Thursday, February 9, 2017

"Oprah Said to Snag $150 Million Selling Klimt to Chinese Buyer"

From Bloomberg:
  • Private deal was one of last year’s biggest art transactions
  • ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II’ gained 71% since 2006
The art world is feeling Oprah Winfrey’s Midas touch.
The billionaire entrepreneur sold a Gustav Klimt painting for $150 million in one of the biggest private art deals of 2016, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. Winfrey, chief executive officer of the television channel Oprah Winfrey Network, bought “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” for $87.9 million in 2006 at Christie’s in New York -- still an auction record for the Austrian artist. Since then, its value has risen about 71 percent.

The work is the second major Klimt that changed hands since the art market started contracting. Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev sold “Water Serpents II” (1904-1907) privately for $170 million in November 2015, according to Sandy Heller, Rybolovlev’s art consultant. Both Klimts went to Asia, where booming wealth has built a growing network of collectors eager to anchor their art holdings with Western masterpieces.

“Klimt is on the list of some people,” said Grace Rong Li, who advises Asian collectors on Western modern and contemporary art. The appeal of the artist, known for his golden-hued “The Kiss,” is both aesthetic and financial, she added.

“Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II,” from 1912, depicts a woman in a long, narrow robe and halo-like black hat, standing against an ornate background of mauve and green. The subject, Bloch-Bauer, was the wife of a Jewish industrialist and art patron in Vienna. 

Geffen Connection
In 2014, Winfrey lent the painting anonymously to the Museum of Modern Art for five years, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. The loan was arranged by entertainment mogul David Geffen, who is Winfrey’s friend and a benefactor of the museum, the person said.

Representatives for Winfrey and Geffen declined to comment.

While the Klimt was hanging at MOMA’s fifth-floor galleries last year, Winfrey was approached through Geffen by art dealer Larry Gagosian, who had a potential buyer lined up, said the person. Winfrey was willing to let it go for $150 million, according to the person....MORE
On private sales: "Sotheby’s Hires Wall Street Vet to Head Private Sales" (BID)
On Rybolovlev: "Big Money: What Geneva’s Art King Lost in Battle with Russian Billionaire"

July 2012
Would You Like to Come Up and See Mein Klimt?

October 2012
"The Greatest Fake-Art Scam in History?"
For some reason saying "Would you like to come up and see mein Campendonk" doesn't elicit the same response as "Would You Like to Come Up and See Mein Klimt?".
January 2015
The Astonishingly Clever Ways the Chinese Launder Money and Move Assets

Here's the one Ronald (Thanks Mom)  Lauder dropped $135 mil. on:

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907)