The private art collection of David Bowie is to be revealed to the public for the first time.
The musician’s life as a collector was something he kept almost entirely hidden from public view.
But now, nearly 300 works by artists including Damien Hirst, Henry Moore and Marcel Duchamp will go on display at Sotheby’s in London, before being sold at auction in November.
The paintings are collectively expected to fetch more than £10m.
“David Bowie’s collection offers a unique insight into the personal world of one of the 20th Century’s greatest creative spirits,” said Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe. Most of the works are by 20th Century British artists, with pictures by Stanley Spencer, Patrick Caulfield and Peter Lanyon.
Born and raised in South London, David Bowie was also drawn to chroniclers of the capital’s streets such as Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach.
In 1998 Bowie told the New York Times, “My God, yeah – I want to sound like that looks,” in response to the work of Auerbach.
He was also fascinated by British landscapes and collected works by artists including John Virtue. Seven of his monochrome works are included in the sale.
But the broad ranging collection is not limited to British art. Among the more maverick works is a piece by Duchamp – A Bruit Secret – in which he placed a ball of string between two brass plates, with an unknown object hidden in the middle. It is expected to fetch up to £250,000. The American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s graffiti-style painting Air Power is the most valuable lot in the auction, with an estimated value of between £2.5m – £3.5m.