American businessman and philanthropist
is selling 30 artworks from his collection to raise money for the Summit Foundation, a nonprofit he founded to improve the wellbeing of the planet and people.
The selection will be auctioned across a series of sales at Christie’s in New York, with an estimated total in excess of US$50 million.
“For over 30 years, the foundation has been innovating to develop sustainable practices globally, with the mission of creating a better future for the planet and all its inhabitants,” Sant said in a statement through Christie’s. Proceeds from the sale will “support the impactful work of the foundation.”
Sant, who is in his early 90s, worked at the Federal Energy Administration before starting his own energy company, AES Corporation, based in Virginia, in 1981. He is the co-founder and chairman of Summit Foundation, which focuses on three areas: gender equality, environmental protection, and urban sustainability.
He has also served on the boards of many cultural and environmental institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Symphony Orchestra, the PBS Foundation, and the World Wildlife Fund, among others. He has an estimated net worth of US$1.7 billion.
Leading the collection is
Untitled, from 1989, with a presale estimate of between US$10 million and US$15 million. The diptych combines powerful brushwork with subtle intricacies of color the artist was known for.
The auction record for Mitchell, an American abstract expressionist painter and printmaker was set by a 1969 painting Blueberry, which sold at Christie’s for US$16.6 million in 2018.
Another highlight is
Pêcheur et baigneurs sur l’Aven, with an estimated value between US$6 million and US$8 million. Painted in late summer of 1888, the canvas depicts a fisherman and several bathers on the banks of the River Aven in Brittany, France. This painting is the only one devoted to this scene, according to Christie’s.
Works by Gauguin, a French post-impressionist artist rarely come onto the market. In 2014, his painting, Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?), was reportedly sold through a private deal for US$300 million, one of the highest prices achieved for any artwork.
Highlights from Sant’s collection will be on a global touring exhibition, with stops in Hong Kong, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, and New York through October.