An auction of three dozen items from art collector and gallerist Adam Lindemann at Christie’s Thursday yielded approximately $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.
The sale, titled ADAM: Works from the Collection of Adam Lindemann, was considered notable because it wasn’t held for the traditional reasons of death, divorce, or debt; it featured living artists; and it prominently featured the name of the seller.
“Some of the proceeds” of the sale will go toward 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 told The New York Times. Lindemann, who is the head of the wing’s steering committee, declined to specify an exact number 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 Koons 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.