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Leading hedge-fund manager's collection commands $44.6M

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By From Wire Reports
Thursday, May 15, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

NEW YORK — Top works from hedge-fund manager Adam Sender's contemporary-art collection, including pieces by Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, sold for $44.6 million on Wednesday at Sotheby's in New York.

Nineteen lots from Sender's collection opened Sotheby's evening auction of postwar art. The group's tally exceeded its $21.1 million to $29.9 million estimate. The top lot was Martin Kippenberger's painting of two men walking arm-in-arm down a street. The work fetched $5.5 million against a high estimate of $4 million.

Sender, 45, shuttered his Exis Capital Management Inc. earlier this year. He worked for Steven A. Cohen's SAC Capital Advisors LP before starting Exis in 1998 and was one of the first among the new generation of hedge-fund managers to start collecting contemporary art. The group included Cohen and Third Point LLC's Daniel Loeb.

Sherman's “Untitled #93,” estimated at $2 million to $3 million, sold for $3.9 million. The color photograph from Sherman's series known as “Centerfolds” fetched $96,000 when Sender bought it at Christie's in New York in 1998.

A group of six Andy Warhol self-portraits from 1986 sold for $30.1 million. It was estimated to bring in $25 million to $35 million.

The identical silk-screen images in different colors depict Warhol in his famous “fright wig.”

A 7-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture, “Popeye,” by Pennsylvania native Jeff Koons, brought $28.1 million.

Prices for top-tier postwar and contemporary artworks are on the rise as collectors view them as investments and status symbols. Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips this week are holding sales, part of the semi-annual auctions in New York, considered important barometers of the art market's health. Prices include commissions; estimates don't.

Christie's on Tuesday reached the highest auction tally ever, selling $745 million worth of art, led by Barnett Newman and Francis Bacon paintings and fueled by Chinese buying. Christie's sale of contemporary art on Monday reached $134.6 million in an hour. It covered a similar period to Sender's collection. The two Christie's evening auctions raised $879.6 million.

The 81-lot Sotheby's sale collected a total of $364 million.



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