A true collector’s treasure, Mo Ostin’s art collection to be auctioned

Music industry giant Mo Ostin’s treasured collection of eclectic artworks, including works by Willem De Kooning, Jean Michel Basquiat and Pablo Picasso, will be presented at Sotheby’s auction.

Mo Ostin

April 19, 2023: Sotheby’s is going to present the art collection of American record executive, Mo Ostin, who led a period of massive commercial success at Warner Bros. Records, and worked with some of the greatest music luminaries, from Joni Mitchell and the Kinks to Jimi Hendrix and others.

A legendary music executive, Mr. Ostin’s contribution was instrumental in the evolution of the music world, but he was also known for his penchant for visual art. His appreciation and acquisition of art was deeply personal. As a child, he visited museums with his parents, and his friendships with avid collectors, such as Steven J. Ross, the late Chairman of Warner Bros., nurtured his fondness for collecting. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat

'Moon View' by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

“Mo saw the best, knew what it was, and acquired it. It is a beautiful thing. To be a part of it is to be a part of history,” said Flea, member of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

A 33-piece collection, reflecting Mr. Ostin’s personal taste and artworks from across generations, will be presented at Sotheby’s on May 16 and 19. The highlights include major works by René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Willem de Kooning, Joan Mitchell and Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

Pablo Picasso

Paysage by Pablo Picasso.

The collection features 'L’Empire des Lumières’, an extraordinary artwork by René Magritte, along with ‘Le Domain d’Arnheim’, inspired by the artist’s favorite author Edgar Allen Poe' stories. The second piece is estimated to achieve $15 million to $25 million.
Having remained in the Ostin collection for 25 years, Joan Mitchell’s expansive ‘Untitled’ is a transcendent icon of the artist’s practice. Executed circa 1958 - during what is widely considered the most formative period in the artist’s career - the work represents the pinnacle of Mitchell’s mastery of the art of abstraction. 

Rene Margarite

L'Empire des Lumieres by Rene Magritte.

Appearing at auction for the first time in more than 30 years, Willem de Kooning’s intensely drawn and richly colored Two Figures from 1946-47 rivals the very best of the artist’s compositions.

Acquired by Mr. Ostin over two decades ago, in 1999, Pablo Picasso’s exuberant ‘Paysage’, which depicts his beloved Mougins, formerly in the collection of Maya Picasso, is a rare example of a landscape within the artist’s prolific oeuvre. Works from Picasso’s late period are limited, with this landscape from 1965 being one of only eight canvases painted in the same month that offer similar views of Mougins. 

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