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November 4-5, Christie’s is auctioning off works from the great art dealer Jan Krugier’s estate. Anybody who ever visited the NY gallery (long a fixture in the Fuller building, then uptown at 980 Madison as a private space) knew the jaw-dropping power of great art. Look – is that a Giacometti!? Well, yes it is, after all, it was Jan Krugier’s friend, Alberto Giacometti who first persuaded him to become a dealer, and he opened his first gallery in Geneva, in 1962. The wonderful Tzila Krugier, long a director of the New York gallery, used to smile at the reactions of visitors to the space – certainly she used to smile at mine (before handing me a refreshing beverage). And the art fairs – it was enough to make a hardened art world person giddy (not to even mention the prices). The gallery would save up works for the year before the Basel art fair – things that you wouldn’t think would work together (wait, is that an Irving Petlin next to that Basquiat?). But they did. Always.

One of the things up for sale, “Tete” the cut-out sculpture by Picasso that was a study for the huge one in Chicago. It was exhibited in Basel a few years ago and I loved it. Really I did. It was just a little big to put under my arm and take home. Oh, and there was the price also. That too, was a little big. Now, the next person to love it will have to pony up $25-35 million (estimated). Sigh.

The first day of the sale will be for the “stars” and Christie’s is estimating proceeds in the region of (gulp) $160 million. The second, works on paper (Mr. Krugier and his wife, Marie-Anne Krugier-Poinatowsky were famous collectors of drawings) is estimated at “only” $15 million or so.

i think I may go, and perhaps even wear a fedora in Jan Krugier’s honor. But if you intend to bid – I would recommend saving your pennies now….Things like this don’t come on the market every day.