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Sotheby’s Says Albee’s Artworks Could Bring Up to $12 Million


Milton Avery’s oil painting “Meditation,” right, in Edward Albee’s loft in TriBeCa. The painting is part of a Sotheby’s auction of Albee’s art collection.


The dominant aesthetic in Edward Albee’s art collection was abstraction and tough-mindedness, not unlike that of some of his plays.

Collectors can buy a piece of that legacy on Sept. 26, when Sotheby’s in New York auctions more than 100 works owned by Albee, the Pulitzer- and Tony-winning playwright who died in 2016 at 88. The sale has an overall estimate of $8 million to $12 million.

Two of the big-ticket items are Jean Arp’s painted wood relief “The Two Sisters” (1927), estimated to fetch $2.5 million to $3.5 million, and Milton Avery’s oil “Meditation” (1960), expected to bring $2 million to $3 million. Both rely on simple shapes and strong, bold colors.

“There’s a spareness of gestures in the works that mirrors the spareness of language in his plays — only the essentials,” said Amy Cappellazzo, executive vice president and chairwoman of the fine art division at Sotheby’s.

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