbert Art Center.

The Anton and Annick Herbert Collection is a unique assembly of works, collected over the course of three decades and encompassing the pivotal years 1968 to 1989.

These dates, so significant in the course of history, include the counter-revolutionary youth movements that moved across Europe, and the fall of the Berlin Wall that dramatically radicalised the social and cultural sphere in the West.


Carl Andre

The intriguing piece Steel Lead Alloy Square by Carl Andre

The artists that Annick and Anton Herbert have championed and continue to support have all played a critical part in the evolutions of this era.

Uniting names such as Carl Andre, Giovanni Anselmo, Robert Barry, Hanne Darboven, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Bruce Nauman, Mike Kelley, Franz West, Lawrence Wiener and Martin Kippenberger, the collection includes some of the greatest adherents of Minimalism, Art Povera and Conceptual Art, as well as those ciphers acting in the spaces between.

Together, the works in the collection form an open dialogue, capturing the essence of contemporary debate during this pivotal moment in art history.

The auction of this section of the collection provides an extraordinary opportunity for others to participate in a spirit of adventure best expressed by Anton Herbert himself when he said, "We have not collected works of art, but a new way of thinking."

"It is an absolute privilege for Christies to be able to handle selected works from the collection of Annick and Anton Herbert, quite simply one of the most important and defining collections of post-war art," said Francis Outred, International Director, Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art, Europe, at Christie's.

"Encompassing all of the elements which have driven their refined taste over forty years of collecting, the auction encompasses key works from the Minimalist, Conceptual and Arte Povera movements as well as their artistic inheritors in the 1980s.


Sol Lewitt
Sol Lewitt's work Untitled is also among the collection's coveted highlights

"Each work represents a journey for the Herberts. Extremely analytical about the nature of their collecting, they have thought carefully about each choice they have made and each artistic relationship they have developed.

"They were central to the development of a small, close knit community of artists, collectors and dealers who supported these movements at their birth when there was much scepticism.

"However that support has borne fruit as an inspiration to thousands of artists working today and these ideas have in turn inspired many of the tendencies of art in the 21st century. As a result, a trip to the Herbert's collection has been likened to a pilgrimage to other artistic meccas like Marfa and Dia."

According to Outred, the decision to sell has been a very difficult one for the Herberts, since they have always determined not to sell works from their collection.

"However the chance to create a lasting legacy in the Herbert Art Center in Ghent which will archive this historic artistic journey makes this more than worthwhile. The auction will create a once in a lifetime chance to acquire works from this historic collection."

Watch this space for more news on the sale.

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