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Christie’s to Sell Entire Ammann Art Collection

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Just two weeks after announcing that it would sell an important 1964 Andy Warhol silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe from the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich, Christie’s on Wednesday said that it would also handle the sale of the rest of that collection, including works by Robert Ryman, Cy Twombly and Francesco Clemente.

“It’s a really interesting time capsule of the artists that they cared about the most,” Marc Porter, the chairman of Christie’s Americas, said in a telephone interview. “It’s the artists that Thomas and Doris were introducing to European audiences in what was really a preglobal art economy. They were the great dealers of Zurich.”

Thirty-six works from the foundation will be sold on the evening of May 9, with about 60 others to be sold at a still-unscheduled day sale after that. Sotheby’s is holding its spring sales May 16, 17 and 19; Phillips on May 18 and 19.

Cy Twombly’s “Venere Sopra Gaeta.”Credit…Christie’s

Among the other 20th-century artists in the selection of 36 works are Brice Marden, Martin Kippenberger, Mike Bidlo and Elaine Sturtevant. The siblings Doris and Thomas Ammann, who founded Thomas Ammann Fine Art in 1977, collected not for investment purposes but out of passion.

“These are not only wonderful paintings but are also historically important paintings that have never been offered for sale,” Alex Rotter, Christie’s chairman for 20th- and 21st-century art, said in an interview. “This was their personal collection.”

The Marilyn silkscreen has been estimated to fetch $200 million, which would make it the most expensive 20th-century artwork ever to sell at auction.

Proceeds of the sales will go toward the Ammann Foundation, which supports health care and educational programs for children.

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