'Largest art collection' in the Netherlands for sale

Here's a quick reminder that the largest collection of Post War and Contemporary Art ever to come at auction in the Netherlands will sell on Monday (March 8).

As we reported back in December, the former Peter Stuyvesant Collection isn't only remarkable for its size, nor the 1,000 works created by leading artists from 40 countries dating back to the 1950s.

The collection's origins are just as fascinating. In the late-1950s, Alexander Orlow, Managing Director of Turmac Tobacco, put his love for abstract art to industrial use.

Tony by Niki de Saint-Phalle, 1965,

"However complicated the operations of a machine may look, it soon becomes monotonous to a factory worker," he said.

Orlow wanted to improve the employee's working environment, and raise the morale of his dedicated workers.

His method of doing this was eccentric, to say the least.

Year-on-year, Orlow built what would eventually become a world-class collection of colourful contemporary artworks. The art was suspended above workers' factory machinery.

Today, these same artworks - and many others added over the years - will be available to collectors.

Star lots for sale will include Niki de Saint-Phalle's Tony, 1965, (estimated at €250,000-350,000) and Eine prähistorische Hand II, 1996, by Albert Oehlen (€150,000-180,000).

Artists including Karel Appel, Arman, Alighiero Boetti, Corneille, Alan Davie, Simon Hantai, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger and Per Kirkeby will also feature.

The collection is expected realise in excess of €4m when it sells at Sotheby's, next week.


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