Sotheby’s to Unveil David Bowie’s Personal Art Collection

by Charlotte Smith

David Bowie’s Personal Art Collection to be Unveiled for the First Time Important Paintings by 20th-Century Masters including Basquiat, Hirst… #BowieCollector

and Auerbach to Lead a Major 10-Day Exhibition and Auction at Sotheby’s in London this Autumn.  Definitive Works of 20th-Century Design. Including Bowie’s Record Player.


Basquiat, Air Power (1984)

David Bowie’s Personal Art Collection to be Unveiled for the First Time

Musician, actor, icon – David Bowie was for almost 50 years one of the most recognised and revered artists in the world, his influence transcending music to shape the wider culture of our time. His life as an art collector, however, was something he kept almost entirely hidden from public view. Now, for the first time, this little-known side of Bowie will be fully revealed.

“Art was, seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own. It has always been for me a stable nourishment. I use it. It can change the way I feel in the mornings. The same work can change me in different ways, depending on what I’m going through.”

– David Bowie, quoted in The New York Times, 1998 –

David Bowie, Beautiful, shattering, slashing.....(1995)

In November this year, Sotheby’s will stage “Bowie/Collector” – a three-part sale comprising around 400 items from the private collection of David Bowie. At its heart will be Bowie’s collection of Modern and Contemporary British art – a richly stimulating group of over 200 works by many of the most important British artists of the 20th-century, including Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Frank Auerbach and Damien Hirst. Bowie’s famously inquisitive mind also led him to Outsider Art, Surrealism, Contemporary African art and, not least, to the work of the eccentric Italian designer Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis group. This is a collection put together with great thoughtfulness on the basis not of reputation but of Bowie’s highly personal, intellectual response to the individual vision and individual works of particular artists.



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