David Bowie's private art collection to go on display and sale

A view at items on display during the press preview of the exhibition David Bowie Is at the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, Italy, July 13.
A view at items on display during the press preview of the exhibition David Bowie Is at the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, Italy, July 13.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (Reuters) - David Bowie's private art collection, including works by Henry Moore and Damien Hirst, will go on display to the public for the first time before heading for auction later this year, Sotheby's said on Thursday.

The three-part sale in November will feature around 400 items from the pop icon's private collection and is seen fetching "in excess of 10 million pounds" (S$17.94 million), a spokeswoman for the auction house said.

Bowie, who died aged 69 in January, straddled the worlds of music, fashion, drama and art for five decades, and was known for some of the most innovative songs of his generation. However, his art collector side "was something he kept almost entirely hidden from public view", Sotheby's said.

"Eclectic, unscripted, understated: David Bowie's collection offers a unique insight into the personal world of one of the 20th century's greatest creative spirits," said Sotheby's Europe chairman Oliver Barker in a statement.

Among works to be featured is late American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat's Air Power painting, estimated between 2.5 million and 3.5 million pounds, and Hirst's kaleidoscopic Beautiful, Shattering, Slashing, Violent, Pinky, Hacking, Sphincter Painting, seen fetching between 250,000 and 350,000 pounds.

There are also sculptures and design furniture, including a 1960s record player by Italian brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.

The collection will be exhibited at Sotheby's galleries in London in early November. Before that, the auction house will hold previews around the world.