Sotheby’s to Auction Peter Brant and Stephanie Seymour’s Extensive Art and Design Collection
The sale on December 8 features canvases by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Prince, and Keith Haring as well as collectible pieces by Charlotte Perriand, Jean Royère, and Jean Prouvé
The auction world has been buzzing with excitement following the recent blockbuster sales of several major collections as well as the staggering sums being achieved for works by design titans such as Charlotte Perriand, Jean Prouvé, and Ettore Sottsass. Now, a new auction is taking place at Sotheby’s that will deliver the best of both worlds. On December 8, the house will host the live sale “Prouvé x Basquiat: Art and Design from the Collection of Peter M. Brant and Stephanie Seymour.”
“I’ve never put together a sale of furniture or paintings before; I’ve sold individual works but not like this,” Brant says in the auction catalog. “This collection comes from a space that we own in SoHo. The space was so special and took many years to put together.”
Among the more than 70 lots are number of notable canvases, including major artworks by Keith Haring, Richard Prince, Tom Sachs, Glenn Ligon, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose work Brant and Seymour displayed to great acclaim at the opening of their downtown art foundation in 2019. “I generally like mid-career artists that I thought were great when they were younger and are still great today,” Brant states. “Ultimately what you try to do is find a period that transports you someplace that you really like, and then figure out what is the highest quality work of that period. You want to see the furniture maker, artist, or architect at his best, not at his worst. But also understand that sometimes what you perceive as being his worst now, might be considered his best in 25 years.”
Just as the couple majestically melded their art collection into their living spaces, the sale, too, artfully incorporates pieces of collectible design. Included in the upcoming sale will be notable furniture items, such as a George Nelson Marshmallow sofa, a Pierre Paulin Tongue chair, a pair of Jean Royerè Ours Polaire chairs and matching sofa, and a Jean Prouvé Centrale (Trapèze) table. “Many of these pieces were being used in public institutions more so than for private use, and the designs were incredibly simple, wonderful and pure,” Brant says in the catalog.
Additionally, the live auction on December 8 will include works by other highly sought after designers, such as Prototype desk by George Nakashima, lamps by Serge Mouille and Paavo Tynell, and a Prehistoric Sleigh II bed by Julian Schnabel, just one of two models made, cast from the artist’s 1986 sculpture Tomb for Joseph Beuys. “When the furniture and art are great, they tend to live with one another very nicely,” states Brant. “My wife and I have always enjoyed looking for furniture, visiting museums, and reading about the makers and the periods. As a collector, I commit my time and resources to research these objects. At the same time, I always say that collecting is like a disease that only poverty will cure. You are constantly wanting to go to the next level and purchase more.”