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A $60 million collection of Andy Warhol silkscreens was damaged during last year's highly acclaimed exhibit of the artist's works in Italy, court papers say — and now their megarich owner wants Lloyd’s of London to pay $9 million to compensate for their loss in value.

The Brant Foundation — run by Peter Brant, husband of supermodel Stephanie Seymour — sued the insurance giant in Manhattan Supreme Court Friday, saying Lloyd's had taken premiums to insure the entire Warhol collection — including 12 Electric Chairs — but wasn't abiding by the terms of the policy, which requires it to pay for repairs to damaged artwork and for "any depreciation suffered" as a result.

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Christie’s sold $134.6 million of contemporary art in New York in an hour as international buyers from 26 countries chased after works including Andy Warhol’s electric chair silkscreen and Martin Kippenberger’s slouching man in his underwear.

Titled “If I Live I’ll See You Tuesday,” the auction yesterday surpassed its high target of $124.1 million as 11 artist records were set, including those for Richard Prince, On Kawara, Wade Guyton, Dan Colen and Kippenberger. Of the 35 lots offered, all but one found buyers. Similar to last week’s Impressionist and modern art auctions, Asian collectors competed fiercely, winning at least two of the top 10 lots, Christie’s said.

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Jeff Koons’ coveted sculpture Balloon Dog (Orange) will be part of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale on November 12, 2013 in New York. The avid art collector and paper magnate, Peter Brant, is selling the 10-foot-high sculpture, which is one of the most recognizable pieces of 20th century art. The funds from the sale will be used to create an endowment for the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, which is located in Greenwich, CT and presents two annual exhibitions drawn from Brant’s illustrious collection of contemporary art.

Balloon Dog carries a pre-sale estimate of $35 million to $55 million and is one in a series of five sculptures created in the early 1990s. The other sculptures reside in the collections of renowned collectors Steven A. Cohen, Eli Broad, Francois Pinault and Dakis Joannou.

Brant will hang on to his other works by Koons including a 43-foot-tall terrier made from over 70,000 flowering plants titled Puppy.

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The Contemporary art auction that took place at Sotheby’s Tuesday night made up for any disappointment stemming from last week’s Impressionist and modern art sale. Profits from the Contemporary sale reached $375.1, the highest total for any auction in Sotheby’s history. The previous record of $362 million was set in May of 2008.

The biggest sale of the night, Mark Rothko’s No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue) (1954) stirred up some competition and ended up selling to a telephone bidder for $75.1 million after the auction house’s fees. Other impressive sales included Jackson Pollack’s Number 4, 1951 that brought $40.4 million with fees, a record for the artist, and Francis Bacon’s Untitled (Pope) (1954) that sold for $29.7 million with fees. A number of high-quality works on paper by Andy Warhol also sold well. Green Disaster (Green Disaster Twice) (1963) sold to newsprint tycoon, Peter Brant, for $15.2 million and Suicide sold to the Manhattan art dealer, Philippe Ségalot, for $16.3 million, a record for a Warhol work on paper.

Out of 69 works offered at the auction, only 11 went unsold.

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Monday, 01 October 2012 14:02

Peter Brant Using Art as Collateral

Peter Brant, chairman and chief executive officer of the White Birch Paper Co., has fallen from billionaire status and is turning to his contemporary art collection to help recapitalize the family newsprint business. An early patron of Andy Warhol, Brant recently pledged 56 works to the lending arm of Sotheby’s including works by Warhol, Richard Prince, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Brant also pledged pieces to a unit of the Deutsche Bank AG and his former business partner, including a Warhol from the early 1960s that is said to be worth around $35 million.

Ranked as one of the largest contemporary art collectors in the United States, Brant joins a number of wealthy collectors who have started taking out loans backed artworks to fund their ventures. It is rumored that Brant used his art collection to provide some of the capital needed to buy White Birch out of bankruptcy in 2011.

According to an annual report, Sotheby’s Financial Services provides consignment loans secured by artworks that borrowers have agreed to sell through the auction house, permitting them to get some of the proceeds as much as a year ahead of time. The auction house also makes term loans on works that clients aren’t planning to sell in order to solidify relationships with borrowers that will hopefully lead to future consignments.

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Thursday, 09 August 2012 14:05

MOCA in Trouble: Eli Broad Misses Payment

Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad hasn’t made scheduled payments to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles because the institution has $2.1 million in grants it hasn’t put toward exhibitions.

“Once our unspent exhibition funds have been used, we will make additional payments,” said Karen Denne, spokeswoman for the 79-year-old founder of KB Home (KBH), in an e-mail.

The missed payments come at a time when concerns over finances at the museum have resurfaced after four prominent artists quit MOCA’s board last month.

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